Oracle’s Fusion — its middleware designed to help customers use the various enterprise suites and applications it has acquired over the last few years — has been incorporated into PeopleSoft Financial Management 9, the first new release of the application in eighteen months.
“The application has adopted a lot of the Fusion middleware,” John Webb, vice president of PeopleSoftEnterprise Product Strategy, tells CRM Buyer, referring to such features as Oracle Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) Process Manager. The application also still supports the PeopleTools technology — its original development foundation — and thus, still supports the multiple database products that PeopleSoft has typically supported, Webb says. Oracle’s native e-business applications, by contrast, only run on the Oracle database.
Fusion also offers users more options in reporting tools, Webb adds. “XLM Publishers is a new tool that is a part of the core PeopleSoft product now — the same reporting tool we will be using throughout our family of products as we move forward with Fusion.” Again, PeopleSoft continues to offer the same support for its previous reporting tools, such as Crystal Reports and Excel Integration, he says.
The application also includes upgrades to several of its processes — as well as new functionality in arange of areas, including grant management, travel expenditures and staffing. New features also support asset maintenance, IT asset management and real estate lease administration. New analytics help users assess their positions in IT asset, real property and technician utilization.
The application also provides single sign-on access to travel partner Web sites. Travel reservations can be integrated into the PeopleSoft Enterprise Travel and Expense Management system as well.
PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management 9 also integrates with www.grants.gov, allowing organizations to view the opportunities list, electronically submit applications via XML-based Web services, and check application status.
In the project management space, enhancements include expanded earned value analysis tracking and tools scheduling. For staffing tasks, the application offers streamlined e-mail communications using templates and enhanced change tracking for orders and assignments.
Many of the enhancements were implemented at the requests of users, the company reports. “Weparticipated in the customer testing process for PeopleSoft Enterprise 9 and saw numerous enhancements in every product of our PeopleSoft footprint that we found extremely useful,” says Kent Frank, Director of Financial Accounting Services at Baylor University and board member of the Higher Education User Group. “We are highly compelled to upgrade to release 9 in the next year.”