Back in Sydney from my week in Hong Kong. While very hot and humid it was a good trip, with successful outcomes from my meetings.

What was very interesting was being there on the 7th anniversary of the handover. While much has not changed, there were massive protests over Beijing’s handling of Hong Kong and the democratic elections (or lack of). Watched a very interesting doco on the handover and the training of the PLA soldiers who now occupy the Hong Kong Garrison. Too many details to type, all I can say is wow.

Traveling for work is an activity in making work for yourself. You prepare for your trip hence ignoring your “real” work before you go. You do the work while away, again ignoring your “real” work, and then when you return you have all of the work you did not do in preparation and during the time you were away, the work you should be doing now you are back and of course the work generated while doing the work away. Essentially you come back with 3 jobs.

Spying in the workplace

An article in The Age recently spoke about the potential changes in the law in Victoria that will impact both IT and HR. This comes on the back of announcements made by the NSW Attorney-General in late March that outlawed employers spying on workers email messages.

Although just because you know that you are being watched won’t stop some people from doing things they really should not. Michael Soden, ex-group chief executive of Bank of Ireland found out, even after signing off on the policies he got caught surfing porn on his work computer.

Although I do not know in detail how spam filters, internet proxy servers and mirroring what I do know is these types of tools are in use by IT departments in Australia and in the wrong hands are spyware. My concerns are also held by the MD of SurfControl Charles Heunemann who states “there were concerns that filtering software could be used by companies to spy on workers”. IT departments might need to declare to all employees the complete capabilities of all technology they install, and not just eh features they choose to use.

These changes will probably make employers in general nervous, an article from the SMH in December 2003 stated that 80 of employers use high tech equipment to spy on their workers.

Most organisations now have policies of appropriate usage of email and the internet, those that don’t really should to ensure they do not end up on the wrong end of a “wrongful dismissal” case.

There is going to be a balance between organisations like SurfControl and VeriSign, who’s new service will be protect companies from phishing, providing their services to help make the internet a better place and falling into the trap of spying on workers.

Cedar annual workforce technologies survey

I am tapping away this post from Hong Kong, escaped the winter of Sydney to the sticky heat of Hong Kong. Here to spend so time with the EmployeeConnect Greater China team.

Well it is on again. Cedar Enterprise Solutions is running it’s 7th Annual survey of what is happening in the HR systems marketplace.

This year there will be results from Australia, the AHRI NSW HRIS SIG (which I am a member) has partnered with Cedar to access the AHRI’s membership based to try and increase the number of results. At the moment the Australian portion of the survey has been completed and the results are being analyzed and will be available in Sept.

At this stage I have seen the draft results and they look very interesting. Stay tuned as there will be several AHRI events that you can attend to see the results.

The 2003 survey had 24 findings, two themes emerged from the findings that I personally find as fantastic. Funding/ROI and change management are both being recognised as important and being used as tools during the projects, will these appear again?

Oracle vs PeopleSoft vs SAP vs Microsoft

Now I wrote briefly about this yesterday but here is another interesting article on the whole “let’s buy PeopleSoft” issue from Oracle. From all of the press and thoughts of people in the marketplace we really do seem to have four major players SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Microsoft. Even SAP’s VP of operations Richard Knowles sees the takeover of PeopleSoft by Oracle as increasing the competition in the marketplace. Although the DOJ says they are not neutral in the matter, a case of stating the obvious!

This still ignores many of the other players in both the US and Australia, MIMS is the Australian example that jumps to my mind.

So where will it all end up? Will PeopleSoft/JD Edwards get swallowed whole be Larry? Personally I think this would be a very sad day for HR systems, given the fantastic work the people at PeopleSoft have done for the industry over the last decade and a bit. In particular Row Henson and her vision.

That is all for now, need to go do some work to earn my keep.

Good morning world

As l write this morning l am standing at the station waiting for my train (which in Sydney these days can be a long exercise) using my Three phone.

Why would l do such a thing? Mainly to see how it works. My thoughts are if it is easy more people might take it up then what next.

Have to go on the train (which is good) as coverage is poor in parts.

So until later, bye.

An email blog

I have been researching blogs for the past week trying to understand the potential impact to employees and therefore HR.  My interest was generated from an article in CIO on Blogging For Fun and Profit
As such I have signed up to blogger (as you know because you are reading this here) and now I am testing their email blog service.  Just solved an issue so I thought I would try it out,  so this entry is here for no other reason than that.

Microsoft in Australia

I have just been reading an article on the Great Plains 8.0 release with mixed emotions. While it is good to see a new player in the ERP space, is Microsoft the right player? And what about the impact in Australia? To date there are the major player or tier 1 vendors (SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, ADP) and then the tier 2 which mainly consists of smaller Australian software houses who tend to sell into government and the SMB. Most major ASX 100 companies use a tier 1 product, there are exceptions, the rest tend to use tier 2 products.

If Microsoft entered the market in a big way (they are advertising their wares) and focus on their typical market will there be no room for Australian developed HR/Payroll software? Now I understand this is at one end of the spectrum and there will always be shades of grey. Or will this raise the bar so that all software need to be as integrated and professional as Microsoft’s? I guess only time will tell.

Comments from anyone with further knowledge?