Archive for the ‘Cloud Computing’ Category

PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface Experience in HCM

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peoplesoft fluid user interface

By now, if you’ve been working with or researching PeopleSoft 9.2/Tools 8.54, you’ve heard about the new PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface. It’s responsive design done right for PeopleSoft, and it truly modernizes the PeopleSoft experience across all types of devices. PeopleSoft is no longer tied to a specific client or client environment, and now it’s optimized for mobile more than ever. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • PeopleSoft Mobility on any device. Simple and intuitive to use.
  • New online desktop experience via browser. Lower training costs.
  • Native tablet/phone experience, not a hackneyed add-on. Seamless user experience across platforms.
  • Optimized across multiple form factors. Real-world responsive design.
  • HTML5/CSS3 PeopleSoft Pages. Consistency across PeopleSoft and Oracle.
  • End user personalization. Delight your PeopleSoft users.
  • Single, merged solution across PeopleSoft. Easy to provision and deploy.

Fluid UI, coupled with the PeopleSoft Selective Adoption functionality, is bringing PeopleSoft up to a modern standard where it competes, quite competently on every level, with increasing cloud competition. Every week we are talking to clients who are more than happy to keep investing in PeopleSoft simply by virtue of the vision PeopleSoft has brought to the table with 9.2 and PeopleTools 8.54.

Like always, a video explains more than a blog post ever could. Here’s a good rundown on what the PeopleSoft Fluid UI for HCM really means — and what it provides users and managers alike.

HCM Cloud: Oracle Is Listening

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(Editor’s Note: Todd Rayburn is MIPRO’s HCM Practice Manager.)

I have been in the HCM application space for over 17 years. The first 15 were focused on HCM PeopleSoft implementations. During the last two years I have been a part of multiple Oracle HCM Cloud implementations. While the product had it challenges in the early stages, as all new software does, one thing became very clear with each successive release:

Oracle is listening.

I first noticed this in a compensation implementation on release 5. Much of the feedback our team received around this release was concerning the user interface not being as “user friendly” as other SaaS applications. Oracle answered in kind with the FUSE user interface in release 7 (the next major release). The FUSE UI is an icon-based interface that made manager’s self-service transactions a few simple intuitive clicks — which, as we all know, is essential for manager adoption. Likewise, it’s critical to have one-click icon access to key reports and analytics that allow management to make informed personnel decisions without having to pick up the phone and request the data. Oracle took care of that one too.


National Instruments Transforms Global HR With Oracle HCM Cloud

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National Instruments (NI) equips engineers and scientists with tools that accelerate productivity, innovation, and discovery to meet not only grand but also daily engineering challenges in an increasingly complex world, and continues to experience growing demand for its technology. To help meet that demand and scale its business, NI selected Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud to better identify and leverage top talent from across its global organization. By standardizing on Oracle HCM Cloud for core HR functions, NI is better equipped to unify HR information, manage employees and candidates, and maximize the efficiency of critical HR processes.

Yes, it’s a press release, but the fact remains that nabbing a global technology manufacturer is a big win for Oracle and it’s HCM Cloud solution. We use it here at MIPRO (and have for quite some time), and we can tell you that it’s stable, feature-rich, effective and plays along nicely with other apps, on-premise or cloud-based. We’re picky and there’s 0% of our DNA that will dogfood for dogfooding’s sake, so when we moved to Oracle HCM Cloud for our production system, we kicked the tires from every possible angle.

Why Some Firms Are Hesitant to Switch to Cloud for Key Parts of Their Businesses

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(Illustration by David Plunkert)

Steven Norton and Clint Boulton, writing for the WSJ

While many larger companies have turned to cloud software to manage systems like human-resources management, they are slower to adopt the cloud for applications that handle inventory management, billing and other processes they rely on to run their businesses on a daily basis.

For companies using this type of software to do things like manage the filling, sealing, shipping and billing for thousands of shampoo bottles every hour, there is still too much risk associated with potentially unreliable Internet connections and a dependence on third parties to manage computer servers. The chief information officer of a global consumer packaged-goods company said, “if our [enterprise resource planning system] goes down for five days, we’re out of business.”

This is a trend we hear each and every week: for critical business functions, on-premise software still reigns supreme. Why? Because businesses run on it. If these systems fail, the business stops. Organizations have triage processes and IT teams in place to keep these systems running, and abstracting them away to the cloud – for now – is simply too intimidating.

But as with most technology platforms, there is no black and white. The reality is that for many organizations, cloud and on-premise applications happily co-exist to keep businesses running.

“A lot of our effort has been helping customers pick up new product offerings and modules in the cloud while enabling them to coexist with what a company already has,” said Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of product development at Oracle.

Cloud adoption from large enterprises often comes at the divisional level and through add-on modules. While Oracle offers services to help facilitate the switch to cloud, many core enterprise ERP platforms remain on-premise.

Horses for courses.

VIDEO: Get Smart About the Cloud and Cloud Providers

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This video is making the rounds, and yes it’s a marketing animation, but it really hits on a key point of cloud provider consideration: asking the right questions. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Most organizations we work with are looking for cloud solutions in one way or another. They want to ask the right questions, because the cloud provider landscape is complex, and there are many ‘confusingly similar’ value propositions. Problem is, it’s hard to ask the right questions if you don’t know what you don’t know.

So, it’s time to understand a bit more what you might not know, so you can have a better idea of who to believe and make the choice that best suits your business. In our experience, this video highlights many of the key considerations.

Don’t Get Lost in the Cloud!

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Terms like, the cloud, on-premise,co-existence: these are just but a few of the current strategies that most organizations contend with today in determining how they are going to manage their enterprise applications that run their businesses. It can feel like a daunting task, often equal parts confusing and overwhelming. The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t have to be. The choices available today by the large ERP software providers are actually giving customers incredible flexibility to map out a strategy on their terms and timeline.

But like the quote in the movie Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Organizations have a tremendous opportunity to build a strong, long-term strategy to help them reduce their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by assessing their various businesses, processes, IT infrastructure, resources and strategic plans (such as acquisitions and divestitures). Organizations that plan their path with regard to which systems belong in the cloud and which systems belong on-premise have a much better chance of getting there in the long-term.

Careful, well-thought out plans with your ERP provider and key consulting services partner can help make this path much easier and manageable. For many, the thought of going to the cloud versus which systems to leave on-premise, at this point, raises more questions than answers. It doesn’t have to be that way. Take this opportunity to do the strategic, up-front planning now so that you are not asking these questions at the wrong time. Considering the financial investment you are making in these systems for the next 5, 10, 20 years, it makes sense to plan wisely.

In doing so, you can save significant dollars on your overall investment in resources, customizations, maintenance and infrastructure costs over the long-term. If you are a CIO, CTO, Director level in IT or the Business side, it really is a great time to have these opportunities to leverage what’s available to you from a technology perspective, whether in the Cloud or On-Premise. These changes taking place hold great promise for the future for companies to run more efficiently and effectively by taking advantage of these great choices in a very competitive, global marketplace.

Planning the future of your strategic apps direction is no time for platform or methodology zealotry. Having a lot of flexibility can sometimes be confusing, but if harnessed and leveraged correctly, you can take advantage of it successfully and save a lot of money that can hit directly to your bottom line.

Add-ons for Google Docs and Sheets

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Increasingly, I have taken to using Google Drive for document creation and collaboration. Last week, Google announced add-ons for Google Docs (text documents) and Sheets (spreadsheets).

Here’s Google’s Saurabh Gupta, Product Manager:

You use Google Docs and Sheets to get all sorts of stuff done—whether you’re staying up late to finish that final paper or just getting started on a new project at the office. But to help take some of that work off your shoulders, today we’re launching add-ons—new tools created by developer partners that give you even more features in your documents and spreadsheets.

And here’s an overview video:

What’s interesting to me is that we’re now at a point where web apps are more easily extensible and customizable than desktop apps. Way of the future.

Personal Clouds: We Really Have Come Full Circle

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In early 2012 I wrote a blog entitled, Mainframe, Distributed, Personal, Cloud – Back to Where We Started? My hypothesis was how we have come full circle – mainframe back to “mainframe-like” in order to access the applications we somehow cannot live without.  Except now these apps reside in a “cloud” somewhere in a massive server farm instead of on-premise and they’re at our beck and call anytime, anywhere. The the obvious benefit to the cloud is, well, obvious: your data is off-premise, sitting on someone else’s iron somewhere, but is accessible using standard IP protocols and is easily, instantly accessible.

Recently, I noticed an interesting twist on this whole thing. I saw a commercial a few nights ago about  the advantages of having your own PERSONAL cloud.  Hmmm, imagine this: having a piece of hardware which enables you to have your own personal information with you where no one else can access it.  Is it me, or does this sound like a faster personal computing device with more storage than we have on-premise?

Here is one vendor announcement.

New Transporter Sync Delivers the Convenience of Dropbox for All Your Data, With Total Privacy And No Monthly Fees

What makes Transporter, old and new, stand out is an emphasis on privacy, a word that’s become all the rage in an increasingly wary consumer market.  All of your data is saved locally, and by circumventing the need for a public cloud, the company claims that your precious files are as safe as houses.

Pretty cool stuff! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not quick to decide which is better between Containers vs. VM for storage and sync. The technology is truly amazing and I admit it’s tough to get through the day without it.  I’m beginning to think my January 2012 blog post was pretty accurate.  We are now moving into the brave new world of personal computing — this time, with privatized cloud storage that bears an eerie resemblance to the storage systems we saw back in the PC’s heyday — just without the always-on, constant-access features. Giant, private hard drives — in the cloud, this time.

Revolution can look an awful lot like iteration.

Dropbox Users: Protect Your Account with Two-Factor Authentication

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Dropbox is easily one of my absolutely essential apps. I use it every day, and increasingly it’s home to personal information like travel plans, photos and draft blog posts/articles. What used to be a little service I used to store a PDF or two has become a cornerstone of my daily workflow.

Like every other important technology asset (email, critical websites, web apps), security shouldn’t be taken lightly with Dropbox. To that end, if you are a Dropbox user, I strongly recommend enabling two-factor authentication for your account. What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication combines your password with an additional one-time-use security code—typically sent to your cellphone via a text message—that you need to enter in order to log in. This makes it more difficult for someone to break into your account if they get ahold of your username and password.

Do what I did: login to your Dropbox account, select your username in the upper right corner, then hit Settings. From there, hit the Security tab, and under Account sign in, look for Two-step verification. Click Enable. Boom. Done.

Do this. You won’t be sorry.