Government // Enterprise Architecture
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8/24/2011
08:18 PM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
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Oracle Has Fusion But PeopleSoft Lives On

Despite plans for Fusion app 'coexistence,' Oracle will keep offering PeopleSoft releases after this week's update and a major release next year.

Where does PeopleSoft go from there? A major 9.2 release is planned for next year, and there's no end in sight for future releases. In fact, Holincheck says Oracle has good reason to keep PeopleSoft going, even with Fusion now as an option.

"I don't think Oracle is in a rush to try to get people to move to Fusion. PeopleSoft is a very profitable business for them," he says.

Where Fusion Fits In

PeopleSoft and the other legacy apps are far more profitable than Fusion precisely because the latter is so new. Margins on the profitable legacy apps helped fund investment in Fusion innovations including role-based interfaces and embedded business intelligence. The dilemma for legacy customers is when to opt for innovation over stability.

Oracle has put forth a co-existence strategy and architecture for Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel apps and Fusion. For PeopleSoft it suggests the combination of PeopleSoft's financial and human capital management software with Fusion Talent Management. PeopleSoft also offers talent management capabilities, but they were introduced in 9.1, so 8.8 and 8.9 customers may wish to jump directly to Fusion.

Talent management includes compensation management, succession management, and performance management (for reviewing the performance of personnel). Fusion also offers Oracle's only SaaS-based human capital management alternative, while PeopleSoft is only offered on-premises or hosted.

Oracle's architecture for co-existence includes integrations between Fusion Talent Management and PeopleSoft 8.9 out of the box. In this scenario, PeopleSoft HCM continues to be the system of record for information such as employee name, address, organization structure, job codes, and position. Profile information like competencies gets migrated to Fusion Talent Management, which becomes the system of record for personnel profiles, goal management, performance management, talent reviews, and compensation management. Once compensation management activities are completed in Fusion Talent Management, the new data for individual employees gets synchronized back to PeopleSoft.

Cutting over entirely to Fusion is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. If you're running PeopleSoft Financial Management (FM) as well as HCM the migration will be even more daunting, as Fusion Financials has more in common with Oracle E-Business than it does PeopleSoft FM. That said, Fusion does adopt PeopleSoft's Trees metaphor for organizational hierarchies, according to Holincheck.

The bottom line is that Oracle has good reason to keep the PeopleSoft upgrades coming, and it won't be pushing you to move to Fusion. The coexistence strategy notwithstanding, Fusion seems like a PeopleSoft alternative to be considered like any other competitive app, with cost, breadth and depth of functionality, ease of deployment, and innovation as key reasons to consider replacement.

Oracle will certainly try to get you to consolidate and upgrade infrastructure middleware and hardware with Oracle Exadata and/or Exalogic, but that's another story.

As for the application choice, I'd say may the best-of-breed selection win.

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