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Fusion’s Coming, But PeopleSoft Is Alive and Well

Contrary to what some backstreets of the ERP rumor mill will say, there’s a strong roadmap ahead for PeopleSoft, including a new current release of HCM and even a major release next year.  Here’s InformationWeek’s Doug Henschen talking about what that means for Fusion and what mindset customers should consider adopting:

…if PeopleSoft’s getting all these upgrades, what’s the purpose of Oracle Fusion, the application suite that’s supposed to blend all the best from Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel? Fusion was finally released June 1, but Oracle hasn’t had a lot to say about it. Expect that to change at this year’s Oracle Open World event in early October.

So at Oracle OpenWorld 2011, Oracle will give us a lot more information about Fusion. Sounds good. But what does that mean for customers who still have requirements to meet, maintenance to pay (or not), and new objectives to fulfill? Short-term, not much. Hence the very strong PeopleSoft roadmap. Here’s Henschen again:

In the meantime, here’s the latest on PeopleSoft upgrades and how customers might choose to coexist with — and someday cut over to — Oracle Fusion Applications.

This week’s feature-pack upgrade to Oracle PeopleSoft 9.1 delivers in four areas: payroll, compensation reporting, time and labor reporting, and online training integration. European customers will benefit from the payroll upgrade, which supports management of payments according to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). This is a fairly new standard that saves time and effort when making payments across European borders.

The feature pack delivers PeopleSoft Total Rewards Statement 9.1 as a way to provide a more holistic view of total compensation, including benefits, allocations, incentives, and bonus pay. This makes it easier for companies to help their employees count their many blessings.

Of course it’s the paycheck that matters most, and PeopleSoft Time and Labor 9.1 now includes more than 40 customizable, rules-based templates for reporting standard hours, overtime hours, holiday hours and more. Pay calculations get complicated, particularly when union-specific rules are applied. The templates are aimed at simplifying matters. Consulting firms have made a pile of money helping organizations figure this stuff out, but Oracle says templates will minimize the need for such support.

So when Fusion does hit the market, where can you expect it to fit in?

Cutting over entirely to Fusion is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. If you’re running PeopleSoft Financial Management (FM) as well as HCM the migration will be even more daunting, as Fusion Financials has more in common with Oracle E-Business than it does PeopleSoft FM. That said, Fusion does adopt PeopleSoft’s Trees metaphor for organizational hierarchies, according to Holincheck.

The bottom line is that Oracle has good reason to keep the PeopleSoft upgrades coming, and it won’t be pushing you to move to Fusion. The coexistence strategy notwithstanding, Fusion seems like a PeopleSoft alternative to be considered like any other competitive app, with cost, breadth and depth of functionality, ease of deployment, and innovation as key reasons to consider replacement.

Takeaway: the notion that Fusion represents a giant red switch that will turn itself on and PeopleSoft off is the farthest thing from the truth.

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