Written by Mike Doyle
Years back Oracle announced that 9.2 would be the last application upgrade delivered for PeopleSoft. From that version going forward, all features and functionality would be delivered via ’updates’ as a part of Applications Unlimited. As a PeopleSoft implementer, I was curious to see how this would work in practice as there are numerous facets to the PeopleSoft applications. As expected, while there have been huge gains on the application side to reduce efforts through Updates via the Images, there are many cases where it should still be considered an ‘upgrade’ due to the amount of change being introduced as well as the testing efforts required for rollout.
I have also spoken with many clients who are still on pre-9.2 versions of their applications. In most cases, the reasoning behind this is common – “We have a plan to move to the Cloud, so we aren’t investing in PeopleSoft right now.” This logic has opened the door to additional issues. First, while the application has been able to stay ‘static’ the servers that support these applications continue to age out of support for the other components, starting with PeopleTools but also making their way all the way down through the Operating System layer. Second, there have been major regulatory and functionality changes in the application and, by not upgrading/updating the application, you cannot take advantage of those changes.
It doesn’t matter if you face a major upgrade or need to apply update images, there is still work to be done. Customizations need to be reviewed and potentially retrofit. Regression testing must occur for any existing functionality, and new functionality reviewed before rolling out to the application users. All of this takes time; time that you and your staff may not have each and every time a new update image is released. As a result, an update gets skipped, then another, then you’ve gone 4-5 images with no ill effects. Next thing you know, you are 12 images behind and facing another ‘upgrade!’
A Managed Services team can assist you to keep your systems current – either by assuming support responsibilities allowing your technology team to refocus and complete the update/upgrade activities themselves or by providing the functional and technical expertise to provide the services as needed under a Managed Services approach.