I actually do think that the new PS 9.2 HMS is magnificent. While it’s properly considered a sub-release from 9.1, it really has a lot packed into it. I debated providing a laundry list of all the new features, but you can read the Release Notes to see the comprehensive list or look at a summary via the Cumulative Feature Overview tool from Oracle.[i] In total there are over a thousand enhancements, but today I’ll discuss the three that I think are most valuable. That should make you pause and re-consider the value of PS 9.2 HMS – that is if you haven’t started your project already.
- In third place for the Best Feature, I pick Activity Guides. These provide an intuitive way for occasional users to input complex information. I often hear the analogy that a great process should be as easy as ordering a book on Amazon. (Well, once you’ve created an account and actually find what you want it is easy.) Until now, ordering anything from a book to a BBQ grill on Amazon was a pretty simple transaction compared to signing up your new baby for benefits or applying for a job. PS 9.2 has taken these rather complex transactions and made them easy. You can use the new search engine (nice) to find where to start, and then the Activity Guide does exactly what the name implies. It guides the user through a long, complex transaction; it shows where they are in the transaction and allows intermediate “saves”. From a designer viewpoint, the guides are easy to change and support optional steps that can be configured. https://blogs.oracle.com/peoplesoft/entry/release_9_2_made_usability .
- My choice for the Number 2 Best Feature is the ability to attach documents to transactions. While this isn’t completely new with 9.2, it’s easier to use, with opportunity for use throughout the system. Currently, this may be one of the most underused PeopleSoft features, and it can have a great ROI. Personally, I don’t file paper documents anymore. I create a PDF, OCR it, give it a descriptive name, and file it in a relevant folder. It’s easy to do, and it’s easy to find important docs – even when I forget the name or misfile it. PS provides this capability for transactions that have a related document. This is valuable, because when documents are consistently attached and validated, then many time-consuming tasks and document storage are non-issues. Take for example compliance audits. Nod your head if you’ve ever been involved and been subject to a fine. I remember being on an audit team in my first job out of college that resulted in a small fine of $450,000 for this company. This was embarrassing for the company, and because it happened at the end of the year, this unexpected expense affected profit and rippled out to bonuses – bad, bad news. So a system that supports easy attachment of backup documentation has my vote of approval. Again, I think this feature is much underutilized and has a terrific ROI.
- Reporting information is still my pick for the Number 1 Best Feature, and PS 9.2 is great. My introduction to PS was v.3.0 – quite a few years ago and reporting was good back then too. Reporting has always made PS a top system because of its easy data access to support decision making. The PS table structure is easy to access and easy to understand. For example, you can access data via a query tool or more directly using one of many SQL tools. In PS 9.2 the user has a choice of many reports – from delivered “Analytics” which support drill down, slice and dice, with many types of graphs to the row/column mode layout – your choice (and it’s easy to change). Users can define how they want to see information in order to help illuminate anomalies and focus their attention. With a glance, executives to managers can quickly see on their dashboards and/or work centers if they have something that requires their action. PS 9.2 provides delivered analytics in recruiting status/trends, absence issues, attendance violations, and more. One key value to your organization comes from giving users complete control over reporting and access to information (actionable information). What more could you ask for? –powerful access to information for optimal decision making.
You can easily configure new analytics that best support your organization’s needs, and while I think the analytics are pretty easy to understand and use, a short training document or a UPK on the subject will clarify it for the user, eliminate a help desk call and shorten the time to get up to speed on this powerful function. If you would like some additional information, please check these two URL’s.
Analytics – http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E40111_01/psft/acrobat/ps91ecap-b0313.pdf
Pivot video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlloVD3NixE&list=PLF337DC190D49F679
Next week – I’ll look at the top three functions for FMS/SCM. As always, feel free to contact me at PS9.2@Sierra-Cedar.com if you have comments or questions.