What is our primary use case?
We use PeopleSoft to:
- Manage HR globally
- Take care of payroll for all US employees (both salary and hourly at all plants in different states and localities).
- Administer benefits and compensation and integrating with all outside benefit vendors and state/federal tax agencies.
How has it helped my organization?
Most probably, an organization cannot meet obligations without PeopleSoft (or similar applications). What I can say is, with limited resources, it makes it operational, without outsourcing to expensive third-party service providers. And since it has strong application tools, it helps to integrate with both internal and external applications, as well as secure self-service and manager self-service applications.
What is most valuable?
- It has great depth of application functionality and flexibility of developing and integrating with others.
- In recent years, they added more functionality in the mobile, analytical reporting, and installing/patching/hosting area.
What needs improvement?
- I would like to see applications functionality as the base rather than differently priced modules.
- The quality of service has gone down after Oracle took over and this can be restored, and scope for online search could be improved.
- Tools could be simplified and added for more auto typing and improving the current Java support.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Even when we moved to Windows and SQL server platform to save money, the performance was acceptable. We are totally on virtual servers including databases. But if the company needs higher performance, they can go with bigger servers and other platforms.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Highly scalable, and initially (18 years back), we were processing payroll for more than 10,000 employees.
How are customer service and technical support?
It was excellent before when it was PeopleSoft, and it is still OK now.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Long back (20 years ago), we used ADP solution for payroll and some hosted solution (Saba) for some functionalities like performance management.
How was the initial setup?
Initially, it was complex, expensive, and it was done with the help of an external consulting company since the expertise was not there and it was a decentralized organization. They also had to implement payroll in 20 plants or so at the same time with a custom T&A application and hundreds of requirement gathering sessions and hundreds of training sessions. If we had to do the same thing, it would be a lot different; we know what is required and how it needs to be done.
What about the implementation team?
The vendor was good, but if you do not know exactly what you need and what the product can do, it would be expensive. So you need to do the internal analysis and gathering first and then go with the vendor.
What was our ROI?
We implemented early, and we are reaping benefits now and rolling out new functionality and self-service apps without any additional budgets (that is with two internal resources, same resources for maintaining the application and changes required with benefit vendors).
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
If the organization has complex needs that require constant changes based on business changes and has a solid IT department, there might not be a better solution than PeopleSoft.
If the organization wants to quickly get up to speed and more money, they can look into the other hosted solution and assume not too many changes after you implement.
Setup costs may be the biggest cost component, and you need to assemble with experienced people with the product or right consulting company to reduce the costs and time duration. Might be a good idea to go in phases — first with HR and keep working in parallel with other modules rather than big-bang with all modules when the organization does not understand the product that well.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
At that time, none of these solutions were there in the market (SAP, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, etc.).
What other advice do I have?
Spend more time in deciding the architecture and hosting environment based on the experience (virtualization, database, clustering, load balancing, server platform) on the technology side. To provide quicker benefits to the whole population, build a 2FA solution from the beginning and provide all self-service functionality right from the beginning (that can include all benefits and related documentation online) — that way management would see clear benefits.