We continue the summary of what customers had to say at my interactive feedback session at RECONNECT Envision conference with the topic of User Experience.
The first post in the series was on Kibana Analytics, if you missed it.
Over the past 8 years, the PeopleSoft product team has been on a journey to modernize the user experience of the application. What started with the introduction of the Fluid user experience and a focus on the casual user has since broadened out to include all users (power users, executives, approvers, and administrators), analytic capabilities (Kibana, Dashboards, Pivot Grids, Simplified Analytics, Personalized Analytic Notifications), conversational interfaces, navigation improvements, and an ongoing commitment to refresh the look and feel as the standards for modern application experiences continue to evolve.
Speaking of that last point, we started by taking the opportunity to get feedback on the latest changes that PeopleTools 8.59 introduces to the user experience, including:
The vast majority of the audience were enthusiastic about the changes, with supporting comments like ‘Users [are] surprised the fluid pages are PeopleSoft, they really respond to the fluid content.’ and comments of appreciation for the impact that Fluid has had in certain product areas, like Mobile Inventory.
There were also a few dissenting opinions. There is, after all, a reasonable amount of personal preference in a ‘great’ design. There was one call for a darker background so the tiles have more color contrast and ‘pop’ more, and acknowledgement by a number of folks that while casual users take to Fluid well, the heavy users of the system have a harder time with change and are experiencing more clicks in some areas. (We hear you…we’re working on that in key places like eProcurement.) And there was a request to put breadcrumbs at the top of every screen and not just in the navigator. I can’t say I’m surprised to see that, though that would be pretty tricky with search and tiles and favorites and recents – your navigation path is no longer the same as mine. Finally, there was the valid comment that while the ‘updates to the look and feel are always nice’, they do cause change management and even test automation impact.
We then asked the group What should we do next with the overall look and feel?
This generated a number of inputs, including:
One notable area of investment in the user experience is conversational interfaces. The PeopleSoft Chatbot Integration Framework integrates PeopleSoft with the Oracle Digital Assistant and we now have about a dozen PeopleSoft skills in the skill store. And the big announcement at the event was PICASO - the PeopleSoft Intelligent Chat Assistant from Oracle. Our newly-available digital assistants bring together all of the skills for a given role, so the bot can context-switch and help with lots of tasks.
So, we asked Are you deploying Chatbots with PeopleSoft?
Here, we saw a pretty typical uptake pattern for new technology capabilities that represent both a significant user experience change and require acquiring a new skill set and domain expertise, as well as subscribing to the digital assistant platform.
That said, the early adopters are citing pretty substantial benefits and cost savings with deploying chatbots (see Honeywell, Loyola University Chicago, Seneca College). And Tony Schollum from Kaiser Permanente talked about the recent pilot they’ve completed and the work they are doing now to explore deploying the delivered skills for Expenses and Requisitions, extending them to do more, and cover other high-frequency use cases for casual users.
We asked the follow up question, What use cases are you focusing on and why?
Input from the session participants matched what we are hearing from other early adopters. The top areas of chatbot adoption are in:
Finally, we wanted to see where customers are with allowing mobile device usage. We were pleased to see that over the past few years, this is an area that has increased dramatically, and now more than 60% have it enabled. Several that do allow mobile access do it selectively – in high-frequency use cases like Expenses – and others have or are working to consolidate employee mobile access through one corporate app. Those that had not enabled it yet expressed a pretty strong desire to do so, but acknowledged that it can be complicated.
Again, a big Thank You to everyone that participated in the discussion and shared their feedback. For those of you looking for more information, see the Fluid page or the Chatbot page on PeopleSoftinfo.com. There are many stories of user experience transformation among the PeopleSoft Innovators, I encourage you to browse, learn, and get inspired. Or, read the PeopleSoft Innovators Report for an analysis of trends and insights over the last four years.
Watch next week for the summary post on Reducing Operating Costs – we’ll cover the feedback on Selective Adoption, Configuration, Cloud Infrastructure, and more. In the meanwhile, if you missed Paco’s RECONNECT Envision keynote: PeopleSoft Investment Strategy & Roadmap, it's worth watching. If you missed the conference, all sessions are now available for replay on Quest’s website.