The continued improvement of PeopleSoft was definitely on display during our recent visit to Oracle OpenWorld 2017, the world’s largest conference for Oracle and PeopleSoft customers and technologists. The new Fluid user interface (UI) remains one of the major items of interest, as well as the upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2, where Fluid plays a role, as we describe here. From the standpoint of improvements needed, reporting with nVision still appears an oversight compared with the other shiny new features and upgrades.
A Fluid Situation
With PeopleSoft Fluid gaining customer momentum, many OpenWorld attendees were eager to hear case studies about this new UI. Oracle worked hard at the event to clarify the differences and use cases for both Fluid and the new Classic Plus pages.
While Fluid is a new technology that builds a new look and feel for PeopleSoft, Classic Plus uses the old PeopleSoft technology, but makes it look more like Fluid. This allows more time for Oracle to roll out the new Fluid pages and for customers to adopt them. Oracle held a partner briefing session prior to OpenWorld to differentiate the two and to help partners better advise clients.
Rollouts the Right Way with Version 9.2
With the looming January 2018 deadline for support of PeopleSoft 9.1, many companies have been busy with the upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2, so OpenWorld attendees were trying to gain a better understanding of how to leverage the new version’s features and how to structure their upgrade strategy. There are a number of feature enhancements and additional Fluid interface pages with the new version, but the major change is a shift in how updates are rolled out.
With PeopleSoft 9.2, customers move to a model of smaller, faster incremental upgrades rather than the old, major upgrade project approach. The technology that enables this is called Selective Adoption, which entails mostly an IT process change, albeit with some Business input. In contrast with this new roll-out approach, the switch-over to Fluid requires both a technology and a change-management effort.
Better Vision for Reporting Still Needed
In the realm of Finance, OpenWorld attendees voiced frustrations about the PeopleSoft nVision reporting tool similar to what we heard at Collaborate this spring, which we described in our blog. Specifically, though the tool displays data in Excel, customers find it difficult in terms of IT management and support, building reports, and providing data visibility via easy drill downs.
When approached about an alternative real-time Excel add-in for reporting, attendees mainly wanted assurance that PeopleSoft’s speed and performance wouldn’t be impacted, as the add-in runs off the production database. The ability to run live reports on their own terms rather than scheduling them, however, made a compelling argument for the alternative reporting approach to nVision.
Overall, attendees were enthusiastic about the changes Oracle has made to PeopleSoft. Congratulations go to the PeopleSoft team at Oracle for creating a strong user community and being very open to questions regarding changes like the new Fluid UI.