Everywhere You Look... 8.9!
By MT:15 on Jan 10, 2007
Happy New Year to the entire community of Higher Education customers and Oracle H.E. staff!
As we turn the calendar to 2007, it is a time of high spirit among our community. The December shipment of the brand new PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0 product family is a major milestone achievement! Yet the most striking recent shift in the composition of our customer base really concerns the significant achievements and successful implementation or upgrade of customers to version 8.9. As I encountered customers roaming around Educause and Oracle Open World conferences this fall, and in my travels on the road, I was really struck by their enthusiasm for their new production 8.9 systems. Since the new 9.0 version is a functional enhancement built on the same underlying toolset and architecture as 8.9, it is worthwhile for the community to take note of these 8.9 customer accomplishments.
Before we totally follow the mad rush to the excitement of PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0, it is worthwhile to recall the advancements brought to all of us by 8.9. Functional capabilities like Candidate Gateway, Enterprise Asset Management, and the Student Center were introduced in 8.9. The User Productivity Kit became a popular tool to enhance the delivery of new capabilities to the user population. From a technology standpoint, 8.9 introduced the concept of the "Person Model" in Human Capital Management and Campus Solutions, enabling advancement in SOA techniques of integration. But the greatest impact from your feedback has been delivery of the promise of "Superior Ownership Experience." PeopleSoft 8.9 delivered completely redesigned user interface screens based on usability testing. Fewer clicks, fewer data entry errors, and more logical navigation through the business processes were all 8.9 goals. SOE also provides "wizard" tools for more readily managing service packs, bundles, and fixes. Upgrade effort was a target for reduction, and empirical feedback says that has been achieved as well. Today, Superior Ownership Experience has been adopted as one of the principal design goals across all Oracle Applications, including the successor "Fusion" platform. Refer to our white paper on Oracle's product direction for Superior Ownership Experience. http://www.oracle.com/applications/fusion/fusion-superior-ownership-experience-whitepaper.pdf
Many, many customers have implemented PeopleSoft 8.9. Too many to mention here. But a few highlights from customers who have passed along their 8.9 stories:
- Several major universities have completed success 8.9 upgrades of the full suite: HCM, Campus Solutions, and Financials. All have commented on the ease of the upgrade compared to previous experiences and so were able to uptake new modules they had not implemented before such as Talent Acquisition Manager and Candidate Gateway to name just two.
- Two of the Big 10 with large, complex university systems, not only upgraded to PeopleSoft 8.9, but are working on roadmaps for the use of Oracle Fusion Middleware tools and components now certified for PeopleSoft. Some have also started using Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) as part of their plans to continue to simplify the integration of their complex university system.
- And one of our largest community college system customers praised the student self-service enhancements in 8.9 that made it so much more intuitive and easier for their student community to take advantage of the self-service features, reducing the administrative burden.
- Featured on HEUG.org Online:
o Gettysburg College -- HCM/CS upgrade: On October 16, 2006, the Gettysburg College PeopleSoft Upgrade Team completed the latest upgrade of the combined Human Resources and Student Administration Campus Solutions version 8.9 with about as much fanfare as a parade of turtles. The team's low-key approach to the upgrade provided confidence and support to all business processes. The college community received just-in-time end user training in September, remarking mostly that the new pages and views were slightly different, but easier to navigate.
- Pepperdine University -- initial implementation of PeopleSoft Financials 8.9 in August 2006.
- Cal State San Bernardino -- Admissions Self Service 8.9: CSU San Bernardino went live with PeopleSoft Student Admissions 8.9 on October, 2, 2006, with Admissions Self-Service following on November 1, 2006. These project go-lives also included an implementation of the PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal 8.9, with Admissions and Finance self-service functions built into the portal. Single-signon and LDAP were implemented across PeopleSoft HR, Finance, and Campus Solution applications. As a part of the Portal project, an Identity Management solution was also implemented to facilitate single user account activation and maintenance.
- Frederick Community Colleges -- Campus 8.9: October 17th was declared VU-day for Victory over the Upgrade. The Upgrade steps and re-customization were completed in-house by a small in size but large in talent team of developers.
- Williams College -- completed HCM/CS 8.9 upgrade in November, and here is the comment about hard work being recognized (can you relate to this?): An article about the upgrade was relegated to page 6 of the Williams Record, the student newspaper, suggesting that it was as routine a transition as we'd planned for.
- Northern Arizona University -- upgraded to HCM/CS in October 2006, CIO comments that the stability is noticeably better.
- San Diego State University -- recent initial implementation of HCM 8.9. We chose to implement Workforce Administration, Workforce Development, Talent Acquisition Manager, Candidate Gateway, Time and Labor, Labor Cost Distribution, Position Management, Benefits and Benefits Administration, and some limited self service/manager self service functionality. SDSU viewed Oracle Consulting's project management role as "excellent" with a high level of mutual confidence.
- Arizona State University -- impressive fast-tracked implementation of CS 8.9, featured in a recent Oracle press release. Read the spirited ASU team comments in their online blog: http://wire.asuutoblog.net/?cat=5
- University of St. Thomas, Houston TX -- completed a smooth upgrade without external consulting assistance.
Robust product enhancement and new version availability is a very visible, tangible sign of health for an Applications vendor. When the customer base adopts the new versions, and achieves beneficial advancement via the upgrade process, this is a true proof statement of the business proposition. Thanks to all of our new 8.9 customers for the vitality you bring!