If you work with PeopleSoft applications more than PeopleTools and the tech stack, you may not have seen or paid much attention to the announcement of PeopleSoft Cloud Manager. After all, it is technology that helps deploy and manage PeopleSoft environments. That’s what IT and the technical folks do. But please don't ignore this one…let me explain why.
When we talk with customers, we often hear you are grappling with challenges like:
- Struggling to keep up with the pace and number of new features being delivered
- Your IT and line of business need to better communicate and work together
- You have limited IT resource capacity to support the projects you desire
- You lack the environment capacity to develop, test, upgrade, train, or explore new features
- There are too many competing priorities and projects
- Demands to adopt cloud solutions
Prior to 2013, the PeopleSoft team would spend weeks each year budgeting our development and test environments. Every team had to review their list, justify what they wanted to keep and even more so any new requirements. Groups were pitted against each other, vying over a finite pool and arguing over which project was more critical. The demand was greater each year, but the total allocation was less. In a very real way, environments acted as a physical constraint on our capacity and our ability to deliver, and we spent a lot of time and effort managing that constraint.
We don’t do that anymore.
In 2013, when we launched the PeopleSoft 9.2 release, we also rolled out a new internal system that was the predecessor of and the inspiration for PeopleSoft Cloud Manager. The system provisions PeopleSoft environments dynamically, on the fly. Through self-service, everyone in the organization can log in and request an environment. Developers can spin one whenever they need. Our QA analysts will log in on their mobile devices from home in the morning to request an environment, and when they get to the office it’s up and waiting for them. My strategy team creates environments for demos as they need them. When we are done, the environments automatically go away.
The statistics are staggering. We create (and throw away)
an average of 250 environments each day, more than
93,000 every year; the average lifespan of
an environment is 10 days. But the business impact is what
really matters. Developers can create new features and support customers
faster and more efficiently. Testers have access to the environments they
need, when they need them - and can write automation that will spin up an
environment to run a test without any human intervention. Everyone in the
organization can create any environment, with the functional configuration
or data or PeopleTools version they need, at any time. In about 45 minutes.
When we saw the results, we knew we had to deliver this capability to our customers. While most of you will never require the number of environments we do, everyone needs solutions that strip away the constraints on your ability to execute. You need to respond to the changing nature of your business – whether it affects your employees, locations, product lines, departments, business models, or processes. You should be able to have as many copies of your development, test, upgrade, training, or demo environments as your business demands. You should have the capacity to evaluate the new features we deliver and identify which ones will add value for you. And you need options to use and benefit from the cloud in a way that doesn't require you to abandon your current PeopleSoft applications to move to Software as a Service.
Step 1: Create and name your environment
Step 2: Use your environments
To be clear, PeopleSoft Cloud Manager is not magic. While every customer has access to PeopleSoft Cloud Manager via their PeopleTools license, at no additional fee, the solution specifically works with Oracle’s Infrastructure as a Service. Your IT organization will have to do some work to deploy PeopleSoft Cloud Manager to an Oracle Cloud instance, setup your environment templates, perhaps 'lift and shift' your existing environments to the Cloud. There will be some process changes for IT and the line of business to take advantage of Cloud Manager. It will require some effort to get up and running.
But, based on our experience, the payoff for that investment is nearly immeasurable. The result is more environments, faster, at less cost, and most importantly, a stunningly better ability to execute. And that directly affects the line of business and the functional application teams.