ERP Overboard: Analyze and Explore Options Before Jumping Ship on PeopleSoft

A recent Gartner Research Note titled “Should You Change ERP Vendors?” says that “through 2020, continuing shifts in vendor portfolios coupled with digital business demands will cause 30% of all organizations to switch from an incumbent vendor.” One of the factors Gartner identifies as contributing to the more-recent movement to change ERP vendors is the “rise of credible cloud solutions.”

We’ve observed the cloud factor firsthand in the PeopleSoft ERP space, where customers have been drawn to newer Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions like Workday. In this blog, we will take a look at some compelling reasons you might want to stay on board with your ERP as opposed to jumping ship for new software.

Migration Tools Make the Cloud Easy

Some organizations considering SaaS solutions may be looking to cut their ERP spend, but Gartner cautions that you “don’t assume that moving to the cloud is cheaper and worry-free.” It also recommends that you “carefully examine current costs and weight these against the total costs of switching.”

To keep those customers attracted by SaaS offerings, Oracle is pushing new technologies and functionality that allow existing PeopleSoft customers to realize many of the SaaS benefits without having to make a move to a different ERP. For example, Oracle has developed migration tools that help you transition your PeopleSoft environment to Oracle Cloud hosting, which cuts the cost of procuring hardware and some of the resources required to maintain it. Oracle’s autonomous database announced at Oracle OpenWorld 2017 will be another important piece in this puzzle.

New PeopleSoft Upgrade Strategy Brings Faster Features

The new PeopleSoft Selective Adoption strategy lets you incrementally enhance the ERP system without a full upgrade by using a continuous delivery model for features and fixes. This strategy results in faster, smaller incremental updates that are done more frequently based on your company’s unique needs rather than undergoing traditional major upgrade projects every few years. So you are getting benefits faster without the resources typically required for legacy upgrades. According to a November 2017 blog by the Quest International Users Group, 3,000 out of 5,000 PeopleSoft customers worldwide now use Selective Adoption.

Fluid Interface Improves User Access and Experience

A new user Interface (UI) called Fluid brings PeopleSoft customers closer to the cleaner UI design that is typical of new SaaS software providers. It’s also built to be mobile friendly. Ultimately, Fluid should reduce training and change management efforts, although there will be a learning curve upfront for those accustomed to the older Classic UI.

Reporting Doesn’t Have to be Painful

One of the biggest pain points for users of any ERP system is creating reports, especially financial ones. As we described in a previous blog, PeopleSoft’s nVision reporting tool hasn’t been improved much in the past 15 years and can be difficult to use and manage, even though it is seemingly real-time and based in Excel.

To streamline financial reporting, there are third-party Excel add-ins that let financial users easily build and maintain real-time reports without IT support. As these users cut time from monthly financial processes and reduce their dependency on IT, a low cost of ownership is achieved for the reporting software.

Pursuing the Postmodern ERP

Many organizations are becoming interested in postmodern ERP strategies that deliver more flexibility and agility than a traditional ERP implementation. The Gartner Research Note “Should You Change ERP Vendors?” provides detailed recommendations for CIOs executing postmodern ERP strategies. However, the note begins with these words of caution:

As postmodern ERP adoption continues, more organizations are questioning their commitment to monolithic vendors. CIOs should objectively assess the root causes leading their organizations to consider switching vendors and only switch if it drives positive business outcomes.”

For PeopleSoft users interested in a more flexible ERP environment, it’s a good idea to adopt or at least explore some of the new features offered by the platform, as well as complementary products that can enhance their ERP experience. Before jumping ship for an SaaS solution like Workday that is perceived as less expensive to operate, we think you should consider Gartner’s advice that it is “important to remember that the issues encountered in ERP are typically related to the people and processes rather than the software.”

Gartner [Should You Change ERP Vendors?], [Denise Ganly, Paul Saunders], [5 December 2017]

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