Oracle Unveils New Release of PeopleSoft Enterprise

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Oracle has unveiled the latest release of Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise, with PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management (HCM) 9.1, PeopleSoft Enterprise PeopleTools 8.50, PeopleSoft Enterprise Learning Management 9.1 and PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal 9.1.

"This is the first major release that we have had in three years for the PeopleSoft customers and it is actually the largest release we have had in the last decade for PeopleSoft user community, both from a technical standpoint as far as the advancements we have made with PeopleTools 8.5, as well as from a functional business process standpoint in PeopleSoft Human Capital Management," John Webb, vice president of product management, Oracle, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "The three major themes of the release are number one, increased productivity; number two, accelerating business performance; and number three, lowering total cost of ownership {TCO}."

In the area of increased productivity, there is a brand new user experience with new web 2.0 capabilities in the release. "A lot of those are enabled by the new release of PeopleTools which is the foundation for all the PeopleSoft applications," notes Webb. The web 2.0 capabilities provide a much richer experience and it gives employees the ability to collaborate better. As part of the enhanced user experience there are features like an updated style sheet, and hover text that allows users to look at information related to a specific field on a screen without having to navigate from that screen, notes Webb.

In addition, there are new type-ahead capabilities so if a user is typing in codes on a page it will suggest codes that match that string so that the user does not have to type in the complete string; and new drag and drop capabilities within a number of areas. A new menuing system that makes it easier to find specific transactions can be totally tailored and configured by users based on specific transactions that they are looking for. There is also a new capability called "related content" which allows users to embed analytics and other external content into the context of a transaction page, says Webb.

In the area of accelerating business performance, "we have enhanced a lot of areas, specifically around Human Capital Management in the 9.1 release," Webb notes. Examples of these enhancements include the new succession planning solution which helps identify key talent, rate and rank high potential employees and visualize results to build an organization's leadership pipeline. There is also a new compensation workbench that is a self service capability for managers to look at compensation budgets and allocate them down to employees and do that in the context of pay for performance.

In the area of lowering TCO, Oracle has delivered new capabilities that allow customers to expand their footprint with PeopleSoft and eliminate the need for customizations and niche vendors that may have been performing tasks in a prior release of PeopleSoft. Examples of these include the succession planning; compensation management self service; and new career planning capabilities for employees. "Those are all areas that much richer than prior releases and do eliminate customizations that customers may have done in the past or some of the niche vendors that they may have had in place," Webb notes.

And finally, a key component of PeopleTools 8.5 is backwards compatibility, Webb states. With its compatibility to older applications releases, PeopleTools 8.5 helps reduce TCO by providing customers with technology enhancements without requiring an upgrade to their core applications. "That gives them a lot of flexibility as far as the choice they decide to undertake as to when and what to upgrade."

For more details on Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Applications, go here.