Posts Tagged ‘enterprise software’

PeopleSoft HCM 9.2 Overview

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Here is a brief (~10 minute) PowerPoint overview of PeopleSoft 9.2 HCM, something we’re hearing about literally every day. Over the next couple weeks we will build on this topic (discussing things like Guided Life Events and Payroll Modeler), but for now this overview is a summary of the new 9.2 HCM platform.

Sorry for the audio. We’re working on it for future screencasts.

If you have questions about anything I present here, please drop me an email. I’m happy to chat.

Flexibility More Important Than Ever in Today’s Technology Environment

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Do these terms sound familiar: SaaS, on-premise, off-shoring, on-shoring, the cloud, Big Data, mobile computing? I’m betting that not only have you heard of them, but you’re inundated with them.

Customers today are flooded with choices on how they should or shouldn’t operate their enterprise systems. And naturally, the IT vendors in the marketplace are all too willing to provide a myriad of choices. Mind you, all these choices are relevant and provide good strategies for the enterprise, however, the key for customers today is flexibility as no customer likes to be treated as a template, a “one size fits all” cog.

Organizations have many similarities and compliance requirements in terms of business processes, i.e. accounting practices such as Sarbanes-Oxley, corporate governance and security and compliance. However, in many other areas, customers have flexibility in how they determine what makes sense for their enterprise. They want to know that they can have choice in how they deploy and implement and use these enterprise solutions.

I believe choice is a good thing. Never do customers choose a single path that works only in a single, linear way.

You can also use soda online to rotate pages, which is very handy if you’ve accidentally scanned a document upside down. With the choices available today through technology, customers have the availability to pick and choose the best solutions that meet their needs.
The solution wraps to fit the business, not the other way around. We’re long past those days, and good riddance.

Solution providers who offer configurable systems that can can change as business needs change will be highly desirable. In my conversations, the flexibility aspect comes up as critical path time and again. IT vendors that take the best of what technology solutions can offer today and bring them together to help customers run their businesses more efficiently and effectively are the ones that will maintain a happy, satisfied and committed customer base in the 21st century.

So simple. So overlooked when a project plan gets down to bare metal.

Flexibility is key. Insist on it.

Want to Create a Great User Experience for PeopleSoft?

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The answer is yes, yes you do. Who doesn’t?

Many folks we talk to don’t know much about creating a modern, fluid, rich website experience with PeopleSoft. In fact, it’s something that, in this day and age of SaaS and web access, doesn’t get more play. And that’s too bad, because with PeopleSoft, Applications Portal and the new workcenter framework, there’s a ton of tools at your disposal.

Fortunately, Matthew Haavisto over at the PeopleSoft Technology Blog can point you to a new Red Paper that will help get your head around such things. Do any of these sound like something you’d like to build robustly within PeopleSoft?

  • Branding
  • Creating a Portal header definition
  • Customizing the Homepage Tab layout
  • Customizing Pagelet Layout and Behavior
  • How to build rich pagelets using Pagelet Wizard
  • Creating Navigation Collection-Based Accordion Style Pagelets
  • Creating News Publication Based Slide Show Pagelets
  • Creating HTML Pagelets with Rich Content
  • Navigation Collections (several topics)

The paper also cover application integration with Portal:

  • Configuring Unified Navigation
  • Consuming Content Provider Pagelets

In addition to the Portal, the new workcenter framework is also covered, as are Collaborative Workspaces.

  • Customizing the WorkCenter Layout
  • Customizing the Workspace Branding Theme

There’s a wealth of information provided in this Red Paper. If you’re using (or planning to use) PeopleSoft Applications Portal, give it a shot.

You can download the Red Paper here (Oracle login required).


More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Doing “IT” on the Cheap

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A Clear And Present Danger

How often does it happen that an organization moves from an old legacy ERP type system to a new, up-to-date ERP system and it fails to meet expectations and to improve system and business process efficiency?

Too often!

One of the primary reasons is that the project is way underfunded for the scope and somehow management has decided that there is no need for the costs to be what other successful companies have spent and they set forth to “do it on the cheap.”  Major strategic projects, such as a new ERP implementation or major ERP upgrade, which are underfunded, under staffed, and given an unrealistic time frame to complete, almost never work out.

Cutting corners and saving money on such strategic projects, which are a foundation for the company to support how they manage the business,  may not be the best idea.  The ROI is to be realized after a powerful system is implemented successfully and everyone’s expectations are met.  Doing it right means:

  • More cost upfront on the project, but also a maximized ROI for the long term, as in 10 to 15 years, every year.
  • Significantly higher system performance and business process efficiency realized, every year.
  • Smooth transition from the old to the new system.
  • Easier Business User buy-in and happier end users from the get-go.
  • Much less maintenance and support costs, every year.
  • Minimizing the need for customizations and making future upgrades easier and cheaper.

Given that most organizations do have to deal with finite budget limits on such projects, the best strategy is to plan what scope you can do, within the limits, while “doing it right.”

A Best Practice would be not to take or introduce unnecessary risks, which seldom work out.  Most often one cannot do all of the scope that one would like to do in Phase 1 due to the budget and time available.  What you can do to is develop a long-term, phased-in roadmap, based on business priorities, where the key stakeholders will be able to see when their needs will be taken care of.  OK, they may not get the new system functionality this year, but they will be happier to see that it is at least on the list to be done next year, or the year after.

With new technology, it is often said that “You don’t know what you don’t know.”  If you choose to do it on the cheap, you are most likely going to find out what you don’t know the hard way — and sooner, rather than later. What you may save on the front end, you will likely pay the piper for many years to come.


More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Why PeopleSoft Implementations Fail

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It’s the Big Daddy question: Why did our implementation fail? It causes a room to fall silent and eyes to focus intensely on meeting handouts and coffee cups.

In our experience, there are some very key differences between PeopleSoft projects that have been successful and those that have not.  Historically, we have been asked to come in and fix a number of failed implementations. It’s almost always ugly, and it happens more than you might think.  The upside? As a result, we have been able to assemble a list of the top reasons implementations fail.  Here’s what we’ve learned, in no particular order:

  1. The solution is not tied to the business objectives. We have said a hundred times over that a project can be on time and on budget but if it does not meet the objectives of the project/business, then it still will not be successful.  Companies implement PeopleSoft for specific reasons and after spending months and many dollars, it will be a complete failure if those objectives are not achieved. Seems obvious, but it’s incredible how often this gets brushed aside during a project in favor of more tactical objectives.
  2. Scope is not managed. Scope creep is the number one killer of a project.  Scope can kill a project with one large change or many, many small changes (what we call ‘death by duck bites’).
  3. Organization is not prepared for change. Certainly implementing the software flawlessly is key for a successful engagement, but beyond the software it is important that the organization is ready to use the software and prepared for the business changes that will come.  Without being prepared for change, there is a high chance that user adoption of the new software will be negatively impacted and the software blamed.  In effect, it is not the software, but the failure of being ready to use it, support it and adopt new business processes which lead to the project’s failure.
  4. Project team skills are not appropriate and unavailable. Many times during the sales cycle when we discuss what is key to success, we are promised only the best and brightest dedicated to the project.  Unfortunately, business priorities often intervene and the project ends up being staffed with RIP (Retired in Place) folks and resources who have never even seen a mouse.  The new software will help establish best practices and having a team engaged that understand the details of the business and are motivated to succeed is very important.
  5. Executive sponsorship is not strong nor visible. The role of the executive sponsor is often overlooked but that role’s importance should not be.  Executive sponsors will be key for managing scope and change requests, ensuring the project has the correct resources and resolving issues.  I have seen many a project have all of the right elements except a strong executive sponsor and still struggle because of it.
  6. The system is not sustainable by the customer. There are cost cutting implementation methods out there such as lab, offshore etc., which can implement for a lower cost, but there is a price to pay for that lower cost.  The highest price paid is the fact that insufficient knowledge transfer has occurred and the client is unable to sustain and support the solution once it is live and the implementation partner has departed.  The client must be able to support and grow the solution and have the knowledge to do so.
  7. End users are not trained. Often, as the go-live pressures mount to hit the expected date and not increase any costs, corners are inevitably cut.  Generally those corners are cut in testing or training — both of which are major mistakes.  End users must be trained in order to effectively use the solution.  A proper and efficient training program must be developed and executed timed close to go-live to ensure end users are ready for the software.  Ignoring this training will only result in many help desk issues, a stressed go-live and ultimately poor user adoption. And what does that spell? Failed implementation.

Don’t think for a second that there are only seven reasons why implementations go south. Sadly, there are many more. In my follow up post, I will outline what MIPRO’s mitigation strategies are to ensure these do not happen and we have a successful PeopleSoft implementation.

In the meantime, if you have a question about this or your own horror story, please don’t be afraid to tell me about it. We do a lot of clean-up work, and we’ve primed some insanely successful projects. I’d love to hear from you.


More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Oracle Tops Profit Views, Sales Rise 37%

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From MarketWatch:

Oracle (ORCL 32.80, +0.25, +0.76%) said its third-quarter net income rose to $2.1 billion, or 41 cents a share, compared to $1.19 billion, or 23 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter ended Feb. 28 rose 37% to $8.76 billion. Excluding one-time items, Oracle said earnings for the quarter were 54 cents a share.

Analysts polled by FactSet Research had expected Oracle to report earnings excluding items of 50 cents a share, and $8.7 billion in revenue.

The most notable thing about this news is the fact that much of the quarter’s success was predicated on software sales to new corporate customers.  This isn’t maintenance stream stuffing; this is IT departments finally loosing the checkbooks and satisfying some (probably) longstanding requirements.

Also notable is Oracle’s side statement on whether or not the earthquake and tsunami in Japan will have any bearing on short-term future operations:

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company also raised its quarterly dividend, and said it doesn’t anticipate a significant negative impact on its business from the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan — while posting a better-than-expected profit outlook for the current period.

Great news all around for Oracle.


More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

What to Negotiate in Your SaaS Agreement

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There’s plenty of information out there about why to choose SaaS and which products lead their respective markets.  What’s not out there en masse is some cogent advice on how to deal with the underbelly of any enterprise software purchase: the contract.

Derek Singleton, an ERP Market Analyst for ERP Software Advice, rounds up his nine key points you’ll need to think about in negotiating your SaaS agreement.

So you’ve decided to go with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). It’s easy to implement, easy to use and has a friendly subscription pricing model. You’re psyched.

Then comes the contract.

While SaaS has simplified enterprise software in many ways, you will still need to review, negotiate and execute a fairly complex contract when subscribing to an “enterprise-class” system. In this post, we will walk you through the nine most important things to consider when negotiating your SaaS agreement.

Nice to see these oft-discussed points collected and discussed evenly.  It’s a high-level consideration, but certainly these nine items should be somewhere on your contract checklist.


MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More business posts.

NEWS: PeopleTools 8.51 Webinar

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Speaking of PeopleTools 8.51, our friends over at Grey Sparling are hosting a webinar to explore the new goodness in PeopleTools 8.51.  Details from their invite:

Although the 8.51 release isn’t nearly as large as its predecessor, there are a lot of powerful new features that you will want to know about.  Two of the most exciting are:

  • A new testing framework (you’ll hear a lot more about this at Oracle OpenWorld).
  • A new way of navigating within PeopleSoft (called Smart Navigation).

The Grey Sparling developers have just finished downloading and creating demonstration environments for this release, and we have scheduled two webinars this coming week to give you an early look at what’s there and how to use it.

  • Wednesday, September 15 at 10:00am Pacific (which is 1pm EST).  Click here to register (space is limited).
  • Friday, September 17 at 1:00pm Pacific (which is 4:00pm EST).  Click here to register (space is limited).

If you’re at all interested in getting under the hood of PeopleTools 8.51, don’t miss these.


MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More PeopleSoft posts.

Larry Ellison on Oracle’s Unique Vision of On-demand Enterprise Apps

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Interesting snippet from the recent Oracle earnings call:

Question (Kash Rangan – Merrill Lynch) So if I read it correctly, it is going to be ERP supply chain [cerium] for everything, HR, everything on demand, delivered as a multi [inaudible] service from your data sectors to add to the subscription model, right.

Answer (Larry Ellison) Absolutely but it’s not necessarily. The interesting thing is its not necessarily from our data center. We have three models. One is, we have on premise where you run it. We have on demand in our data center. I should say on premise in your data center where you run it. We have on demand in our data center where we run it. But then there is an on demand in your data center where we run it. So the computer is actually on your floor, behind your firewall, attached to your very fast local area network but we provide all the services.

And we think that’s where the real value is and we think that’s the interesting model. It’s a model that does not offer. It’s a single tenancy on demand model, with a computer on your data center, highly secure, highly performance, but we provide all of the upgrade services and we administer the applications.

That’s proven to be a significant differentiator between us and Salesforce and what is allowing us to win virtually every large-scale deal.

Ellison is onto something, because the two top objections to on-demand are (1) confidential data being moved offsite into another entity’s care, and (2) end user performance.  The third model Ellison talks about – where the Oracle on-demand application infrastructure is in your datacenter, in your care, on your network – overcomes both of these.  It’s a compelling hybrid, and I suspect you’ll see other firms scramble to copy it.

(Via Dave C.)

Art Meets Science: Business Intelligence Requirements Gathering

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(click to enlarge)

Requirements gathering.  So many organizations don’t realize this is often where success in a Business Intelligence (BI) deployment lives or dies.

When it comes to BI, we have all heard that BI is more than just simple reporting.  That’s become the BI vendor’s mantra.

However, the challenge we see all the time is how to realize the tremendous benefits of BI beyond reporting or even making existing reporting more valuable.  Through our experience and working with our clients, we have developed a proven, repeatable process to help make the vast promises of BI a reality.