There are lots of snobs out there: those that won’t outsource to anyone but ADP, those that think they are superior because they work in compensation, and consultants who think their way is better before they even consult. The snobbery elite is probably topped by a distinguished set of software users: PeopleSoft snobs.
The life of the PeopleSoft snob is significantly limited. At one point in time, they were rightfully snobby. That time is either over, or soon to be over. Here’s some history. Back in the 90’s and even maybe up to a year ago, there was nowhere else to go if you wanted a high end HR product that could scale to an active employee population of 100k active employees. (how many total employee records is that? Payroll records, benefit admin, effective dated rows…) Back in the day, SAP 3.x sucked. So did Oracle, and those 3 really made up the only vendors that could scale up for larger companies.
Oracle perhaps realized they wouldn’t compete at the same level as SAP and decided to get in the game with the PS/JDE purchase and have continued their spending spree. Oracle HR still is slightly inferior, but greatly improved and we’ll wait to see what happens with Fusion.
Many PeopleSoft users also evaluated SAP back in the day. They decided that SAP also sucked. They would have been right. When you log into an HR system and the functionality is only 50% baked, many screens are presented in German, and the functionality that is there has a distinct European point of view, US users would obviously be turned off. So off they would go and select PeopleSoft 6 or 7, and 5 years down the road, here they are sitting on PeopleSoft 8.x wondering what to do next.
I don’t actually have the answers regarding what to do next. I do know that there’s still a stigma among high end HR technology users that the only HR departments that go on SAP are the ones that are forced to do so by their CEO. This simply isn’t true anymore.
Sometime around the SAP 4.7 release, the product really started to work. They began not only to understand the U.S. HR environment, but they started to catch up in functionality. At the current moment, I actually see SAP and PeopleSoft about neck and neck, but in the next 2 years, SAP could easily pull ahead. Unfortunately for Oracle, PeopleSoft 9 is coming out later this year, and with the exception of a few enhancement here and there, I don’t know that PeopleSoft users can really expect much out of Oracle, and SAP continues to enhance the product.
The short story is that if you’re a PeopleSoft snob whining about your lack of options, you can now stop whining. Fusion is on the horizon and SAP is a viable solution now. In a few years, you can remember the “good ‘ol days” that were PeopleSoft, but whatever solution you’re on at that point will be far better than what you have today.