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Archive for the ‘Optimization’ Category

9.2 Optimization

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With PeopleSoft 9.2 there is a lot of conversation about taking advantage of new features and functionality, de-customizing, and optimizing your solution as new features are delivered as often as quarterly. But how does an organization go about optimizing PeopleSoft? The first thing to remember is that you must treat the optimization as a project and not as a discrete activity. When you treat the optimization as a project your organization needs to:

  1. Define your current issues/concerns (top to bottom)
    • Be specific, generate a list
  2. Document specific objectives that must be accomplished
  3. Reach a consensus & prioritize objectives
  4. Define & document success criteria
    • What defines a successful optimization outcome?
  5. Generate an Executive Strategy Outline (ESO) consisting of the issues, objectives and success criteria
    • Used to help prioritize projects
  6. Execute product reviews within PeopleSoft
  7. Generate a roadmap to execute optimization content that provides the largest business value and is achievable within an acceptable timeframe

Optimization

Why is it important to take the time to execute in this manner?

  • Executive challenges (top level) help feed downstream challenges
  • Challenges help define what needs to be addressed
  • Challenges are easily transformed into objectives
  • Objectives are used for internal alignment and priorities
  • Objectives are used to guide the PeopleSoft reviews

Optimization 2

Once you have all the challenges and objectives defined, your organization is then ready to execute the PeopleSoft product review portion.

  • Generate feature/functionality available between current image and latest available image
  • Understand the objectives and use those objectives to focus on the areas in PeopleSoft to achieve those objectives
  • Review current business processes
  • Review current setup and configuration in PeopleSoft
  • Don’t ignore opportunities to improve the end user experience
  • Generate a list of opportunities
    • Define the business benefit
    • Define the feasibility
    • Map the recommendation to the objective it helps achieve
    • Prioritize
  • Detailed documentation
  • Project Plan to execute the various “mini” projects for optimization

By executing your optimization in this manner, your organization will be much more likely to implement changes that are most beneficial. MIPRO has a very structured process to support optimizations, if you would like additional information, please contact me at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

 

Advanced Query Security

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Looking for more security out of PeopleSoft query? There was another little gem of a new feature released with image 20 – Advanced Query Security. It only captured a small paragraph in the image overview but is a nice feature to gain more security out of PeopleSoft query.

From the image overview document:

Added the Advanced Query Security feature, which is a framework that allows authorized users to set up secured fields for PeopleSoft queries. Authorized users determine which fields to secure for a query and the type of security for those fields, such as User ID, Role, or Permission List. Then they map the secured field name with the PeopleSoft field name and run the Apply Security process. Optionally, filters can be applied to the secured fields based on the PeopleSoft product name such as General Ledger, Purchasing, and so on.

More information on the setup can be found online in PeopleBooks by clicking on this link.

Use some level of caution in selecting only the right level of experienced users who have access to this as to not impact the data returned on queries and potentially impact performance. But it could be a very valuable tool if applied selectively.

Don’t forget to check out our other blogs related to the release of Image 20.
Overview of Image 20 – PeopleSoft Image 20 Released
PeopleSoft Image 20 – Enhanced Fluid Approvals
PeopleSoft Image 20 – Fluid Forms and Approval Builder

If you would like more information on Advanced Query Security or any of the other new features in Image 20, please email me at Larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

PeopleSoft Image 20 – Enhanced Fluid Approvals

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Last week we talked about the new PeopleSoft Update Image 20 and the many new features included in this update (click here if you missed our blog). In this feature of Unfiltered we are going to highlight one particular feature: Enhanced Fluid Approvals.

With the release of Image 20, over a dozen approvals are available via the Fluid Approvals functionality, enabling approvers to complete approvals on the go with any device allowed by their organization via the Approval Tile on the FSCM Fluid Homepage.

  • Financials
    • Commitment Control:  budget journals
    • Expenses:  expense reports, time reports, time adjustments
    • General Ledger:  journal entries
    • Payables:  vouchers, payment requests
    • Receivables:  payment write-offs
    • Treasury:  settlements, deals
  • Supply Chain
    • eProcurement:  requisitions
    • Purchasing:  purchase orders
    • Services Procurement:  service work orders, service expenses
    • Strategic Sourcing:  sourcing events

It is worthwhile to note that with Image 20 update, LINE level approval is now available for the following transactions via fluid approval:

  • eProcurement requisition approval
  • Purchase order approval
  • Expense report approval

To learn more about Fluid Approvals click here to watch the release, or go to www.peoplesoftinfo.com to access the Cumulative Feature Overview (CFO) Tool for Financials and Supply Chain and PeopleBooks.

As always, we are also here to answer any questions. Reach out to us anytime via email – larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com or shannon.roche@miproconsulting.com

PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory Improvements

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mobile inventory

PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory has been around for quite some time. As most know, it is a mobile extension of PeopleSoft Inventory and Purchasing to hand-held scanning devices. Previously we would have to leverage ADF (application development framework) or the middleware between the hand-held and PeopleSoft FSCM. However, with the delivery of FSCM Image 14, Oracle delivered some high priority transactions leveraging the FLUID user interface. This removes the dependency with ADF (although that is still a viable route) and makes Mobile Inventory enabled on a very familiar and consistent platform and toolset. This allows for easier deployment as well as adding FLUID content for additional mobile functionality. It also allows for the use of any HTML 5 compliant device. So mobile users can use rugged iPads with bar code readers for example, and nothing additional needs to be deployed.

With Image 14, Oracle delivered Par Count, Par Count Ad hoc, Guided Count, Count by Location, Count by Item, Express Issue and Receiving Ad hoc. With Image 18, Oracle added additional transactions including Manual Count, Picking Feedback, Delivery, Delivery Cart, Perform Putaway, PO Receiving, Item Stock Inquiry, Fulfillment Inquiry, Bin to Bin Transfer and Adjustments.

PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory requires a connection to the PeopleSoft database to work. In some cases with customers having remote locations or warehouses without Wi-Fi, this drove them to a different solution using handheld devices. Keep in mind, especially with the use of HTML 5 compliant devices like tablets and iPads, they can come with cellular connections built right in allowing for a broader use in areas that may not be Wi-Fi connected. Keep that option in mind when considering PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory.

If you would like additional information on PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory, please contact me at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

PeopleTools 8.55 – The Sunset of Crystal Reports and Enhancements to BI Publisher

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Sunset Crystal Reports Enhancement of BI Publisher

For several years, Oracle has been indicating that Crystal Reports was a technology of the past and has encouraged customers to take advantage of BI Publisher. Well that day has come! PeopleTools 8.55 will not support the use of Crystal Reports. Don’t be alarmed, the capabilities now available to you will make you wish you never had a three-ring binder full of static, stale, snapshot reports. The tools (Pivot Grids, Simplified Analytics) that will replace many of your old reports will provide you with fresh, actionable data to make better decisions to run your business. For those situations where you need static data, month-end for example, BI Publisher is your tool of choice.

Here are some of the new features that Oracle has built into BI Publisher in PeopleTools 8.55.

  • PeopleTools has created a BI Publisher report user role (XMLP Report User) that allows users to schedule and run reports. Users with this role can also open a majority of BI Publisher report definitions in read-only mode.
  • Report developers can delete report definitions from the results grid of the report definition search page.
  • PeopleTools delivers a copy report definition page that simplifies report development by enabling report developers to copy report definitions.
  • BI Publisher for PeopleSoft now enables you to develop PDF reports that users can edit and then submit the changes to be saved in a database. The submittable PDF report functionality is available for delivered self-service reports and for customer-created reports.
  • Beginning in PeopleTools 8.55 you can change the data source of an existing report definition. When a user clicks the link the data source type and data source ID field become editable. An option to cancel data source changes is available, allowing a report developer to revert back to initial state.
  • PeopleTools enables you to include attachments from external sources with BI Publisher PDF report output. The source attachments are converted to PDF format and then merged with the main report. The report is then displayed to the end users or delivered to report manager. To convert attachments to PDF output, BI Publisher utilizes Oracle’s Outside In Technology (OIT), a product that enables the transformation and control of more than 600 file formats, including documents from office suites, specialty formats, and legacy files.
  • You can distribute reports using email to recipients that do not have PeopleSoft user profiles. This feature enables you to distribute BI Publisher reports to external users whose email addresses are stored in the database, file server, or other location.

For questions regarding your upgrade to PeopleTools 8.55, taking advantage of the new features, or help with creating your new reports and analytics, please reach out to us.

PeopleTools Health Center Fluid User Interface (FUI)

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There has been a lot of discussion around the new functionality and features that have been delivered with FUI since the release of PeopleTools 8.54. Now with the release of Tools 8.55, FUI extends itself into the technology area in several ways:

  • PeopleTools Health Center
  • PUM Dashboard
  • FLUID Dashboards
  • FLUID Related Content

Let’s take a look at the PeopleTools Health Center. The PeopleTools Health Center has dashboards for monitoring the health and performance load of the PeopleSoft architecture. The PeopleTools Health Center also provides alerts for performance issues and integrated logs.

Providing a FUI dashboard for the system health allows PeopleSoft Admins to easily and conveniently use their mobile device to ascertain the status of the solution. This information is vital to every organization and can now be accessed anywhere, anytime.

 

Health Center 1

Users can drill down into each of the web servers, application servers and process schedulers for more details.

Health Center 2

And users can drill down deeper into the log files.

Health Center 3

You can find the PeopleTools Health Center using the Navigator on the left side of the landing page under the PeopleTools navigation.

Health Center 4

Don’t miss out on all the latest & greatest PeopleSoft has to offer. If you would like more information on the PeopleTools Health Center please contact me at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

PeopleSoft Interaction Hub – Selective Adoption

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 peoplesoft Interaction Hub

Interaction Hub is Now Using the Selective Adoption Process!

In case you are not aware, as of June of 2015, the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub is now providing updates via the selective adoption process. Customers can take advantage of selective adoption from the Interaction Hub in the same fashion as the PeopleSoft applications.

As with the applications, there are minimal requirements for both the Tools and Interaction Hub versions that customers must be live on in order to take advantage of selective adoption. In order to help customers understand the minimum requirements, Oracle has posted a white paper, “PeopleSoft Interaction Hub is Moving to Selective Adoption” on My Oracle Support. Customers can download the white paper here with your Oracle Support account information.

Also found through My Oracle Support is an Interaction Hub PUM homepage. The release schedule of images are not as frequent as the application images, but for planning purposes they are posted on the homepage. The latest release dates are as follows:

  • Image 2: February 8, 2016
  • Image 3: August 8, 2016
  • Image 4: December 19, 2016

But always be sure to check the homepage for the latest dates.

Follow these instructions to access the Interaction Hub PUM homepage: go to the PeopleSoft Update Manager home page on MOS, then select the PeopleSoft Update Image Home Pages tab, and choose the Interaction Hub Update Image Page. Remember, you will need your user name and password to enter.

If you would like any information on Interaction Hub and selective adoption, drop me a note at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

Contracts Activity Guide

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Creating contracts just got a whole lot easier!

Released in FSCM Image 14 is a new activity guide for creating contracts within the Contract module. Activity guides are step-by-step processes within PeopleSoft taking the users through activities one step at a time in the correct sequence. For customers who have struggled with the lengthy process, this will be a great added value to the end user

From the CFO tool:

“Added the Contracts Activity Guide feature that provides sequential tasks, which has to be followed to make a contract active. The tasks defined in the Contracts Activity Guide are linked to an already existing Contracts component, Billing Plan component and Revenue Plan component. It implements the PeopleTools Activity Guide feature that will facilitate customers to define step-by-step guided procedures for users to complete.”

PeopleBooks are already updated with Image 14 content and the activity is fully described in the online documentation.

As you can see, the activity guide is displayed on the left and is a 10 step process for contract creation.

Contracts Activity Guide

This is a welcome addition for activity guides, simplifying the process of contract creation and easily identifying incomplete tasks. The contract creation process requires so much information that, at some point in the process, the end user has to stop, save, find or gather additional information required for that contract creation and then come back to the process. The activity guide really helps identify where someone left off or what tasks remain incomplete before activating the contract.

If you would like more information on the Contracts Activity Guide, drop me a note at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

Selective Adoption Terminology

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Time to Update Shutterstock - 154496921

There are many terms out there related to selective adoption. In the beginning, the focus was all about PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM). However, PUM is simply one of many tools that help enable selective adoption. Let’s take a few minutes to clear up some definitions to hopefully provide more insight around selective adoption.

Selective Adoption: Selective adoption is the named process by which PeopleSoft customers are able to “selectively” determine how they will apply maintenance and new features as they are delivered approximately every 10 weeks by Oracle. Customers can choose to take everything, nothing or be “selective” in the content they apply to their production instance.

The following are tools that help enable the selective adoption process.

PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM): PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) is a new Lifecycle Management tool that enables PeopleSoft customers to stay current on application maintenance using selective adoption. PUM works with PeopleSoft Change Assistant to facilitate this new process. PUM leverages PeopleSoft Update Images (PIs).

PeopleSoft Update Images (PI): PeopleSoft Update Images are Oracle VM VirtualBox virtual machines that are downloaded from My Oracle Support (MOS) to your system. PI’s are published and released on a specific schedule approximately every 10 weeks. All PI’s will contain bug fixes and most, but not all PI’s, will contain new features/functionality. PI’s are cumulative, meaning PI 14 will contain all of the content from PI 1 through PI 13.

Change Assistant: Oracle’s PeopleSoft Change Assistant is a standalone, Windows based, Java program that orchestrates the process of updating or upgrading your PeopleSoft system. Change Assistance automates many steps of the update process, provides a step-by step-process for applying maintenance and is integrated with PUM using change packages created from the PI. Change Assistant is one of the primary tools in the process of applying maintenance and new features, either taking all content within an image or selectively.

PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF): A tool that helps automate the testing process and really allows for the more frequent updating and application of PeopleSoft Update Images. PTF automates various tasks within the PeopleSoft application, primarily functional testing. Automating functional testing enables testers to execute more tests with greater accuracy during a shorter time. A good automated testing strategy is essential to having a sound selective adoption maintenance strategy.

If you would like any information on selective adoption, please drop me a note at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

Selective Adoption

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Last month at OpenWorld, I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel moderated by Marc Weintraub. In case you are interested, the session was CON8300: Real-World Experiences with PeopleSoft Selective Adoption. The purposes of the panel was to discuss and provide real experiences of organizations leveraging PeopleSoft Selective Adoption. I thought it would be beneficial to share with a broader audience the general direction of the questions and answers. I say general as there are no PowerPoint Slides to leverage, simply my memory of the questions and answers provided.

Question 1: What do organizations think of the new model of selective adoption?

Answer: For the most part we are now seeing organizations just beginning to put more of a focus on selective adoption. Many organizations upgraded to 9.2 and made the decision to address a selective adoption strategy at a later date, once 9.2 was up and stable. Organizations are now realizing that this is an entirely different process of receiving content, both fixes and new functionality, than has ever before been delivered with PeopleSoft. They are starting to understand the value and power of selective adoption and asking the right questions about how to get started with a strategy.

Question 2: Do organizations fully understand the magnitude of the change of the new model?

Answer: As mentioned, organizations are transitioning to understanding selective adoption more and more. They understand it is a fundamental change in the delivery model and that it is not just about bugs and fixes but how they receive new features and functionality. What we have not seen yet is an understanding of the significance of the change such as:

  • Impact on staffing
  • Impact on budgeting
  • What a new selective adoption strategy entails

Question 3: What are organizations asking about in regards to the new model of selective adoption?

Answer: For those organizations that are just getting started, the number one question is “Does it work?” Then followed by questions such as:

  • How is it different than previous methods of fix/bug delivery?
  • How do we get started with selective adoption?
  • How are other organizations addressing selective adoption?
  • How do we as an organization support applying updates more often?

Question 4: Where should an organization begin when starting with selective adoption?

Answer:

  • Research: There is a lot of information available out there. The PUM home pages on My Oracle Support (you will need your Oracle username and password to access these pages) along with the videos on Oracle’s YouTube channel offer a lot of information. Organizations should do their research to learn as much as possible about selective adoption.
  • Engage with a consulting organization such as MIPRO who has experience with selective adoption and execute a Selective Adoption Strategy Workshop. The workshops are designed to educate and provide that crucial direction on establishing a strategy.
  • Create a strategy specific to your organization. Not all organizations are equal or alike. There are unique constraints that must be accounted for that can drive each organization to a specific strategy. This is not a one size fits all approach.
  • Think differently. Selective adoption requires a different approach at the core even as far as how the organization is staffed down to a different budgeting approach. No longer is the organization budgeting for a large upgrade every 4 or 5 years, but rather continuous, smaller projects.

Question 5: Any lessons learned?

Answer: Make sure your selective adoption strategy is actually documented and published for the organization. It is a big change and can have tremendous value and the business as well as IT needs to be actively involved. Make sure your selective adoption strategy document contains at a minimum:

  • Maintenance strategy defined
  • Staffing defined
  • Image calendar defined
  • Communications plan defined
  • Selective adoption criteria
  • PeopleTools update strategy
  • PeopleSoft Test Framework approach

If you are in the same position of having upgraded to 9.2 with the objective of addressing selective adoption at a later date, your organization is not alone. If you have similar questions as noted in this blog, you are not alone. If you have not yet created your selective adoption strategy, you are not alone. But, know that with selective adoption, you must act and you must have a strategy. No strategy will result in not leveraging the value of selective adoption and you will be in the position of having a major upgrade in a few short years.

Need help with your selective adoption strategy? Our one day Selective Adoption Workshop can help. Reach out to me at Larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com for more information.

©2017 MIPRO Unfiltered