Derek Tomei is the Director of Professional Services for the Oracle Line of Business at Velocity. Derek has over eighteen years of experience in the PeopleSoft and the Oracle space.
PeopleSoft Update Process of the Past
In the past, performing a PeopleSoft application upgrade was considered a complex project involving technical resources, functional team members, middle management, and executive management sponsorship.  
In fact, upgrading your PeopleSoft application to a newer release required a significant amount planning and resources, and a sizeable budget. That was the old way of getting the newest features, enhancements, and fixes into your PeopleSoft environment.  
PeopleSoft Update Manager
Beginning with PeopleSoft 9.2, Oracle has redefined the way PeopleSoft maintenance and functionality is delivered with the advent of the new PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM). Designed to reduce the cost of staying current, this new capability gives PeopleSoft customers a high degree of flexibility to selectively apply new features, patches, and legal/regulatory updates.  It enables users to periodically pull down a cumulative set of updates released, select the capabilities they want and create a custom package of changes to deploy in their environment, and then apply the updates.
We have several customers currently live on PeopleSoft 9.2 that are using the PUM to stay up-to-date and add new enhancements into their existing applications. 
When I asked them what they thought were the top 3 benefits of PUM, here is what they told me:
  1. It allows us to avoid future costs associated with the usual upgrade cycle.
  2. It significantly accelerates the delivery of new capabilities into our business.
  3. It allows us to stay current with maintenances and reduces the amount of testing required.
When I talk to potential customers, I regularly ask them if they are up to date and on the latest maintenance release for their PeopleSoft application. 
Almost always, the answer they provide is “no.”  In fact, they usually indicate that they are 6 to 12 months behind the current maintenance bundles.
In addition to being so far behind in maintenance, the number one reason that companies do not upgrade to the latest version of their PeopleSoft application is because of the significant time, effort, and cost of performing an upgrade.
PUM changes that.  It transforms the maintenance process for PeopleSoft 9.2 applications by providing a single PeopleSoft Image that contains all of the latest features and the most up to date bugs, patches, or fixes. Best of all, customers are able to choose the features and fixes that they want to apply to create a single customized change package.
In the past, if you wanted to take advantage of the newest application features in PeopleSoft, customers had to wait until they were developed and added into a new release that was delivered as an upgrade.   That is no longer the case when you upgrade to version 9.2 and start using the PeopleSoft Update Manager.
Upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2 with PUM 
In order to start reaping these types of benefits in your organization, you’ll have to perform an upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2. Hopefully, that will be the last and final major upgrade your company will have to endure. Oracle’s goal is to not have to provide another major release of the software through an upgrade and instead allow the PUM to bring you the latest PeopleSoft fixes and features.