Posts Tagged ‘ERP’


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ERP 1If you’re planning on growing your business ERP is the way to go for today…and tomorrow.

There have been many articles written about the pros and cons of each of these options for handling your maintenance and facilities management functions. They range from cost, flexibility, ease of use and complexity. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you stand on, in today’s fast paced and dollar conscious work environments it’s important to pick the option that will give you both short and long term results.

Why choose an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) over a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) you ask? That’s a very good question, and to be completely transparent here, yes I support an ERP product (PeopleSoft), with a focus on Maintenance Management. I came to this role through a Facilities Management background – I’ve used both and I’ve had success with both but have found more benefits and savings and fewer headaches with an ERP.

First let’s just look at the definitions of the two different types of systems:

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning:  Business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources.[1]

CMMS – Computerized Maintenance Management System: A software package that maintains a computer database of information about an organization’s maintenance operations.[2]

For me, the limitations of a CMMS are stated clearly and simply by its name – it’s a single, stand-alone application.

If you aren’t using any portion of an ERP system and your current systems are giving you the reporting and analysis that you need then it may be to your advantage to stick with what you’re using. But having a stand-alone system isn’t like marriage – you’re not committed to it forever. You have choices and as technology improves it’s a good idea to explore an ERP option just to make sure that what you’ve got is the best that you can have for your business today…and tomorrow.

ERP 2If you are integrating multiple systems, you know the headaches this can create. Here is a “simple” view of a multisystem integration map. Just looking at it is mind boggling and combining data for analysis can be as challenging, and frustrating, as reading this map.

On the other hand, if you’re using any module of PeopleSoft ERP today with a stand-alone, non-integrated CMMS you’re not getting the full potential out of either system. You have some data in one application, other data in others – and most of the time that information has to be merged together for accurate reporting and analysis. What system is your source of truth?

In my opinion, one of the primary benefits of an integrated solution is cost savings. Cost savings through the elimination of custom integrations and the time savings achieved through having all of your data in one application. This is especially important when it relates to your maintenance and facilities management – the ability to tie all of your work order costs to an asset to get a true picture of overall performance and costs is invaluable. Imagine having your purchasing, your asset management and your preventive/maintenance management functions all in one application. This alone is well worth the time to explore the advantages of PeopleSoft’s ERP system.

ERP 3Unlike the mind-boggling map above showing integrations of multiple systems, this map of the Maintenance Management module in PeopleSoft displays clean connections with other modules of the application. The integration points that are so critical to analyzing your costs and assets is built in for you. This is your source of truth.

At the end of the day you may be exactly where you need to be and your current solutions are the best choice for you – you’ll never know unless you compare. Remember, you’re not married to your current stand-alone system, so it’s ok to do a little looking around for the right system for you today…and tomorrow all in one application.

If you have any questions about PeopleSoft Maintenance Management 9.2, or any other modules within PeopleSoft please contact Robin Cole or Larry Zagata.



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

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wsj pic

(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.

MIPRO Consulting Sponsoring PeopleSoft RECONNECT 2014

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We’ve talked about the RECONNECT event recently, and for good reason: it’s a great conference. But here’s another reason: we’d love to chat with you.

To that end, join MIPRO Consulting at the third annual PeopleSoft RECONNECT Conference, July 23 – 25, 2014 in Rosemont, Illinois.  Stop by Booth #1002, meet the MIPRO team and learn more about our passion for and experience with the PeopleSoft suite of applications.

RECONNECT is the ONLY PeopleSoft-specific event in North America, and this year’s event features more than 150 focused presentations.  Join hundreds of other PeopleSoft users for deep-dive education into HCM, Financials, Tools & Technology, Supply Chain/Manufacturing & Distribution and Supplier Relationship Management.  This year’s event will feature many key players from Oracle including pillar-specific roadmap presentations from Oracle strategists and development leads.


MIPRO is proud to have been selected to present multiple sessions at this year’s event.  MIPRO’s presentations are as follows:

Session ID:  100550

Title:  Activating and Leveraging PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM)

MIPRO Presenters:  Larry Zagata & Vijay

Date/Time:  Thursday, July 24.  1:30 pm – 2:20 pm

Location:  McCarran


Session ID:  100580

Title:  MiPro Enterprises’ Transition from Workday to Oracle Cloud HCM

MIPRO Presenter:  Bernadette Sprawka

Date/Time:  Thursday, July 24.  11:30 am – 12:20 pm

Location:  Vienna


Session ID:  101770

Title:  Covanta Energy Maintenance Management PeopleSoft Implementation Case Study

MIPRO Presenter:  Shannon Roche

Date/Time:  Thursday, July 24.  10:30 am – 11:20 am

Location:  McCarran

If you’d like to schedule a meeting with the MIPRO team at the conference, give us a shout.

We look forward to seeing you in Rosemont!

It’s Time for the C-Staff to Unite Around Platform Standardization

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If your organization has more than one ERP platform, such as one for Human Capital Management (HCM) and others for Financials (FI) and Supply Chain Management (SCM), it is likely a good time for the C-staff to get together and agree on one standard platform. Why? Take it from my experience: because a lack of doing so is costing the organization significant (and unnecessary) money to have two different support staffs and knowledge bases, plus the unnecessary costs to support interfaces between the multiple platforms so that they can talk to each other and share data. I’ve seen this issue dozens of times.

We hear about implementing “best practices” every day, all of the time. Likely the undisputable #1 best practice is to standardize on one platform. When the now-famous ERP technology first came on the market, each had their own strength in HCM, FI/SCM, or perhaps Manufacturing.  Today, 20+ or so years later, they are mature products with good balance between the different software suites. The advantage and best practice of a standard platform strategy now far outweighs one’s using what was once the best-of-breed for each of the primary software suites.

So why are so many firms using multiple ERP systems today (and there are many)?  Why is your organization using multiple systems?  Might it be too much of a political battle to fight?  If the company is concerned over the short-term costs to transition to a new system, then is the company also not more concerned over the significantly greater ongoing long term costs not to?  It seems that many companies may either be in denial or that it is just easier to keep doing what they have been doing and not spend the political capital. Either way, it’s an issue that’s very real, and very prevalent.

Might it be a good time for the C-staff to unite around this issue?

The Periphery of Project Success

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After 25 years of implementing ERP solutions, I have had countless discussions about the successes and failures of various projects.  Each project has unique characteristics, so no two are ever alike, but there are many common themes for both success and failure.

When talking about success, the common themes are planning, communication, realistic expectations, a great project team, and of course the executive level support needed to make the project a reality.  When talking about failures, the lack of each of those comes up often along with things like changing priorities, lack of a committed team, insufficient budget and even something as simple as poor management.

We can all relate to those and very likely provide specific examples from our own experience.  I recently read an article over at HBR that talks more about the elements on the periphery of every project that can impact your success or failure.  In other words, there is a lot more to it than simple time and budget constraints.  Team dynamics, for instance, play an important part and I talk to my customers often about carefully choosing the best project team.  Here at MIPRO, we often talk often about the dynamics of “who” the project manager is and what it means to the company and project.  Internally, we take a significant amount of time to talk about the desired outcomes and how to measure those outcomes before the project begins.  It reminds me of a saying from my father: “Measure once, cut twice – measure twice, cut once.”

There are times when wandering aimlessly across the country with little or no thought about where you are going is relaxing (my father used to say, “Get in the car because we’re going for a ride”).  Your six-figure ERP project is not one of those places.  The previously-linked article by Gretchen Gavett is a must read if you are about to start a project.  The insights she brings may just separate your project from many of the stories we have all read before.

Remember the periphery — a lot of stuff happens there. Or, as the old saying goes, the gods live in the details.


On Finding the Balance Between ERP and SaaS

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Recently, Naomi Bloom commented via Twitter on our blog post entitled, 7 Ingredients That Make or Break a PeopleSoft Upgrade:


We felt it deserved a longer reply than Twitter affords, so here is our President’s response:

Your comment implies that everyone is SaaS-ready or willing to ignore the investments they have made over decades.  If you want to post a comment regarding our blog, make it relevant to the market instead of degrading a solution that is embraced in the market and will be for many years to come. Over time, corporations will find the balance between ERP, SaaS or a blended model that fits their business needs.

7 Ingredients That Make or Break a PeopleSoft Upgrade

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It’s a question that will make a room fall silent: what’s the difference between a successful upgrade and one that fails?

We have seen two completely opposite ends of the spectrum between effective PeopleSoft projects and ones that have not succeeded. Historically, we’ve been asked to come in to try to remedy a number of unsuccessful upgrades. It’s almost always ugly, and it happens more than you might think. The upside? As a result of the cleanup work, we have been able to assemble a list of seven best practices that can ensure an upgrade is steered in the proper direction.

Here’s what we’ve learned, in no particular order:

1. Tie your solution to your business objectives. We’ve said it a hundred times: a project can be on time and on budget, but if it does not meet the objectives of the project or business, then it will not be successful. Outline your objectives right from the start, and begin implementing your strategy right away. Companies use PeopleSoft for specific reasons, and after spending several months and countless dollars, everything will be a failure if you don’t meet your objectives. This probably seems obvious, but it’s incredible how often this gets brushed aside during a project in favor of more tactical objectives.

At MIPRO, one of the first activities we conduct during an upgrade is the Blueprint Workshop. The workshop identifies, classifies and prioritizes all of the project objectives, and outlines how we are able to measure each goal (after all, if you can’t measure it, it is challenging to determine if it was met). Finally, we attach project success criteria to the objectives. These objectives are a part of the project charter, which should be approved by the executive sponsor.


OracleDirect Organization Hosts Successful Charity Event

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The OracleDirect organization hosted the second annual OracleDirect Charity Golf Event on Wednesday, September 4th for the benefit of the Angel Foundation in Minneapolis, MN.  The event held annually in Minneapolis, led by Oracle executive sponsor, Paul Macura, raised over $30,000 for the local foundation that provides much needed assistance for families fighting cancer. Those who suffer from breast cancer can go to to receive the help they need before or after surgery, also it is a good idea to check the breast enhancement creams which are a good option for those women who want to enhance their breast in a natural way.

The OracleDirect Charity Golf Event chose the Angel Foundation this year as its charity of choice because it is local and helps Minnesota families struggling with fighting cancer. It is recognized as the premier resource in Minnesota for educational, psychological and financial support for families who have a loved one’s battling cancer.  OracleDirect Minneapolis helps support those efforts financially with this Golf Tournament, and also year round through hands on volunteer opportunities.

The OracleDirect organization had over 30 volunteers who worked to put on a large golf event followed by dinner, a silent auction and entertainment to raise money.  Stephanie Powell, Jacqui Patel, Gabrielle Riess, Kelsey Ausili, Katie Blaul, Jenna Tomczik and many others did a phenomenal job putting together the event.  Their efforts were rewarded with beautiful weather and great attendance. There were over 150 golfers who were joined by many more for dinner and evening festivities.

The event included several sponsorships from the Oracle Corporation partner community including MIPRO Consulting who supported the charity event. The City of Minneapolis is fortunate to have great organizations like OracleDirect who put their time, effort and money toward such great community involvement opportunities. Well done and many thanks for allowing us to be a part of it!

PeopleSoft Strategic Sourcing: What’s New in v9.2

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Our just-wrapped-up blog series about PeopleSoft Strategic Sourcing focused on the 9.1 release, and all of the content, features and videos are based upon 9.1 functionality.  In the middle of our blog series 9.2 was released, adding new features and functionality.  Taken from the cumulative feature overview, here is a list of the new features in Strategic Sourcing 9.2. I thought this might be a good addendum to what we presented in our Strategic Sourcing blogs.

New features in 9.2 Strategic Sourcing:


PeopleSoft Strategic Sourcing: Mini-series Summary

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I hope you have enjoyed and found value in our blog series. This blog marks the final notes on our multi part series on PeopleSoft Strategic Sourcing.

We have discussed and demonstrated a ton of information not found anywhere in a short-form layout:

We have outlined the basics of Strategic Sourcing with easy-to-follow examples.  They are designed to get you started in the right direction.  There are of course more advanced features of Strategic Sourcing that we did not touch on, such as auctions, sell events, email notifications, multiple round events, maintaining bidders, preparing notifications and workflow. These are more in-depth functions of Strategic Sourcing that are outside the scope of this particular blog series.

PeopleSoft Strategic Sourcing can be a very powerful and valuable tool to procurement teams, offering up a method to secure the best value for the organization.  As we opened up with in this series, price is not always the only or best measurement, and the other variables that are important to procurement can become part of the analysis criteria. We’ve demonstrated a few.

If you have any questions on Strategic Sourcing or need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out.

So, question: what multi-part blog series would you like to see next?  So far, we have created a 10-part series on Real Estate Management and this Strategic Sourcing series. We know that our clients find them valuable. Any other topics you’d like to see us break down and investigate? Let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading.