As a longtime Oracle Gold Partner, Symphony has been providing PeopleSoft implementations, upgrades, and managed services to health systems for more than 20 years.
PEOPLESOFT OPTIMIZATION & TRANSFORMATION
Symphony can help organizations get the most out of legacy PeopleSoft applications. Most companies first implemented PeopleSoft many years ago. Since then, there have been many changes to the application and most likely to the organization. Symphony’s offerings can improve business processes and the use of PeopleSoft. By using best practices, taking advantage of new features and modules, plus reducing the number of customizations, the cost of ownership can be substantially reduced.
Symphony begins with a high-level review of the business processes in and around PeopleSoft applications. The goal is to research the current state and to recommend changes in the business process that will improve organizational effectiveness, reduce staff frustration, focus staff on key business practices, and develop a road map for the execution of changes.
This process will result in many positive outcomes:
- Potential costs savings
- Improved processes
- Removal of customizations
- Reduction/repurposing of staff
- Outsourcing of non-critical processes
- Focus on core critical business
- Cloud Readiness
- By reviewing and aligning business processes with best practices, it will prepare the organization for the eventual transition to a cloud-based solution
Many older implementations of PeopleSoft have continued to bring forward old customizations with each upgrade project. This happens when there is a short timeline and/or limited budget to get the upgrade completed. Customizations are retrofitted to work in the new release whether or not there is new functionality to replace them. Many customizations were initially required to meet the business needs. Since the original implementation, there have been many updates in features and functionality to PeopleSoft, as well as changes to the HCM practices and employees.
A Symphony code review is part of a Fit-Gap Plus that looks at the current PeopleSoft modules in use and the integrations. The goal of the Fit Gap Plus is to review the current business practices that are associated with the PeopleSoft application and identify customizations that can be removed and/or replaced with delivered functionality. There is a target of a 15% reduction in the customizations, at a minimum. All customizations are reviewed against the latest PUM image. As part of this fixed price offering, Symphony will recommend which customizations can be removed and also propose a fixed price to do the work. By using delivered processes it will generate efficiencies and minimize errors and interruptions. Better and more efficient processes will reduce the costs of labor due to a better distribution of staff and reduced staff workload and/or overtime.
A customization uses the delivered PeopleTools application designer to build additional functionality within the application. The toolset gives developers the ability to build an almost unlimited amount of processes for the business. There are three types of customizations:
- Required – expected to be made by the organization
- Interfaces to third party providers like a benefits carrier or to an internal system (data warehouse)
- Minor changes to delivered reports like paycheck or AP check layouts for example
- Good – May or may not be required
- Customizations that have followed PeopleSoft development standards which limit the impact to delivered PeopleSoft objects (often called “bolt-ons”)
- Bad – May or may not be required
- Customizations that are imbedded into delivered PeopleSoft objects which require a higher level of review anytime there is a change delivered from Oracle (PUM image, PeopleTools upgrade, tax update, etc.)
- Custom code at the database level – PERL scripts, database triggers, etc. which are not picked up by PUM when applying updates
By reaching the goal of a 15% reduction in customizations, it will impact the costs for all future PUM updates and PeopleTools Upgrades. There will be less resources and effort required to review, apply, and test the customizations and the Oracle updates that could affect them.
The closer to the delivered PeopleSoft, the easier it is to take advantage of other tools specifically delivered for PeopleSoft Testing Framework (PTF). This tool can automate testing to reduce the business effort in applying updates.
By adopting delivered processes from Oracle, the use of the PeopleSoft testing framework (PTF) can be initiated. There are delivered scripts supplied by Oracle which can be adapted to the organization. The more automated testing is used, the less time and resources will be required from the business users.
Many PeopleSoft implementations in organizations were done in the past and the current state of the organization has changed considerably. One of the challenges when trying to implement the changes is finding the time to review and update the configurations. A good example is the Jobcode table. Many organizations continue to add codes, especially when adding additional workforce to their HCM application. Finding the time to review all of the codes, consolidate, convert and roll-out takes time and effort.
Symphony can assist with making a configuration change whether it is in HCM or the FSCM application. Symphony’s experienced team has the ability to understand the impact to the application and all of the upstream and downstream applications.
Many PeopleSoft original implementations do not complete the roll-out of all of the modules. A significant number of modules are pushed out to a later phase. Many times these projects do not get completed at all due to other priorities within the organization.
If the organization has licensed modules but is not using them, let Symphony assist with reviewing them. A determination can be made whether to implement the module, select another option (cloud-based solution) or to sunset the module and save on the licensing fees.
One of the challenges in today’s business world is to bring on or divest a line of business. Usually these projects are time sensitive and if delayed can result in additional costs. Symphony has a wealth of experience working with complex organizations that have tight timelines for updating their PeopleSoft applications.