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Human Resources, Oracle OpenWorld | September 5, 2017

Why HR Pros Need to Attend Oracle OpenWorld

By: Rob Preston

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Most companies pay lip service to the notion that “our people are our most important asset.” But only those that invest intelligently and vigorously in attracting, training, developing, motivating, rewarding, advancing, and ultimately retaining the most talented employees stand a chance in this cutthroat knowledge economy.

The fact that this year’s Oracle OpenWorld will dedicate well over 100 sessions to content that serves human resources professionals and the technologists who support them is a testament to the importance and vitality of the HR function. Oracle OpenWorld—to be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center and surrounding hotels October 1 to 5—isn’t just the place to learn about current- and next-generation Oracle human capital management (HCM) products and services. It’s also where the HR community will come together to learn more about the future of the profession, tapping into the experiences and insights of Oracle thought leaders, partners, and customers.

Consider the gamut of HR practitioners and HCM software implementers scheduled to participate—representatives of enterprises large and small, in a range of industries.

For example, UBS will talk about its rollout of Oracle HCM Cloud across 60 countries; Xerox, across 102 countries. Cummins, the global maker of engines and power-generation systems, will discuss why and how it consolidated its talent management processes.

Family-owned ice cream maker Wells Enterprises will talk about how it revamped its HR processes and systems to keep up with rapid growth; Macy’s about how it improved the efficiency of its payroll operations; Pittsburg State University about its experience choosing, planning, and implementing a modern HCM system; investment group Dubai Holding about how it improved and streamlined the ways it acquires talent and manages employee performance; Citizens Bank about how it reduced its time to hire; and West Midlands Police about its adoption of various learning offerings.

Big Three

Central to the HR/HCM discussions at Oracle OpenWorld will be three general sessions. At the Product Now session on Monday, October 2, Oracle Senior Vice President Chris Leone will set the stage, walking attendees through the latest and greatest Oracle HCM Cloud capabilities and highlighting several key product announcements. An HCM customer panel on Tuesday will feature big thinkers and doers from Hilton, YRC Worldwide, and other top companies. And at the Product Future session on Wednesday, October 4, Oracle Vice President Gretchen Alarcon will share the company’s vision of the future of work and the role of emerging technologies in the modern HR organization.

At more intimate and focused sessions, leading Oracle technologists and partners will drill down into how a range of still-emerging technologies—including machine learning, adaptive intelligence, predictive analytics, data visualization, blockchain, and intelligent bots—will improve HR insights and change the way end users interact with HR systems. For example, the session “Predictive HCM Using Oracle’s Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics” will delve into how HCM data scientists, using Oracle Advanced Analytics 12.2, can build, evaluate, and “productionize” predictive models that anticipate employee behavior.

In other Oracle OpenWorld sessions, Oracle product leaders will take attendees through specific Oracle HCM Cloud modules: payroll, benefits, talent acquisition, workforce management, and the like. At a recurring, classroom-style HCM Hands-On Lab session, attendees will be handed an iPad loaded with the latest version of Oracle HCM Cloud and walked through its various modules, from accessing the people directory to prepare for a meeting to trying out the learning capabilities. Those special sessions are scheduled to run three times a day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

A session titled “How Oracle’s Modern User Experiences Keep Things Simple” will detail how the themes of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility are manifested in the UX roadmap for Oracle’s HCM cloud and other cloud applications.

No HR Department a Silo

Acknowledging that companies increasingly are tying their HR applications and data to those of other departments, especially finance, Oracle OpenWorld this year will centralize all of its cloud software conference sessions—including HCM, ERP (enterprise resource planning), SCM (supply chain management), and CX (customer experience)—in one building, Moscone South.

“One of the things that’s exciting about Oracle OpenWorld is when we look at how the technologies we’re bringing to market are starting to transform people’s businesses,” Oracle’s Alarcon says. “Sometimes that story is a very specific HR practice, like recruiting or performance management, and sometimes it’s an overall business transformation story, as a company moves to a new digital way of doing work that includes HR, finance, and more. OpenWorld is a great opportunity to see the breadth of what Oracle offers as well as the depth of those individual products.” 

Rob Preston is editorial director in Oracle's Content Central organization, where he provides insights and analysis on a range of issues important to CIOs and other business technology executives. Rob was previously editor in chief of InformationWeek. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @robpreston.

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