The Tech Debate (Part 2)- Opting for ERP’s Superior Integration Opportunities v/s SaaS’s Open APIs.

benefits of erp -scope of poornataAlthough the need for talent management is critical, many organizations flounder when it comes to effectively leveraging a state-of-the-art technology solution. The primary difficulty lies in sharply diminished business benefits when organizations fail to take advantage of talent solutions that integrate fully with the core human resources (HR) system of record and with each other. As a result, organizations often miss a decided competitive advantage when it comes to areas such as user adoption, the optimal use of technology and employee development, which is so critical in the talent shortage. Often this failure stems from poor strategic planning and—as statistics show—selecting niche or silo-ed solutions a-la-carte.
An integrated approach is ideal for the forward-thinking organization expanding its talent management scope or for an organization exploring talent management for the first time. Real-time integration that optimizes all aspects of talent management can best be achieved with a solution from the same vendor that provides the core HR system.
“It’s helping us ensure that our performance management is more organized and more effective. It’s giving us better quality and better control of our HR processes. That’s particularly important in a large and fast-growing global organization—to be able to keep track of your people wherever they might be.”
—JoAnn Moeller VP of HR, Compensation, Benefits and HR Information Management, Office Depot
Today’s changing business landscape demands that HR aligns its processes, practices and strategies with business objectives. This demand can only be met by a comprehensive solution that effectively manages an organization’s talent and the entire Human Capital Management (HCM) lifecycle together. An integrated talent management framework from Oracle delivers this success via a holistic view of talent. Oracle’s single, modular, enterprise-wide system supported by a single data source provides consistent data and business processes and a uniform look and feel that together establish the foundation for insightful decision-making and profitability.
INTRODUCTION“It’s helping us ensure that our performance management is more organized and more effective. It’s giving us better quality and better control of our HR processes. That’s particularly important in a large and fast-growing global organization—to be able to keep track of your people wherever they might be.”

benefits of erp -scope of poornata

“It’s helping us ensure that our talent management is more organized and more effective. It’s giving us better quality and better control of our HR processes. That’s particularly important in a large and fast-growing global organization—to be able to keep track of your people wherever they might be.”

—JoAnn Moeller VP of HR, Compensation,Benefits and HR Information Management, Office Depot

Although the need for talent management is critical, many organizations flounder when it comes to effectively leveraging a state-of-the-art technology solution. The primary difficulty lies in sharply diminished business benefits when organizations fail to take advantage of talent solutions that integrate fully with the core human resources (HR) system of record and with each other. As a result, organizations often miss a decided competitive advantage when it comes to areas such as user adoption, the optimal use of technology and employee development, which is so critical in the talent shortage. Often this failure stems from poor strategic planning and—as statistics show—selecting niche or silo-ed solutions a-la-carte.

An integrated talent management framework can be defined as a secure, single-platform, workflow-driven system that leverages a single data model and is inclusive of the core HR system of record and all talent processes. Integrated talent management—because it is by nature integrated—equips organizations with a broad range of functional and decision-making capabilities for strategically handling today’s and tomorrow’s business issues within a consistent, end-to-end framework. The system empowers the organization with insight, agility, efficiency and consistency in talent management.

Today’s changing business landscape demands that HR aligns its processes, practices and strategies with business objectives. This demand can only be met by a comprehensive solution that effectively manages an organization’s talent and the entire Human Capital Management (HCM) lifecycle together. An integrated talent management framework provided by any Best in Class ERP vendor delivers this success via a holistic view of talent. It’s single, modular, enterprise-wide system supported by a single data source provides consistent data and business processes and a uniform look and feel that together establish the foundation for insightful decision-making and profitability.

Challenges integrating other Niche SaaS based Talent Management software and Your System of Record (HCM) Application

Having come from a HR cum technology background in a fairly large global conglomerate setting, I believe niche vendors’ products like Avature, EmpTracK, Successfactors might offer shorter implementations and dazzling user interfaces (UIs). However, their offerings introduce functional and technical issues that can keep HR from managing talent efficiently and making informed decisions as a strategic business partner. In my previous company, we had several niche products for various Talent Management processes however when Group HR needed to do any HR analytics required for the Borad of Directors, it was a herculeon task to gte the data and analytics from each of these niche products since they lacked integration. Also this the base foundation tables were specific to the niche systems, problematic symptoms emerged like the failure to find answers to strategic questions around the complete suite of Talent management processes, diluted business benefits due to short-term fixes, unforeseen costs caused by complex integrations and batch processes often connected to technology difficulties and other red flags.

The second important argument in favour of the integrated talent Management solutions is that multiple solutions from multiple vendors result in multiple competency models and foundation basics with each differing from the one in core HR—thus causing a heterogeneous collection of applications with vast duplication of effort. With PeopleSoft being implemented, one of the greatest benefits was that when the ePerformance module highlighted an area of concern or a development need, the need integrated seamlessly with its learning, career development and succession planning modules as a by-product of integration between the modules through its in-built Integration Broker.

Finally, in the words of Douglas A. Ready and Jay A. Conger, “To meet the challenge, companies must rethink how they hire, train and reward their employees, placing those tasks at the heart of their business plans. In doing so, they have an opportunity to address all these separate problems with a unified plan, rather than waste time and resources attacking each of the issues individually.”

References:

1.Integrated Talent Management: Extending the Value of a Strategic Framework |An Oracle White Paper, March 2008.

2.  Douglas A. Ready and Jay A. Conger. “How to Fill the Talent Gap.” The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2007. [online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB118841695428712511.html], para 2.

Tech Debate (Part 1) – Voilla !!! Business Case for Web 2.0 and SaaS Software.

web2inenterprise_latestWhen the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.

– Chinese proverb

The world of ‘Talent Management’ is changing at a bewildering pace. Everywhere new conceptual models are being developed, new talent management software is being released, new Talent Management strategies are devised and a new highly skilled workforce is marching into our organizations…thereby challenging our conventional wisdom in many ways than one. We are in the midst of a new wave of talent management where talent and brainpower are becoming the predominant currency. ..ofcourse leveraged by the new Web 2.0 and SaaS technology.

So, the next obvious question that will strike any intelligent mind is how does the application of Web 2.0 and SaaS translate to better Talent Management in organizations of the future?

In the past couple of works, I have been reading and watching demos of various Talent Management application suites using Web 2.0 and SaaS software as a part of my course at UC Berkeley – HR systems and technology. Having come from a prior PeopleSoft HCM and Hyperion implementation experience, I must confess I was biased towards ERPs and discounted what various gurus spoke about Web 2.0 and SaaS software. However, this blog is a starting point of new revelation that Web 2.0 and SaaS may herald a new future of Enterprise Software and below mentioned are some points that I was intrigued by.

a. Knowledge Transfer and Best Practice Sharing: How many of us in HR use Twitter, Blog sites or wikis to understand the latest HR policies or process as implemented in HR. Today as a part of my project assignment I use Twitter, Linked In and Blog sites to connect to millions of people, mentors and product managers to gain knowledge about my project assignment. It’s like business consultancy for free. Apart from social networking sites, most SaaS applications are built on global HR practices which are easy to deploy and configure to the organization’s needs.

b. Facilitates in-depth knowledge of our employees:  Although I worked in the niche area of identifying the company’s future leaders, I would seldom have in depth information about their interest, skill sets, aspirations and project assignments the way most Social Networking sites would detail. As I started using the social networking sites more often, I realize that there is a vast repertoire of information that most people in HR would long to get their hands on but their ERP systems limit their search.

c. To develop an internal communication tool for your company:  Having worked extensively on PeopleSoft and its Portal application, I have always longed for simplicity and ease to connect the Company’s Senior Leadership with the voice of its employees. While I’d say PeopleSoft did allow us to do it…company blogs are a perfect way to communicate your voice to employees and vice versa. I’ve seen CISCO systems do that effectively.

4.Expand your reach to candidates:  A no. of recruiters have their pages uploaded on Facebook and other well known Recruiting sites e.g. www.recruitingblogs.com wherein jobs and vacancies are posted and candidates are sourced. This is especially being used for campus recruitment to some of the premier B-Schools.

5. Affordability:  Most SaaS application suites unlike their predecessors – The ERPs are highly affordable and do not require an additional paraphernalia of IT infrastructure. I still recall my PeopleSoft implementation days where days and weeks were devoted to costly Hardware and Software installations by equally costly hardware and software experts. Even the total project time for a global implementation of our magnitude was 180 days which would also add to the project deployment cost. Most SaaS application suites are ready to use (if you are not looking for customization) & can be commissioned immediately.

6. Available Anywhere Anytime:  All SaaS applications is available to any user who has access to Internet hence its accessible 24/7 – 365 days of the year. This enables employees to access the software from their main office, from home or any place they are traveling to.

7. Constant Updates and No IT problems:  This is a rather interesting feature for which most people like me with ERP implementation experience would heave a sign of relief. Every time a new upgrade or a release patch is required to be installed, its like living a nightmare !! However unlike ERPs, SaaS applications are updated with new features regularly and Software bugs are fixed in real time by the vendors. So its time to say goodbye to all IT problems that we as implementers are confronted with on an ongoing basis.  SaaS vendors have their own maintenance and support Department which look after the day to day maintenance and bug fixing.

8. Customization Available: Recently I attended a webinar on Configuration vs Customization by one Talent Management application vendor – Workday. It was fascinating how most backend customization that would be required to tweak a system business workflow to an organizational TO BE process can be avoided by allowing most users to configure systems to their needs. This was perhaps one of the greatest boon that a SaaS and Web 2.0 enabled application would allow vis a vis other reputed ERPs.

While this blog is only the beginning of an end project deliverable on which Talent Management ERP best serves the needs of an increasingly global and fiercely competitive organization with an insatiable appetitive for mergers and acquisitions. This blog signals our story that is yet to unravel on how Talent Management enabled through a Web 2.0 and SaaS platform has the potential to change our ways of working in HR beyond recognition.

References: Web 2.0 and SaaS factor by Gireesh Kumar Sharma, Saigun Technologies.

Twitteriffic: …Of 140 character and more. A tweet at a time !!!

Twittereffic !!!! Twittering away with Twitter.

Welcome to Twitterville – The world just got smaller (again) !!!

Welcome to a quaint world I call ‘Twitterville’ – a world that consists of the bazillion people who tweet and share information ..140 characters at a time. I can’t say that if Gautama Buddha lived in our times today he would be using twitter but I can certainly say with some degree of confidence that HE certainly would be amazed by the social revolution called ‘Twitter Mania’.

I fact when I tell my colleagues and managers that I tweet and blog as a part of my course at UC Berkeley, they usually respond in one of two ways. While some sing peons of the social media revolution we are currently experiencing …the others display emotions of bewilderment, shock and fear of all things world-wide-webish..Twitter included.

I agree with Steven Johnson (TIME magazine article – How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live) that Twitter makes a terrible first impression. However if you overlook its gawky first impression, you would be amazed at the simplicity with which it facilitates its millions of users to send 140 character updates to their followers at real time. As millions of twitterattis have discovered, Twitter turns out to have unsuspected depth. Apart from finding status updates of your followers about some very mundane things strangely satisfying , Twitter has managed to do things things that its creators never dreamed of. What seems most astounding is the fact that Twitter isn’t about what it offers us ..rather it’s about what we, the twitteratti are doing to it!!

Look around you at the recent set of events..be it Michael Jackson’s sudden death or the political debacle in Iran. They are tweets that litterally shook the world. The site undoubtedly played a vital role in spreading the story from inside Iran to the outside world, as thousands of web users and mobile phone addicts passed on messages and pictures documenting events as and when they took place.

As Bobby Johnson of the Gaurdian UK stated, it is easy to overestimate Twitter’s value inside Iran, where word of mouth, phone calls and text messages were almost certainly more important in helping to organize rallies. However, it was Twitter’s that was responsible for making this story global and very real through its continuous status updates by its users.

Strange but true, in a few years from now, when historians reflect on the time we are currently living in, the names Biz Stone and Evan Williams (the co-creators of Twitter) will be referenced side by side with the likes of Samuel Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, Guglielmo Marconi, Philo Farnsworth, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

The truth is that the creation of Twitter and its impending revolution  into a social networking behemoth akin to Facebook is as significant and paradigm-shifting as the invention of Morse code, the telephone, radio, television or the personal computer.

In a ocean of Web 2.0 technologies, Twitter has indeed made the world a smaller place (again). It’s  not just another triumph of web 2.0 that has revolutionalized the way we live nor is it just a technological prowess. Rather, I’d like to use it as a metaphor for ‘A social revolution spelt in 140 characters’.

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Twitter: The tweet that shook the world