Thousands of Oracle users, hundreds of educational sessions, dozens of vendors, and plenty of Pringles marked the Collaborate 13 conference at the Colorado Convention Center from April 7 to 11. BTRG proudly exhibited at booth #656, where our experts talked shop about PeopleSoft, Fusion, and Taleo with attendees. With Oracle’s big push toward the cloud, as well as the recent release of PeopleSoft 9.2, BTRG had visitors complete a short survey to get them thinking about their current ERP status and options for the future. At the end of the survey, we asked participants for their most pressing questions around the hot topics. We’ve highlighted a few of the more frequently asked questions and answers here:
1: My company is an existing PeopleSoft HCM and FIN customer and we are evaluating both SaaS and on-premise solutions. What are your recommendations around the benefits and functionality of either. Is there a “best approach”?
title="Answer"] As technology and functionality rapidly advance, it can be a daunting effort to evaluate what solutions make the most sense for your company. Specifically in Oracle’s world, the most debated decision today is whether to have these solutions on-premise or in the cloud. An on-premise model refers to a completely hosted solution on hardware owned by your company. Oracle’s on-premise solutions are typically comprised of PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel, or E-Business. A cloud solution can be hosted by your company, but is most commonly hosted privately or publicly by Oracle. Cloud solutions are also known as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.
The key advantages to having an on premise solution are:
- Complete control of the software and hardware including when to update and apply patches
- Ownership of data and security
- The ability to customize or configure the software as your company sees fit
Of course this does come at a cost—most notably the exorbitant amount of money to own and administer the hardware needed for the solution, as well as the overhead associated with managing all of it. As is the norm when debating between two of anything, the advantages of a SaaS model contrast perfectly with the disadvantages of the on premise model, but are not without their own faults.
The key advantages to a SaaS model are:
- The alleviation of the need for overhead to keep the solution up and running
- Oracle offers security, protection and support including management, monitoring, patching, security, and upgrade services
Some companies will have issues with the fact that they are not hosting their own data. Another issue that can arise based on frequency of use is that Oracle uses a pay-per-user structure when charging for the use of the software.
If you’re completely torn between the two hosting models, Oracle offers a hybrid option where you keep your existing HCM and FIN solutions running on-premise while introducing a few components of Oracle’s Fusion in a SaaS capacity. The approach Oracle typically recommends for customers seeking both, or simply wanting to try SaaS, is to “Upgrade, Adopt, Extend.” In this instance you should update your current solutions to the latest available release, adopt standards-based technology (Oracle SOA, etc.), then extend your business value by adding a few modules or an entire suite of Fusion. [/expand]
2: Our company plans on rolling out some on-premise Fusion FIN modules next year. How should we prepare for the shift?
title="Answer"] BTRG provides an overall strategy for change management that begins with conducting focus groups with members of management and introducing the best practices embedded in the Fusion product. It’s generally best to encourage managers to adopt the way the software works and adjust internal processes wherever possible. Demonstrating the Fusion software helps people gain a better understanding of the way it works and builds confidence in the new system. In addition to the focus groups, we conduct a series of lunch-and-learn sessions, full end-user training, video tutorials, and custom on-line help. The degree in which our customer invest in change management varies with budget and organizational complexity.
Fusion offers web services integration, social networking, analytics, and mobile computing via the cloud. These technologies change the way organizations do business, but there can be resistance from internal staff. BTRG adjusts our change management techniques based on the culture of your organization, for example: Do you have strong “top down” structure, or a consensus-driven organization? The latter typically requires more facilitation of change and a longer project duration.[/expand]
3: Is there even going to be a PeopleSoft 9.3?
title="Answer"] Yes. Oracle does not have a specific date for the release of PeopleSoft 9.3, but development team is already working on additional features for the next release.[/expand]
4: At some point will PeopleSoft, Fusion Applications and Taleo merge to become one software solution?
title="Answer"] No. Officially, Oracle maintains these as separate product lines, although we are seeing integration of features. For example, PeopleSoft now has some mobile apps (Expenses and Inventory) leveraging similar technology built into Fusion. We are also seeing better integration between Fusion HCM, PeopleSoft HCM and all of the Taleo modules.
In the long run, it may become irrelevant to the end-user whether they are using one product or another, as the integration becomes more seamless and the look and feel of these products converge.[/expand]
We’d like to thank everyone who stopped by our booth and took the time to speak with us and complete the survey. Check out the rest of the results below:
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