As human resources (HR) leaders assume increasingly strategic roles within their organizations, they are looking for new ways to leverage today's technology innovations. Chris Leone, senior vice president of Oracle Applications Development, discusses what innovations are having the greatest strategic impact on modern organizations and how HR leaders can speed the delivery of these new capabilities.
Q: How are the roles and responsibilities of chief human resources officers (CHROs) evolving among Oracle customers?
A: From a CEO's perspective, the two most important areas to worry about today are how to take care of their customers and their employees. This relates to HR because we are seeing CHROs being asked to align their talent strategies with the overall strategic objectives of their organizations. This group has always tried to build the best talent within the organization. What's changed is they now want a modern, effective human capital management (HCM) system to do that.
They want a better way to extract information and deliver it to various constituents within an organization. That may be information given to employees about their total annual compensation, or data to help managers understand key trends about their employees, such as attrition rates. Or it may be updates for executives so they understand the cost benefit of new hires. Because this information is mission-critical, the systems providing it must also deliver sophisticated business intelligence and analytics capabilities. This is why Oracle makes analytics part of the application itself, not a separate process.
Q: In addition to the need for more modern, strategic HR systems, what other innovations are HR leaders demanding today?
A: The overriding trend we see is that CHROs want simple, easy-to-use applications that engage their workforce. It's not enough to get work done; they want employees to be excited about doing it. This includes mobile technologies so they can get work done very easily when they're on the road, at home, or at a ballgame.
Second, social media is becoming an essential tool for employees to collaborate with peers, find answers to questions, or share updates about job openings with outside talent. As with analytics, Oracle designs social enablement into applications and business processes, rather than leveraging it as an add-on capability. For example, with Oracle's applications, social collaboration is part of goal management. Employees can collaborate with their manager while setting goals, and with team members working together on projects. This makes it easier for a discussion about goals and achievements to happen, and that discussion becomes part of the performance process. So having social capabilities be part of the DNA of a modern application is critical.
Third, cloud computing enables the CHRO or the line-of-business manager to quickly acquire and proactively roll out new capabilities to support important innovations.
Q: How do these trends impact Oracle's roadmap for HCM solutions?
A: The cloud is becoming a critical platform for businesses, and Oracle's strategy is to have the broadest and deepest set of cloud applications available on the market. That goes for everything from HR and talent management solutions to enterprise resource planning, customer experience, marketing, and sales support applications. But we go a step beyond providing the applications. With our platform-as-a-service capabilities, customers can build and integrate custom modules into our standard software-as-a-service applications. This way, if a company has a specific applications need, such as a way to track parking assignments or manage uniform allocations, it can build its own modules and integrate them to our HCM cloud applications. This allows companies to stay current with the latest releases from Oracle, but still tailor the applications to their needs.
Q: What innovations might we see in the future in Oracle's HCM solutions?
A: We are starting to look at new tools to help employees become more productive in their daily activities. These include some unique capabilities for creating team contests and sharing videos, which enable ad hoc learning within organizations. So beyond the core strength of the traditional, established HCM capabilities we offer, we see these kinds of new personal productivity capabilities as a unique value proposition for our solutions.
Hear more from Chris Leone and learn more about Oracle's roadmap for human capital management by watching keynote replays from HCM @ OpenWorld.
Visit the Oracle Human Capital Management website and find out how Oracle can help you create great employee experiences, effectively manage your workforce, find and acquire the right talent, and take advantage of the latest cloud, social, and mobile tools.
Register today for Oracle HCM World, Oracle's landmark event for the intersection of human resources, talent management, and technology, taking place February 4 to 6, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada.