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Posts Tagged ‘fusion’

HCM Cloud: Oracle Is Listening

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hcm cloud

(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.

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Jumping In: Oracle HCM Cloud from a PeopleSoft HCM Consultant’s Perspective

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oracle hcm cloud

I decided to take the plunge into Oracle HCM Cloud when I joined MIPRO earlier this year after implementing PeopleSoft HCM for 15 years.

My first step was obvious: I took the Oracle On-Demand training with HCM Global Human Resources. Though Oracle HCM Cloud is built from the ground up, Oracle has taken the best of the functional concepts from PeopleSoft and E-Business Suite and them combined with modern approaches to address HR’s business needs. For instance, the concept of PeopleSoft HCM’s Profile Management is in Oracle HCM Cloud, but it is further extended through the likes of the Content Library which is used across multiple HCM modules.

I felt very comfortable moving to Oracle HCM Cloud as I knew many of these concepts from my long-term implementation experience with PeopleSoft HCM. One of the things I like about Oracle HCM Cloud is every business process has a review page at the end before you submit your changes. This gives a chance to review all the data elements that user has chosen before submission – a small but incredibly convenient feature.

Oracle HCM Cloud had its fledgling issues as any other software product that is evolving, but it is improving with each release (of which there are three per year). For instance, the entire Workflow Business Process engine saw major improvements from Release 7 to Release 8. On the security side, Oracle HCM Cloud has lot of flexibility. You have the ability to attach different data roles to different job roles, whereas in PeopleSoft you can only have only one data role for a user profile with different job roles. And while there are some complexities associated with Security, Oracle has published a roadmap on how they will be simplifying those in ensuring releases.

Oracle HCM Cloud is delivered with BI Publisher for reporting and embedded analytics to support the user in making decisions without needed to click over to different pages to get the needed information. If you are a SaaS customer you may need to change your business processes, as major customizations are not an option, but do you have the flexibility of defining workflow and approvals as well as the ability to add and disable fields and personalize dropdown and prompt lists. The upside for EBS and PeopleSoft customers is that they can adopt the co-existence model. So, if maintaining your current, say, HR and Benefits Administration system is important to you due to the types of customizations required, you can still implement modules such as Compensation and Performance Management in the cloud and maintain an integrated solution.

These are some high-level observations I’ve noticed as I’ve come into the world of Oracle HCM Cloud from a robust PeopleSoft HCM background. And let me tell you, the water’s warmer than some would have you believe. Oracle has done a great job with the rollout and maturation of HCM Cloud.

National Instruments Transforms Global HR With Oracle HCM Cloud

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hcm cloud

MarketWatch:

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.

Join MIPRO at the OHUG Global Conference 2013

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OHUG 2013

Mark your calendars! Join MIPRO Consulting and over 1,500 attendees at the OHUG Global Conference. This will be the place to meet up with old friends and colleagues — and to make plenty of new ones!

With over 200 user-lead sessions, you’ll have the chance to interact one-on-one with Oracle representatives who develop and manage the HCM product suite. The OHUG Global Conference is your one stop shop for all your learning and networking needs.

Located in Dallas, Texas, from June 10-14, the OHUG Global Conference 2013 offers the perfect opportunity to network and learn with fellow peers working with:

  • Fusion
  • Taleo
  • PeopleSoft
  • E-Business Suite

Your Network is Your Strength

Gloria Smith, Senior Principal Consultant at MIPRO, is the Payroll Special Interest Group (SIG) leader for OHUG. She will be leading the Payroll SIG meeting on Monday, June 10th at 1 PM. As colleagues with similar goals, our strength is in combining our voices and experiences together. By participating in the Payroll SIG, you join a network of colleagues across the globe, many of whom are struggling with the same questions and challenges.

Oracle HCM Users Group (OHUG) is an organization devoted exclusively to providing users with valuable insight into Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Fusion HCM, and Taleo applications. OHUG provides its members with in-depth training sessions from industry experts, along with the opportunity to share experiences and best-practices information with colleagues using the same applications.

If you have questions or want to pre-book some time to speak with us at the OHUG Global Conference, don’t be afraid to reach out. We’re happy to accommodate to as much as we possibly can.

PODCAST: PeopleSoft HCM Users Get a Productivity Boost in PeopleSoft 9.2

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We’re excited that our very own Anne Meyer (PeopleSoft HCM Practice Director) and Larry Zagata (Vice President, Solution Delivery) sat down with TechTarget’s Emma Snider to discuss the productivity enhancements found in PeopleSoft 9.2. Here’s how Snider frames the podcast:

The latest version of Oracle PeopleSoft human capital management (HCM) and financials software, PeopleSoft 9.2, will be generally available this month after several years in development. So what can users expect to see in this new release?

In this podcast, SearchFinancialApplications associate editor Emma Snider caught up with Anne Meyer and Larry Zagata from MIPRO Consulting in order to flesh out some of the most significant new features for both the HR and finance side in 9.2. MIPRO is a Milford, Mich.-based consultancy that concentrates solely on PeopleSoft implementations and upgrades.

Other topics covered include what benefits users can expect to reap if they choose to upgrade to the newest version and how they should approach an upgrade.

But in the wake of Oracle’s cloud-based Fusion applications, is it wise to continue upgrading PeopleSoft HCM and finance systems? Meyer and Zagata also touch on how organization leaders can decide whether moving to a cloud-based system might be the better choice, as well as the feasibility of opting for a hybrid cloud and on-premises approach.

You can listen to the podcast over at Search Financial Applications’ website, or you can download the podcast directly.

Many thanks to Emma Snider and TechTarget for hosting Anne and Larry!

 

User Group Report: Hot Topics Among PeopleSoft Users

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I recently attended the Midwest Regional User Group (MW RUG) meeting in Chicago. There were a number of PeopleSoft customers/users in attendance and breakout meetings were held to discuss current hot topics. Below is a collection of things I noticed — a pulse of the conversations, at it were.

Needless to say, everyone is interested in Fusion as a potential future option in some of their application areas.  However, by and large, the reality for most of organizations is that they are still focusing on taking advantage of their current systems investments.  With PeopleSoft v9.2 slated for availability the end of this month, a breakout group I attended shared their company’s view and plan relative to upgrading.

The fact is that the customer base is varied relative to the version of products that they are running.  Some are planning on upgrading as soon as v9.2 is available.  Some are still considering upgrading to a previous version (9.1).  Some will wait and see and plan on upgrading later in 2013.

My observation is that the PeopleSoft customer base is hungry for information and is being pushed and pulled in different directions.  Some say move to Fusion, some say upgrade your current (stable) platform, some say upgrade and expand that stable platform with add-on solutions, Business Intelligence (analytics) and Mobility solutions.  And naturally, competitors to PeopleSoft/Oracle say “come to our solution.”

While there is no one right answer for everyone, the vast majority seem to be leaning toward protecting and expanding their investments in their current PeopleSoft solutions.  It is stable, it is supported and it makes financial sense.

This is where a lot of folks stand right now. What will the landscape look like in 2014? 2015?

Thoughts on PeopleSoft, Oracle Fusion and Roadmaps

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I wasn’t able to attend Oracle Open World (OOW) this year, but feedback from my colleagues indicated that there is still concern and confusion about how, why and when PeopleSoft users will need to move to Fusion.  What we heard is that PeopleSoft customers are still thinking they will be forced to move to Fusion.

Having worked at Oracle, I’ve experienced Oracle-speak first hand. While the folks at Oracle certainly mean well, the critical information can get lost in translation — leaving clients confused. Consider me your translator!

So what is a PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM) customer to do? How does the Fusion strategy affect their HCM roadmap?  How do you decide whether or not to make the transition to Fusion?  Is Fusion all about SaaS?

The answers are not complex, at least for now.  Oracle is not forcing anyone to go to Fusion.  They would like to gain momentum in the marketplace with Fusion.  They would like to be sure their PeopleSoft customers understand that there are Fusion options that cater to onsite, hosted and SaaS-minded customers when the competition comes knocking on their doors, but by no means are they saying Fusion is for everyone.

From briefings I’ve attended, it is apparent that we are still in an early adopter stage with Fusion for the existing customer base. Customers who want to be on the cutting edge of technology and are willing to make the investment of time and resources, who need the features available in the Fusion applications, whether full suite or one module, should look at Fusion.  Customers who are considering moving to SaaS should look at Fusion, even if it is for only one module, such as compensation or performance management.

For the vast majority of PeopleSoft HCM customers, however, we recommend they sit tight.  Upgrade to 9.2 and/or the latest PeopleTools release, both of which have some exceptionally nice features (influenced by Fusion capabilities), and stick to your HCM roadmaps for now.

The future may be Fusion, but as far as Oracle is concerned, there is still a definite future for PeopleSoft.

Looking Forward: Why Enterprise Software Is Changing

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It’s clear that 2011 was the year of the cloud, with many traditional enterprise vendors accepting that the cloud is something they can no longer denigrate or ignore. The ‘cloud’ buzzword has been (sometimes annoyingly) tossed around for upwards of two years, but last year is when it hit critical mass in terms of action, not just marketing and positioning.

Chris Kanaracus, writing for IDG News, highlights a few enterprise trends we’re seeing and hearing in everyday conversations. These give real heft to the notion that the cloud is something everyone should be thinking about and/or planning around. It might not be happening right now, and it might not be top priority for you, but ignore this medium- to long-term direction at your peril.

Here’s one that struck us:

SAP buys SuccessFactors, Oracle buys RightNow, both accept cloud reality

Collectively, SAP and Oracle spent nearly US$5 billion this year to acquire software vendors based in the cloud.

Each sought different types of technologies, with SAP’s purchase of SuccessFactors boosting its human-resources software offerings as well as general cloud know-how, and Oracle’s RightNow buy giving it an array of customer-support capabilities.

But the deals have a common thread, marking a sea change for the traditional on-premise software world, said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. “[It] signals the realization that cloud deployment will be the predominant approach.”

We do a massive amount of Oracle work, and what we’re hearing from Oracle and our customers is very real and perfectly synchonized: the cloud is real, it’s mature, and it’s time to start figuring out how it can help enterprise IT. It’s not just for early adopters or skunkwork labs anymore.

Along similar lines, you can’t ignore perhaps the biggest story out of Oracle, one that’s sure to mold future IT decisions for a long, long time:

Oracle delivers Fusion Applications

It took a while, but Oracle finally managed to deliver the first wave of its next-generation Fusion Applications, and its launch strategy also showed how cloud computing has influenced the enterprise software market.

The company has taken pains to stress that Fusion Applications can be deployed in a highly modular fashion, with no need to remove existing systems, and at a time of customers’ choosing. Users will also be able to run the software both on-premises and in cloud form, although some of the details of the latter remain to be made public.

Oracle’s strategy is partly a nod to reality, since few customers will rush to rip and replace their core ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems with new software, and Oracle also wants to ensure early users are successful. But its message of easier, more flexible consumption for Fusion is straight from the cloud-vendor playbook.

Now more than ever we are being asked by our clients to come in and help them simply assess: put executive/organizational expectations on a piece of paper somewhere (harder than it sounds, trust us), inventory current systems and capabilities, and plan roadmaps. Such basic blocking and tackling, but given the churn and change in what ‘enterprise IT’ will mean in three years, so important. We offer clients two very powerful planning workshops: our BluePrint Project Services and PeopleSoft Architecture Assessment, both of which are popular. Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of our BluePrint workshops, largely because of the reasons discussed a few hundred words ago: things are changing, and smart planning has never been more important.

Questions? Don’t be afraid to drop us a line. Always happy to have conversations.

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Mark Hurd: Oracle Knows CIOs

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The backstory: there’s some sentiment (especially from Information week editors/contributors) surrounding this past Oracle OpenWorld that suggests Mark Hurd and other Oracle executives didn’t demonstrate enough vision. In such a wake, Oracle’s Mark Hurd granted InjformationWeek’s Rob Preston another interview to relay a message that’s refreshing clear and to-the-point: Oracle knows CIOs.  Here are the key quips that caught my eye from the interview:

He started by recapping the four prongs of Oracle’s strategy. First, it’s focusing on being best of breed in every layer of the stack: hardware, operating system, database, horizontal and vertical applications. “We want all of those capabilities to be open and work well in heterogeneous environments,” Hurd said, “and we’re lined up from engineering through sales to make that happen.”

and

Second, he said, Oracle wants to vertically integrate those pieces to deliver “extremely attractive performance, cost, and, in the end, TCO for customers.” The first manifestation of that strategy was its Exadata database appliance, then its Exalogic middleware machine, and most recently its Exalytics in-memory business intelligence machine and Big Data Appliance. Hurd reiterated Oracle’s claim that the highly tuned Exadata hardware-software combo yields 70x performance improvements–reports that took 70 minutes now take one minute, Hurd said. And those gains can be “dialed in as cost savings for our customers,” he said. “The customer who says it cost me $7 million to do that job before, you can literally take 70x off that and it costs him $100,000.”

and

Third, it’s building out its vertical industry expertise, hiring sales and technical support people to help customers in healthcare, retail, financial services, utilities, and other sectors solve their “most strategic and difficult business problems,” Hurd said.

and finally

Fourth, it will deliver applications and infrastructure “any way the customer wants it,” he said. That includes the public cloud–note its recent launch of the Oracle Public Cloud, infrastructure as a service for customers looking to develop Java apps or deploy Oracle Fusion apps in the public cloud. That strategy also includes software as a service, punctuated this week by Oracle’s $1.5 billion deal to acquire RightNow, a leader in customer service SaaS. Oracle will help customers build out private and hybrid clouds as well, or, of course, it will work with them on premises. “You can use the same code base no matter which delivery vehicle you choose,” he said.

Don’t take my word for it. Read the whole thing over at IW GlobalCIO. Very good interview by Preston.

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MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

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