Earlier this month I traveled to London to attend Oracle Open World United Kingdom representing the PeopleSoft product management organization. It didn't take long to notice how many loyal, progressive, and successful PeopleSoft customers and partners we have in the United Kingdom and Europe. Customers appreciated hearing about the overall PeopleSoft roadmap and ideas about how they can best take advantage of Oracle Cloud infrastructure. I also spent time connecting with our EMEA team of dedicated on-premise account representatives to learn more about the needs of our PeopleSoft customers in the region. As it turns out, what customers and partners in EMEA are curious about the most is consistent with what our US-based customers ask about as well:
What is Oracle's commitment to advancing and investing in the PeopleSoft product suite?This has been a common question every year since Oracle acquired PeopleSoft over 15 years ago and yet despite all of the unfounded doubt and rumors - here we are still going strong. Oracle's investment in the PeopleSoft product suite is clearly described in our rolling 10-year commitment policy through 2030 and beyond. The investment policy applies to all PeopleSoft customers anywhere in the world.
The PeopleSoft roadmap for PeopleTools and PeopleSoft applications are posted here and is only available for active customers with a 'My Oracle Support' account. You will see a breakdown of enhancements by products that our development team is planning for the next 12 - 18 months. The list is reviewed and updated every 6 months or so to ensure relevancy and reflect current customer feedback from focus groups, the Customer Ideas Space, and PeopleSoft Customer Advisory Board
Over 200 PeopleSoft customers have taken their PeopleSoft environments that they know and love and moved it into the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to save money and resources on hardware refreshes, software updates, and maintenance patch cycles. My recommendation is to start your transition to the Cloud by moving your development, testing, and/or training environments first and then evaluate moving your production environment. Click here to learn about PeopleSoft on OCI.
To follow are some of the highlights and observations from my trip that you may find interesting:
Awards & Recognition - Oracle hosted an exclusive reception for on-premise application customers aboard the Sunborn Yacht Hotel at the London Docklands. We had a great turnout of customers and partners who spent quality time networking with Oracle folks and with each other. The highlight of the evening was the awards ceremony that recognized the great work and commitment of customers and partners for each product line. It was my pleasure to join Paul McCartan, Vice President of EMEA Applications License Sales, to award the EMEA PeopleSoft partner of the year to Version 1 and EMEA PeopleSoft customer of the year to BUPA.
Roadmap Update - In the afternoon of Day 1, I presented the PeopleSoft Update and Roadmap which was attended by customers running PeopleSoft HCM, ERP, or both. Customers were most interested in the new Delegation framework, centralized notifications, chatbots, and Kibana analytics.
Panel Discussion - I invited my special guests on stage for an engaging Q&A panel session -- David Lewis from Hays, Kevin Gavaghan from Allen & Overy, and Graham Smith from Version 1. This was by far my favorite moment of the conference and in fact the best panel session I have ever been a part of. The audience was focused on our discussions, taking notes, and asking questions. We covered topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Fluid Deployment, Selective Adoption Strategies, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle Cloud applications, and Configuration Frameworks. David, Kevin, and Graham complemented each other in terms of their considerable experience and different perspectives with the questions posed. Thanks guys for your passion for PeopleSoft and making the panel session so informative and interesting for our audience and me!
Quality Time - I met with organizations individually that were either running or implementing PeopleSoft. Our conversations were so in-depth that at one point the representatives from the Flemish Government and I found ourselves the last attendees remaining in the conference center. A special thanks to the following organizations who took the time to meet with me:
Partners in EMEA - Our friends at Version 1 (formerly Cedar Consulting) - namely Emily Owen, Simon Boscoe, and Simon Wragg - hosted a luncheon event which offered the opportunity to have an open discussion about the PeopleSoft roadmap with WSH Baxter Storey, BNP Paribas, DLA Piper, ING, Oxfam GB, and Santander.
Afterwards, I visited the Version 1 office in London where I met with many consulting professionals who are actively working on PeopleSoft accounts. We had a great meeting to discuss the PeopleSoft roadmap and deep dive into specific areas of interest for their customers. The more, our valued partners like Version 1 know about the PeopleSoft roadmap and delivered features/configuration options, the more efficiently they can serve their customers and align them with key development initiatives. My suggestion to all customers is to proactively ask your partners/consultants how involved they are with all of the PeopleSoft development initiatives. Do they for example participate in the annual PeopleSoft Partner Summit? If they don't, then it's likely you have a partner that is under serving you by providing support, maintenance, and customizations the "old" way and not embracing cheaper and more flexible configuration tools available in PeopleSoft.
National Building Society - One of the more compelling sessions I was able to attend was delivered by the Director of Shared Services, Neil Lewis of National Building Society (NBS). He did a great job talking about their seven-year history with PeopleSoft HCM and their current journey to the Cloud where PeopleSoft remains the anchor throughout their transition. NBS' story was appealing to audience members who run PeopleSoft today and want to also run Oracle HCM cloud applications for areas where the latter has feature functions they prefer over that of PeopleSoft.
Making History - This isn't PeopleSoft related but it was very cool to be on a trans-atlantic flight that arrived in London over 1 hour earlier than expected. Our flight set a record for a trans-atlantic sub supersonic flight due to unprecedented tailwinds from Storm Ciara that stretched from New York JFK to London Heathrow.
The entire time I was at Open World London I could not help but compare the event to Open World USA – our flagship user conference event of the year. When I reflect on the goals of the conference - to energize, educate, and network with our customers and partners – I consider this conference a huge success. The individual feedback I received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Customers liked having an on-premise applications track that included sessions, a proper reception, and the Customer First Zone meet up area to help connect with other PeopleSoft customers. Of course, there were requests for even more on-premise sessions but candidly that is always a difficult balancing act given the length of the conference.
If you are a PeopleSoft customer based in EMEA and did not get a chance to attend OOW London this year, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss other opportunities to connect with PeopleSoft customers.