Sunday, May 27, 2012

Time Clock vendors for PeopleSoft Time and Labor

Integration with an external time collection device or a time clock is an integral piece to a Time and Labor solution. Time clocks can be used to collect the work punch time of employees, collect task level information, enforce schedule restrictions etc. PeopleSoft Time and Labor provides a bi-directional integration with third party time clocks that allows T&L to send and receive data from time clocks. The interfaces related to time clocks are XML based and utilises PeopleSoft's integration broker technology. This facilitates an open framework where other third party time clocks can consume the time clock related messages from PeopleSoft and send punch data to PeopleSoft in the desired XML format.
It is to be noted here that Oracle has verified integration with some time clock vendors. The advantage of partnering with the time clock vendors with an Oracle verified integration is that there will be a ready made interface supported by both Oracle and the time clock vendor. The time clock vendor will further support any changes that result from upgrades as well. Thus, there are significant advantages for customers to choose time clock vendors that have an Oracle Verified Integration to PeopleSoft Time and Labor.
The vendors with Oracle verified integration are:

1. Accu Time Cesium
3. Timelink

We strongly recommend customers evaluating the implementation of a time clock in a PeopleSoft HCM context, to consider partnering with one of the above three time clock vendors.

Disclosure: Accu Time is a past client of HRoi Consulting, but this post is neither sponsored nor endorsed by Accu Time.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oracle acquires cloud social marketing firm - Virtue

Oracle has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Virtue - a leading cloud based social marketing company. According to Virtue's website -
"Vitrue partners with brands, marketers and agencies around the world to help them maximize their social community engagement through the powerful Vitrue Social Relationship Management (SRM) platform. The Vitrue SRM platform gives brands the ability to scale across multiple social networks, target global to local and publish content that engages fans and drives leads. In addition, Vitrue provides clients access to deep analytics, industry insights and best practices, product training options and high-touch customer service, giving brands a competitive advantage."

You can read the official statement from Oracle in the link below:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Onboarding and Exit Processes: A glaring gap in PeopleSoft HCM

Onboarding and Exit processes in an organisation are typically resource intensive, requires coordination between multiple departments, are workflow and checklist based and extremely critical for a positive employee experience. It goes without saying that there is great benefit in automating both onboarding and exit processes and integrating it with the core HCM ERP application. In this regard, it has been extremely surprising for me that PeopleSoft HCM does not deliver a framework that can be used for onboarding employees and managing the exit processes. It pains to see customers resorting to manual onboarding processes even after investing millions in implementing PeopleSoft HCM or building a custom onboarding/exit framework. SMARTERP is one company that has tried to address this deficiency in the PeopleSoft market by developing a bolt-on onboarding framework. You can find details of the product here.
This brings me to Workday. In the latest release of Workday (Workday 16), they have delivered an out of the box onboarding framework. You can read up more on this on Amy Wilson's blog here. All customers of workday can use the new onboarding framework which looks pretty cool from few of the screenshots I have seen. My thumps up to the Workday product development team for addressing a business process that benefits greatly from automation.
The real game changer with SaaS vendors in my mind is the pace at which they 'push out' significant features to customers at no extra cost. Oracle trumpeted the 'Feature Pack' concept few years back as a similar concept - more frequent releases with major functionality improvements. Unfortunately, the definition of both 'frequent' and 'major functionality improvements' differ between a SaaS vendor like Workday and an on-premise vendor like Oracle. The feature packs are released once in a year (compared to 3 to 4 major releases in a year for Workday) and I have not seen any significant functionality changes in any of the feature packs that have been released till now for PeopleSoft HCM. But, this is a topic for another blog post!
Coming back to our original discussion - I sincerely hope that Oracle PeopleSoft HCM Product managers take note of this impending market need for an onboarding and exit framework and introduce this at the latest release possible (That would possibly be 9.3 or some feature packs of 9.2 after it's released in 2013). 

When EMPLIDs differ!

Sofie was working on building an interface from PeopleSoft HCM to a third party payroll system. The payroll system was in place for the last 8 years and was following a unique employee id generation rule. Sofie's analysis showed that the employee ids in the payroll system were completely different from that in PeopleSoft and the payroll analyst told her that they required the payroll employee id in the interface file from PeopleSoft. This meant that Sofie had to map the PeopleSoft employee id to the payroll employee id in a table. The client's HRIS team ruled out the usage of Alternate Employee id for this purpose as they were already using this field for other functionalities. Sofie decided to discuss this issue with her functional lead, Mary. Mary had just completed a payroll interface project and Sofie was sure that she would get a solution from Mary. Mary suggested Sofie to use the Payroll Interface Employee Id table (PI_EMPLID_TBL) for this. The PI Employee Id table is a delivered mechanism by PeopleSoft to map the PeopleSoft employee id to the employee id in a third party system. Mary told Sofie that this table is exposed as a page online and can be found by navigating to Setup HRMS > Product Related > Payroll Interface > Interface Controls > Employee Table > Interface Employee Table. After discussions with Mary, Sofie decided to use the PI Emplid table for mapping the PeopleSoft employee id to the Payroll vendor's employee id. The overall solution for using this feature was more than just referencing this table in the payroll interface program. Sofie had to:
  • Load the table with the employee id mapping of existing employees.
  • Provide security to the client's HRIS team to maintain the mapping for new hires.
  • Provide an Excel to CI utility for the HRIS team to load the PI Emplid table for a batch of employees.
  • Provide a PS Query for the Business and HRIS teams to view the existing employee id mapping.