Wednesday Mar 26, 2014

Can PeopleSoft Projects' Funds Distribution Capabilities Help Your Organization?

In the past four months, several Public Sector entities have asked us whether the PeopleSoft Projects (ESA) applications can help them in this age of increased accountability and scrutiny. As we conversed about the challenges of tracking money provided by multiple appropriations, it very quickly became apparent that many of these Public Sector customers and prospective customers were not aware of the vast PeopleSoft fund management capabilities they either already owned and had not yet deployed or could implement as part of their PeopleSoft Financials solution.

If you work for an entity that taps multiple sources of funding for its projects, please keep reading to learn whether the PeopleSoft Projects suite's Multiple Funds Distribution (MFD) can help you accomplish more.

Who needs MFD?  Organizations that invoice and receive payment from one or more other entities to fund their projects are likely to benefit from MFD. Some examples of organizations that use MFD are metro area transit agencies and state highway departments of transportation, which typically pay for their capital projects with funds from Federal agencies (e.g., the Federal Highway Administration), state agency appropriations, and their own capital budgets. Beyond transportation-oriented organizations, MFD can be utilized by public school districts, hospitals and medical schools affiliated with public universities, non-profit agencies, and any other type of organization that has its mission funded by one or more appropriations. (Even a commercial enterprise that has its projects funded by multiple customers can benefit from MFD.)

What is Multiple Funds Distribution?  MFD is a major feature contained in the PeopleSoft Project Costing application. In short, the MFD feature contains a framework for you to setup rules that will dictate how a project is going to pay for each transaction it incurs and a process that applies those rules to incoming transactions. As your organization executes the project, the MFD feature works with other major functions in PeopleSoft Project Costing, such as Pricing Engine, Limits Processor, Accounting Rules, and more, to ensure that each cost booked to the project is distributed to the proper funding source. There is a great deal of flexibility in MFD's rules enabling you to effective date them, set thresholds after which the participation rates change, copy rules from one project activity to another, and simplify the accounting required for projects with complex funding agreements.

Why is MFD in the PeopleSoft suite?  We built this feature, because a large percentage of our PeopleSoft Financials applications customers are Public Sector entities, such as state and local governments and agencies, universities, and healthcare providers, whose mission is funded by multiple external parties.

When was MFD released?  We made MFD generally available in the 9.1 release of PeopleSoft Financials Supply Chain Management, and since its initial release, we have enhanced it to simplify the administration of rules based on feedback from customers who have implemented and use MFD.

Where and how can I find this feature?  If you implement or upgrade to either the 9.1 or 9.2 release of PeopleSoft Financials Supply Chain Management, you will have the ability to activate the MFD feature in PeopleSoft Project Costing.

Monday Sep 23, 2013

PeopleSoft Mobile Time Entry now available in FSCM

Oracle is pleased to announce the release of PeopleSoft Mobile Time Entry, part of the PeopleSoft Expenses application, which is now generally available in PeopleSoft FSCM 9.1.

PeopleSoft Mobile Time Entry provides the ability to enter time sheets quickly and easily for project-based resources on the go. The contemporary, streamlined user interface is optimized for mobile devices (that support HTML5), such as tablets and smartphones. It provides a simple-to-use tool for capturing and submitting both project-based time and non-project time, such as vacation and training. Time reporters can even adjust their timesheets for prior periods, managers can approve timesheets, and more.

Now your project resources, whether they are traveling consultants, field technicians, or anyone else booking time to projects and activities, can enter time right from their phone. Giving users the ability to record time when and where they are actually expending their effort can not only increase the accuracy of the time reports, but also accelerate the process of converting time into cash for your enterprise. The faster and more accurately time is captured, the sooner your organization can account for it and invoice for it, and that can lead to better cash flow, more up-to-date information on project progress, and better decision making.

Combining PeopleSoft Mobile Time Entry with PeopleSoft Mobile Expenses and Mobile Approvals, the PeopleSoft Mobile Applications suite expands its ability to accelerate time and expense capture and increase data accuracy. With the new Mobile capabilities, travelers can increase efficiency by recording their time and expense when they are incurred rather than waiting until arriving back home or to the office.

For more information, please watch the PeopleSoft Mobile Time Entry Video Feature Overview (VFO) available on YouTube or contact your application sales representative.

The PeopleSoft Mobile Time Entry 9.1 documentation update is available under MOS Document ID 1583166.1.

Tuesday Aug 27, 2013

Announcing the General Availability of PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery – The Key to Tapping the Potential of Unstructured Data

We recently launched a new analytical application focused on enabling project-driven organizations to answer complex questions that until now were all but impossible to address even with the latest business intelligence tools and technologies.

The new application, called PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery, is a true example of an Oracle Engineered System in that we have architected a business solution that takes advantage of the latest Oracle Middleware and Hardware to accomplish something that would otherwise be too complex, expensive, and risky for almost any other organization to attempt to build on its own. By leveraging Oracle’s Endeca Information Discovery business intelligence technology and Oracle’s Exalytics hardware for high-performance analysis, we have built a dashboard-focused interface over the PeopleSoft Projects suite to give project-oriented executives and managers the ability to correlate structured project and resource data with associated unstructured data. Okay, I know: that sounds rather mundane. So, to illustrate why this is “much more than just another BI dashboard,” let’s take a look at an example.

Imagine that you are the Vice President of facilities at a multi-campus university, and you read in the morning news that one of the subcontractors performing work for the school has been charged with defrauding customers by installing defective fire suppression systems. You know there have been a number of these systems installed throughout the university’s buildings, but unless you have your staff manually read through every project-related contract entered during the past three years, you literally have no way of knowing which projects might have exposure to these defective systems, how much was spent on these systems, and when they were installed. This situation leaves your university exposed to significant legal, financial, and safety risks every day until it is remediated. The inability to relate unstructured data (such as clauses in your contracts, text in your contract attachments, and so on) to volumes of structured data (such as project locations, project financial figures, purchase orders, and so on) is the barrier to eliminating these risks.

Untapped Potential...Unstructured Project and Resource Data

Figure 1. The Untapped Potential:  Correlating Unstructured Project and Resource Data with Structured, Transaction Data

With the power of PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery, however, you can mine project artifacts and deliver answers to your complex problem in seconds. By typing a few keywords into PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery, you can learn where the defective systems were implemented and eliminate the costs that the university would otherwise incur for staff or temporary workers to pore over text related to your projects and could immediately mitigate the legal, financial, and safety risks associated with the subcontractor’s work. You could identify for the university all of the exposure to the defective fire suppression systems, draw up and institute remediation plans within hours, and immediately begin implementation of the plans to eliminate the risks. Pretty remarkable, wouldn’t you say? (Note that this scenario is just one example of what the application can do. There are many other high-impact scenarios to which you can apply the tool, such as using it to drive more profitable staffing decisions in a professional services organization. The whitepaper listed below can help you learn more about other scenarios.)

You can think of PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery as a tool that enables you to unlock the value trapped in unstructured project and resource data, visualize that project and resource data as actionable information, and tighten your project financial controls at unprecedented speeds. It offers the ability to analyze project and resource transaction data based on data stored in related documents and other unstructured formats. A user types keywords, and the application immediately treats those keywords it finds in documents as reporting dimensions by which you can filter your project and resource information. The application also provides you the ability to view project and resource metrics changing in real-time as structured and unstructured data filters are applied and you close in on the answers you need to make informed decisions. The PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery dashboards come with pre-configured alerts (which you can personalize) for key exceptions, such as budget overages, to draw your attention to important issues before they become problems and enables you to save sets of filters which you may want to apply to your data on a recurring basis.

A View of PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery's Project Financial Dashboard

Figure 2. PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery to Correlate Your Unstructured Projects Content with Your Project Transaction Data 

As of today, PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery taps into data residing in PeopleSoft Project Costing, PeopleSoft Resource Management, and PeopleSoft Program Management. If you’d like to learn more about the application and how it can not only help you answer perplexing questions but also give you a strategic advantage to drive more profitable operations, please take a look at the whitepaper, video feature overview, press release, and datasheet; contact your Oracle Application Sales Manager; or contact us by emailing Roxanne.Johnson@oracle.com or Mark.Rosenberg@oracle.com.

Monday Apr 29, 2013

10 Innovations in PeopleSoft 9.2 - #6 Industry-Focused Analytics & Tools for PeopleSoft Projects (ESA)

PeopleSoft ESA delivers unique industry support for staffing, higher education, healthcare, research grants, public sector appropriations, professional services, government contracting, and more. Release 9.2 re-confirms our commitment to the industries that rely on our products.


Many of the key 9.2 features have been built through hands-on collaboration with customers. For a number of these highly complex features, we even sent our developers to customer sites to work through requirements, designs, development, and testing. In addition, participation in customer and partner testing was exceptional, resulting in delivery of deep use case coverage that was rigorously vetted by your industry peers. Adopting features designed in this manner can dramatically reduce your deployment challenges and risks, because people like you, who work with these features every day, aggressively exercised the functionality before it was released.


Let’s take a look at a few examples of what you can get out of PeopleSoft Projects 9.2.


For Higher Education, Research, Healthcare and Public Sector, users gain a number of new tools and enhanced accounting processes to easily view and manage budgets, spending, and adjustments for both sponsored and non-sponsored projects.  Based on configurable security parameters and enhancements to the Principal Investigator (PI) Grants Portal; PIs, researchers, and accounting staff can acquire immediate insight into key financial information at a granular level in order to make informed spending and project staffing decisions. Staff can quickly access important details, such as all of a PI’s related awards and projects, credits, rebills, adjustment period transactions, and project transfers, and they can improve their ability to manage their fiscal responsibilities. To support legislative, regulatory, and institutional analysis and reporting needs, institutions can configure (without having to customize) industry-specific data fields by utilizing the PeopleSoft Supplemental Data Framework which has been extended to awards and projects. Also, requesters, buyers, and accounting staff can reduce the administrative effort required to track and capitalize equipment costs. They can take advantage of the new Procurement Group feature, which enables grouping of requisition and purchase order lines that correspond to a single asset. And, PeopleSoft 9.2 also offers the ability to control how to allocate credit vouchers across assets that may have been purchased as a group. These new accounting-related features offer a simplified process for tracking capital projects that is very common among these industries.


Professional Services and Government Contracting firms will find powerful new pricing and expense management features to be very useful in addressing the complexities of global contracts, provisional rates, and enforcement of travel and expense policies across a disparate workforce. The new Custom Rates capability enables pricing administrators to dynamically configure contract and project rate sheets by up to 5 dimensions of their choosing. For instance, you could identify cost and bill rates by source type and vendor; jobcode and department; or fund, role, department, and region and know that the software will price, bill, and recognize revenue accordingly. Financial analysts and contract administrators can apply retroactive rate adjustments, account for finalization of provisional rates, and correct rate errors quickly and easily with Variance Pricing. What used to be a complex recalculation requiring a great deal of attention from accountants is now an intuitive online mass update that can process tremendous volumes of changes rapidly and thereby ensure timely, accurate project financials. On the expense management side, finance departments can configure global per diem business rules to handle the unique reimbursement methodologies and deductions found around the world, and every user can power through expense report entry faster with a new, streamlined expense reporting page.


For the Staffing Industry, branch teams and individual recruiters can manage their clients, candidates, orders, and assignments through a client-specific, fully integrated on-boarding process. Whether you are a manager, a team member, or an individual recruiter, you can proactively manage critical accounts, orders, and high-value candidates and address the need for speed with actionable, user-configurable dashboards, alerts, and analytics. You can drive business processes faster, increase revenue, and offer an unparalleled level of customer satisfaction by seeing the data you need to see, the way you want to see it and take action on it immediately from a single location. It has never been easier to drive profitability with rapid, high-quality order fulfillment.

As you can see, a rich feature set targeted for the unique demands of our customers’ industries is available with PeopleSoft ESA 9.2. Beyond what we have described here, there are many other new capabilities for other industries, and regardless of your industry, you will find that we have exploited the latest PeopleTools technologies, such as WorkCenters, Pivot Grids, and Related Actions, to help simplify every user’s experience when interacting with the applications.  With PeopleSoft Projects 9.2, you can see what you need to see, the way you need to see it, when you need it. Take a look at 9.2…we think you’ll like it.

Monday Dec 10, 2012

Quantifying the Value Derived from Your PeopleSoft Implementation

As product strategists, we often receive the question, "What's the value of implementing your PeopleSoft software?" Prospective customers and existing customers alike are compelled to justify the cost of new tools, business process changes, and the business impact associated with adopting the new tools.

In response to this question, we have been working with many of our customers and implementation partners during the past year to obtain metrics that demonstrate the value obtained from an investment in PeopleSoft applications. The great news is that as a result of our quest to identify value achieved, many of our customers began to monitor their businesses differently and more aggressively than in the past, and a number of them informed us that they have some great achievements to share.

For this month, I'll start by pointing out that we have collaborated with one of our implementation partners, Huron Consulting Group, Inc., to articulate the levers for extracting value from implementing the PeopleSoft Grants solution. Typically, education and research institutions, healthcare organizations, and non-profit organizations are the types of enterprises that seek to facilitate and automate research administration business processes with the PeopleSoft Grants solution. If you are interested in understanding the ways in which you can look for value from an implementation, please consider registering for the webcast scheduled for Friday, December 14th at 1pm Central Time in which you'll get to see and hear from our team, Huron Consulting, and one of our leading customers.

In the months ahead, we'll plan to post more information about the value customers have measured and reported to us from their implementations and upgrades.

If you have a great story about return on investment and want to share it, please contact either Roxanne.Johnson@oracle.com  or Mark.Rosenberg@oracle.com. We'd love to hear from you.

Monday Oct 29, 2012

Oracle Consulting North America is now live on PeopleSoft Services Procurement and PeopleSoft Resource Management

Last month, Oracle's own internal consulting group (OCS North America) went live on PeopleSoft Services Procurement and PeopleSoft Resource Management to manage all aspects of identifying, recruiting, and deploying billable subcontractors on North America Applications customer consulting projects. The primary goals were to enhance the subcontractor staffing process, improve operational and informational processes, and improve collaboration between the Oracle NA Consulting Subcontractor Program and subcontractor suppliers.

Over 200 registered external suppliers access the tool, review open needs and competitively bid their resources to work on NA Applications projects.

This implementation highlights the usage of Oracle’s own solutions to streamline and enhance business operations, as the PeopleSoft 9.1 applications (Services Procurement and Resource Management) were deployed using Sun hardware, Oracle Enterprise Linux, and Oracle Virtual Machines.

For more information, please navigate to the following web pages:

Thursday Jun 14, 2012

PeopleSoft Upgrades, Fusion, & BI for Leading European PeopleSoft Applications Customers

With so many industry-leading services firms around the globe managing their businesses with PeopleSoft, it’s always an adventure setting up times and meetings for us to keep in touch with them, especially those outside of North America who often do not get to join us at Oracle OpenWorld. Fortunately, during the first two weeks of May, Nigel Woodland (Oracle’s Service Industries Director for the EMEA region) and I successfully blocked off our calendars to visit seven different customers spanning four countries in Western Europe. We met executives and leaders at four Staffing industry firms, two Professional Services firms that engage in consulting and auditing, and a Financial Services firm.

As we shared the latest information regarding product capabilities and plans, we also gained valuable insight into the hot technology topics facing these businesses. What we heard was both informative and inspiring, and I suspect other Oracle PeopleSoft applications customers can benefit from one or more of the following observations from our trip.

Great IT Plans Get Executed When You Respect the Users

Each of our visits followed roughly the same pattern. After introductions, Nigel outlined Oracle’s product and technology strategy, including a discussion of how we at Oracle invest in each layer of the “technology stack” to provide customers with unprecedented business management capabilities and choice. Then, I provided the specifics of the PeopleSoft product line’s investment strategy, detailing the dramatic number of rich usability and functionality enhancements added to release 9.1 since its general availability in 2009 and the game-changing capabilities slated for 9.2.

What was most exciting about each of these discussions was that shortly after my talking about what customers can do with release 9.1 right now to drive up user productivity and satisfaction, I saw the wheels turning in the minds of our audiences. Business analyst and end user-configurable tools and technologies, such as WorkCenters and the Related Action Framework, that provide the ability to tailor a “central command center” to the exact needs of each recruiter, biller, and every other role in the organization were exactly what each of our customers had been looking for. Every one of our audiences agreed that these tools which demonstrate a respect for the user would finally help IT pole vault over the wall of resistance that users had often raised in the past. With these new user-focused capabilities, IT is positioned to definitively partner with the business, instead of drag the business along, to unlock the value of their investment in PeopleSoft.

This topic of respecting the user emerged during our very first visit, which was at Vital Services Group at their Head Office “The Mill” in Manchester, England. (If you are a student of architecture and are ever in Manchester, you should stop in to see this amazingly renovated old mill building.) I had just finished explaining our PeopleSoft 9.2 roadmap, and Mike Code, PeopleSoft Systems Manager for this innovative staffing company, said, “Mark, the new features you’ve shown us in 9.1/9.2 are very relevant to our business. As we forge ahead with the 9.1 upgrade, the ability to configure a targeted user interface with WorkCenters, Related Actions, Pivot Grids, and Alerts will enable us to satisfy the business that this upgrade is for them and will deliver tangible benefits. In fact, you’ve highlighted that we need to start talking to the business to keep up the momentum to start reviewing the 9.2 upgrade after we get to 9.1, because as much as 9.1 and PeopleTools 8.52 offers, what you’ve shown us for 9.2 is what we’ve envisioned was ultimately possible with our investment in PeopleSoft applications.”

We also received valuable feedback about our investment for the Staffing industry when we visited with Hans Wanders, CIO of Randstad (the second largest Staffing company in the world) in the Netherlands. After our visit, Hans noted, “It was very interesting to see how the PeopleSoft applications have developed. I was truly impressed by many of the new developments.”

Hans and Mike, sincere thanks for the validation that our team’s hard work and dedication to “respecting the users” is worth the effort!

Co-existence of PeopleSoft and Fusion Applications Just Makes Sense

As a “product person,” one of the most rewarding things about visiting customers is that they actually want to talk to me. Sometimes, they want to discuss a product area that we need to enhance; other times, they are interested in learning how to extract more value from their applications; and still others, they want to tell me how they are using the applications to drive real value for the business.

During this trip, I was very pleased to hear that several of our customers not only thought the co-existence of Fusion applications alongside PeopleSoft applications made sense in theory, but also that they were aggressively looking at how to deploy one or more Fusion applications alongside their PeopleSoft HCM and FSCM applications.

The most common deployment plan in the works by three of the organizations is to upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.1 or 9.2, and then adopt one of the new Fusion HCM applications, such as Fusion Performance Management or the full suite of  Fusion Talent Management. For example, during an applications upgrade planning discussion with the staffing company Hays plc., Mark Thomas, who is Hays’ UK IT Director, commented, “We are very excited about where we can go with the latest versions of the PeopleSoft applications in conjunction with Fusion Talent Management.”

Needless to say, this news was very encouraging, because it reiterated that our applications investment strategy makes good business sense for our customers.

Next Generation Business Intelligence Is the Key to the Future

The third, and perhaps most exciting, lesson I learned during this journey is that our audiences already know that the latest generation of Business Intelligence technologies will be the “secret sauce” for organizations to transform business in radical ways.

While a number of the organizations we visited on the trip have deployed or are deploying Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and the associated analytics applications to provide dashboards of easy-to-understand, user-configurable metrics that help optimize business performance according to current operating procedures, what’s most exciting to them is being able to use Business Intelligence to change the way an organization does business, grows revenue, and makes a profit. In particular, several executives we met asked whether we can help them minimize the need to have perfectly structured data and at the same time generate analytics that improve order fulfillment decision-making. To them, the path to future growth lies in having the ability to analyze unstructured data rapidly and intuitively and leveraging technology’s ability to detect patterns that a human cannot reasonably be expected to see.

For illustrative purposes, here is a good example of a business problem where analyzing a combination of structured and unstructured data can produce better results. If you have a resource manager trying to decide which person would be the best fit for an assignment in terms of ensuring (a) client satisfaction, (b) the individual’s satisfaction with the work, (c) least travel distance, and (d) highest margin, you traditionally compare resource qualifications to assignment needs, calculate margins on past work with the client, and measure distances. To perform these comparisons, you are likely to need the organization to have profiles setup, people ranked against profiles, margin targets setup, margins measured, distances setup, distances measured, and more. As you can imagine, this requires organizations to plan and implement data setup, capture, and quality management initiatives to ensure that dependable information is available to support resourcing analysis and decisions.

In the fast-paced, tight-budget world in which most organizations operate today, the effort and discipline required to maintain high-quality, structured data like those described in the above example are certainly not desirable and in some cases are not feasible.

You can imagine how intrigued our audiences were when I informed them that we are ready to help them analyze volumes of unstructured data, detect trends, and produce recommendations. Our discussions delved into examples of how the firms could leverage Oracle’s Secure Enterprise Search and Endeca technologies to keyword search against, compare, and learn from unstructured resource and assignment data. We also considered examples of how they could employ Oracle Real-Time Decisions to generate statistically significant recommendations based on similar resourcing scenarios that have produced the desired satisfaction and profit margin results.

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Although I had almost no time for sight-seeing during this trip to Europe, I have to say that it may have been one of the most energizing and engaging trips of my career. Showing these dedicated customers how they can give every user a uniquely tailored set of tools and address business problems in ways that have to date been impossible made the journey across the Atlantic more than worth it. If any of these three topics intrigue you, I’d recommend you contact your Oracle applications representative to arrange for more detailed discussions with the appropriate members of our organization.

Saturday Apr 14, 2012

The Next Wave of PeopleSoft Capabilities for the Staffing Industry Is Here

With the release of PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.1 Feature Pack 2 in January this year, we introduced substantial new capabilities for our Staffing Industry customers. Through a co-development project with Infosys Limited, we have enriched Oracle's PeopleSoft Staffing Solution with new tools aimed at accelerating and improving the quality of job order fulfillment, increasing branch recruiter productivity, and driving profitable growth.

Staffing industry firms succeed based on their ability to rapidly, cost-effectively, and continually fill their pipelines with new clients and job orders, recruit the best talent, and match orders with talent. Pressure to execute in each of these functional areas is even more acute on staffing firms as contingent labor becomes a more substantial and permanent part of the workforce mix. In an industry that creates value through speedy execution, there is little room for manual, inefficient processes and brittle, custom integrations, which throttle profitability and growth. The latest wave of investment in the PeopleSoft Staffing Solution focuses on generating efficiency and flexibility for our customers.

Simplicity

To operate profitably and continue growing, a Staffing enterprise needs its client management, recruiting, order fulfillment, and other processes to function in harmony. Most importantly, they need to be simple for recruiters, branch managers, and applicants to access and understand. The latest PeopleSoft Staffing Solution set of enhancements includes numerous automated defaulting mechanisms and information-rich dashboard pagelets that even a new employee can learn quickly. Pending Applicant, Agenda management, Search, and other pagelets are just a few of the newest, easy-to-use tools that not only aggregate and summarize information, but also provide instant access to applicants, tasks, and key reports for branch staff.

Productivity

The leading firms in the Staffing industry are those that can more efficiently orchestrate large numbers of candidates, clients, and orders than their competitors can. PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.1 Feature Pack 2 delivers productivity boosters that Staffing firms can leverage to streamline tasks and processes for competitive advantage. For example, we enhanced the Recruiting Funnel, which manages the candidate on-boarding process, with a highly interactive user interface. It integrates disparate Staffing business processes and exploits new PeopleTools technologies to offer a superior on-boarding user experience. Automated creation of agenda items and assignment tasks for each candidate minimizes setup and organizes assignment steps for the on-boarding process. Mass updates of tasks and instant access to the candidate overview page (which we also expanded), candidate event status, event counts, and other key data enable recruiters to better serve clients and candidates.

Lower TCO

Constructing and maintaining an efficient yet flexible labor supply chain can be complicated, let alone expensive. Traditionally, Staffing firms have been challenged in controlling their technology cost of ownership because connecting candidate and client-facing tools involved building and integrating custom applications and technologies and managing staff turnover, placing heavy demands on IT and support staff. With PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.1 Feature Pack 2, there are two major enhancements that aggressively tackle these challenges. First, we added another integration framework to enable cost-effective linking of the Staffing firm’s PeopleSoft applications and its job board distributors. (The first PeopleSoft 9.1 Feature Pack released in March 2011 delivered an integration framework to connect to resume parsing providers.) Second, we introduced the teaming concept to enable work to be partitioned to groups, as well as individuals. These two capabilities, combined with a host of others, position Staffing firms to configure and grow their businesses without growing their IT and overhead expenditures.

For our Staffing Industry customers, PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.1 Feature Pack 2 is loaded with high-value tools aimed at enabling and sustaining a flexible labor supply chain. For more information, contact Howard.Shaw@oracle.com or Mark.Rosenberg@oracle.com.

Monday Feb 06, 2012

New Workbench to Simplify Revenue Contract Management

Easy access to a wide variety of contract elements is essential when trying to handle the complexities inherent in managing revenue contracts. A contract administrator needs to keep a watchful eye on contract terms, billing plans, revenue recognition plans, project progress, team members, limits, withholdings, budgets, lots and lots of dates, and numerous other details in order to ensure good governance of an organization’s revenue. To ease the burden of the weary contract administrator, we recently added the Contracts Workbench to the PeopleSoft Contracts application in the PeopleSoft ESA 9.1 Bundle #16.

Designed based on requirements from several industries, the Contracts Workbench acts as a window into information from the PeopleSoft Contracts, Grants, and Project Costing applications. The data users see is dependent on which applications are installed, meaning that an organization can take advantage of the Contracts Workbench even if it is not using all three of the applications. Additionally, business analysts and users can configure sections of the Contracts Workbench to display only the award, contract, and project information relevant to the way their organization does business. Contract administrators and accountants can view and access information to identify instantly the need for adjustments, and they can quickly update contract lines, projects, bill plans, and so on.

Because it provides a great deal of contextual information, the Contracts Workbench can be a powerful tool for administrators and accountants in their quest to make more informed decisions when working a contract. With the context and the configurable aggregation of data offered by the Contracts Workbench, users can reduce the time they spend navigating software and comparing data and increase the time they dedicate to preventing revenue leakage, negotiating with customers, and performing other activities that protect and grow the all-important revenue stream.

Sunday Jan 22, 2012

New Features Added to PeopleSoft Expenses 9.1 Aid Usability and Compliance

We have just added two important new features to PeopleSoft Expenses 9.1 to simplify the user experience, as well as improve the capture of supporting documentation that may be required for reimbursement of expenses.

Embedded Help

PeopleTools 8.51 provides new capabilities for Embedded Help, which enables PeopleSoft Expenses to provide additional assistance to users entering expense reports, managing credit card feed and Oracle iReceipts transactions in My Wallet, and more.

Embedded Help question mark icons will be placed strategically throughout the user interface and are dynamically linked to popup windows that provide additional guidance directly related to the task the user is trying to perform.

New Embedded Help assistive text is delivered within the PeopleSoft Message Catalog, which means customers can tailor the content easily and quickly, without having to customize the software. As an example, a customer may change the Embedded Help text to inform employees of organizational expense policies.

File Attachments

Transaction receipt files can be attached (at both the header and line levels) directly within the expense report. This capability leverages standard PeopleTools file attachment functionality, allowing users to scan receipts and attach the images directly to their reports for manager and/or auditor review.

Whether users will be allowed to attach receipts (or any other files) at the expense report header, line level, or both, is configurable. Some organizations may choose to utilize only header-level attachments so that all receipts can be uploaded at once. Others may want to require the attachment of receipts at the expense report line level and thereby make it easier for managers to correlate a receipt to a given expense report line item. Optionally, organizations can permit attachments at both the expense report header and line level for maximum flexibility.

The attachment of the receipts can also be configured to trigger the “Receipts Received” status flags, further assisting the automation of the receipts verification process.

With these simple, but powerful additions to PeopleSoft Expenses, organizations can improve the quality and timeliness of their expense reports. Streamlining the reporting and processing of expenses means an organization can reduce the time employees, managers, and auditors spend on low-value administrative tasks; and from our own experience, we’re pretty sure no one will complain about spending less time working on expense reports.

Tuesday Jan 03, 2012

Extend Business Processes with New PeopleSoft Forms and Approval Builder Capabilities

Released in early 2011, PeopleSoft Forms and Approval Builder is a tool for business analysts to develop and deploy electronic forms that facilitate and extend organizations’ business processes. Forms and Approval Builder enables the replacement of paper and email-based forms with auditable, electronically approvable transactions that look and act like a PeopleSoft application page. In PeopleSoft Enterprise Components 9.1 Bundle #2 2011, you will find several new Forms and Approval Builder capabilities that help you quickly and inexpensively tailor business processes.

Copy Form Data to an Existing PeopleSoft Transaction via the Component Interface Field Mapper

To seamlessly copy data from a form to an existing PeopleSoft transaction and thereby eliminate dual data entry, Forms and Approval Builder now offers you the option to map fields within a form to PeopleSoft Component Interface Properties. This feature is designed to streamline and tailor transaction flows. For example, you could use this feature to provide salespeople a form for submitting essential new deal information to the contract administration team. After receiving a completed form from the sales team, a contract administrator could review the form and push a button to automatically populate data fields in the existing PeopleSoft Contracts contract entry component with values from the form. In most organizations there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other opportunities to extend business processes with the Forms and Approval Builder.

Taking advantage of this new capability simply requires an analyst, who has some familiarity with PeopleSoft Component Interfaces, to use the new facility in Forms and Approval Builder to map a form’s fields to fields in one or more existing Component Interfaces.

Insert Form Section Rules, Headers, and Images.

Form usability is further enhanced with the new Section field Use Type, which provides you with an HTML editor to enable the creation of form section rules, section headers, and images. You can now guide your users through completing each section of the form by entering inline headers and instructions.

Simplifying Navigation of a Form with the use of Form Headers and Form Sections

Utilize the new Dynamic Prompting Capabilities.

When people enter appropriate data on a form, everyone’s life is easier. Improving the quality of what people enter often involves being able to limit the options for a prompt field based upon a selection made in a previous field. Well, Forms and Approval Builder has been enhanced with support for dynamic prompting, which allows you to control the data that appears in a prompt based upon the selection of other text, code, or prompt field values.

For example, if a user selects a business unit from a prompt on one of your custom forms, you can limit the Project IDs shown in the next prompt to only those within the selected Business Unit. Then, you can limit the Activity IDs shown in the Activity ID prompt to only those belonging to the selected Project ID and Business Unit. This new functionality makes your custom forms behave like a real application, not like a static paper form.

Lockdown the Form after Submission or Approval

Enhanced security is provided by giving you the option to lockdown the data in a form either after it has been submitted, after it has been approved, or not at all. This security gives you the flexibility to tightly manage processes that require it and offer more interactive collaboration for forms where control is not a priority.

Start Using It Today

Since there is no additional cost for Forms and Approval Builder, it could make a lot of sense for your organization to start using it in your PeopleSoft HCM and/or FSCM 9.1 environments today.

Thursday Dec 08, 2011

PeopleSoft Projects 9.1 Integration to Primavera P6 EPPM R8.1 Is Generally Available

We are excited to announce that the integration between PeopleSoft Program Management 9.1 and Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) R8.1 is now available! This version of the integration adds a number of new features to those already available in the PeopleSoft 9.0 integration to Primavera P6 EPPM and is available in PeopleSoft FMS ESA 9.1 Bundle #16, which can be downloaded from MyOracle Support.

With version 9.1, organizations can export project budgets from PeopleSoft to Primavera P6. Combining this with the ability to export actual costs and commitments from PeopleSoft to Primavera P6, which is available in the PeopleSoft Projects 9.0 integration, project managers can now see how much money has been officially allotted to the project budget and compare this against the planned total costs in Primavera P6. Furthermore, as actual costs and commitments sync to Primavera P6 during the project, project managers can determine right in Primavera P6 how much financial resource remains available for the project. This integration helps eliminate excuses for overrunning budgets.

Furthering support for professional services industry and capital projects use cases, project team members can record hours worked not only in PeopleSoft (as they can in the existing PeopleSoft Projects 9.0 integration), but also in Primavera P6 Progress Reporter. This integration supports the import of timesheets from Primavera P6 Progress Reporter either

  1. directly into PeopleSoft Project Costing,
  2. into PeopleSoft Expenses’ time entry, or
  3. into PeopleSoft Time and Labor (via PeopleSoft Expenses’ integration with PeopleSoft Time and Labor).

With the new time entry integration, two major benefits become available. First, organizations can eliminate the cost, errors, and reconciliation effort associated with duplicate time capture tools. Second, a faster timesheet process enables organizations to invoice, capitalize, and analyze project costs faster, and that can mean improved cash flow, quality of accounting, and reporting.

To further support the needs of professional services industry project management, the integration now enables the assignment of resources to a project team within PeopleSoft and the export of that team to Primavera P6 so that project managers can schedule those authorized resources to project activities. This capability can facilitate better resource utilization and aid in eliminating scheduling conflicts.

Finally, there is now the ability to support integration to multiple Primavera P6 instances. If there is a business unit that needs to operate in a different currency, for example, it can now point to its own instance of Primavera P6.

As with the PeopleSoft Projects 9.0 integration, the release 9.1 integration is a part of the PeopleSoft Program Management module. (PeopleSoft Program Management works in conjunction with and requires PeopleSoft Project Costing.) The integration utilizes the PeopleTools Integration Broker and web services; it does not require additional middleware.

Further information can been found in this datasheet or via an Oracle application sales manager.

Monday Jun 20, 2011

Thinking of Adopting the PRINCE2™ Project Management Methodology? Consider Using PeopleSoft Projects to Help

Ever wondered what the PRINCE2™ project management methodology is? Ever wondered if you could use PeopleSoft Projects (ESA) to manage your projects using PRINCE2™? 

Published by the Office of Government Commerce in the UK, PRINCE2™ is a scalable, business case and product description-driven Project Management methodology based upon managing by exception. Project activities are organized around fulfilling and meeting the product description. Quality assurance, configuration control and risk management are all based upon ensuring that the product delivered accurately meets the product description. PRINCE2™ is built upon seven principles and seven themes, each underpinning the PRINCE2™project management processes.

Important for today’s business environment, the focus throughout PRINCE2™ is on the Business Case, which describes the rationale and business justification for a project. The Business Case drives all the project management processes from initial project setup to successful finish. PRINCE2™, as a method and a certification, is adopted in many countries worldwide, including the UK, Western Europe and Australia.

We’ve just released a new white paper, which provides you with an overview of the principles, themes and project management processes associated with PRINCE2™. It also shows how these map to the functionality available within PeopleSoft Projects (ESA). In the time it takes to drink a coffee, you can learn about PRINCE2™ and determine whether it might help you deliver better project results. We encourage you to take a look.

Friday Apr 15, 2011

Enabling Enterprise Project Portfolio Management with Packaged Integration to Primavera P6

[Read More]
About

This blog is dedicated to topics focused on PeopleSoft Applications, including Human Capital Management, Financials, Enterprise Service Automation, Asset Lifecycle Management, Procurement, Supply Chain and Customer Relationship Management.

For information about legislative updates to our PeopleSoft Applications see the PeopleSoft Legislative Updates Blog.

For information about PeopleTools see the PeopleSoft Technology Blog.

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