At Collaborate17, we heard about a number of exciting improvements to PeopleSoft from the Quest International Users Group that are gaining traction with users. Collaborate demonstrated Oracle’s continued commitment to improving the PeopleSoft user experience in terms of functionality and delivery as we describe here, but there remains room for improvement in the reporting realm where the nVision tool falls short in its overall usability.
Customers Embrace Improved User Experience
Collaborate demonstrated how the PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface (UI) is gaining mainstream adoption. This observation confirms a November 2016 PeopleSoft community survey by Quest that indicated 46 percent of those not currently on Fluid have plans to adopt it.
There was also a lot of buzz about the PeopleSoft Selective Adoption strategy that lets you incrementally enhance the software without a full upgrade by using a continuous delivery model for features and fixes. The previously mentioned Quest survey alluded to the steadily growing acceptance of this model, noting that 41 percent of those who are using Selective Adoption are embracing new features.
Overall, the Fluid UI and Selective Adoption strategy, as well as migration tools for running PeopleSoft on Oracle’s Cloud, are creating an attractive proposition for customers to stick with the ERP system and not move to a SaaS offering like Workday.
Minimal nVision Upgrades Leave Room for Reporting Alternatives
At our booth, both Finance and IT PeopleSoft users were looking for an alternative to the nVision reporting tool. While nVision is Excel-based and real time, it was built more than 15 years ago and hasn’t been improved much, requires complicated syntax to build reports, has cumbersome drill down to subledgers, and is often difficult for IT to manage.
Several people we spoke with complained about constant troubleshooting of nVision after a PeopleTools upgrade and its incompatibility with different Excel versions. There was definitely interest in alternative real-time reporting tools for PeopleSoft that address these shortcomings with wizards that let you build reports in Excel without needing IT assistance or extra hardware, as well as providing more advanced, user-friendly features like customizable drill downs and simple-to-manage, Java-based architecture.
New Features in Financials Streamline Processes
Oracle has also introduced some great enhancements to PeopleSoft Financials. Embedded analytics and collaborative workspaces make it easier to put all the information you need in one place. New workflows let you request changes to master data like Business Units, ChartFields and Trees. Changes are then routed through approvals to the system administrator, enabling the process to move beyond email or word of mouth to a streamlined, online approach. None of these upgrades, however, are targeted improvements to nVision and other primary transactional reporting tools.
Overall, Collaborate17 demonstrated that, as promised, Oracle is improving PeopleSoft to keep users satisfied. Unfortunately, improvements to nVision haven’t received similar attention, leaving room for better, faster and simpler reporting functionality.