Friday, March 4, 2011

The 100th post: Look at the LinkedIn discussion on PeopleSoft future

A highly opinionated discussion has been raging over the last 8 months in the PeopleSoft Community group on LinkedIn on the future of PeopleSoft. You can find the details here. It's an excellent read for all PeopleSoft consultants/organizations invested in/planning to invest in PeopleSoft. I hope you enjoy reading that!
My personal opinion on the subject: The question posed is 'Is PeopleSoft Alive and kicking' and to answer that by looking at the market at this point of time, the only answer is yes. The adoption rate of PeopleSoft version 9.1 amongst customers has been phenomenal (a lot of die hard skeptics have raised the point that there are no new PS9.1 implementations, but just upgrades. This is absolutely not true) and the product is very much alive and kicking today. But, if you were to ask me about the projected future of PeopleSoft, I am convinced that the product will surely lose ground to other progressive products in the years to come. There are a number of reasons for my inference:

1. It will be impossible for Oracle to continue focusing on multiple product lines. The stated strategy of Oracle is to converge towards one single product - Fusion and this will surely mean that funding and focus on other products like PeopleSoft will surely go down. I am sure that Oracle will continue to support customers who are already on PeopleSoft long after Fusion comes out, as maintainance fees represent a healthy part of Oracle's revenue pie.

2. If you follow industry thought leaders like Naomi Bloom, it is very evident that the entire HCM product architecture/code base/data model is undergoing a complete overhaul. I do not think that it will be possible for PeopleSoft to shrug off it's entire product architecture and move towards the new HCM product model - that would be akin to developing a completely new product. This would put the product out of favour with potential customers, who I am sure would prefer the new age HCM suites rather than PeopleSoft.

3. With better integration technologies, organizations are moving towards picking the best vendor for each area of business and integrating data across the various enterprise systems. Given this, we might very well see the disintegration of one vendor providing complete HCM end to end solutions and move towards a model where niche vendors handle their areas of expertise. This would mean that companies that are agile, innovative, fliexible and specialized will gain edge in the future. I am not convinced that PeopleSoft would fit this bill.

Well, these are purely my personal thoughts, but I hope you read the LinkedIn post to gain more insights on this topic.

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