Oracle's PeopleSoft Customer Advisory Boards Convene to Discuss Roadmap at Pleasanton Campus
By John Webb on Feb 23, 2011
Last week we hosted all of the PeopleSoft CABs (Customer Advisory Boards) at our Pleasanton Development Center to review our detailed designs for future Feature Packs, PeopleSoft 9.2, and beyond. Over 150 customers from 79 companies attended representing a variety of industries, geographies, and company sizes. The PeopleSoft team relies heavily on this group to provide key input on our roadmap for applications as well as technology direction. A good product strategy is one part well thought out idea with many handfuls of customer validation, and very often our best ideas originate from these customer discussions. While the individual CABs have frequent interactions with our teams, it's always great to have all of them in one place and in person. Our attendance was up from last year which I attribute to two things: (1) More interest as a result of PeopleSoft 9.1 upgrade; (2) An improving economy allowing for more travel. Maybe we should index the second item meeting-to-meeting and use it as a market indicator - we'll see!
We kicked off the day one session with an overview of the PeopleSoft Roadmap and I outlined our strategy around Feature Packs and PeopleSoft 9.2. Given the high adoption rate of PeopleSoft 9.1 (over 4x that of 9.0 given the same time lapse since the release date), there was a lot of interest around the 9.1 Feature Packs as a vehicle for continuous value. We provided examples of our 3 central design themes: Simplicity, Productivity, and lower TCO, including those already delivered via Feature Packs in 2010. A great example of this is the Company Directory feature in PeopleSoft HCM. The configuration capabilities and the new actionable links our CAB advised us on last Spring were made available to all customers late last year. We reviewed many more future Navigation changes that will fundamentally change the way users interact with PeopleSoft. Our old friend, the menu tree, is being relegated from center stage to a bit part, with new concepts like Activity Guides, Train Stops, Related Actions, Work Centers, Collaborative Workspaces, and Secure Enterprise Search bringing users what they need in a contextual, role based manner with fewer clicks.
Paco Aubrejuan, our PeopleSoft GM, and Steve Miranda, the SVP for Fusion Applications, then discussed our plans around Oracle's Application Investment Strategy. This included our continued investment in developing both PeopleSoft and Fusion as well as the co-existence strategy with new Fusion Apps integrating to PeopleSoft Apps. Should you want to view this presentation, a recording is available.
Jeff Robbins, our lead PeopleTools Strategist, provided the roadmap for PeopleTools and discussed our continuing plan to deliver annual releases to further evolve the user experience. Numerous examples were highlighted with the Navigation techniques I mentioned previously. Jeff also provided a lot of food for thought around Lifecycle Management topics and how to remain current on releases with a lower cost of ownership. Dennis Mesler, from Boise, was the guest speaker in this slot, who spoke about the new PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF). Regression Testing is a key cost component when product updates are applied. This new tool (which is free to all PeopleSoft customers as part of PeopleTools 8.51) provides a meta data driven approach to recording and executing test scripts. Coupled with what our Usage Monitor enables, PTF provides our customers a powerful tool to lower costs and manage product updates more efficiently and at the time of their choosing.
Beyond the general session, we broke out into the individual CABs: HCM, Financials, ESA/ALM, SRM, SCM, CRM, and PeopleTools/ Technology. A day and half of very engaging discussions around our plans took place for each product pillar. More about that to follow in future posts.
We capped the first day with a reception sponsored by our partners: InfoSys, SmartERP (represented by Doris Wong), and Grey Sparling Solutions (represented by Chris Heller and Larry Grey). Great to see these old friends actively engaged in the very busy PeopleSoft ecosystem!
Jeff Robbins previews the roadmap for PeopleTools with the PeopleSoft CAB