CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey

For the last 12 years CedarCrestone has been conducting research into how organisations are using technology to support their HR functions, the resulting report is a must read for anyone involved in the HR Technology industry.

Once again it is time for the survey and I really encourage all of my readers who are part of organisations with 500+ employees to participate.

Below is the invite from Alexia Martin Research Director from CedarCrestone:

CedarCrestone requests your participation in its CedarCrestone 2010–2011 HR Systems Survey: HR Technologies, Service Delivery Choices, and Metrics Survey, 13th Annual Edition through July 5, 2010. The survey is a comprehensive research effort designed to provide organizations with important data to plan, justify, benchmark, and execute HR technologies. The survey questionnaire is available online at www.CedarCrestone.com/hrssv3.

All respondents will receive an advance copy of the results in late September 2010. We will invite you to a special webinar of results thereafter. The first 100 respondents completing the survey will receive a $5 Starbucks card. There are further enticements described at the end of this letter.

The 2010–2011 HR Survey covers questions about:

  • Application adoption
  • HR software acquisition and deployment trends
  • “Going global” trends
  • The value of HR technologies

“For six years in a row,” says HR Technology® Conference co-chair Bill Kutik, “we have asked CedarCrestone to debut its survey at our event because it is the most thorough, highly respected and useful survey on technology usage in HR. Clearly, HR and IT practitioners know that, too, because it draws standing room only attendance every year.”

The survey collects responses from HR and IT management with knowledge of the HR technologies in use and planned. We invite representatives from organizations in all industries with over 500 employees to participate. All responses are anonymous and will be kept confidential. We will only use your information in the aggregate. The survey questionnaire is available online at www.CedarCrestone.com/hrssv3.

We appreciate your contribution to the most comprehensive collection of data focused on HR technologies usage and overall HR service delivery.

Best wishes,

Alexia Martin
Director, Research and Analytics

Australian HR Technology Report

The team at Navigo, distributors of OrgPlus, have released their 2010 reasearch report into HR technology usage by larger organisations in Australia, you can get your copy of the report at http://hrtechreport.com.au.

The report is an interesting read focusing more on organisation’s satisfaction with their solutions than looking at overall trend in usage. Having said that the team at Navigo have been able to extrapolate 8 key conclusions and recommendations:

  1. HRIS use in Australia is diverse
  2. Technology-based solutions are more satisfactory
  3. Organisations satisfied but rarely “very satisfied” with systems
  4. HR targets efficiency in drive towards strategy
  5. Reducing costs is not a motivator despite the GFC
  6. Organisations are ill-prepared for an aging workforce
  7. True business intelligence is elusive
  8. No one size fits all

From my work and research I agree with every one of these conclusions.

I do not 100% agree with their breakdown of the solutions areas as they are more heavily weighted in the area of talent management, at the expense of other areas. However given the importance of talent management focusing more on this area makes sense given the confusing that exists within most HR departments on what HR technology they are running.

Some stand out pieces of information.

SAP and Chris 21 stand out as the top two HRIS vendors used in the organisations with 500 and above employees. Interesting Neller, who was recently acquired by Northgate Arinso was 5th.

The biggest motivator for improving HR Systems and Technology is still reduce time spent on administration and increase efficiencies. I say still as from my experience has been the number one of two for many many years. One has to wonder about the success of all of the recent projects to implement Employee and Manager Self Service the number one way to drive these two objectives.

PageUp People, PeopleStreme and Successfactors are the most popular systems being referenced as supporting Performance Management processes.

HR Technology Landscape

eliminate_the_paper_messI have been thinking a lot about how complex the overall HR technology landscape has become in the last five years.

Traditional time and attendance vendors now do all things (Kronos), applicant tracking vendors now do performance management (take your pick of vendors), learning management vendors now do compensation (Plateau ) and competitors are now the same organisation (Micropay and WageEasy ). This doesn’t even start to look at the large ERP’s trying to play in the 50 – 100 person marketplace!

It is not difficult for an organisation with 1,000 plus employees in Australia to still have a maze of systems and dataflows, check out this example I pulled together today. Yes the flows miss performance and development data but I ran out of room and time to clearly demonstrate. Nor I am saying that every organisation is like this, or heavens forbid that this is any target architecture! More that if you were to sit down with the HR and Payroll team in many midsized organisations in Australia you would end up with a maze of some sort. Very few have a clean architecture.

So it is not surprising when we start to ask questions about workforce analytics, integrated talent planning, sources of hire etc a majority of HR departments just roll their eyes. They have no way of knowing how to get this data!

Some questions I ask clients to begin clarifying just how big a mess they are in are:

  • What is your master data strategy?
  • What are your data standards with regard to people data?
  • Which system(s) is the source of truth?
  • How to communicate data with external providers?
  • How many different vendor’s tools do you have?

The answers are usually not surprising, but they are not good either.

However the challenge is not just to purchase a system that provides a nice integrated framework. That bit is easy! The hard part is part data conversion, cultural change, process re-engineering and IT development.

To get a master data strategy you need everyone to agree on data standards and ownership, only then can one begin to assess the conversion/cleansing/migration effort to get to the new world.

To reduce the data flows you need to have a clear picture of who is using your data, and now just officially using it. How many spreadsheets are manually loaded into other systems? How many IT developed interfaces exist to manipulate and represent your data to email, finance, facilities management systems? Who’s data fiefdoms are you going to destroy in the process? How many forms need to be changed? How many processes need stream lining and upgrading?

It is never as simple as just installing a new payroll or talent management system.

(Please if you are a vendor do not comment to say oh we can solve these issues, this is not the point of the post. However feel free to add to the discussion. Thanks.)

Australian Vendors fail with RSS

01_01I was updating my feeds today and decided I had better add the news/press/media release for a number of local vendors. I had not done this earlier as last I had looked most did not provide RSS feeds, I had hoped this situation had changed.

Unfortunately I was wrong.

Of the 12 vendors I check before writing this post only 1 provided RSS for news updates and this was provided through a blog as their news source. Most had some form of email news/newsletter service.

The vendors without RSS news updates are:

The only vendor with RSS?

I just picked this list at random to add, they range in size and scope, and are a mix of recruitment,talent management and HR/Payroll software providers.

Lucky Google Reader now has the ability to create a feed from a static HTML page so I can sort of subscribe to the vendors updates via my RSS reader.

Australian vendor Neller purchased by NorthgateArinso

An interesting move last week international vendor NorthgateArinso acquired Adelaide based HR/Payroll vendor Neller. Finally giving NorthgateArinso a decent foothold of the Australian marketplace. Based on the press announcements all of Neller’s employees will remain and local Neller CEO will take up the reins on the combined entity.

Several years ago Northgate, as it was called back then, acquired vendor Rebus however this never really translated into major growth in Australia. With Neller the outcome could be very different. Neller’s Preceda People product pays around 700,000 employees across about 1,000 customer including large corporates such as Woolworths.

In 2006 Neller re-developed their AS400 based system into a fully functioning web based application using tools provided by LANSA. Since this time Neller have continued with strong sales growth.

It is not surprising that in Australia we are following the global trend of consolidation in HR/Payroll/Talent Management marketplace.

Building your technology business case

FinanceOne of the most important tasks of any project is building and maintaining your business case. Unfortunately the business case is so often a single document not covering full life cycle costs and produced to obtain funding approval and never looked at again!

Bad!

In fact your business case needs to document the full cost of the business change you are creating and be monitored for viability on a regular basis.

A business case has many components and will usual vary by organisation and it’s own requirements. However in general a “good” (I use the term to define the scope of a business case not the output) business case will include information on:

  • Background reasons
  • Expected Benefits
  • Anticipated Costs
  • Known Risks
  • Timelines
  • Investment Appraisal and Evaluation

This content will help your organisation ensure that the business cast is justified and that the reason for your project to continue is aligned with overall corporate strategy.

The business case is also a living document. As such you should review and update the contents at regular/various stages in your project, at least when ever something significant happens within or to the project. The project board or steering committee should be reviewing the ongoing viability of the project and if the business case is not longer valid the project should be stopped. Stopping a project is always a political issue however if the benefits no longer outweigh the costs (sunk and future) then it should be stopped.

Best in class organisations also conduct post project reviews including benefit realisation assessments to ensure that the project achieved the expected outcomes.

So does your current technology project have a valid business case?

(Photo Flickr User: alancleaver_2000)

10 things to do in 2010

While we are still in the first few weeks of the new year I through it would be good to look at come of the things you should focus on during 2010 to.

In no particular order here is my list of 10 things to do in 2010:

  1. Have an HR/Talent Management/Recruiting application blueprint
  2. The IT environment in many organisations is complex and needs constant management, even in the smallest of organisations. To help with managing the complexity ensure you have a strategy/roadmap/blueprint to follow.

  3. Learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  4. It seems finally organisations are starting to take note of the value that can be achieved from a decent career’s web site. While content and design are critical understanding a bit about SEO can help your jobs appear in the elusive number 1 spot of search results. Even if you do not have a career’s web site having your personal brand appear in search results can be a great thing.

  5. Implement a workforce planning program, with a foundation around competencies
  6. The recent CedarCrestone HR Technology survey found that organisations who were using workforce planning and competency management tools had significantly higher sales growth than those that did not. While they say they are not suggesting causality but over the last few years there has been stronger linkage between sales growth and these areas.

  7. Think beyond Facebook and Twitter when looking at social media
  8. With so much talk about Facebook and Twitter I feel people have forgotten that social media is more than just these two sites. Remember social media is about user generated content, including blogs, images, video, audio, ratings, reviews etc.

  9. Focus on high quality hires, never settle for less
  10. This should always be the best line of your hiring decisions. Period.

  11. Ensure your HR/Recruiting function is metrics driven
  12. Related to workforce planning is being metrics driven and I am not talking just about lists of headcount either. Gaining a deep understanding of your business and it’s drivers is critical to success. Do you know the best performing source of talent? What about the performance of your succession plans? But do not create an environment where you have an over reliance on benchmark based data as this basically turns the measures in to commodities by assuming what works for one organisation will work for yours.

  13. Don’t be afraid to experiment
  14. This one is for the Australian’s out there, experiment and fail!! As a population we tend to be afraid of failure. Do not be afraid. Organisations that experiment and fail regularly then to succeed.

  15. Learn about Web Squared
  16. You might be asking web what? Web Squared is the next evolution of the whole Web 2.0 idea. Web Squared builds on the idea that everything and everyone in the world cast “information shadows” or data. This data when leveraged provides extraordinary opportunities to organisations.

  17. Begin to think how you can bring real time into your operations
  18. The first part of web squared that you can bring into your organisation today is leveraging real time data. Look at real time data as key signals that form part of your business processes.

  19. Never ever forget about change management
  20. One of the biggest reasons for projects, of any sort, to fail is a lack of acceptance in the final outcomes being sort by the project. This can be alleviated through an effective change management program.

HR/Payroll Software Used in Australia and New Zealand

There are lots and lots of different HR and Payroll systems in use across Australia and New Zealand, a fact that makes choosing a system very confusing. This process is made even more confusing by the lack of good quality information in the marketplace about what each solution offers.

During the years I have selected and implemented many different systems and now help clients select the right option for their business. But the process is never as simple as it should be. During 2010 I am hoping to provide more detailed coverage of the local marketplace.

To kick things off I have created a short (9 questions) survey that looks at the systems used for Payroll, HR and general Talent Management.

Your HRIS Selection Process

HR practitioners know that business strategy should drive HR strategy, and the same is true for the organisation’s Human Resource Information System strategy – it should be driven by the HR strategy and aligned with the business strategy.

Therefore, when selecting a Human Resource Information System for the organisation, the first and most important step is to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the HR strategy and the business strategy. If you don’t have this understanding, you will need to obtain it before you commence the selection process.

The next step in the process is to clearly define what the organisation requires from its HRIS. At a macro level this should be fairly straightforward as the needs will align directly to the HRIS strategy and architecture. At a micro level, the needs analysis must encompass in detail the business, functional and technical requirements. Care needs to be taken as this stage as many organisations end up ‘over buying’ software that does not meet its needs.

For example, following are just a few of the key questions that need to be asked at this point:

  • What information does the organisation need to be managed, measured and evaluated?
  • What types of changes can the organisation predict and what adaptability will it required from the HRIS?
  • What ongoing support will be necessary?
  • Does the organisation require inhouse maintenance of the system or will the contracting of external maintenance be necessary?

Once you understand your needs you can approach the market and evaluate the different systems that are on offer to determine which meet your needs. Do not let yourself or others in the organisation be influenced by fancy marketing brochures and the sales pitch of the sales people or consultants. The evaluation process should act as a funnel process that allows focus on meeting the needs of the organisation in the best possible manner.

Magicality of a Gartner Magic Quadrant

Ok magicality may not be a real word but who cares.

Being in the magic quadrant for a vendor can make or break them in the sales process as so many people place so much emphasis on these results. As such Gartner released the 2009 eRecruitment Magic Quadrant last week with some interesting results.

eRecruitment-magic-quadrant_Dec_2009

Firstly Taleo is an outright leader, which should come as no surprise, but the real interesting parts of the Magic Quadrant (MQ) are with the other vendors.

  • StepStone has moved well and truly into the MQ, and are joined by PeopleClick.
  • Bernard Hodes Group has fallen out of the visionaries quadrant back into the niche market
  • The large ERP vendors remain high in the ability to execute attributes but still lack the visionary attributes of a Taleo or Kenexa .
  • For the first time an Australian vendor is listed, PageUp People , congratulations to Karen and her team.
  • Both Kronos and Mr Ted have moved up the ability to execute stakes which is good.

If you want some ideas about what to do with the information head over to the Human Capitalist for some recommendations.