In the last blog, I said the PS 9.2 HMS is “magnificent.” I also have to say that the PS 9.2 Financial Management System is “marvelous.” I’ll admit to having some geeky-ness about me—I enjoy reading about, watching the videos, and testing the new PS 9.2 system (the Release Notes and the Cumulative Feature Overview tool from Oracle[i] link is in the endnotes). There are many, many really powerful enhancements in Grants and GL, but these modules are not widely used (Grants) or have a limited group of users (GL); so for those reasons, I’m not including them in my top three “Best FMS Features,” but look into the new features if you use either of these.
- Overall improvements to Asset Management is my choice for Number 3 Best Feature. Effective management of an organization’s assets can maximize cash flow and minimize expenses, thus favorably impacting the bottom line. This is next to impossible, however, without a sophisticated and flexible tool. Asset intense organizations require a comprehensive system that provides integration with multiple applications (PO, AP, GL, and others). PS starts with the requisition, followed by the PO, then invoice. For assets that are built (vs. purchased), project costing is used. It provides all the details from the above, plus budget, expenses, time reporting, allocations, IDC, and payroll charges. One notable improvement is inclusion of the project costing chart fields in both the asset system and in the GL journals. An integrated PS system provides the single source of truth for all assets; this is a real time saver. We used to have to run multiple queries, save the results, and then tic and tie everything for those times when something went awry and even to assure ourselves that nothing was wrong. The PS Enterprise Maintenance Management system completes the Enterprise Asset Management total solution: it supports maintenance of infrastructure, plant, and equipment and integrates with PeopleSoft Supply Chain Management, Financial Management, Human Capital, Project Management, Help Desk, Real Estate Management, and IT Asset Management applications. PS Asset Management is a well thought-out and comprehensive solution. Maybe I should have rated it higher?
- My choice for the Number 2 Best Feature is PS Expenses. I know that everyone won’t use PS expenses, but many people submit expense reports. I do, and their accurate preparation is quite time consuming, so I enthusiastically welcome new features that will save me time. If I were using 9.2 today, I’d use the smart phone expense app to build my expense report as expenses are incurred. The iPad is also supported and would be extremely convenient—like on flights where you don’t really have the space for a PC or Mac. I could keep up-to-date on my expense logging and minimize the number of nights I work late getting my report ready to submit. From an organization’s perspective, the PS 9.2 expense solution increases everyone’s efficiency (the reporter and the back office), it helps control/reduces spending, and decreases pain for the report preparer. There are accounting simplifications and improvements as well—too many to mention here. Take a look at this video; when you’re about one minute in, see how the system presents expense report “status” to the user (this should eliminate all those calls asking, “When will I be paid?”).
- WorkCenters is my pick for the Number 1 Best Feature. PS 9.2 really excels in reducing time, simplifying navigation, and bringing everything to a single location for a group of related functions. Best of all, the user has options regarding what and how information is displayed (have it your way!). WorkCenters are used in many areas in PS—a list of them is shown to the right. WorkCenters brings value to the user by listing and prioritizing tasks. Imagine having a list of (your) PeopleSoft tasks always updated, prioritized, and presented for you to address exceptions or take action. WorkCenters provides actionable information through graphs that are “drill-able.” They deliver internal and external links to frequently visited areas and provide a single area to access all your reports and processes. For example, in the past, we used an Excel spreadsheet to help verify that we had checked all the processes and looked into exceptions; this was a tedious task that is now an automated part of the system—it’s all in one location. This increases productivity, reduces the chance for error, and increases timeliness and user satisfaction. View this video for a demo of WorkCenters in action. As a manager, I like how the information is presented and I think WorkCenters will be very warmly received by your organization.
As always, you can also find additional information about PS 9.2 on the Sierra-Cedar site or ask us about the PS 9.2 upgrades we’re working on for our clients.
Next week: I’ll look a bit under the covers and talk about PTools 8.53 and other technical areas. Contact me at PS9.2@Sierra-Cedar.com if you have comments or questions.