The Cloud Understood (Part 5 – PeopleSoft in the Cloud)

Welcome to Part 5 of The Cloud Understood series. In this edition, I want to address questions and concerns from the clients of Sierra-Cedar. As you most likely already know, Sierra-Cedar is first and foremost a services company. We are built on the idea of and passion for solving the most challenging problems with innovative solutions and services. In the early years, these services centered around helping our clients to transition from mainframe and legacy back-office systems to dynamic new ERP applications, providing efficiencies and flexibility that had not been seen by the market in a generation. Sierra-Cedar worked with vendors who built these solutions and was an advocate for clients who were adopting the new technologies.
As technologies evolved, Sierra-Cedar continued to help its clients surge ahead of their competition through the early and measured adoption of innovative new applications and deployment models. Sierra-Cedar was one of the very first Oracle partners to implement Oracle’s PeopleSoft Internet Architecture for our clients and our own business operations. We understood the complexities that came with early adoption, building new implementation methodologies to manage risk and improve project success. Project success led to continued market leadership for Sierra-Cedar.
Continuing to grow and innovate, Sierra-Cedar now has a diverse cloud offering catalog from which clients can choose. Services include staff augmentation, architecture review and design, application management services, and full application hosting using public cloud resources.
Sierra-Cedar’s PeopleSoft clients are very diverse. They span the various industries of public sector, commercial, healthcare, and higher education. They range in size from a few hundred employees to tens of thousands of employees with hundreds of thousands of constituent users. Our PeopleSoft implementations range in complexity from simple (partial deployment of the application modules with minimal customization) to incredible (multiple, full application module deployment expanded with customizations providing imaginative and beneficial features, functions, and integrations). They also have differing IT operating models to support their PeopleSoft applications: on-premise, self-managed; on-premise with admin and technical staff augmentation; co-hosted with partial managed services; and full-blown hosting with contracted managed and technical development services.
Even though Sierra-Cedar’s clients, past and present, are very diverse, there is a lot of commonality in their questions and concerns regarding the Cloud. I will provide insight into the top four questions. Hopefully, the answers will lead to more questions and introspection since there is no single correct path to PeopleSoft in the Cloud—the diversity of the solutions is as unique as the diversity of the clients and their situations.

  • Can PeopleSoft applications exist in the Cloud?
    • PeopleSoft applications have been deployed on cloud infrastructures in all of the major public cloud provider offerings and many of the private (self-hosted) cloud system products. Sierra-Cedar itself has deployed its back-office PeopleSoft applications in AWS and has been LIVE since May 2017. We have also assisted clients with successful PeopleSoft deployments on AWS and OCI.
  • What method should be used to migrate PeopleSoft to the Cloud?
    • Gartner Group, along with AWS, has defined the Six Rs for migration strategy:
      • Re-Host – Lift & Shift
      • Re-Platform – Lift, Tinker & Shift
      • Re-Purchase – Move to a Different Product (SaaS)
      • Re-Factor – Re-imaging using cloud-native features
      • Retire – Get rid of it
      • Retain – Do nothing (at least not yet)
    • Of these six, three apply to the migration of PeopleSoft applications in specific ways:
      • Re-Host: the lift and shift of the existing infrastructure (compute, storage, and networking) design from on-premise, co-host, or hosted data centers to the Cloud “as-is.”
      • Re-Platform: similar to Rehosting, but with the idea of utilizing the Cloud to provide benefits such as High Availability and Resiliency.
      • Re-Factor: taking the design and architecture in the Cloud to the next level including Disaster Recovery, Backup/Restore, Auto-Scaling, Auto-Healing, Infrastructure as Code, Storage Management, etc.
    • What are the benefits of moving PeopleSoft to the Cloud?
      • Financial
        • Reduced up-front capital expenditures
        • Reduced data center operational costs
        • Redirection of capital-to-core business initiatives
        • Budget based on metered IT resource services
      • Growth
        • Quick provisioning/de-provisioning of IT resources
        • Rules-based scalability of IT resources
        • Upgrade to the latest and greatest IT resources
      • Resiliency
        • Infrastructure designed for redundancy and failover
        • Larger Cloud Providers with interconnected, geographically disparate data centers
        • Increased quality-of-service guarantees to end-users
      • How will my business change if I move PeopleSoft to the Cloud?