7 Questions for Tony Kender, Head of Oracle North America HCM Sales

Tony Kender, Senior Vice President, leads Oracle’s sales operations for HCM solutions in North America, including an organization dedicated to the unique needs of midsize companies.

Q: What is the most exciting thing happening with growing midsize companies and HCM solutions?

Kender: Midsize companies are often ahead of large enterprises on the technology acceptance curve in terms of HCM cloud. Oracle offers cloud solutions across the entire applications footprint, including ERP, Supply Chain, EPM, and CX, but what I’ve seen is that HCM is often the first cloud application adopted by a midsize company.

Q: Why are midsize companies ahead of large enterprises in adopting cloud applications for HCM?

Kender: Generally, larger enterprises are not quite as agile as midsize businesses and take longer to make the move to a new platform. Often, they have big investments in existing HCM processes—a lot of inertia with people and systems around it. Midsize companies are lighter on their feet due to the way they need to operate. They’re eager to adopt HCM cloud technology because it lowers their cost, helps them innovate faster, and helps them focus on core competencies which are usually not HR and Payroll.

Q: Are midsize companies adopting HCM cloud in a piecemeal or suite strategy?

Kender: We’re seeing that midsize companies want the entire suite, not a piecemeal approach, whereas large companies are more open to a piecemeal approach. Midsize companies don’t have time to deal with three, four, or five vendors across HCM. What they want is a complete solution. If a company looks at some of our competitors across the midsize space they won’t see the full breadth of the solution spanning the whole HCM suite. For example, maybe one has a great core HR but a weak talent product. It takes years to develop a really, really strong recruiting suite. Oracle is unique in that we offer the best of breed functionality that companies require across the entire HCM lifecycle.

Q: Why is Oracle HCM Cloud so popular?

Kender: It’s simple. Oracle is driving new HCM innovation and product functionality faster than anyone in the HCM market. We have an amazing amount of investment in the development of cloud HCM founded on the experiences we’ve gained via our JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Oracle E-Business Suite HCM customers. We have the knowledge and experience of what an HCM system should do and we combine that with the best cloud technology.

Q: Why are growing midsize companies choosing Oracle HCM Cloud?

Kender: First, midsize companies have the same complexity as large companies but they don’t always have the same amount of resources. Oracle HCM Cloud offers the best, most innovative HCM solution, and eases customers’ worries about upgrading software or hosting it and all the IT expenses related to that. Second, we have a dedicated organization focusing just on the needs of midsize companies—marketing, sales, implementation, consulting, and training. Third, we make it easy for midsize companies to move to cloud by offering incentive programs like Customer 2 Cloud where customers can potentially redirect some of their investment in Oracle HCM on premise solutions to Oracle HCM Cloud applications.

Q: How are changing demographics of the workforce impacting HCM innovation?

Kender: Recently, I had a customer at a midsize company tell me, “If my millennial workforce can’t use this system and aren’t comfortable with it they won’t use it at all. I need the user experience to be easy and impactful. They can’t go through training.”

The Oracle HCM Cloud user experience is designed to be like using a popular social network. You don’t take a training course. You turn it on and use it. It’s like Larry Ellison said in his keynote at Oracle HCM World, “There are no classes for Facebook.”

Q: What price do midsize companies pay by not adopting an innovative HCM cloud solution?

Kender: Now more than ever, people are the key to success in midsize. And midsize companies are competing with large enterprises for talent. The ability to source the right people with capabilities like social sourcing can put a midsize company on the cutting edge of finding top talent. Often times that gives them an advantage over the recruiting practices used by larger, more established companies. Conversely, if you are still sourcing people like you did in the ‘90’s you risk losing out on the best talent. Oracle HCM Cloud helps them win the war for talent.

Then, once talent is hired, midsize companies need modern best practice for learning, development, and succession planning. You have to keep them excited, comfortable, and engaged by providing a fantastic user experience. That’s what today’s worker expects and demands and you need all that to reduce turnover because turnover is expensive and disruptive. With Oracle HCM Cloud, midsize companies can have the sophistication that large companies enjoy along the entire continuum of the HCM experience—the features and look and feel that today’s workers expect—minus the cost and complexity of on premise systems.


Learn more:

Infographic: Get Ready for a New Era of HR

Harvard Business Review Global Modern HR Survey: The Age of Modern HR

Modern HR for Dummies

Is Your Human Resource Management System Attracting a Modern Workforce? 

Oracle HCM for Midsize Companies


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