According to Rebekah Jackson, Vice President of PeopleSoft Product Management at Oracle, "these days when we interact with customers, the vast majority are on our 9.2 release. That’s great news for many reasons, in large part because it means those customers have knowledge and experience to share with the rest of our PeopleSoft community."
Quest recently hosted a conversation with Shane Pitman of Griffith University, Chamanthi Weerasinghe of Presence of IT, and Rebekah, to discuss some of the details of the University’s recent PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM) 9.2 upgrade and how they are using the software to deliver value at Griffith University.
WHAT WERE THE DRIVERS FOR GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY’S HCM 9.2 UPGRADE?
SHANE (GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY):
The main driver was to ensure that Griffith was running on a supported version. Based on the Oracle roadmap, we knew we needed to upgrade to 9.2 at some point. We started with HCM, as we wanted to make sure that if we had any system issues or bugs that needed to be fixed we would be up to date. However, it was also an opportunity to review, change and remove legacy customizations–such as Australian tax rules–as well as consider new modules within the system. As such, Griffith implemented the recruitment and ePerformance modules as well as Fluid, all as part of the HCM 9.2 upgrade.
WHAT WAS PRESENCE OF IT’S ROLE IN THE UPGRADE?
Presence of IT worked in partnership with Griffith University, particularly in the technical and development space, design and configuration of new functionalities across HR (in particular Fluid), Time & Labor, and Payroll to upgrade and implement HCM 9.2 and to implement new modules such as Recruiting Solutions and ePerformance Management.
The partnership with Presence of IT started long before I was at Griffith. We worked with them on HCM upgrades back in 2007.
CHAMANTHI (PRESENCE OF IT):
We came upon Griffith University via a recommendation from Oracle as a Specialist HCM Partner to assist with Griffith’s v7.6 upgrade to v9.0. Since then, we have been involved in various projects, support and training activities including upgrade to v9.2.
Presence of IT has had a long standing working relationship with Griffith and they know our business processes. Presence of IT can tell us things we did back in 2008 while there are many staff members at Griffith who were not around then. During the HCM 9.2 upgrade, having Presence of IT provided a deeper understanding of what was required from a technical standpoint.
HOW DID THE 9.2 UPGRADE COMPARE TO PREVIOUS UPGRADES?
Previous upgrades were perhaps more technical in nature and continued legacy customizations and functionality which were not optimal for Griffith’s operations. The upgrade to 9.2 was very much an opportunity and conscious move to review decisions and functionality of the past, decide whether to reinstall existing customizations or remove them, create new customizations where required, and implement new functionality in the process.
The outcome of this upgrade was very much focused on business value and realizing business benefits and not a technology refresh. So a key focus area was to de-customize where possible to optimize standard functionality, and look at new functionality available. We worked as a team working with the Oracle upgrade lab to run the upgrade script and create the actual instances; Griffith University IT and Business staff, and Presence of IT’s consultants across Functional and Technical workstreams.
The upgrade took 18 months, which was longer than anticipated. One reason for the length of the project was that we had to split Campus Solutions from HCM before moving HCM to 9.2, a process which took about 6 months. We also wanted to document our business processes for the modules we were using and make decisions around our recruitment application because we were using another provider at that time. Our approach to examining previous customizations also took longer than expected, lengthening the process. Further, as we got closer to the scheduled delivery, we realized some of the timing of the upgrade did not coincide with change management timing of the overall university.
YOU WERE ABLE TO REDUCE YOUR CUSTOMIZATIONS IN HCM BY 35 – 40%? WHAT ENABLED THIS?
Policies, processes and requirements change over time. Customizations that were relevant in the past, and in some cases previous decisions made, were no longer required as part of Griffith University’s evolvement and changes in the way it does business.
More specifically, we were able to retire a customized bolt-on for time sheeting, we removed many of the previous customizations and we worked primarily with the delivered product. Because we had been using a different provider in the recruitment space, we had a workbench which was a large customization that was completely removed as well.
Rather than having certain employee groups in the time sheeting bolt-on, we brought them back into the PeopleSoft Time and Labor standard functionality and extended them by having additional workgroups in there, getting more value from their existing investment in standard PeopleSoft Time & Labor module.
Also, as a result of implementing Recruiting Solutions, as Shane mentioned, we removed a workbench for transferring applicants from the third party system into the HR module within PeopleSoft without duplicate data entry.
Griffith’s success in reducing customizations is great to hear. PeopleSoft has delivered a lot of functionality through the years, including on 9.2 with continuous delivery of new enhancements. This often means that customers find they have capabilities in existing products that they haven’t been leveraging. That coupled with the increasing trend to focus on vanilla, out of the box functionality and a willingness to change business processes to leverage delivered best practice, means that many customers can retire a large amount of customizations, as Griffith University did. That can save a lot of money and make it easier to maintain the system and take new features in the future.
To read the full article click the link below: