Quest recently had a conversation with William van Son, Teamlead, Service Center Finance at CZ, around their PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade and Fluid User Interface deployment.
- Prevents new customizations
- Update process is more automated and sable
- Page composer can make the required changes for the transition to Fluid User Interface
- Fluid approval allows users to easily approve multiple transactions
About CZ Health
CZ is a Netherlands-based health insurance company. They implemented PeopleSoft version 7.53 in the year 2001 with Finance and HR. In 2005, they upgraded to the web-based version 8.8. In 2011, they completed the upgrade to version 9.1, and in September 2016 they moved to PeopleSoft 9.2 (Image 11). In November 2017, they applied Image 24 in full to be current on the latest version. With the latest update, they also implemented Fluid User Interface for the expense self-service pages and all workflows related to expense, procurement, vouchers and journals. For PeopleTools, they are currently on version 8.55.18 and made the switch from SES to Elasticsearch with their last tools upgrade.
Their PeopleSoft Financials team consists of five functional and two technical persons. On the technical side, they work together with their partner Technology2Enjoy (T2En).
What PeopleSoft products are you using?
We use all the products in the chart below, except for Billing, eSettlements and Risk management. For reporting, we also use PeopleSoft nVision reporting.
What were the drivers for your 9.2 upgrade?
Our drivers to move to 9.2 were knowing that the support of 9.1 was ending, but also the new features and functionalities like Fluid User Interface and more WorkCenters as well as wanting to stay current on what PeopleSoft has to offer.
How did the 9.2 upgrade compare to previous upgrades?
It went quicker. It was more controlled and there were much less issues in aftercare. For the upgrade from 9.1 to 9.2 (Image 11), we needed about six months. When updating from Image 11 to Image 24 in November 2017, the lead time was less than three months.
Were you able to reduce any customizations with the upgrade?
Within our 9.2 upgrade, we were not able to reduce our customizations as they were already minimal and specific. However, during the implementation of Fluid in our workflows, the new Page Composer functionality prevented us from having some new customizations introduced.
What is your experience to date with PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) and Selective Adoption?
Our overall experience with PUM and Selective Adoption is that the entire update process is more automated and stable than with the former bundles, patches and maintenance packs. We are getting more updates into production and we get them more frequently and processed faster. Also important to note is that the introduction of DPKs on the PeopleTools side saves us time in running our PeopleTools patches.
What does your company’s Selective Adoption strategy look like?
Our new strategy is to get current with PUM twice a year—in May and October. We have prepared a scenario in which we expect our lead time for the next update to be less than one and a half months. We have involved our partner Technology2Enjoy in this strategy as well.
How have your business processes changed since you implemented Selective Adoption?
The most important change in our process is that we moved from more ad-hoc upgrade projects to structured and recurring updates during the year. This recurrence, along with reduced timelines, makes updating a part of our regular operation than the more disruptive major upgrade projects. In addition, the fact that we now have a much more recurrent and predictable update process improves cooperation with our business teams, especially regarding testing and go-lives.
How are your technical and functional teams working together with Selective Adoption?
The lines of communication are very short as our technical and functional teams work in the same building in Tilburg. Our functional team identifies updates based on functionalities we need, and our technical team identifies updates based on solutions needed for issues/bugs. After identification, both teams work together to install and test the selected updates. When required, we also get specific updates into production outside our regular schedule of applying full PUM images.
What advice would you give a customer who’s about to begin the process of implementing Selective Adoption?
Just start! Also, don’t be afraid to use new features like Fluid, WorkCenters and workflow. Your users will embrace it quickly and use it easily.
How are you rolling out new features and functionalities to your end users?
We are just doing it! We are not afraid to let go of the traditional pages. I would recommend starting to use WorkCenters and Fluid right away.
Earlier, you mentioned a driver for upgrading to 9.2 was Fluid User Interface. It sounds like you have already deployed it?
Yes, we are using Fluid, especially in expense self-service pages and the workflow for procurement, vouchers, expense and journals. We also use specific navigation collections.
What were the drivers for you to begin using Fluid User Interface?
The biggest driver was that, if you use Fluid, the pages work on any device, laptop, tablet and mobile. PeopleSoft made these pages responsive and the pages adapt to the device you are working on, so you do not have to use an app from the store.
What did you learn during your deployment of Fluid that other customers could benefit from?
Since Fluid is still relatively new, there are some issues that will be fixed in upcoming patches. If you intend to deploy Fluid, you should also commit to a rapid adoption of new patches/images.
How are you rolling out Fluid User Interface to your end users (e.g. pilot, phased, big bang, etc.)?
We just did it—big bang. We didn’t conduct special trainings for Fluid. We only updated instructions and made some new instruction films for expense and workflows. We communicated on our Intranet that some pages would look different and just gave them to our users.
What obstacles, if any, did you encounter while deploying Fluid?
We had some errors on Fluid pages. For example, we had issues that stemmed from the fact that we use a MS SQL database. Fortunately, we had enough time and resources to troubleshoot these problems and work with Oracle support to develop fixes.
What concerns, if any, did your company have about deploying Fluid?
We did not have any concerns about deploying Fluid. Our implementation partner found, studied, used and translated the documentation on Oracle Support, which was available to our business.
Are you deploying Fluid as delivered? If not, how customized/modified are you and why?
We deployed Fluid as delivered and used Page Composer to make the required changes. We’ve built some navigation collections on Fluid but that’s all functional setup.
Since deploying Fluid, what benefits have you seen for you and your company?
The pages look more in line with modern webpages, with bigger buttons and an overall friendlier style. This makes the pages easier to use and has improved acceptance from our business users. Additionally, the Fluid approval pages allow us to easily approve multiple transactions at once when desired.
What services partner did you work with, if any? What was their role in the rollout?
The rollout was a shared effort of our internal employees and Technology2Enjoy. Our internal functional team oversaw the main project execution and all functional tasks while Technology2Enjoy consultants were in charge of the technical side of it.
Where do you want to take your company’s solution in the next two to three years?
During our upgrade in November 2017, everything went smoothly, and we continue to get current twice a year. Our next goal is to be on PUM Image 26 with Tools 8.56 in May 2018. We are planning to do this within a lead time of one and a half months. Oracle committed its support for PeopleSoft up to 2027 and we are very pleased with this commitment and look forward to more functional features. We’re following this strategy closely through the PeopleSoft YouTube channel, Quest International Users Group and Oracle’s Community Idea Spaces.
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