Cedar’s Oracle Cloud and PeopleSoft Day March 1, 2015Posted by Duncan in Cedar, TW.
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Cedar held it’s annual Oracle Cloud and PeopleSoft Day in London on Friday, with almost a hundred people in attendance (about 80 customers, plus staff from Oracle and Cedar).
It was a great success, with a really positive vibe – customers are looking to do great things with both PeopleSoft and Oracle’s Cloud suite – and a privilege to be part of.
Here are some photos from the day:
Graham welcomes everyone
Marc Weintraub gave a great keynote (from his office at 2:30am!)
Liz and I discuss the practical applications of the PeopleSoft Roadmap
Mike takes us through the upcoming Oracle Cloud Release 10 features
Jo talks about ‘Taleo for PeopleSoft People’
Simon handles the prize draw
So, a fun event with lots of knowledge sharing. My absolute favourite part is being able to connect customers who can help each other though. I lost count of the number of times we were able to say “oh, you’re doing <some project> are you? In that case, let me introduce you to <another client> as they’ve just finished doing that very thing” and then being able to leave them to share their experiences.
I’m Alex Lightstone and this is how I work February 16, 2015Posted by Duncan in How I work, TW.
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First up in the ‘How I work‘ series for 2015 is Alex Lightstone. For those in the UK PeopleSoft marketplace Alex should need no introduction, for everyone else though here’s a brief bio:
Alex spent the 2000’s at Oracle, initially supporting, and then as Product Support Manager for PeopleSoft Global Payroll. When he left Oracle in 2010 there was a battle for his services and we’re very grateful that he selected Cedar where he forms part of our ‘trinity of UK-based GP gurus’ – alongside Bill and Gary. Alex can be frequently found sharing his knowledge at Cedar events, and UKOUG conferences and SIGS. His skills aren’t confined to GP however, and he’s already fixed a few bits of code that I’ve left half-completed (including the Field Watermarks).
Name: Alex Lightstone
Occupation: Lead Consultant at Cedar Consulting
Location: When not on client site, either home or the Cedar Office (Kings Cross, London)
Current computer: Dell Latitude E6430
Current mobile devices: HTC One (M7), Alcatel 4G USB Dongle
I work: best when I understand exactly what everyone else is doing so I can see the whole picture
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
As long as I have an internet connection I’m happy. I regularly change my browser but am reliant on Microsoft Office applications (yes, even Outlook). I’ve recently discovered Microsoft One Note and now wonder how I ever managed without it. Of course, App Designer, Data Mover and SQL Developer are a big part of my day to day work, as are Citrix, Remote Desktop and various flavours of VPN software when working remotely as needed to connect to client sites. Smartphones are useful but when space and battery power permit I’d rather be hooked up to my laptop with my 4G mobile broadband. Notepad and Paint are useful pieces of software in my opinion – I know there are alternatives but I like to keep it simple. And last but not least … Spotify.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Sat Nav is an absolute but is included with most smartphones these days. I’m happy with my phone and laptop. A smart-watch would be nice but I haven’t bought one yet.
What’s your workspace like?
They say “small is beautiful”, which is just as well in my case. Since the birth of my second child, my workspace has been relegated to a corner of my bedroom.
What do you listen to while you work?
I have somewhat eclectic tastes when it comes to music. I often listen to music via Google Music or Spotify. Anything goes … rock, classical, dance – it’s all on my playlists.
What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
I use App Designer, SQL Developer and Notepad (for SQR and COBOL). I occasionally use Firebug or the Chrome Developer Tools to resolve HTML issues. PeopleBooks are useful for reference.
Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
Global Payroll is just a programming language where you don’t write code. Approach it as a programmer and it will make a lot more sense.
What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Working in the world of payroll, I spend a lot of time querying the payroll results tables (GP_RSLT_XXXX).
SELECT PIN_NUM FROM PS_GP_PIN WHERE PIN_NM=<Element Name> is SQL that I use a lot.
What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Better error handling – there are too many generic error messages where your only option is to delve into the code to determine the reason for the error.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Teaching myself – it’s how I learnt most of what I know.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“The PeopleSoft world is a small place, don’t upset people, you will have to work with them again” – Anonymous
Adding Watermarks to PeopleSoft fields February 11, 2015Posted by Duncan in TW, UX.
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The Cedar tech team has recently discovered a great tweak to improve the end-user experience in PeopleSoft.
Many well designed websites use Watermark text to provide a visual hint to the user what they should put into a field. We felt that PS Self Service users would appreciate the enhancement.
Head over to the Cedar Blog to find out more:
Two Changes in PeopleTools Requirements January 13, 2015Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools, PeopleTools 8.53, PeopleTools 8.54, TW.
Oracle have just announced two changes to what they require customers to be running on.
PeopleTools 8.53 Patch 10 or above for PUM Patches
If you’re on PeopleSoft v9.2 and using the Update Images to select the patches to apply then Oracle ‘strongly advises’ customers to be on the .10 patch of PeopleTools 8.53 or higher.
FSCM Update Image 9.2.010 and higher, HCM Update Image 9.2.009 and higher, and ELM Update 9.2.006 and higher all need PeopleTools 8.53.10 for many of the updates and fixes to be applied. Failure to update your PeopleTools patch level to PeopleTools 8.53.10 or higher will result in the inability to take these updates and fixes. It may also inhibit you from applying critical maintenance in the future.
New PeopleTools Requirements for PeopleSoft Interaction Hub
Oracle also announced that they’re changing the support policy for Interaction Hub and PeopleTools. Basically, if you use Interaction Hub you must upgrade to a PeopleTools release no later than 24 months after that PeopleTools release becomes generally available.
For example, PeopleTools 8.53 was released in February 2013. Therefore, customers who use Interaction Hub will be required to upgrade to PeopleTools 8.53 (or newer, such as PeopleTools 8.54) no later than February 2015 (24 months after the General Availability date of PeopleTools 8.53). As of February 2015, product maintenance and new features may require PeopleTools 8.53.
Cloud Outage Audit for 2014 December 30, 2014Posted by Duncan in Cloud, PeopleSoft, TW.
Via Chris Kanaracus we heard of the Cloud Outage Audit for 2014 which compares the reliability figures for all of the major cloud vendors. One of the areas that Cedar specialises in is moving PeopleSoft to the Cloud so we pay particular attention when reports like this are released. It’s an interesting read (the full report can be found here) however here are the results:
David Linthicum, SVP Cloud Technology Partners pulls no punches:
Discounting the low-end public clouds, uptime has been much improved, with one major exception. Even though [public cloud providers] are expanding quickly, they seem to be smarter at operating their business, with the possible exception of Microsoft, which has made some dumb mistakes.
The underlying theme seems to be that some of the newer providers are encountering issues as they start to scale which Amazon has already been through (as they had a ~5 year headstart on many of their competitors).
The downtime figures are sourced from CloudHarmony, an independent, third-party company that conducts monitoring of cloud vendor uptime.
The UKOUG Apps14 Conference December 15, 2014Posted by Duncan in Cedar, TW, UKOUG.
Cedar had a strong presence at the recent Apps14 conference in the ACC, Liverpool. It is supposed to be the largest applications conference in Europe with over 800 attendees, and we were particularly interested in the PeopleSoft and Apps Innovation streams.
This year we’d decided not to have a stand (as the conference is mixed with the other applications and the database/tech community, it means the exhibition stands are much more expensive than at the PeopleSoft-only Roadshow earlier in the year, while the attendance of the PeopleSoft community is much lower) but we did support the conference with four of our team and three speaking slots.
It was nice to see a different city, although I’m pleased to see that it’s back in Birmingham next year as that is a lot more central for everyone. This is the view from my hotel room out over Albert Docks (the ACC is out to the left).
In terms of our speakers, our GP guru Alex spoke about Global Payroll upgrades to v9.2 (as Cedar has helped several clients either complete their move to v9.2 or with an upgrade in progress at the moment):
Several of us also took part in the Oracle Usability Feedback session. We have <ahem> quite strong opinions on how a UX should be so it was really interesting to be part of the process. We can’t talk about the product that was being tested, but it looks really nice. I can’t wait until it hits GA. Here’s a picture of Simon giving it a thorough test with the lovely Rhonda (the screen has been intentionally blurred):
Cedar’s tech guru Neville also spoke on a couple of topics. He covered PeopleSoft Selective Adoption / PeopleSoft Update Manager in one session (joint with Hays, who are using some of our upgraders at the moment on their massive upgrade – HCM, Fins, CRM, Portal, ELM, all at the same time!). He also spoke about Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (joint with Allen & Overy, who we helped to upgrade to 9.2 earlier in the year).
The evening in between the two PeopleSoft days was pretty fun too. It started off with a familiar looking (for Liverpool, especially) band called ‘The Cheatles’ (pic below) and then many from the PeopleSoft community sat down for ‘off the record’ chat over a decent meal.
The Hidden Benefit of PeopleSoft Selective Adoption December 12, 2014Posted by Duncan in TW.
There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of weeks about PeopleSoft Selective Adoption, the recently-coined term for the PeopleSoft Update Manager delivery model. Much of this has been on the direct benefits to the customer, which is how it should be. Greg Parikh has linked to some of the posts on LinkedIn.
While discussing this with a colleague at the recent Apps14 conference we noticed that there is another implication that I’ve not seen anyone else call out yet. Although at first glance it seems an immediate advantage to Oracle it’s not difficult to see how the customer is also going to reap significant rewards.
Getting everyone onto 9.2, and then delivering innovation on that version means that PeopleSoft development can operate on a single codeline. Currently, a legislative update will have to be coded and applied for all supported releases (and each version might require the update to be different, depending upon the underlying pages), meaning a lot of extra complication and repeat work. A Global Payroll update might need to be created for v9.2, v9.1 and v9.0, for instance, which is a significant burden.
Once updates are only being created on the v9.2 codeline then they only have to be done once, saving development staff time (and support staff a lot of troubleshooting time also) and thereby freeing them up to concentrate much more time on delivering extra value to the customers in the way of faster updates and more innovative new functionality. This can only be a big plus in the long-run.
Cedar’s new website is live – get ready for the blog! December 9, 2014Posted by Duncan in Cedar, TW.
I’m really pleased that Cedar have got our new website live – just in time for UKOUG Apps 14. As you would expect it highlights the services that Cedar provides – both Oracle Cloud (Fusion and Taleo) and obviously PeopleSoft implementation, hosting and support. It contains details of our people and locations (we’ve offices in Kings Cross, London, plus India, Switzerland and Australia). It also contains case studies of some of the project successes that we’ve had, and some of the nice things that clients have said about us. One of the things I’m most excited about is the blog. Make sure you add it to your feed reader as we’re going to be sharing some good content there from all of the practices within our company (plus the occasional post of us doing fun things!).
The new website can be found here: http://www.cedarconsulting.co.uk/
Why we won’t need a PeopleSoft v9.3 November 25, 2014Posted by Duncan in Strategy, TW.
I caught up with Paco Aubrejuan’s “PeopleSoft Townhall” webinar from Quest the other day. Paco is Senior VP of Development for the PeopleSoft product line and it was a really interesting listen. The session can be found here, although you need to sign-up with Quest to view it. It’s an hour long and he discusses the future direction of the PeopleSoft product family plus the new simplified and mobile user experience for PeopleSoft, the new Fluid User Interface (UI) and the delivery model of more frequent, customer-driven product enhancements which is enabled by PeopleSoft Update Manager.
Most interestingly for me though, was the Q&A section at the end. Paco tackled the v9.3 question head on. I’ve transcribed his words, and I think it’s a strong and positive message for those with an interest in the PeopleSoft product line. Here are the ‘best bits':
We’re calling our model PeopleSoft Selective Adoption … and let me be specific about what it means, we’re going to deliver new capabilities about 2 to 3 times a year (and may deliver some functionality more frequent than that). Once you’re on 9.2 you can get this functionality without upgrading ever.
On PeopleSoft v9.3:
Should I upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2 or should I wait for 9.3? There is no 9.3. We don’t have a 9.3 codeline, there’s no 9.3 plan, our plan is to never do a 9.3 and we’re going to continuously deliver on 9.2 using the PeopleSoft Selective Adoption and so you should not be waiting for a 9.3. … We’re just going to continue extending the timelines for PeopleSoft 9.2 so the idea is that there is no more upgrade and premier support will just continue.
On why a 9.3 isn’t needed:
The risk we take with saying that there’s no 9.3 is that people read into that and say that PeopleSoft is dead. … That’s not true. The investment level that we’re making in the product does not change with this delivery model at all. … We’re delivering all the Fluid functionality without a new release. We’ve never done that before. The only thing that this is comparable to is the 8.0 version when we moved from client-server to the internet, and that was a major release. We’re now doing something equivalent to that without even a minor release. It’s now just selective features that you can take as long as you’re on 8.54. So PeopleSoft is not dead, and having no PeopleSoft 9.3 does not mean that PeopleSoft is dead.
So, we now have a definitive answer to the v9.3 question. I think it’s a strong and positive message which is backed up with evidence of the investment that Oracle are putting in to the product family, and a nod to the fact that PeopleSoft is adapting its model to the changing needs of the customer.