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October 10, 2012 in Business Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), Cloud Computing, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Social Media, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM) | Tags: HR, Human Capital Management, Mobile Technology, Social Collaboration, Talent Management | by Mark Smith | 4 comments
This week I’m at the 2012 HR Technology Conference (Twitter: #HRTechConf) where the scene is more than cool – it is hip. In the past several years technology for human resources – now more often called human capital management – has transformed from administrative software to applications anyone in the workforce can use to access information about their company, job, goals, performance, pay, benefits and even what they can do to advance in the organization. HR technology is embracing the six most important current technology trends, namely big data, business analytics, business collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media. At this year’s conference, the focus on business collaboration called social collaboration and mobile was front and center.
Over the last decade, employee and manager self-service applications have become available for rent via cloud computing and software as a service, letting companies pay only for what they actually use and not what they plan to use. This week’s conference saw an onslaught of new announcements about unified talent management and easier-to-use applications. New technologies for social collaboration and mobile computing provide new methods for workers, managers and the entire workforce to collaborate at any time. That follows the findings of our latest benchmark on the next generation of workforce management, where collaboration was the top technology trend in 70 percent of organizations, and practices such as broadcasting a la Twitter (30%) and wall-posting as with Facebook will be two of the top five adopted methods for collaboration in 2013.
At the HR Technology Conference I saw dozens of new HCM applications that use collaboration technology that is referred to as social collaboration. Globoforce is using social collaboration in its employee recognition software to help organization ensure the proper level of thanks to their workers. Peoplefluent was showing its latest and upcoming integration of acquired Socialtext as part of talent management processes and its social HCM suite. Saba was showing its People Cloud, which used social collaboration technology to support the range of learning and talent management processes which I have used and is more functional than any others in the industry. SuccessFactors, now part of SAP, was showing its Jam enterprise social collaboration technology. There were many other vendors that are embracing social collaborative capabilities and the largest challenge is whether it is available in software today and if it can be evaluated without sales intervention which many software vendors are beginning to provide.
Mobile technology is also becoming a big factor for HCM. Our benchmark research finds organizations will be deploying more tablets; 17 percent of organizations currently use them, and 30 percent have plans to deploy them. Smartphones are even more common; two-thirds (67%) of organizations use them today. At the conference vendors introduced a slew of new applications and capabilities to take advantage of the mobile revolution. Kronos previewed its latest tablet applications for worker management and workforce analytics. Kenexa demonstrated its latest tablet applications for hiring hourly workers its Kenexa Hot Lava Mobile makes it easy for employees to get the training they need on smartphones. Oracle showed its latest tablet application, Oracle Fusion Tap for HCM. Peoplefluent unveiled its latest in mobile talent management suite for the iPad. Saba also demonstrated its latest release that was announced that has native support for Apple and Android technologies which our research shows as the most popular devices in use for organizations. SumTotal Systems announced and showed its latest HTML5 for supporting mobile workforce management that does not require a native application environment. Workday showed how its human capital management applications operate across smartphones and tablets to ensure anytime access to employee information and what has come out in its last releases of Workday 16 and Workday 17. There were many more examples of using mobile technology and organizations should ensure they can try them directly on their own smartphone and tablets to determine if they meet the usability and manageability needs of business without significant IT intervention.
At the conference I spoke with HR professionals about the business case for investment and the difficulty in justifying new investments. Today HR budgets are very limited, and investing in technology advancements requires larger budgets that must be approved by the CFO and heads of business units. Getting such approvals requires presenting facts on the value of investments in increasing productivity and getting more value from the workforce. The value must exceed the value of software for just managing hiring, performance, learning and compensation and accessing employee information. HR must demonstrate the new applications’ value for line-of-business departments to increase revenue, provide better customer service, take actions on issues and improve their ability to achieve goals and reach milestones. A smart business case shows the benefits of investments and comparisons to existing approaches, and illustrates how time saved does not just reduce costs but can be used to pursue new business and drive alignment to monthly, weekly and even daily targets.
Mobile and social technology is changing the way we engage and retain our workforce. Our research agenda in human capital management has empowering a mobile and social workforce as one of the three key technology trends that organizations must assess and act upon to maintain a work environment that keeps talent in the organization. This technology is not just about HR anymore; it is about people and the workforce. A future of social collaboration and mobility is where the industry is going, and vendors are moving quickly to support this new demand in their products.
All HR organizations should plan to use social and mobile technology to improve employee satisfaction and engagement. It is becoming a business necessity to recruit, engage and retain talent in a workforce. They should provide tools that workers and managers can use to interact and gain satisfaction from getting their jobs done efficiently. Don’t be left behind; start by exploring the free trials and demonstrations that available from vendor websites or in mobile technology application stores such as Apple’s App Store.
CEO & Chief Research Officer
September 15, 2012 in Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Social Media, Workforce Performance Management (WPM) | Tags: HireVue, Hiring, HR, Human Capital Management, JobVite, Oracle, Recruiting, Talemetry, Taleo | by Mark Smith | 2 comments
I attended Taleo World to see how well Oracle is integrating Taleo after acquiring the company in 2012. I assessed the announcement by Oracle earlier this year; it was clear then that Oracle needed to make this acquisition to boost its cloud computing and talent management efforts. In the three-hour keynote session, a business overview and software demonstrations indicated what Oracle has in store for the applications and how it plans to fuse its applications and technology to add value to organizations.
The conference was keynoted by Oracle President Mark Hurd, who provided his executive view on the importance of human capital management and maximizing the full value of any organization’s labor. According to my sources, Hurd has exerted significant executive pressure on the success of this acquisition. Success is not guaranteed, however, given the competition in this market against application providers such as SAP with SuccessFactors, Workday, and now even IBM and Kenexa, which it recently agreed to purchase – not to mention ADP, Cornerstone OnDemand, Kronos, Peoplefluent and SumTotal Systems. Even recruiting competitors like Jobvite who at Taleo World were performing after hours marketing to influence Taleo customers to switch. It will take more than marketing to get organizations to switch as the value of integrated talent management processes that take candidates into being applicants and then hiring them into specific roles where they are compensated and reviewed is becoming a high priority.
Oracle did a great job of previewing its integration with mobile technology using Oracle Fusion Tap, which provides an integrated experience on tablets such as the Apple iPad for managers to engage with employees, and to better market a company brand for potential job candidates. With live and scripted demonstrations, it showed how its talent management will operate in the future, and illustrated the value of workforce analytics. I have said in the past that workforce analytics needs to provide more guidance and a profile-based approach – not just showing dashboards with charts or only looking at key performance indicators – but Oracle’s planned improvements for 2013 seem to advance in the right direction. Improving employee satisfaction and engagement, retention rates and development will require a broad talent management suite to source the data for measuring these people metrics.
Taleo provides not only recruiting tools but also in-depth applications for onboarding, performance, learning and analytics, which all play a role in helping Oracle extend its value to human resources and business. At the show Oracle outlined its integration of Taleo Recruiting, Taleo Learn and Taleo Performance with Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management and showed how Taleo Recruiting will also integrate with Oracle Peoplesoft. Oracle has continued to support the Taleo partner ecosystem, which provides tools and services to help in assessment and screening, interviewing, sourcing and electronically verifying candidates. For instance, HireVue, as I assessed, has innovative software that lets recruiters and hiring managers use smartphones for live and recorded interviews and ratings. As another example, Talemetry offers a suite of applications for finding and sourcing candidates across the Internet from job boards and social media, and verifying candidates electronically as part of the hiring process. Such applications help in what our benchmark in recruiting found to be critical areas: expanding the talent pool and shortening the time to hire quality employees.
The Taleo team did a nice job in providing roadmaps across its major applications in recruiting, performance and learning to help customers see how fast it is evolving despite being acquired. Its commitment to three releases a year is realistic and should help it keep pace with customer demand and technology innovation. Oracle has made significant strides to ensure that Taleo is part of its overall human capital management efforts, including integration with the Oracle Fusion HCM application suite. Companies that use Taleo should be heartened that Oracle has made a commitment to not just its recruiting application but also to its performance, learning and analytics products, which eventually will be fully integrated and evolve into a stronger suite. However, those that use Taleo Compensation will have to migrate; Oracle Fusion HCM Compensation is the company’s application of choice, and frankly it is much better anyway. It helped Oracle earn a rating as Hot in our latest Total Compensation Value Index for 2012, about which I have written already. Oracle Fusion and Peoplesoft customers will find in Taleo a quality recruiting suite that, along with new energy and ideas, advances Oracle’s overall efforts in human capital management.
Strategically, Oracle will have to invest into more business relationships with human resources, as its competitors have done. Today’s talent management application market uses Internet-based software as a service – an effort led by HR and business not IT. I’m curious to see whether Oracle will continue to host Taleo World or some type of dedicated HR conference, as it important to serve this audience directly; the HR audience does not attend conferences like Oracle OpenWorld that are designed for IT and not business constituents. Oracle will also have to improve its workforce management software to support the new generation of needs. Our latest research finds workforce management is moving beyond just time and attendance and scheduling. Oracle will find that unifying an organization’s effort in human capital management under an Oracle flag will require pitching not only HR but also the CFO and head of operations, who must understand the importance of leveraging the labor costs of the organization as a measured investment that can only be capitalized by using dedicated applications to ensure the best possible outcomes.
I look forward to seeing how Oracle outlines the importance of Taleo at its upcoming mega conference, OpenWorld, and seeing how it communicates its value for managing talent throughout the human capital process of hiring, engaging and retaining employees. I was impressed with the progress made and Oracle commitment to the customer and products. Meanwhile, if you want to see my real-time analysis and photography from the conference, look for the Twitter hashtag #TaleoWorld and my handle @marksmithvr.
CEO & Chief Research Officer