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Stuart Lauchlan

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Technology – HCM Cloud customers line up to make their choice

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Analysts continue to cite the Cloud HCM market as the great battlefront for business applications in 2013. 

With Oracle rolling out its Fusion HCM offering, SAP putting its corporate weight behind SuccessFactors, Workday causing pain to the traditional HR powerhouses and Salesforce.com pitching its Rypple-flavoured offering, there’s certainly enough activity among the vendors to assume there’s validity in this prediction. 
 
For its part, Oracle – which of course owns PeopleSoft, the ‘daddy’ of the HCM applications market – claims to be helping to “transform HR into a strategic contributor to the changing business landscape” through its next generation Fusion HCM offering. 
 
Among one of its more recently cited customer wins is eVerge Group, an applications integrator and Oracle partner. The company has implemented the full suite of Oracle Fusion HCM in the Cloud, including Global HR, Goal and Performance Management, Automated Benefits, Workforce Compensation and Global Payroll. 
 
With the implementation of Oracle Fusion HCM, eVerge Group has been able to replace three disparate systems and external service providers previously required to support all HR and payroll activities. "We now have an enterprise-wide unified system that enables us to manage our HR and payroll processes seamlessly," according to eVerge Group’s Bob Moser, Senior Director, Fusion HCM Applications.
 
To date, eVerge Group has successfully completed payroll for employees across the US and is also using the software to manage employment and talent retention activities across its US and India operations.
 
Over at SAP
 
Over at arch-enemy SAP, the SuccessFactors division has been doing this sort of thing for a long time. Among its success stories is  manufacturing firm Ahlstrom which has 5,200 employees in 28 countries on six continents.
 
Its use of Excel-based manual processes across the organisation made it difficult to gain a global view into the global talent pool, and difficult to define and cascade goals across teams and manage performance consistently across the entire organisation. A single global HR system was needed. 
 
“Our leadership team took the decision to centralise all of our HR processes and operate as a single, integrated company in order to standardise our approach, improve our reporting and insight, and ensure all of our workforce are treated fairly, equally and consistently across the world,” says Tarja Takko, Vice President Management Development, Group HR at Ahlstrom.
 
In 2009. Ahlstrom deployed SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, Compensation, Succession & Development, and Employee Central. Based on the success of the initial deployment, Ahlstrom has subsequently deployed SuccessFactors Succession & Development.
 
Ahlstrom now has a single integrated global HR Platform to build a consistent and structured competency-based HR practice. Talent management information can be accessed across all locations and is providing career plans and opportunities across the organisation. The company is now able to analyse its goal setting and identify competency gaps faster and more accurately on a global scale.
 
“We now have a performance dashboard, which delivers aggregated data from our different business areas, showing us where we are seeing the most growth, where successors are needed, and where we need to bring additional external talent into the organisation,” says Takko.
 
The Hybrid alternative 
 
But rather then replacing existing inefficient HCM solutions, there are many organisations that will choose to build on what they have on premise, adding new Cloud-based functionality on top to extend and improve its capabilities. 
 
One such company is Germany’s DZ Bank which had run SAP ERP HCM on premise for 15 years, but which found its expansion plans demanded additional scope for the systems – which would come from integerating SuccessFactors Cloud offerings to create a hybrid solution.  “Our goal was to combine the best of both worlds in an integrated solution,” recalls Dominik Kaiser, Department Head HR Administration & Service at DZ BANK.
 
The firm started with It started with SuccessFactors Performance & Goals to improve business performance by aligning goals and conducting meaningful performance evaluations, followed by SuccessFactors Recruiting to attract and select top talent. Next up will be Compensation from SuccessFactors BizX Suite to ensure that performance is consistently and fairly recognised and rewarded.
 
By 2015, DZ BANK wants to the integration between its Cloud and non-Cloud HCM systems to allow information to pass seamlessly between them so that, for example, an applicant’s profile and master data could be transferred directly from SuccessFactors to SAP ERP HCM. 
 
The bank reckons to receive around 10,000 job applications a year so the need to manage hiring and talent efficiently is essential. The hybrid Cloud/on premise strategy facilitates the recruitment and rejection processes. 
 
“We can send a rejection notice within a few days, identify well-qualified candidates in no time at all, and approach the entire hiring process with sharper focus. All that puts us ahead of the competition for the best talent,” says Kaiser.
 
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