ADAPT Changes Software Provider

Beleaguered Project ADAPT has hit yet another bump on the long and winding road towards updating the University’s administrative computer systems.

In early May, the Project ADAPT team announced that the human resources (HR) Project—already a year in progress—would be switching software vendors.

The HR Project, designed to develop improved computer systems for human resources, payroll, benefits and time collection, will now be powered by HR software developed by PeopleSoft.


Polly Price, Harvard’s associate vice president for human resources, said the HR project was originally slated to run off of software provided by the Oracle Corporation, the vendor that provided the software for the financial systems installed during the first phase of Project ADAPT.

“At the time that we purchased the original software, we purchased the [Oracle] HR software for a very small additional amount,” Price said, noting that there was never a stipulation or agreement that Harvard would use the Oracle product.

Robin Pearce, one of the HR project leaders, said the reasoning behind switching to PeopleSoft was twofold.

First, the Oracle software cannot handle multiple assignments. For example, if a Harvard employee were to hold more than one job at the University, this employee would receive two paychecks—the Oracle software would not be capable of combining these two sums into a single payment.

Morever, Pearce said the switch to PeopleSoft followed the University’s decision that it wanted to have the hardware and applications for the HR systems operated offsite. Peoplesoft’s HR software operates in this manner, while Oracle’s does not.

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