PeopleSoft Review

Mature with a variety of features and multiple use cases

What is our primary use case?

We're a consulting company, therefore, we get involved in all kinds of use cases.

PeopleSoft is used for usually larger organizations and some middle tier. However, usually, organizations that are maybe 2000 employees or two and a half billion dollars or more tend to be users. They use it primarily for back-office systems, finance supply chain, human resources, payroll benefits, that kind of stuff. That includes recruiting and everything associated with HCM. It's one of the primary ERP systems.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it's wide and broad and it does about everything anybody needs in a major organization from a back-office systems point of view. 

It's a mature product. I've been using it since 1994. It came out maybe a few years before that. It's matured over the years to where, from a back-office system point of view in those primary areas, if you want an all-inclusive system, you can do almost anything you need to do with PeopleSoft without having to buy other third party systems to bolt on to it.

They continue to improve and support the product. The latest announcement was that they're going to continue to support it through 2032. However, every year they add a year or two to that. They confirm their outgoing support for 10 years almost every year.

What needs improvement?

It's a real contrast between things like Workday and Oracle cloud. The biggest challenge we see as consultants from an Oracle cloud and Workday point of view is that you cannot customize those systems to better fit your business processes. Companies that are smaller and that are less complex tend to go with Oracle and Workday. The big advantage there is they don't have to do any upgrades. However, they're almost forced into the changes if there are new versions for these cloud systems. The good news is you don't have to upgrade them. The bad news is it may not support all your business processes as you want. Therefore, you have to change your business processes to fit the software.

The biggest disadvantage with things like PeopleSoft is that they do continuous support and fixes and upgrades. You get to choose when you want to implement that upgrade. However, in order to keep up, you have to upgrade. The biggest challenge with PeopleSoft is it's a trade-off between feature functionality and the pain of going through those upgrades. And when you upgrade, you've got to do some work. You have to look at what's available in the new version, figure out whether we're going to use that or not, and turn it on or not. On top of that, it's got to go through an implementation process.

Most people do about one upgrade per year. Some people do two, and some people get way behind. However, in order to take advantage of what they buy and pay for, they need to really do probably at least one upgrade a year. And it's a minor upgrade. It's not the kind of upgrade we used to think of that people did once every five years that was almost a reimplementation. In upgrade terms, it's a minor upgrade, however, it is an upgrade.

The difference in PeopleSoft and cloud version is the trade-off between not being able to do any customization and being forced into upgrades almost monthly. You don't have a chance to take your time. You don't have a choice when you do it. It just happens.

For how long have I used the solution?

Within the company, we've been dealing with PeopleSoft for 15 years. I personally have been dealing with PeopleSoft going back to 1994. I have many, many years of experience working with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would say their tech support is good. I don't have a problem there. They've been doing this a long time, so they know how to do it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've also used SAP - and have about five years of experience with it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The software comes with a fee, with a license fee. The upgrade software comes with a license fee. However, it takes their staff time and resources to go through that. Sometimes customers will hire a consultant firm like us to help them get through it. That would be an extra cost, technically speaking.

The cost varies by license and license type. Many times, it's so much per user, and depending on which software modules you're using. It depends on the modules you're using and how many users you have using that module.

Some people buy what may be called an enterprise-wide license, where it's not really based on the number of users. You get more of a flat cost for that and the users may not be impacted. I haven't gotten involved in that in a while, therefore, I'm not sure how it works.

What other advice do I have?

We're a PeopleSoft partner. We're primarily an Oracle and are a PeopleSoft consultancy where we implement and help people use the PeopleSoft systems. Now we're combining that with UiPath, and so most of the things we do are going to be PeopleSoft system related.

Having been in this business for 25 years or so, my biggest advice for PeopleSoft clients would be the same for any software client - that whenever they implement it, that they do it right and not try to do it cheaply.

Once they do it right, they will realize the benefit from doing it right forever, from then on. If they do it on the cheap to take shortcuts, they will pay the price for taking those shortcuts until they get around to making the investment to fix it. Customers are often a victim of themselves by trying to do it too cheap.

For example, I had one large enterprise client that asked their consulting firm how long it was going to take to put in PeopleSoft. They were putting in about everything PeopleSoft offers. It was a major implementation for the financial supply chain, human resources, payroll benefits, all that stuff. They had something like 130,000 people. It was a big, big corporation.

The consultant company came back and said, "Probably two years, maybe as soon as 18 months, but probably two years to get it implemented and into production from the time we actually start." The company came back and gave them six months, and the implementation was a disaster. The company tried to blame it on the consulting firm. However, they said, "Hey, man, you gave us six months and we should have taken two years for an organization of your size and complexity."

That's a little more than typical. Lots of times people will, instead of 18 months, take 12 months or 15 months. The more they try to shortcut the implementation, the more problems they create for themselves.

The biggest advantage - whether they're doing PeopleSoft, SAP - et cetera - for software companies and the clients, if they're going to put in a major software system, don't try to do it the cheapest you can. Do it the best you can. If you do that, it will pay off in spades. If you don't, it will screw you. That's the biggest advice I would have.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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