Scott Giancola
, March 23, 2021
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PeopleSoft HCM vs. Oracle HCM Cloud

Moving from PeopleSoft HCM (on-premise) to Oracle HCM Cloud carries many benefits, with the most evident being the lower total cost of ownership and the ease of staying current on technology, features and functionality. There are numerous articles written discussing these benefits.

Negative Aspects of PeopleSoft HCM (On-Premises):

  • Significantly higher total cost of ownership.
  • Difficult to stay current with the latest technology and application features and functionality.
  • Hardware must be purchased and maintained.
  • The customer has the responsibility of maintenance on the system, such as applying security and technical patches, maintaining the operating system and applying application updates and fixes.
  • Customers must acquire and train their own IT staff and often hire outside IT resources.

Positive Aspect of Oracle HCM Cloud: 

  • Significantly lower total cost of ownership.
  • All maintenance on the system is done by the vendor (Oracle).
  • Emerging technologies engineered into Apps.
  • Customers stay up-to-date with quarterly updates with the latest feature improvements and technology advancements.
  • Standardization and optimization of business processes.
  • Greater flexibility and agility as the business scales and adapts to change.
  • Institutions can quickly gain value from the latest innovations in technology such as artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces through continuous, automatic updates that help streamline and automate business processes.
  • Very configurable, allowing the elimination of customizations.

Functionality Differences - HR and Payroll

Most Oracle HCM Cloud modules provide better functionality and a better user experience! And, new, better and missing functionality is released each quarter in Oracle HCM Cloud!

Human Resources (HR)

System Personalization and Administrative Tasks

For functional users, system personalization and administrative tasks are important. In PeopleSoft, functional users do not have the ability to easily add fields without involving the Development team. An application developer needs to add these custom field(s), which also requires testing, QA and implementation time. This can take time.

Flex Fields: In Oracle HCM Cloud, additional fields can easily be added by a functional user. These are called flex fields. Nearly all customers utilize this feature in HCM Cloud.

There are many advantages of having these flex fields such as capturing data specific to one’s business needs, storing intelligent fields that can be used to store the data and having field validation against a list of business specific values. These extra fields need no extra programming; they can just be configured and used.

HCM Experience Design Studio: In Oracle HCM Cloud, the HCM Experience Design Studio functionality personalizes the user experience to accommodate unique business processes. It gives the ability to apply and enforce unique business rules by autocompleting data with minimal input. In this enhancement, localization rules and Autocomplete is provided to the end user for minimizing data entry and errors. This feature can also be utilized without the involvement of the Development team.

Benefits and Benefits Administration

Oracle HCM Cloud's superiority in the Benefit module is with the enabling of self-triggering life events. Also included is Enhanced Certification and Evidence of Insurability maintenance.

Work Life Apps are absent in PeopleSoft, but are included in Oracle HCM Cloud. These apps include features for Wellness, Competitions, Volunteering, Help Desk and more.

Approval Workflow

In PeopleSoft, the configuration of Approval Workflow can be quite difficult and typically requires an application developer. Even though PeopleSoft delivers predefined Approval Framework processes, there is still significant configuration necessary to utilize the approval framework functionality. Even for predefined approval processes, configuring includes activating workflow, defining user lists, setting up the approval framework and configuring the approval user monitor. Many PeopleSoft customers choose to build their own approval processes based on their specific workflow requirements. This requires extensive setup and configuration using a transaction-definition component. Items such as identifying the transaction entry component and approval component, creating an approval cross reference table and a view of approval participant users, defining application classes for monitoring transaction events, creating code for launching the approval framework and for managing approvals, and on and on, with yet even more configuring steps required.

Many PeopleSoft Service Requests are submitted by customers having difficulties and issues either trying to configure their workflow correctly or finding that it is not providing the expected behavior.

In Oracle HCM Cloud, the tool used to make these changes is quite easy. A user interface exists for Approval Workflow where a functional user can drag and drop approvers, change the delivered workflow, add notifications, etc. Once changes are made, simply hitting the submit button updates the system.

Talent Management

Oracle HCM Cloud has developed the Talent Management module with a “look and feel” of a social media site. Recognition through kudos, various social capabilities, anytime feedback, year-round reviews and mid-year checkpoints are all desirable features.

Workforce Compensation

In Oracle HCM Cloud, there is the ability to proxy in as a manager. For example, if HR needs to go in on behalf of a manager, due to the actual manager not being available, the manager's credentials are not necessary. HR can login as a proxy. This is all built into the application and configurable.

Compensation Modeling and Budget Distribution Functionality

PeopleSoft customers typically handle Compensation Modeling and Budget Distribution, whether manually or automated, outside of the PeopleSoft system.

In Oracle HCM Cloud, compensation administrators or line managers can take advantage of this built in functionality.


Payroll is generally the most complex of all products, as all other modules feed into it, with the final objective of having an accurately calculated payroll and accurate employee payments, balances and reporting.

From the setting up earnings and deductions to the administration of absences, garnishments, federal and state income taxes, processing payroll, check reversals, to integrating with HCM, Time and Labor and General Ledger, it is very important these tasks and business processes are streamlined and as simplified as possible. The “Look and Feel” of the functionality and the overall user experience are also very important. This is where Oracle HCM Cloud Payroll is superior.

PeopleSoft Fixes and Updates: Not isolated to just the payroll product is the ongoing and exhaustive effort required to apply bug fixes, updates and enhancements via PeopleSoft Update Manager, whether it be through selective adoption or opting to stay current. The application of Tax Updates also requires rigorous testing with each and every new tax update. While PeopleSoft does a good job at keeping up with these updates, there are inevitably many bugs/fixes to be applied with each application update.

If you have worked in PeopleSoft Payroll, then the “Hot Topics” page in My Oracle Support is something you should be very familiar with. Keeping up with all of these fixes and updates is very difficult. With Oracle HCM Cloud Global Payroll, all of this application maintenance is performed by the vendor.

Oracle HCM Cloud Global Payroll simplifies a complex payroll application through scalability, flexibility, compliance, efficiency and maintenance.


Oracle HCM Cloud delivers mobile responsive pages in a very modern solution. These pages are rendered differently to fit according to the screen size of the mobile device, whether a phone or tablet. This is very useful for employees who may not always be in front of their desktop, whether it's to submit an absence, lookup someone’s phone number in the directory, check their pay slip and various other self-service tasks.


The Reporting feature in PeopleSoft (PS Query) requires a fair amount of knowledge of the source tables, fields and table relationships in order to create table joins. PeopleSoft created a separate and fairly sophisticated Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) tool to assist customers with identifying these table relationships. Many customers have difficulties and questions in terms of how to install and how to use this ERD tool.

Oracle delivers a Web Based Reporting Tool in the Cloud called Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI). There are "subject areas" with pre-joined tables making it much easier for any HR user to create adhoc reports simply by dragging and dropping fields, adding criteria, etc.

PeopleSoft Integration Broker

Synchronization of data in one application or system with another is a business requirement for nearly all customers. PeopleSoft Integration Broker (IB) is a powerful tool, but it is complex and quite buggy.   It is very common that customers face themselves with IB issues such as improper configuration, integration messages not processed due to being “stuck”, timing out, security issues, transformation issues, gateway exception errors, etc.

PeopleSoft HCM HR, Payroll and Technical Product Areas that Create the Most Headaches for Customers?

These PeopleSoft HCM HR, Payroll and Technical Product Areas have shown to consistently produce the largest number of service requests logged by customers. Due to the complexity within these areas, it is common that the cause of these issues are due to user error, improper system configuration or customizations.


  • Maintenance / Upgrades / PeopleSoft Update Manager / Tax Updates / Critical Patch Updates
  • System Performance
  • Component Interface / Peoplecode
  • Integrations / Integration Broker/Messaging
  • Job Board Integration / Winword Letter Generation
  • Outlook Integration
  • Resume Processing
  • Search Framework


  • Security Related
  • Workflow, Approval Workflow, Delegation
  • Workflow / eCompensation, eDevelopment, ePerformance, eProfile
  • Forms and Approval Builder
  • Company Directory / Org Chart Viewer
  • Compensation / Total Compensation / Total Rewards
  • Position Management
  • Succession Planning / Career Planning
  • Manage Hires
  • Template-Based Hires
  • Total Rewards
  • Manage Applicant
  • Manage Hires
  • Reporting


  • Calculating Pay
  • Processing Retro Pay
  • Year-End Processing
  • Integration with Time and Labor, HCM and Expenses, General Ledger and Payables
  • Reporting

Should your company move from PeopleSoft HCM to Oracle HCM Cloud?

Not to be critical of the PeopleSoft HCM product, it is a quality product, with a very successful history that has been around for a very long time and has done a good job “keeping up”, adding feature functionality every year since being acquired by Oracle in 2005. Their Fluid UI made the user experience better, they came up with a better way for customers to adopt releases and patches through PeopleSoft Update Manager and they have committed to supporting customers through 2030 and beyond. It’s important to recognize that PeopleSoft HCM is a viable solution, however, there are some very good business reasons for PeopleSoft customers to seriously consider moving to the Cloud and while the process of migration may seem challenging, maintaining a legacy system that utilizes resources inefficiently and fails to meet current and future needs presents a number of challenges as well.

For comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics, please reach out to us at  Visit our blog regularly for new posts about Cloud updates and other Oracle Cloud Services such as Planning and Budgeting, Financial Consolidation, Account Reconciliation, and Enterprise Data Management.  Follow Alithya on social media for the latest information about EPM, ERP, and Analytics solutions to meet your business needs.

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