Cloud is an interesting topic for PeopleSoft customers. ‘Cloud’ has often been used as a synonym for ‘Software-as-a-Service’…and that means for many, Cloud can be perceived as a threat to PeopleSoft investments. Of course, most of us recognize that Cloud is more than SaaS, and for more than a year we’ve been talking about the options customers have to run their existing PeopleSoft applications on Oracle Cloud, taking advantage of Infrastructure as a Service. That said, with the intense saturation of messages in the market about Cloud, some openly share their fatigue with the subject.
So why rub salt in the wound and bring it up here? Partly because Cloud has spurred tremendous innovation and improvements in how all software can be deployed and maintained, including PeopleSoft. New technologies and approaches - initiated by Cloud computing but now widely available - are enabling PeopleSoft to make it faster, easier, and less expensive to have more environments. More environments that are easier and cheaper to manage means you are able to best respond to changing business demands, provide capabilities to end users more quickly, and deliver more value to your organization. Whether your organization is ready to embrace Cloud or not, it’s opening up new opportunities and improving the software you already run.
More importantly, though, I want to share a story about a conversation I had at Oracle OpenWorld that shows one example of the real value customers can get from running PeopleSoft on Oracle Cloud. Presence of IT, one of our PeopleSoft partners, does implementations, upgrades, as well as hosts PeopleSoft for a number of customers. They were also quick to start utilizing Oracle’s Public Cloud when the offering became available.
Presence of IT was working with a PeopleSoft customer on an engagement back in July, when we delivered PeopleSoft HCM Update Image 18. That image happened to contain Fluid UI Candidate Gateway, our newly redesigned solution for candidates to search for and apply for posted jobs from any device, including smart phones and tablets. Image 18 posted on a Friday, and Presence of IT saw that it contained the new functionality for Recruiting Solutions. Their customer was interested in seeing the functionality, so on Monday Presence of IT did a demo and the customer decided to update their project plan to include Fluid Candidate Gateway in their project.
What’s so compelling about this story?
- First, Presence of IT was able to go to the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, and in just a few steps, get an environment created that was a copy of the latest Update Image that shipped that day. That kind of speed allowed them to react very quickly to the needs of their customer.
- Second, Presence of IT was able to do this without any impact to their hardware capacity plan or other environments. Infrastructure as a Service makes it possible to spin up an environment when needed, and then eliminate it when you are done. Capacity is elastic and available any time.
- Finally, and in my opinion, most importantly, the customer was able to get immediate business value from their PeopleSoft investment. One business day after we shipped a feature, they were able to evaluate its usefulness and enact a plan to adopt it. That is the kind of agility that running PeopleSoft on the Cloud enables.
This scenario happens to showcase how customers and partners can use Oracle Cloud for demo environments, but the impact is just as high for development, test, or production environments. IT has long been plagued with myriad constraints that dictate the ability to deliver new environments – hardware, storage, and human resources are finite and limit the ability to respond to the fast-paced and ever changing needs of the business and end users. Infrastructure as a Service fundamentally changes that. Regardless of what the needs are, environments can be built out quickly (in hours, not days or weeks), data and software configurations can be set and managed in templates and scripts, and environments can be scaled up and scaled down as needed.
In fact, PeopleSoft created a self-service system that we’ve used in-house for a few years now, which allows our development team to create PeopleSoft environments on the fly, whenever we need them. The environments are created, used, and dropped when done. We’ve literally created hundreds of thousands of environments through this model without a discussion about hardware constraints. At Oracle OpenWorld we announced the upcoming delivery of PeopleSoft Cloud Manager, which will provide customers the same ability to create PeopleSoft environments in the Oracle Cloud through an easy and intuitive self-service interface. You’ll have the same ability to get push-button environments from your pre-defined templates (demo, dev, test, etc.) – complete with your data and configurations.
Watch for more information on the PeopleSoft Cloud Manager in the future. In the meanwhile, you can learn more about what’s possible on the PeopleSoft on Oracle Cloud and PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture Concept Pages. Or join the discussion taking place with Oracle or one of our PeopleSoft Partners. With so much ability to impact business value, every customer should be exploring what's possible, either in the Oracle Cloud or taking full advantage of the PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture in your data center.