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 Apr 22, 2013

10 Innovations in PeopleSoft 9.2 - #7 Guided Navigation With Activity Guides and Train Stops

PeopleSoft is more focused than ever on the end user. We are constantly striving to find ways to make your user experience the best it can be.  To help achieve this goal, we have introduced two new types of user driven guided navigation which are designed to effortlessly guide through a process.

PeopleTools release 8.53 introduced new robust guided navigation functionality called Activity Guides. This new functionality allows customers to setup their own guided navigation process that will define actions or steps needed to complete end-to-end business processes. The configuration allows you to specify which steps are optional and which ones are required.  You can also determine the order the steps will display.  You can even launch workflow and approval routing as part of your processing steps.  Any PeopleSoft Enterprise collaborative application can take advantage of this underlying functionality, however in release 9.2 PeopleSoft has delivered some Activity Guides that are setup and ready for you to use.

The second type of navigation is a horizontal guided navigation process or what we often refer to as a ‘train stop’.  This internal infrastructure provides the ability to display and order a series of steps (with possible substeps) to accomplish an overall task.  The goal is to provide the end user with a complete view of the process and allow them to see where they are within the process at any point in time.  You will see this navigation used throughout PeopleSoft products in release 9.2.



Below are a few examples of how PeopleSoft 9.2 utilized the new guided navigation functionality.

Human Capital Management (HCM/ELM)
Benefits (eBenefits) application took advantage of the new Activity Guide functionality and redesigned Life Events.  The Life Events process empowers employees to complete HR, Benefit and Payroll related transactions due to life event change.  The Activity Guide framework allows you to configure the steps/actions that the employee must take to ensure uniform compliance based your organizational requirements. 

Enterprise Learning Management (ELM) created an ELM to HCM Integration using activity guides.  As with Life Events, the steps/actions are based on your configuration.  Using the Activity Guide Framework ensures the Integration messages are run in the correct order.

Payroll for North America (ePay) took advantage of the horizontal guided navigation for the Paycheck Modeling.  Paycheck Modeling allows USA employees to simulate changes to their paycheck without updating the production tables.  Employees will be guided through each train stop allowing them to modify changes to their earnings, deductions or tax withholding Status to create an estimated/modeled check. 

Recruiting Solutions used the horizontal guided navigation for Candidate Gateway.  Your applicants will be guided through the application process in a step by step navigation process while instructing them on the information they need to provide. In addition, you have the ability to control the steps a potential applicant can see based on the job the candidate is applying for.


Financials and Supplier Relationship Management (FMS/SRM)
Financials (FMS) eBill Payment enhanced the payment cart functionality by using the new guided navigation process.  There is a train stop for each step of the payment process.  This allows the user to know exactly where they are in the payment process and what comes next.  If the credit card payment functionality is hosted, the payment cart will punch out to the hosted credit card vendor’s user interface to complete the payment process.  Users can save the payment cart for future and come back to it at a later point to finish the transaction.

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)
PeopleSoft SRM used the horizontal guided navigation train to improve the onboarding process for Suppliers. With this functionality your organization can configure the data that will appear in each stop.  The navigation also allows the supplier to visually know where they are in the onboarding process, as it guides them through all of the necessary steps to complete the new supplier registration.

In closing, let PeopleSoft Guided Navigation take the stress out of completing a process.  Regardless if it is an employee, third party or an administrator driven process, we guide you through the necessary steps with ease.

Wednesday Apr 17, 2013

IDC Report: PeopleSoft Leaps Forward With Impressive 9.2 Release

As follow up to the many discussions and briefings regarding the recent PeopleSoft 9.2 release, IDC has published the following research note – Oracle’s PeopleSoft Leaps Forward with Impressive 9.2 Release Enabling Customers to Leverage Their Existing Software Investment.     Per IDC, "On March 18, 2013, Oracle announced the general availability of PeopleSoft 9.2, which included more than 1,000 new features, functions, and enhancements for Human Capital Management, Financials,Supply Chain Management, Projects, and Assets applications. Building on the technical foundation of the newly available PeopleTools 8.53 (made available in February 2013), the PeopleSoft 9.2 release includes an updated user experience for both casual and professional users, Oracle Secure Enterprise Search, and specific capabilities intended to reduce the total cost of ownership. In our opinion, there's a lot to like in PeopleSoft 9.2."

 The full report is posted here on Oracle.com:

PeopleSoft Leaps Forward With Impressive 9.2 Release

Monday Apr 15, 2013

10 Innovations in PeopleSoft 9.2 - #8 WorkCenters and Dashboards

Imagine a day in the life of operations users.  It is typically filled with a plethora of tasks that include entering data, resolving exceptions, running processes and creating reports and queries.   These users need to access the rich data set in the PeopleSoft systems throughout the day and make critical business decisions.  In this posting I will discuss how WorkCenters and Dashboards drive usability and user productivity to the next level by centralizing access to the right data at the right time.


WorkCenters
in 9.2 introduce a paradigm shift in how work gets done in PeopleSoft.    WorkCenters are a one stop shop for key roles within a business process to conduct transactions, take action on alerts and view reports and analytics.   The built -in intelligence delivers work to the user and makes multitasking very easy and seamless, without losing focus.    The users know exactly what their priorities are at any given point and can work toward resolving exceptions and bottlenecks quickly.  WorkCenters can be cross functional, highly configurable and deliver personalized content to the users based on their roles and permissions. 



Figure 1 PeopleSoft 9.2 Billing WorkCenter delivered through PeopleTools WorkCenter Framework and Applications WorkCenter Framework.


The 9.2 WorkCenters utilize the PeopleTools WorkCenter framework and Applications WorkCenter framework.  All WorkCenters are delivered preconfigured with a set of pagelets and links.  Besides these preconfigured pagelets, users can add their own pagelets and use the extensive options available through the framework to personalize the look and feel of the pagelets.  The standard pagelets included are –

  • My Work – This is a personalized workload that is delivered to the user through user based configuration such that one user’s work assignments are different from others.
  • My Links – This pre-seeded pagelet allows users to navigate to key functions of the application. Users can personalize this pagelet to include additional internal or external links. 
  • Queries –. This pagelet will allow users access to public and personal queries as well as Pivot Grids, PsQueries and PsQuery Manager.  
  • Reports and Processes – This pagelet will allow users access to reports they have generated and processes they need to run. For example, users can access the Reporting Console so they can have direct access to their process and report outputs.

Let’s look at examples of delivered WorkCenters in Financials.   The General Ledger WorkCenter will provide a GL or accounting analyst visibility into the most critical pieces of his job. He will know exactly what he should be working on at a give time including journals that need approval, journals in exception status and Chart of Account Requests.  The GL WorkCenter will support the accounting and finance mission of a timely period close.


The Accounts Payable WorkCenter will enable accounts payables users to work on voucher exceptions and matching errors and complete their payments-related tasks such as schedule payments on hold and pay cycle manager.  Additionally, users can also monitor supplier related information such as suppliers pending approval.  Accounts Payable users can view and resolve multiple exceptions from the same place and save time and manual effort.  The WorkCenter allows processing invoices more quickly so that discounts can be recognized and liabilities reduced.


Figure 2 PeopleSoft Accounts Payable WorkCenter allows AP managers to complete their tasks.


 The Grants and Contracts WorkCenters are intended to enable users to quickly identify and resolve key process exceptions so that awards and revenue contracts proceed unimpeded.


Figure 3 PeopleSoft ESA Grants WorkCenter streamlines contracts and grants processing.


In PeopleSoft HCM, the Time and Labor WorkCenter will provide a single point of entry for administrators and managers to relevant work areas.  Besides normal processing, users can proactively monitor critical transactions and handle exceptions.  Similarly, the ePerformance WorkCenter will streamline the performance process and simplify the user experience for both Managers and Employees.



Figure 4 PeopleSoft HCM Time and Labor WorkCenter simplifies the user experience in the performance process.


In the world of supply chain management, a Supply and Demand WorkCenter will provide a series of “out-of-the-box” actionable alerts to identify potentially problematic conditions in their Supply Chain, such as orders past shipment date, on hold orders past their shipment date, overdue POs, and more.


Figure 5 PeopleSoft Supply and Demand WorkCenter


While WorkCenters enable efficiencies for end users, Dashboards provide business managers a high level view of their operations.  The HCM Manager Dashboard available in 9.1, provides an at-a-glance view of important information to help managers know where they need to focus.  In 9.2, several new dashboards will be available.  For example, a Billing manager would like to know what the status of all his invoices is at a given point in time.  The Billing Dashboard will allow the billing manager to slice and dice key billing data using pivot grids and take actions right away to resolve issues.  The dashboard will provide access to key information and real-time analytics such as bills not interfaced to GL and AR, total bills in various billing statuses, and number of bills processed monthly in a quarter. Users will be able to drill into each of these analytics and view the detail transactions. These actionable pagelets will speed up invoicing, identify bottlenecks and streamline the revenue recognition process. 


Figure 6 Billing Dashboard provides operational data for Billing Managers


The manager-facing Accounts Payable Dashboard will focus on providing summary level details and supporting analytics encompassing the invoices flow within an organization. Leveraging the latest technology, the Accounts Payable Dashboard will provide access to key information and real-time analytics such as top payables suppliers by expenditure, discounts taken versus lost, past due aging, scheduled due aging, liability exposure by supplier, and invoice amounts by status with detail transaction drill-down capabilities.



Figure 7 Accounts Payable Dashboard provides summary level information for the invoice flow within an organization.


Similarly, the Supply Chain Dashboard will allow users to monitor, measure and optimize all aspects of demand and supply flow to encourage the free-flowing shipment of demand, thus obtaining the maximum billable revenue.


PeopleSoft 9.2 includes the WorkCenters and Dashboards across multiple products in HCM, Financials, and SCM.  The innovative capabilities provided in these WorkCenters and Dashboards will fundamentally transform the way users access and use PeopleSoft applications and lead to an enterprise wide improvement in user productivity, a significant reduction in operating costs and ultimately a much improved bottom line.

Monday Apr 08, 2013

10 Innovations in PeopleSoft 9.2 - #9 Actionable Operational Analytics

A powerful way to increase efficiency is with actionable operational analytics. Across different organizations, operational analytics can help business users to analyze data historically and in the moment for daily business activities. Embedded within each business process, it helps business users make the best possible decisions in context.

PeopleSoft operational analytics provide iteration of data analysis by enabling different views of the same data. In real time, business users can filter and slice the data for analysis with access to the latest transactions within PeopleSoft through delivered dashboards, workcenters, or related content.    Users can also configure chart views to immediately render the data in various formats such as bar, line or pie charts.   The technology used, Pivot Grids, provides interactive analytics with capabilities to drill down into the details and perform related actions.   Using related actions, a user can take action directly from a chart or data based on their security permissions.

Here are a couple of examples across HCM, ELM, Financials, and SCM that will help maximize productivity and support business decisions.

Human Capital Management (HCM)

Compensation provides Managers and Compensation Administrators key information to help them decide on salaries, bonuses, and cycle tracking. Managers are able to perform salaries comparisons, check if their employees' salaries are in range, and reward their employees based on performance analysis. Compensation Administrators can tightly control the cycle to monitor proposals status and easily identify whether the proposals fall within or outside the recommended guidelines.


Recruiting offers Recruiters and Hiring Managers metrics to manage job openings and applicants effectively. Key metrics for time to fill, vacancies, and the disposition of applicants are available to provide information such as number of job openings by month, which jobs have taken the longest to fill, and identify bottlenecks in the applicant’s process.

Global Payroll and Absence Management deliver a monitor for Administrators to easily review processing results and statistics. The monitor provides a flexible configuration for Administrators to define thresholds and alerts to quickly assess errors due to manual entries, errors resulting from the calculation process, and result variances. The monitor allows the Administrators to analyze key information; drill down to identify the root cause, and perform related actions to correct the problems.


Time and Labor analytics provide Managers and Administrators information about employees' Timesheet status, attendance, and absence patterns. They can quickly review any time pending approvals, employees with attendance violations, and employees’ absence occurrences.

Enterprise Learning Management (ELM)

Learning Compliance analytics provides an easy way to monitor learning progress and keep your organization in compliance. Administrators and Managers can quickly view learners’ status in any learning event and drill into the details to notify non-compliant learners. Monitoring learning progress and getting answers to “have my team members enrolled or completed their required training” or “is my organization in compliance” has never been easier.

Instructors and Administrators can have insight in to critical feedback to improve learning offerings using the Survey Results analytics. The analytics provide answers to questions such as “is the class meeting the needs of the learners” or “how can we improve our learning offerings.” Instructors can easily drill into the details to see what areas need improvement.

Financials

Billing delivers a dashboard that provides access to critical information for operational managers to review, drill down into the details, and take immediate action. Billing Managers can track and compare invoices, identify incomplete invoice processes, and review bills by status. This helps the Billing Managers identify variances, drill down into the invoice amounts for detail analysis, and proactively monitor incomplete invoice processes to help streamline the General Ledger and Accounts Receivables business flow.


Staffing provides Staffing Managers and Recruiters the ability to minimize the challenge of managing on-boarding resources and agenda tasks by using Staffing Overdue Branch Agenda and Near Term Branch Agenda analytics. The information rich analytics increase productivity to efficiently manage large numbers of candidates and unfilled resource requests. Users can easily identify any agenda items needing attention and quickly complete their work by priority or assignments.

Contracts facilitate easy access to a wide variety of contract elements that are essential when trying to handle the complexities inherent in managing revenue contracts. Administrators can keep a watchful eye with Contracts Status metrics to access information and quickly update contract lines.


Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Knowing if your organization is performing according to a customer’s expectation is challenging and usually done in a reactive mode. In Release 9.2, we  provide embedded related content displaying order fulfillment effectiveness and average time to pick, pack, and ship. With these metrics, organizations will be able to gauge whether or not they are maintaining agreed-upon service level agreements with their customers. We provide users a series of “out-of-the-box” alerts identifying potentially problematic conditions in their Supply Chain, such as orders past shipment date, on hold orders past their shipment date, overdue Purchase Orders, and more. In the case of order schedules past their shipment date, users may do a mass change to adjust shipment dates or switch the demand from one warehouse to another that has available stock.

These are only some operational analytics examples. We encourage you to read our PeopleSoft Human Capital Management 9.2 Documentation Home Page and PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.2 Documentation Home Page to learn more about it.

Monday Apr 01, 2013

10 Innovations in PeopleSoft 9.2 - #10 Navigation With PeopleSoft Search and Related Actions

Welcome to the first in a series on ten major innovations delivered in PeopleSoft 9.2.     We begin the countdown at # 10 looking at the new PeopleSoft Search and Related Actions capabilities.    A number of our topics for this series will focus on user experience improvements that fundamentally change the way work gets accomplished in PeopleSoft.   PeopleSoft 9.2 is a pivotal release delivering on a new standard for enterprise wide  navigation.  This goes well beyond simply reducing clicks (which is certainly a benefit)  and provides a holistic approach for users that matches system behavior with user expectations.   To put it another way, the way the users thinks about their work is in alignment with how it can be accomplished.    There are several ways that this is enabled including Activity Guides, Train Stops, and WorkCenters that offer a high degree of personalization and configuration.   In this posting I'll discuss examples of the Search and Related Action Framework. 

In the last 9.1 Feature Pack we  introduced both of these concepts, where they are heavily utilized in areas like the Company Directory, Manager Dashboard, and Talent Summary.   With 9.2, these capabilities go much broader and deeper across HCM, Financials, and  Procurement.   Global searches can also be utilized in the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub to cross multiple PeopleSoft instances.   PeopleSoft Search enables global and keyword contextual searching so users can find the right information quickly.   Related Actions are provided with the search results and with one click a business process can be launched securely based on the user access level.    A couple of examples:

With PeopleSoft 9.2 Expenses, expense report information is indexed for faster searching of transactions, potential duplicates, and more to enable users to find the information they are looking for quickly.  Let's say a manager would like to see all expense reports related to her employees charging in remote internet access.   In the global search box, the manager can filter on "Expenses" and use "Remote" as the search term to retrieve all transactions.   The resulting search can be refined by choosing predefined facets by Employee Name, Approver Name, Expense Type, Date, or Report Status.   Specific records can then be viewed directly in context using Related Actions that allow the manager the option to take action such as Review, Approve, or Print the report.   All of this is accomplished securely from a single page with a minimum of clicks, without navigating through a menu structure or losing context.   

Another great example is procurement.   Similar to the expenses example, suppose I need to buy  printer paper.     In PeopleSoft 9.2 eProcurement, when I type in "printer paper" in the search box, the results can be refined by facets such as Manufacturer, Supplier, Preferred Supplier, Item Category.   The results have related actions that allow me to create a requisition directly from the search result and add the printer paper to my shopping cart.   It's a simple consumer focused set of actions that are readily understood by any internet shopper.   

See this Video Feature Overview to watch these examples in action:    PeopleSoft Global Search .

Whether working with assets, expenses, catalog items, vouchers, time sheets, compensation, performance, career plans, and more, you'll see the same power of search plus related actions across PeopleSoft 9.2.   What started with a few powerful examples in the last 9.1 feature pack goes enterprise wide.  It's just one example of how we've created the new standard for navigation.

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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