‘PeopleSoft customers today are more engaged than at almost any other time I can remember’ – paraphrased from Paco Aubrejuan, Senior Vice President, opening comments at the PeopleSoft Customer Advisory Board (CAB) 2019 meeting.
This was my first opportunity to attend the CAB. It was three non-stop, exhilarating days of information, collaboration and frank discussions about the future capabilities and direction of PeopleSoft.
Both Paco and Rebekah went on to say that a large majority of PeopleSoft customers are running the most current version of the software (9.2). Many are implementing new updates on a regular basis. The level of engagement with Oracle is like nothing they’ve seen before. This communication comes through conferences, submitting ideas and voting on Idea Spaces and providing feedback directly to the PeopleSoft team.
Here are some of the themes and highlights of the PeopleSoft Customer Advisory Board (CAB) 2019 meeting.
Analytics and Reporting
There were many discussions about how to bring more reporting and analytic capabilities to the end user, so they can more easily make decisions about their jobs. This included both day-to-day users of PeopleSoft who need information to perform their daily work and executives who rely on information to make strategic decisions for the company. Personalizing analytics and simplification were the driving themes throughout the meeting.
Nimble and Flexible
Being able to quickly and easily adopt updates is critical. This is due to the expectation that everything should be updated as fast and easy as an iPhone or Android app. An important step in doing this for PeopleSoft is making things more configurable and eliminating as many customizations as possible. Several presenters and customers talked about the Big 4 in this regard. Page & Field Configurator and Approvals Page Composer are tools to avoid or replace customizations. Event Mapping and Drop Zones are tools to isolate and manage customizations when needed. Several customers talked about their successes in using a combination of these tools to significantly reduce the need for custom software. Oracle is continuing to add to their capabilities so that they can be used even more widely than today.
PeopleSoft In the Cloud
The context of the cloud discussion was on awareness and education. The message was to be educated and make the best decisions for your company or organization. A few customers discussed how they’ve used the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) as the platform for their PeopleSoft environment. For them, it removed the issue of having to scale up or down based on workloads and having to manage hardware, while being able to focus on the business aspects of running PeopleSoft. For others, it meant knowing how to integrate PeopleSoft to other systems that reside in the cloud.
Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are technologies that are becoming more prevalent. This is one of those areas where Oracle couldn’t share any specifics. They showed some sample scenarios that could utilize these technologies. Although they are on the radar screen, that was as far as it went. From what was shown, there could be some cool and productive ways to put these into practice.
In summary, CAB was a mix of PeopleSoft’s largest and most sophisticated customers as well as many smaller, innovative customers. It gave me a great perspective on the PeopleSoft community. The community is strong, active and engaged, and in my humble opinion, is being heard and listened to by Oracle as they continue to chart the future of PeopleSoft.
‘Our customer base feels larger than ever due to the level of engagement and how fast customers have adopted new capabilities’ – Rebekah Jackson, Vice President, Strategy & Product Management, opening comments at the PeopleSoft Customer Advisory Board (CAB) 2019 meeting.