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Predict and Prepare sponsored by Workday 12/16

PAST BUT AVAILABLE FOR REPLAY
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #171, 2/15
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #160, 8/14
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #145, 1/14
Workday Predict and Prepare Webinar, 12/10/2013
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #134, 8/13
CXOTalk: Naomi Bloom, Nenshad Bardoliwalla, and Michael Krigsman, 3/15/2013
Drive Thru HR, 12/17/12
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #110, 8/12
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Business Value," 5/3/12 Audio/Whitepaper
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/7/11
HR Happy Hour - Episode 118 - 'Work and the Future of Work', 9/23/11
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #87, 9/11
Keynote, Connections Ultimate Partner Forum, 3/9-12/11
"Convergence in Bloom" Webcast and accompanying white paper, sponsored by ADP, 9/21/10
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #63, 9/10
Keynote for Workforce Management's first ever virtual HR technology conference, 6/8/10
Knowledge Infusion Webinar, 6/3/10
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/8/09
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Preparing to Lead the Recovery," 11/19/09 Audio/Powerpoint
"Enterprise unplugged: Riffing on failure and performance," a Michael Krigsman podcast 11/9/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #39, 10/09
Workday SOR Webinar, 8/25/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #15, 10/08

PAST BUT NO REPLAY AVAILABLE
Keynote, HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/25-26/12
Master Panel, HR Technology, Chicago, 10/9/012
Keynote, Workforce Magazine HR Tech Week, 6/6/12
Webcast Sponsored by Workday: "Building a Solid Business Case for HR Technology Change," 5/31/12
Keynote, Saba Global Summit, Miami, 3/19-22/12
Workday Rising, Las Vegas, 10/24-27/11
HR Technology, Las Vegas 10/3-5/11
HR Florida, Orlando 8/29-31/11
Boussias Communications HR Effectiveness Forum, Athens, Greece 6/16-17/11
HR Demo Show, Las Vegas 5/24-26/11
Workday Rising, 10/11/10
HRO Summit, 10/22/09
HR Technology, Keynote and Panel, 10/2/09

Adventures of Bloom & Wallace

a work in progress

Retirement Planning

Queen Elizabeth With President Obama

Queen Elizabeth With President Obama

Fooled ya.  This isn’t about me but about your HRMS — my own retirement planning will be addressed in a future post, dated sometime after the 2nd coming.

With a new generation of ERP/HRMS in release or coming next year, a reasonable question is when and how to plan for the retirement of your backbone HRMS, of your official system of record?  The fact that software graveyards exist and, to some extent, prosper on the maintenance revenues rather than from doing new licenses of long-outdated business applications demonstrates that many firms are still running on HRMS’ whose architectures are several generations behind the current state.  But this wouldn’t be a very useful post if I focused solely on retirement planning for the true antiques, for those brands that are so far past their shelf life that they’re only of interest to software historians and a few old industry watchers like me.  No indeed.

Instead I’d like to address that much larger group of organizations running current or close to current releases of PeopleSoft, Oracle EBS, SAP ERP, Lawson, and many other still selling HRMSs whose owners have already or will soon announce/release their next generation products.   The reality is that any HRMS vendor which intends to keep selling/subscribing their software is being forced to re-architect their products for a world of Web services, SOA, SaaS, models-based development, embedded intelligence and complete self service etc. on the technology side and for a world of free agency, workforce rather than employee management, total compensation, KSAOC-based and integrated strategic HRM, and dynamic and concurrent organizational designs etc. on the business side.  And whether you’re accessing these soon to be obsolete HRMSs via your own license and in-house or hosted deployment or you think you’re out from under these concerns because you’ve convinced a BPO provide to “run your mess for less,” there’s no place to hide from retirement planning.

Let me use PeopleSoft as an example.  There’s no secret about Oracle’s plans to release a complete Fusion HRMS some day, but there’s still limited public information about the architecture, data model, or delivery dates for this next generation HRMS.  What we do know or can surmise is that it will NOT have exactly the same data design as PeopleSoft, let alone the same architecture.  We can be fairly certain that PeopleCode won’t be reincarnated in Fusion.  There will certainly be some features in Fusion that are familiar to PeopleSoft customers, and Oracle will make a sizeable investment in migration/implementation tools, but I’m prepared to bet my professional dignity that every current PeopleSoft HRMS customer that decides to go with Fusion HRMS will be facing a completely new implementation.  Such is life.

Have you written any PeopleCode, and who hasn’t?  At a minimum, you’ll have to decide how to reincarnate that functionality in Fusion, using newly delivered functionality or creating Fusion-based add-ons.  Have you added any customer-defined data fields, and again who hasn’t?  These too will have to be reincarnated in Fusion, whether using delivered functionality or creating a new set of Fusion add-ons.  And what about all of your historical data?  Will you migrate it into the very different data design of Fusion or keep it locked up and accessible only via some frozen version of PeopleSoft?  What about those dozens of outbound and inbound “interfaces” that you’ll be moving to Web services strung together in real time?  Those important analyses which will have to be redesigned around a new object model?  And did I mention a completely new user experience into which you’ll have to embed all those edits, content, guidance, etc. that you’ve embedded in your current user experience?  These and many more questions will need to be answered as Fusion’s HRMS design reveals itself, for those PeopleSoft customers who expect to migrate eventually to Fusion, and for each of these your retirement planning initiative must find answers. 

In my view, it would be very naive to believe that answering these questions is no different than planning for the next release of PeopleSoft.  Either Fusion will be a major leap forward and, therefore, not be upwardly compatible, or it will be a failure, and what we have seen thus far does not look like a failure.  More importantly, when  faced with what I believe will be a major body of implementation work to get from PeopleSoft to Fusion, much more work than doing a “routine” PeopleSoft upgrade, you’d best consider whether or not there are other, better options before your CFO or CIO wonders why you didn’t. 

The bottom line.  The new generation of HRMSs are as fundamentally different from the last generation as that last generation was from the classic HRMSs of yesteryear, and no one would suggest for a moment that going from Tesseract to Oracle EBS or to SAP ERP was a walk in the park.  Fusion is coming, and it looks to me like a terrific time for all those PeopleSoft customers to plan a retirement party or wake, depending on your point of view.

6 comments to Retirement Planning

  • I can not imagine finding this information right on time, thank you.

  • I see the upgrade from PeopleSoft and EBS to Fusion as somewhere in the middle between a traditional upgrade and new implementation. I believe Oracle will deliver upgrade scripts to migrate some data from PSFT/EBS to Fusion but a significant percentage of data will need to be re-worked to fit into the Fusion object model. In fact I hope that Fusion has a thoroughly modern object model such that a straight data upgrade from PSFT and EBS is not possible. Given that the upgrade will probably not be straightforward, it makes sense for customers to evaluate all their options to make sure that moving to Fusion is the correct direction.

  • Thomas

    Naomi,
    Prince Charles is still waiting for his seat.

    I sense that for most organisations, the PSFTs and SAPs will be around for a while yet. These vendors have 10,000s of installations, and this stuff is sticky. It is still selling too. For now there is little alternative or desire to replace HR systems of record in the vast majority of organisations. Yes, Workday is impressive, but they will not scale to 1000s of customers overnight.

    Talent Management is a different story of course.

    You are spot on with Fusion. Fusion will not be an upgrade. It will be like implementing a whole new product.

    • Naomi Bloom

      You’re absolutely right about the long tail of the ERPs, but I think that they’ll be increasingly relegated to the back office, at least for HCM, with newer SaaS offerings wrapping them. With respect to Prince Charles, I wonder what will happen first, my retirement or his ascension to the throne.

  • Bill Kutik

    Naomi: Does your post assume that “Apps Unlimited” is less than advertised and that Larry’s Open World keynote promise to continue supplying new versions of Enterprise, EBS et al won’t cut the mustard functionally for current users?

    • Naomi Bloom

      I believe that “Apps Unlimited” is exactly as advertised: a commitment to ensure compliance for a stated period of time within the scope of delivered functionality that a specific customer has licensed. There’s nothing in “Apps Unlimited” that commits Oracle to specific innovations, functional enhancements, architectural or object model overhauls, etc., nor should there be. I also don’t believe that Oracle will spend any more on PeopleSoft’s or EBS’ HCM suite than they have to do once there’s a complete Fusion replacement. And regulatory activism over the next few years could suck up every maintenance $$ that Oracle or any other established vendor has budgeted for maintenance of their current (soon to be last) generation products.

      I do believe that there will be substantively new versions of both, at least until there’s a complete Fusion replacement, but there will be no leaps to next gen made for either. That’s the purpose of Fusion.

      Re: Fusion, I’m confident that (1) Fusion apps will be very good, (2) much of Fusion apps will be delivered SaaS, (3) Fusion apps won’t be a complete replacement for PSFT or EBS HCM (complete with new payroll engines etc.) until at least your 2011 HR Technology show (SAP is talking 2014 for their next gen delivery, so there’s limited pressure on Oracle right now), (4) “migration” from PSFT HCM will be more work than a typical PSFT HCM upgrade, (5) PSFT and EBS HCM will have a VERY long tail — but long tails aren’t where innovators live.

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