This year is a very exciting time for both BNB and me personally. BNB has just opened its newest office in London, where yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the “UKOUG PeopleSoft Roadshow 2016” along with my colleague Andrew Simpson (I would like to thank you for your input and views that are reflected in this post) BNB UK’s Business Development Manager. This is the major UK PeopleSoft event where Marc Weintraub (Senior Director, Product Strategy for PeopleSoft Product Line) gave us his big insights into the latest PeopleSoft functionality and the roadmap ahead.
The day started with a strong cup of coffee and then, Mark Thomas opened the event with a welcome and introduction. The conference kicked off as usual with a note about the fire exits and the room temperature which I think was mostly relevant to poor Marc Weintraub who braved what look like a pretty nasty illness to deliver his update and insightful commentary on what the future holds.
The first session, delivered by Marc Weintraub was all about “PeopleSoft Update and Strategy Overview”. During this session Marc walked through some key points for the future notably:
  • Selection Adoption and the importance of having a strategy around it.
  • PeopleSoft modern user experience with Fluid UI. In this point he talked about some of the main features included in the latest PeopleSoft Images and PeopleTools, such as:
    • Related content.
    • Simplified analytics.
    • Fluid activity guides. We saw the new recruiting activity guide.
    • PeopleSoft Fluid UI navigation for all pages.
    • Master-detail two panel layouts.
    • PeopleSoft Fluid UI activity guides.
    • Resizable, interactive, and push-based tiles.
    • PeopleSoft Fluid UI workcenters.
    • Function-centric application dashboards.
    • Tiles and nav collections for classic UI pages.
    • Manager and employee self-service.
    • Powerful and visual new guided processes.
During the second session Marc move on to discuss more about “PeopleSoft in the Cloud”. Marc explained how PeopleSoft fits on Oracle Cloud (IaaS and PaaS) and which advantages it provides to customers. Just in case there is still any doubt, Marc reminded the audience that PeopleSoft in the Cloud is not about delivering PeopleSoft in a SaaS model, but running PeopleSoft in a Cloud infrastructure and/or with a Database on the Cloud.
PeopleSoft on the Oracle Cloud vs Oracle Cloud Applications

PeopleSoft on the Oracle Cloud: Where do you start?

Marc pointed out the fact that Cloud give customers the flexibility to provision an Oracle Cloud testing environment for a limited period of time.

In the third session “A proven guide to Implementing Selective Adoption Strategy to take advantage of Fluid UI” Arvind Rajan talked about different aspects of the Selective Adoption Strategy and run a live demo showing some differences between running a traditional query in the Query Manager and a Fluid Query.
After a top-notch lunch I went to the tech stream to listen to Colin Kilpatrick and Graham Smith talk about “PeopleTools 8.55 Infrastructure update and the PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture”. It was a really interesting session where, before giving handing over to Colin, Graham performed a live demo creating a PeopleSoft HCM (PI #16) instance on an Oracle Cloud infrastructure (Oracle Cloud Compute).

Once the PeopleSoft instance was being created, Graham turned the session over to Colin, who provided information about the latest versions currently supported by PeopleSoft for all the different architecture elements required to run PeopleSoft.
It was time for Graham, who provided a valuable insight about the innovations introduced with PeopleTools 8.55 and how a PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture works. He covered points such as PUM Image deployment options and compared and contrasted how a PeopleSoft Administrators perform and install both now and in the past. Here you can find and Oracle FAQ document about PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture. Let me share a really interesting website that Graham mentioned during the session (thanks for sharing!) and that I didn’t know before and I have found it awesome for PeopleSoft administrators and technical consultants! It is PSADMIN.IO, managed by Dan Iverson and Kyle Benson.
Before closing this session it was time to check how the process of creating a PeopleSoft instance was going on. It was completed in 29m 33s, which I’m sure you’ll agree is much better that the week or two a traditional CD based install would have taken! Graham shared the URL to access the environment and here you can see how it looked like, that is, up and running!

“The Future’s Looking Fluid at Oxfam” by Jo Lock and Angela McKenna was next up on my agenda They shared from a functional and technical perspective the implications that implementing Fluid components are bringing to the PeopleSoft users. Oxfam has completely redesigned the PeopleSoft homepage with Fluid and although I didn’t took any photo of the classic home page and the Fluid homepage, anyone that do not know PeopleSoft would say they were 2 different applications. The Fluid homepage was much better in terms of usability and modern user interface. Let’s see what Oxfam users say about the new user experience:

I think one of the key things that I took away from this session was just how far we have come in terms of delivering these solutions as programmes of change and the ease with which these more internet-like application (in terms of look and feel) can be adopted by a user base. Jo noted that after running some trials in the UAT they decided not to perform any user training as the solution was so easy to use!
I was very interested in listening to customer success stories so I went to the session “Nationwide’s HR Transformation – Our Journey so far” where John Cuthbert provided us with an overview of the 5 years HR Transformation programme.In the following picture we can see the main objective for each year and the only thing that is missing in the slide is, the fact that they wanted to take advantage of the benefits of Cloud solutions. Because of that, they are running Talent Management processes on Oracle HCM Cloud (Fusion).

The final session of the day was back with Marc Weintraub and “HCM Applications Update and Roadmap”. Marc walked us through what is new in PeopleSoft HCM in greater detail than in the first session and also provided an update on those features that are coming in next releases.
Being honest, I left the event with a bittersweet taste. On one hand I was seeing a huge number of improvements around PeopleSoft that provide customers with a much more modern user interface, mobile enablement, a new continuous delivery feature model, bringing the benefits of cloud via IaaS and PaaS services and so powerful that it is able to support any business requirement. On the other hand many companies are currently experiencing digital transformations but in their vendor selection process they often compare (sometimes not explicitly but in their minds) their current (often several version out-of-date) PeopleSoft installations with the newer, shinier cloud solutions that are available. It’s obvious that these cloud solutions will have an immediate advantage simply by being continually up to date but I think these companies should look again as taking their current instances of PeopleSoft, upgrading them, putting in a continual maintenance programme and really getting the most out of these great new features. I’m not saying that in many instances the SaaS solution isn’t the best option, but that companies need to fully understand what the benefits and implications of moving to a SaaS solution are and to confirm that is a right decision for their business.

That being said, at BNB we have a wealth of been gaining unique experience from both worlds of PeopleSoft and Oracle HCM Cloud, having participated in more than 6 Oracle HCM Cloud Implementations to this date and in a huge number of PeopleSoft projects around the globe, so we will be more than happy to assist your needs with the most appropriate team. With this insight BNB is uniquely positioned and ready to assist you which ever route you choose to take, we have the best professionals in the market whilst as a consultancy we are both big enough to cope yet small enough to care.

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Pedro Lorente Cuadros
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