The Digital Experience Platform blog covers the latest in innovative technologies to help you transform your business.

  • Cloud
    November 10, 2016

Employee Enablement with Oracle PaaS for SaaS – Human Resources

Kellsey Ruppel
Principal Product Marketing Director

Authored by: Mitchell Palski, Fusion Middlware Specialist

The employee experience of your organization is more transparent than ever. If Public Sector agencies are expected to compete with Commercial employers, they have to make strong first impressions on their new-hires. By improving the employee’s initial experience, your Human Resources department can have an immediate influence on employee productivity and retention.

What do employees care about?

I wrote a blog post back in April 2016 called “Recruit Millennials with Innovative Oracle Cloud Projects” highlighting the fact that the younger generations of the American workforce are attracted to innovative projects that give them the chance to get visibility for their achievements. In a 2015 NY Times article, Swarthmore Professor Barry Schwartz writes:

“But most important, we need to emphasize the ways in which an employee’s work makes other people’s lives at least a little bit better (and, of course, to make sure that it actually does make people’s lives a little bit better).”

More so than commercial industries, the social impact of a Government job has to be evident and visible in the outcomes of every day responsibility. The perennial value of our work is that it supposed to be a dedication to the citizen. The more often your employees are reminded of the imperishable effects they are having on your organization’s beneficiaries, the more motivated they will be to succeed.

There is an important accompaniment to “visibility”, which is of course recognition and reward. Tony Scwartz – Chief Executive of The Energy Project – worked with The Harvard Business Review to conduct a study of +20,000 employees across the globe to inspect which components contribute to a retentive workplace (among other things:

“Feeling treated with respect made employees feel 55 percent more engaged and 110 percent more likely to stay at the company. Employees who felt the most recognized and appreciated were 100 percent more likely to stay with their organizations.”

Think about how you manage your employees today – as “Human Capital”. Sounds more like an allocation of your investment portfolio than an actual person, doesn’t it? Well, it goes two ways. You are invested in your employees and they are invested in you. In this article, I hope to expose some technology-driven strategies to strengthen and lengthen these integral connections.

What can we do?

Natively delivered out-of-the-box, Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud Service delivers HR functionality such as:
  • Prospective talent management
  • Workforce management
  • Workforce compensation and payroll
  • Time and Labor, absence management
  • Employee benefits and wellness
  • Social media monitoring
  • Real-time and predictive analytics
All of these capabilities are critical to your business, but software has an inborn influence on how employees are viewed. To effectively manage our staff, we use Employee ID numbers; we refer to employees as “resources”; we quantify, track and analyze performance. My intent isn’t to discount the importance of these practices, but rather to supplement them with intangibles.
  • Formalize innovation project review processes
  • Provide customized training paths
  • Establish leadership development plans
  • Start an Employee of the Month program
  • Encourage social collaboration

Oracle HCM is a wonderful foundation for managing the business of managing your people and has a wealth of data that can be extremely helpful in structuring innovative programs for employees. 

How do we do it?

Oracle’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a comprehensive, integrated portfolio of platform services that allow your organization to innovate new services faster and more productively at a lower cost. Using the Oracle PaaS services, technical users can create extensions of Oracle HCM.

HCM1 exposes business objects and processes to other applications through the use open standards-based technologies, including:
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML)
  • Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)
  • Business Process Execution Language (BPEL)
  • Web Services Description Language (WSDL)
  • XML schema definitions (XSD)

Take a look through the documentation and you will see how Oracle’s Fusion Applications are built with the purpose of being extended into your greater Enterprise. Oracle PaaS is making the development of application extensions increasingly easier, so it’s actually more important to understand the functional components of HCM than to have a highly technical staff. Platform tools allow your organization to focus on the processes, rules, and data model that you’ve constructed in your HCM system, rather than the technical underpinnings that will ultimately be relied on by your new services.

When it’s time to get technical and start building add-ons to your HCM, you can start by referencing the REST API that is available in the Fusion Application Documentation. The documentation even includes sample payloads to help speed up your development. From this point, you have the flexibility to either:
A) Leverage that REST API or
B) Transform that REST API into a SOAP service to be consumed by other applications

In cases like these, you can use the REST API to start developing right away:

  • Use Oracle Java Cloud Service (JCS) to build office-specific “microsites” that help deliver your users’ need-to-know updates and information
  • Connect to Mobile Cloud Service (MCS) to build a mobile app for traveling employees to submit Travel requests and Expense Reports
  • Leverage Process Cloud Service (PCS) for a custom application that handles HR policy management and approvals
  • Oracle Document Cloud Service (ODCS) includes Sites Cloud Service (SCS) for document collaboration workspaces
I don’t have the word count to go into all of the possibilities that Oracle PaaS can afford your organization, but I hope you walk away from this article with a kernel of knowledge. You are not limited to what comes out-of-the-box with any Oracle Fusion Application, including Oracle’s HCM Cloud. Your organization can enable seamless content delivery, social collaboration, and personalized LOB applications, without ever customizing your Oracle SaaS application.
Remember, there is a purpose to all of this. HCM tools are perfect for managing your personnel and resources but you manage people. Inculcate your people with the virtues of your public service and build an interface that highlights their alignment to those virtues. Oracle Cloud Services will allow you to easily and inexpensively build the interfaces to do exactly that.

1Access Oracle Enterprise Repository for Oracle Fusion Applications to find detailed information about integration assets, such as web services.

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