Friday, January 21, 2011

On PeopleSoft Feature Packs

Oracle had announced the decision to come out with more frequent functionality updates to PeopleSoft during Open World 2010. These off cycle feature releases are termed Feature Packs (the first FP for HCM 9.1 has already been released last month). Feature Packs are supposed to complement Bundles and Maintenance Packs and provide customers with a direct upgrade path 9.1 with the additional features. A quick look at the 'features' delivered in 9.1 FP1 does not convince me that major functionality improvements are being delivered through Feature Packs (this is contradictory to the major marketing cry behind feature packs - customers not having to wait for 2-3 years for major functionality releases) and it leaves me with the question whether this is just a marketing fad to counter the feature release frequency of SaaS products. Well, will wait for the next release before coming to a conclusion.
Below is an excerpt on Feature Packs found in site which I hope will throw more light on this topic:

Question 1:

What are Feature Packs?

Answer 1:

Feature Packs are a new off-cycle delivery mechanisms in addition to the existing off-cycle delivery mechanisms of bundles and maintenance packs. Feature Packs will consist of a roll-up of capabilities and updates previously delivered in bundles and maintenance packs. In addition, at the delivery of Feature Packs Oracle will re-cut the CD to include the roll-up of capabilities and updates previously delivered in bundles and maintenance packs as well as re-certify upgrades and integrations

Question 2:

Why is Oracle introducing Feature Packs and additional capabilities delivered off-cycle?

Answer 2:

Oracle is introducing Feature Packs as a means to:

  • Continue delivery of value add capabilities on to release 9.1 which is showing strong customer adoption and becoming the release of choice for PeopleSoft customers
  • Provide capabilities more frequently rather than having customer wait 2-3 years for the next major release
  • Allow release 9.1 customers to adopt capabilities without upgrading, because additional capabilities are being delivered off-cycle release 9.1 customers need not upgrade to get them but rather merely need to apply bundles and maintenance packs
Feature Packs specifically make it easier for net-new PeopleSoft customers to deploy to the most current point of the latest release.
Feature Packs also make it easier for existing non release 9.1 customers to upgrade to the most current point of the latest release.
If you have access to, you can read more of this article here.

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