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Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

Utilizing PUM to Optimize your PeopleSoft Application

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PUM3

Software providers spend millions of dollars in development every year providing new functionality and enhancing their applications. In the past in order for customers to take advantage of a new functionality or enhancement it generally resulted in the need to complete complex and expensive upgrades. Customers weighed the advantages of these improvements to not only drive business processes but increase business process efficiencies, increase automation, and provide valuable information to decision makers. All of these things are necessary in order for companies to stay competitive. Today, PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) has changed the landscape of how new functionality as well as ongoing maintenance is delivered and PeopleSoft customers are reaping the benefits.

MIPRO has designed a systematic cost-effective Program utilizing the PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM).  Gone are the days of doing an upgrade to stay on the latest platform just to maintain support from the provider. The new updates are more frequent, smaller and easier to deploy.   The sooner you take advantage of software enhancements, the sooner you will begin realizing the benefits. The requirement to realizing these benefits: you must be on PeopleSoft 9.2. If you are not there yet MIPRO can help get you there. Once on PeopleSoft 9.2, you will stay current by systematically doing smaller incremental updates by utilizing the PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) tool and the Selective Adoption model. Staying current can be a streamlined process and MIPRO is ready to assist you.

MIPRO is passionate about all things PeopleSoft and we look forward to working with you to unlock all the value within your ERP investment. Email us today for more information.

PeopleSoft Selective Adoption

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It’s More Than Just a Series of Mini-Upgrades!

PeopleSoft Selective Adoption will be a hot topic at the upcoming Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco from October 25th-October 29th. While a significant number of customers have moved to PeopleSoft 9.2, a lot of them are still struggling to define their strategy for Selective Adoption. Many of the customers I’ve spoken with have not applied an image since completing the upgrade and their strategy going forward is to move to the latest image every year or two.   The reason? They feel their end-users are too busy to evaluate the new features and functionality delivered in an image. The problem? Customers are missing out on one of the most significant changes in Oracle’s delivery model – the ability to introduce new features and functionality into your business processes faster and more efficiently than in the past. With Selective Adoption, customers now have the ability to pick and choose new enhancements that can significantly add business value without having to wait on the next major release or an upgrade of the entire system. The customers who take the time to understand this delivery model, are willing to embrace it, and align their organization to adopt the change will be the ones to achieve the maximum benefit from their software investment.

MIPRO will be at Oracle OpenWorld participating on Marc Weintraub’s panel: Real-World Experiences with PeopleSoft Selective Adoption, Monday, October 26th at 1:30pm, Moscone West – 3016 and co-presenting with our customer Susan G. Komen: Leveraging PeopleSoft Selective Adoption at Susan G. Komen on Monday, October 26th at 2:45pm, Moscone West – 3016. We hope you will be able to join us for these presentations. In addition, MIPRO consulting offers a focused 1-day Selective Adoption workshop designed to help you understand the delivery model, build your strategy and align your organization to maximize its value.

Don’t get left behind in an old mind set of fixes, bundles, maintenance packs, service packs, and full system upgrades. MIPRO is here to help you embrace the change and accelerate your organization’s adoption for greater business value.

I can be reached at bob.ludlam@miproconsulting.com for additional information.

Improve Your Efficiency with PeopleSoft – Part 2

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PeopleSoft WorkCenters are another great tool to Improve Efficiency

Last week on our blog we talked about one way to easily improve your efficiency with PeopleSoft – personalized Homepage Dashboards! If you missed last week’s blog – click here to see what you missed.

Today, we are going to talk about another way to improve your efficiency even more with PeopleSoft Personalized WorkCenters. Workcenters allow your users to greatly improve their ability to manage and prioritize work. Below is an example of an AP WorkCenter Page.

AP WorkCenter Dashboard

WorkCenters also provide the same valuable information as a Homepage Dashboard. Down the left- hand side we have a space labeled “My Work” and it breaks down vouchers into numerous rows and additionally provides a row count for each row. Ultimately, this provides valuable information that users can see at a glance about their transactions. The section labeled “Links” provides easy access to menu paths designated by your users which speeds navigation. Within the WorkCenter, as with Personalized Homepages, your users can access query results with drill down capabilities.

The bottom line with Homepage Dashboards and WorkCenters is that you can clearly increase your efficiency and improve your effectiveness by better identifying your priorities. The best part is that setting these up does not require engineering new business processes or creating any new customizations. It really just involves taking advantage of and configuring delivered functionality. Now is the time to get started on configuring Dashboards & WorkCenters. Your users will thank you!

Click here if you would like to read Part 1 of Improve Your Efficiency with PeopleSoft.

If you have any questions about personalized WorkCenters or Dashboards please email me or Larry Zagata.

Thank you for reading,

Steven J Brenner
Senior Principal Consultant
MIPRO Consulting
steven.brenner@miproconsulting.com

Improve Your Efficiency with PeopleSoft – Part 1

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PeopleSoft Personalized Homepage Dashboards

Looking for a great way to easily improve your efficiency with PeopleSoft and greatly improve your ability to manage and prioritize your work? Then you should consider configuring personalized PeopleSoft Homepage Dashboards and WorkCenters for your users. Today we will take a look at personalized Homepage Dashboards and next week we will cover PeopleSoft WorkCenters.

Below is an example of a personalized Homepage for a PeopleSoft Payables/Procure-to-Pay user that I configured.

Personalized Dashboards 1

The goal was to create a Homepage that would provide users with important information immediately after logging into PeopleSoft and help them quickly identify their top priorities for the day. In this case, three queries were built to identify key information for High Dollar Match Exceptions, High Volume PO’s and Top 10 Suppliers Outstanding. These queries all offer quick glimpses at valuable information and are available any time when viewing the Homepage. Better yet, the users have the ability to expand the data sets to show the full query results and the queries can also be configured for drill-down, for example the Match Exception query which has the blue links.

Homepages can be configured with custom menu paths for faster access to high priority menus. In this case, we created personalized menu paths on the left side of the Homepage for “Handling Match Exceptions”, a “Supplier Maintenance” section and menu paths for expediting payments with a “Payments Processing” section.

Although my example Dashboard was designed for users in the AP/Procure-to-Pay space, Personalized Homepage Dashboards can be configured for any user across all PeopleSoft modules.

Bottom line, Homepages can now be a valued assistant to help users prioritize and manage their work. Your Homepage can now automatically remind you of important information that needs your immediate attention and can be configured so that you can get to that work quickly. Your PeopleSoft Homepage will be much more than just a blank page that you see after you login to PeopleSoft, it can now be a powerful tool to help your users manage their work effectively and efficiently.

I only touched on a few of the Dashboard features. Homepages can also be setup with pie charts and bar graphs with full drill-down capability to the underlying transaction pages as shown below in this example:

Personalized Dashboards 2

Be sure to check back next week to read about PeopleSoft WorkCenters and how they can also improve your users’ efficiency!

If you have any questions regarding PeopleSoft Personalized Homepages or PeopleSoft in general please feel free to email me or Larry Zagata

Thank you for reading,
Steven J Brenner
Senior Principal Consultant
MIPRO Consulting
steven.brenner@miproconsulting.com

 

Auto Assignment Functionality

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Automation has long been identified as a key indicator of progress – whether it’s the assembly line for building cars or the latest phone app – if we can automate it, we can become more efficient. By relegating those routine, repetitive functions to a machine or algorithm it frees us up to focus on more complex and/or important tasks.

With the release of  PUM 11, PeopleSoft introduced the new Auto Assignment feature that has the potential to save Schedulers a significant amount of time by eliminating the need to manually assign those reoccurring, routine work orders. The functionality uses a “Who/What/Where” concept. When structuring a specific rule, criteria can be set identifying who should be receiving work based on what that work is and where the work is to be done. In this way a Service Request can be converted to a Work Order and on the Technician’s Workbench within minutes without manual intervention. Further, this will be especially beneficial to the Scheduler for routine Preventive Maintenance work that is always assigned to the same Shop, Crew or Individual.

Through the new Auto Assignment and Dispatch tables you can set up rules as broad or as narrow as fits your business need.  In most cases the rule should be left somewhat broad to get the most out of the functionality. It should be the exception that a specific asset is set to be auto assigned – however, this could be valuable when that particular asset is under warranty. Here are just a few examples of types of time saving Auto Assignment rules:

  • HVAC PM Filter changes only are automatically assigned to the junior Engineer in the graveyard Shop.
  • All On-Demand and Preventive Maintenance work for a specific location are automatically routed to the only Technician for that building.
  • New equipment by Manufacturer ABC is under warranty for all service and repair for the next year, any Preventive Maintenance work orders can automatically be assigned to their preferred provider.
  • Technician A has been set up to have all lock requests automatically assigned but will be out on PTO for two months. The scheduler simply substitutes Technician B’s name confident that work will proceed smoothly.

Depending on how specific the Auto Assignment criteria is will determine how much maintenance will be needed. It is recommended that when setting up the Auto Assignment keep it as broad as possible while still keeping it as a valuable tool to meet your needs.

NOTE: This functionality is not yet updated in PeopleBooks but is identified in the PUM 11 and 12 releases.

If you have any Auto Assignment questions or any PeopleSoft questions at all please feel free to email me or Larry Zagata.

Jump Start Your Supplier Credits Process

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PeopleSoft’s Return to Vendor/Supplier (RTV)
Will Improve Your Supplier Credits Process

As an Accounts Payable specialist for over 15 years, I clearly see the process of managing Supplier Credits as having a big payoff. But, I often see the process of managing Supplier Credits as very time consuming and it often gets relegated to the back burner. The trouble is that starting the audit trail to properly obtain the credits can be tough. Often there is a considerable time gap between Vendor/Supplier Returns and trying to obtain the Supplier Credits. Ultimately putting the pieces of the puzzle back together always gets off to a very slow start. Compounding the problem is that you often have to get the credit amounts exactly correct otherwise the credit(s) may get rejected by your Supplier which then can further cause problems.

In terms of rating transaction complexity, I can certainly rate that some transactions are more complex and more time consuming to perform than others, specifically managing Return to Vendor (RTV) and Supplier Credits. However with good procedures, good communication between accounts payable and purchasing, consistent follow-up and good communication with Suppliers, managing the entire RTV to Supplier Credit process can be much easier and much more effective if you have a good audit trail.

PeopleSoft’s Return To Vendor/Supplier (RTV) application is a great tool to start your audit trail. You have several places to initiate RTV’s and this is where PeopleSoft’s RTV functionality can help as a great foundation for internal communication between Requesters, Purchasing and Accounts Payable. Additionally the RTV process can be initiated from several different pages to tailor fit different job roles with-in your organization:

    1. For ePro Requestors: From the eProcurement Manage Requisitions page, select “Process Return” to open the Return to Vendor (Supplier) page as illustrated in the 2 screen shots shown below.Jump Start 1        Jump Start 2
    2. For Buyers, Power Users and Receiving Personnel: Initiate the RTV process directly from the dedicated Return to Vendor menus. Jump Start 3
    3. Also as part of the Receiving process: You can reject unwanted quantities and initiate the credit process from the Receiving page.Jump Start 4

Once the RTV transactions have been initiated on the Purchasing/Receiving side, the RTV information can be automatically staged to the AP Voucher tables for review, approval, and submission to your supplier for credit(s). Ultimately the RTV process initiates your internal communication and from there the audit trail will now have a solid start and your ability to capture and effectively work with your Suppliers and manage your Supplier Credits will be greatly improved.

In conclusion, if your organization is not yet using PeopleSoft’s RTV feature, now is a good time to review how your organization is handling Supplier Credits and analyze how you can leverage PeopleSoft’s RTV functionality to make sure that you are capturing all your credits. Lastly, I can personally attest that by putting the RTV process in place you will greatly improve your ability to prevent Supplier Credits from falling through the cracks. Now is the time to get started if you have not already.

Thank you for reading,

Steven J Brenner
Senior Principal Consultant
MIPRO Consulting
steven.brenner@miproconsulting.com

Work-Life Balance: A Thing of the Past

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Are you striving for work-life balance or is your company encouraging you to seek work-life balance? If so, you are probably on a mission doomed for failure. There appears to be several reasons why work-life balance is a thing of the past. For most people, the 40-hour work week no longer exists. Technology keeps us connected all of the time; we check emails before & after “normal” working hours and on weekends. And not only are we able to answer these emails from home on our laptops but, with no inconvenience to ourselves, we are able to email from anywhere using our phones. Those super cool tablets & fablets have broadened our abilities to work at a moment’s notice even easier. Let’s not forget the Cloud and all of the information available to us that years ago was only available on the company server, housed at the office. Then throw into the mix that many of us work for global companies, or at least we work with people across the country, so we need to communicate with people on different time zones.

In a great article by Ron Friedman, Work-Life Balance is Dead, he writes that separating work from home is a fantasy; compartmentalizing our work and personal life is just not possible. He talks about allowing employees some degree of control over when and where they work. Studies consistently show this motivates employees to work harder, produce higher quality work and develop greater loyalty to their company. Many companies are offering this kind of control, within guidelines, allowing employees to work when they are most productive. Further, realizing that an employee’s life does not consist of the “work silo” and the “personal silo,” some companies are offering employees the ability to take breaks during the day while still “on the clock” to do things like run personal errands and exercise. It is this new concept of work-life integration that is replacing the antiquated ideal of work-life balance. The workplace has changed… dramatically…and companies need to not only recognize this but change the way they operate.

If you are a business owner reading this thinking, “Why do I care?” Friedman sums it up perfectly, “Ultimately, it is companies that are quickest to realize that it is in their financial interests to care for the entire employee –not just the sliver of them that sits in the office for 40 hours a week — that stand to gain the greatest benefits in the form of stronger loyalty, higher engagement, and top performance.”

FLUID

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Oracle, recognizing the demand from a tech-savvy market and determined to meet that demand, has been providing more and more FLUID pages with the release of PeopleSoft 9.2 and Tools 8.54. These pages are designed to provide the mobile experience end-users are looking for. Here is a brief overview of the FLUID pages provided on the FSCM side.

The FLUID Homepage presents the key tiles that are available for Employee Self Service on mobile devices. Employees can see their Expenses, Requisitions, Maintenance Service Requests, Travel Authorizations, Time Entry and Status Reports for any projects they are assigned in PeopleSoft.

Fluid #1

Once the user moves to the Expense page, they will have the ability to Create Expense Reports, look at Expense History, view Unsubmitted Reports and Reports Awaiting Approval, as well as their current Wallet Transactions.

Fluid #2

As you can see, drilling into each tile provides deeper functionality designed for the mobile device.

Fluid #3

From the FLUID Homepage users can easily navigate, on their mobile device, to the other various FLUID offerings of deeper functionality for Procurement Operations, Project Management and Cash Management.

Fluid #4

It’s clear to see on the Procurement Operations Homepage, Procurement Specialists will have mobile access to key activities associated with their job function such as Expiring Contracts, Approval Cycle Times, Procurement Spend Analysis, etc.

Fluid #5

Drilling deeper, the user is provided key functionality allowing them to perform their job functions efficiently.

Fluid #6

We will dig deeper into FLUID functionality in additional blogs. Hopefully, this provided a brief overview of what is available on FSCM Image 11. If you would like additional information or have any questions, please email me.

Campus Solutions 9.2 Release Is Coming Soon

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As Vice President of Talent Acquisition for MIPRO Consulting, I spend most of my days talking directly to experienced PeopleSoft consultants about trends in the market. A common theme lately among Technical Architects and Upgrade Specialists has been the increased preparation and activity around the upcoming Campus Solutions 9.2 release. The release promises to deliver a simpler, more productive user experience.

Higher Education clients are being proactive about lining up experienced Upgraders and having them ready to deploy when 9.2 is released. The Campus Solutions 9.2 release is being viewed as a major event within the Higher Education Users Group, since this will be the first new release for Campus Solutions in quite some time.

In the FAQ for Alliance 2015 document, Oracle explains the importance of this release along with some other pertinent information. Campus Solutions 9.2 is yet another example of Oracle’s commitment to their PeopleSoft product line. Keep an eye out for the 9.2 release date! This will be driving a lot of activity in the very near future.

Contact us today if you are looking for experienced Upgraders or have any PeopleSoft Questions.

PeopleSoft Conferences: Getting the Most Value for Your Money

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MIPRO Consulting has been a PeopleSoft consulting services provider for over 10 years. In my role as the VP of Alliances for MIPRO, I have the privilege of attending many of the events that are hosted by Oracle and also those hosted by their customer user groups. You know which ones there are – Oracle sponsored events such as the behemoth OpenWorld, industry-specific (e.g. Alliance for Higher Education and HIUG for Healthcare), and product-line specific (e.g. HCM World). Like most organizations, each year we have more options for events than we can attend and each year it has become more difficult to decide how to optimize both our money and our time. So which ones do I go to if I am a PeopleSoft customer? How are they different?

My observation is that the events or shows that are put on by Oracle have morphed into “all Cloud, all of the time, right now” events. These events are important to help you understand Oracle’s direction and their vision of the future. But if you go past the surface and dig deep, you will find that Oracle remains very committed to their longtime customers like the PeopleSoft customer base. And this is evident in the substantial investment for the recent innovations made to the PeopleSoft product, including things like PUM and the Fluid User Interface.

The events that are put on by the organizations that represent the customer user groups are very different. If you are a PeopleSoft customer and you attend Alliance for Higher Education or HIUG (Interact for Healthcare organizations,) the vibe is much different from the Oracle-sponsored “Cloud” events. You have the opportunity to connect with other PeopleSoft customers and attend breakout sessions led by customers, consulting firms, and Oracle. It is all PeopleSoft, all the time.

That’s my 2 cents… hope it helps as you decide how to help your organization make the most out of its dollars!
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As always, let MIPRO be your go-to partner for anything PeopleSoft. Feel free to contact Larry Zagata with any questions.