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October 5, 2017

Understanding the "Pulse" of HR

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Evolution of Human Resources 

In the past, the role of the Human Resources (HR) function was to make people and organizations grow. It revolved around administrating employee life cycle from hire to retire process, primarily managing attendance, trainings and compensation.

The HR team used to perform functions that added limited value to organization, like performing mundane tasks and operational reporting like % complete for   performance reviews completed, number of employees hired , number of managers trained etc.. In case of large or global organizations where the HR data resides in various disparate systems, at times HR faced issues due to inaccurate reporting of head count data as- one of the important decision data point for business & finance. All of this resulted in HR functions being merely treated as an administrative function.

Over a period of time, the job of HR evolved in managing employee aspirations, organizational behavior, employee motivation etc. Performance objectives & measurable assessments became part of the KPI. In the recent times, there is an expectation for HR to be a "Business Partner" and thereby, they must see themselves as business people who specialize in HR and as a partner that can significantly contribute towards the organization's business goals

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Expectation from Modern HR

It is time for HR to reassess their role and contribute to successful organizations of the future. In today's world, HR partners need to be agile, creative & innovative. An HR Business Partner is not only expected to be aware of the organization's vision and align its workforce to its goals but they are also expected to have an end to end understanding of organization's business. From having a background of the specifics of how the business works, they are expected to have an understanding of financials to be aware of the performance of peers and competition. This understanding is vital for HR to be able work closely with business leaders. 


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Getting ready for Next Gen HR

In today's world, there is a change in outlook to recognize employees as Human "Capital" instead of Human "Resources". HR needs to be more digital than manual, more proactive than reactive and more strategic than operational.  The expectation is to be predictive & analytical and analyze the data behind the data. In order to be ready for the Next Gen HR business partner, it is critical to identify key performance indicators and effectively measure them and assess vis-à-vis industry standards. 


Today, HR partners need to ask  few strategic questions like:

- Are we looking at the data beyond  the HR reports and dashboard?
- How am I doing vis-à-vis my peers & competition?  
- How do I keep track of my performance compared with industry benchmark? 
- How do I quantify performance across various HR functions? 
- How do I identify problem areas and measure actual improvement?

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The Problem - What to measure and How to measure?

As mentioned by HR Folks International - Human capital is largely intangible and difficult to measure as a component in a company's business success.  It is very important to measure and analyze the priorities so you can recognize the areas of improvement and identify opportunities.

In my opinion, effective measurements of HR KPIs are critical to the success of any organization. When it comes to measurement of outcomes or KPIs, my observation has been that HR has limited tools as compared to other divisions within the organization. There are well established frameworks to measure performance of departments in organization (e.g. Finance, or Sales or production unit etc.) and co-relate the impact to the business. However, when it comes to measuring the performance of HR, it becomes subjective and quite a challenge to quantify the outcome and its tangible impact to business.

As a result it becomes imperative to not just measure and quantify, but also identify those indicators for measurement which actually contribute towards the organization's vision and goals.

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Treat the cause and not the symptom

It is not only important to look at the scorecard and analyze the results but it also important to look at the underlying "data behind the data" to trace the root cause, identify areas of improvement and take corrective action.

For e.g., let's take the Business Function of Talent Acquisition and analyze Recruitment Metrics & Scorecard for KPI like Time to hire" to "Cost to Hire"

Key Questions -

Is my organization taking more time to hire employees thereby having a direct impact to employee productivity and top line revenue? 

Is there higher cost to onboard an employee thereby having an impact on the company's bottom line and losing edge over competition?

Conclusion - After the analysis of the scorecard in HR Pulse solution,  it looks like I may have to review the end to end hiring process and remediate the bottle necks  that are leading to higher turnaround times to onboard employees and there by losing competitive  advantage.

Impact - After implementing the re-engineered hiring business process, the HR Pulse provides ability to generate "Before" and "After" Scorecard for the same KPI and demonstrate continuous performance improvements and tangible impact to the business


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Infosys HR Pulse -An Infosys HCM Scorecard Solution

Infosys HR Pulse is an analytics solution that provides quantitative and visual measures of performance indicators in the form of a SCORE CARD. The solution defines the Metrics & KPIs that are critical for an organization with the ability to track performance of the indicators against the organization's targets and industry benchmarks. The solution helps to measure and track progress, highlights improvements and deterioration trends and pinpoints to the HR leadership, an accurate idea of their performance. The purpose of the Infosys HR Pulse is to enable the HR Partners to monitor what matters most, so that they can focus on meeting strategic objectives. 

The key features of HR Pulse are

- Generation of metrics pertaining to relevant HR KPIs and empower HR partners to formulate strategy to take corrective action and improve measures

- Logical grouping of HR Metrics and Key Performance Indicators within business functions

- Provide ability to slice & dice the data and display trend analysis across entities (business units, locations, department etc.)

- Compare performance of various HR Metrics with organization's internal targets and service industry benchmarks.

- Introspect and align actions with strategy for continuous performance improvements.

- Primarily focus on improving the performance and contribution of Unit HR Manager all the way up to the macro-level decision making of Senior HR Management

- Enhanced decision making capability of leadership by highlighting areas which need attention

- Enable HR quantifying corporate objectives with the performance of every employee  and department in the workforce

 

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HR Analytics as the foundation - Infosys HR Pulse

HCM analytics is the foundation of all HR strategic initiatives. The important trend analysis that will help in decision making can be enabled by HR analytics. In today's digital world, one would think that HR analytics would be a regular feature by now, but contrary to this belief there are many organizations that are still exploring the possibilities to use HR analytics.

Infosys HR Pulse offering can be a part of the HCM implementation on Cloud or On-Premise. This solution can be deployed along with the HCM implementation and lay foundation for HR Analytics as the foundation.

This solution can also be deployed for clients who have implemented HCM on Cloud or On premise and enhance their HR analytics capabilities that help identify functions that are performing better and areas that need improvement.  The build-in adapters that comes along with Infosys HR pulse solution provides seamless integration with leading HR On premise ERP or Cloud solutions.

I believe once HR is effectively able to measure and quantify the outcomes, it will certainly have a positive impression within an organization and contribute to make an impact on the organization goals and vision. I think this will go a long way to establish HR as a key business partner and strengthen its value in an organization that it truly deserves!!! 

  

October 4, 2017

Product Provenance and Supply Chain Transparency using Oracle Blockchain Services - An Infosys offering!

Recently Oracle has joined the Hyperledger consortium to offer its own Blockchain cloud service. In next few days (Oracle Open World; October, 2017) Oracle will bring to fore the next big offering from its stable - Oracle Blockchain Cloud Services (BCS).  Hyperledger fabric enabled Oracle Blockchain service on the cloud will help customers build new blockchain-based applications and help existing Oracle customers to extended their SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and EBS applications. Infosys being a Cloud Elite partner of Oracle Cloud services is delighted to offer the first completely integrated SCM cloud-blockchain solution solving some of the most complex and challenging supply chain puzzles.

My earlier white paper published on infosys.com discussed at length the challenges being faced in the blockchain today. It ranged from the integration challenge between blockchain with ERP, interoperability between established enterprise platforms (ERP systems) and blockchains, and security and compliance for enterprises to interact and share solutions and transactions. Oracle Blockchain cloud services is like a breadth of fresh air to these known issues.

 

Infosys Oracle Supply Chain competency team along with Blockchain competency at Infosys researched and identified some key supply chain transparency issues plaguing their existing CPG and Industrial customers and developed a use case to solve this problem using blockchain. Infosys used the Oracle SCM cloud, PaaS applications and Oracle Blockchain Cloud Services and developed a Product Provenance solution and also leveraged Smart contracts for improving supply chain compliance. The solution use case has 3 main entities Customer, Distributor and Manufacturer all connected to the centralized Oracle Blockchain Cloud Services network.

 

The use cases traces the origin of the product from the manufacturer to Distributor to Customer and also tracks the change of ownership using the Oracle Blockchain features and Oracle SCM cloud and PaaS application architecture. This not only provides product provenance from cradle to grave for a produced lot but also complete supply chain transparency and availability visibility across supply chain echelons which was impossible without blockchain. The product provenance tracking using the Oracle BCS will help reduce counterfeit in the product in the supply chain as well as help trace global availability.

The solution also uses Smart Contract (Chain Code) to validate the authenticity and compliance of the product for its Country of Origin as desired by its customer. PaaS applications is developed on Oracle SCM cloud architecture to provide User Interfaces to mock up Distributors and Manufacturers business systems to update the product details into Oracle Blockchain thus truly using the strength of Oracle technology; easy integration capabilities with SOA, APIs and availability everywhere promise of cloud. The product before being sent to customer is inspected on a PaaS application with reference to the Blockchain info using the smart contracts and on passing the inspection successful receiving and putaway is done. On failure of the smart contract compliance from Blockchain the receiving is rejected by customer in SCM cloud. The entire integration, validation is touch less and paperless and entirely based on Blockchain info which is immutable and publicly available (smart contracts). Oracle solution is simple to use and extend existing Cloud investments. It took less than a week for Infosys to build this solution using Oracle Blockchain Cloud Services.

The solution has already started garnering rave reviews and customer interests. Please do visit us at Infosys booth number #1602 to learn more about the solution, its details and how it can benefit your company achieve supply chain transparency using Oracle Blockchain Cloud Services.

If carriers use OTM mobile...

 
Picture a carrier's user tweeting and texting, his fingers poised earnestly on his mobile, his eyes awash with colorful imagery, and his mind dizzy with an abundance of sensory stimuli.

Now imagine the same user hunched up at his desk, his shoulders drooping like the wilting branches of a neglected roadside tree, staring at his monitor, responding to tenders in OTM, his brain nearing the point of self-imposed hibernation.

Before presumptuously advocating the use of OTM mobile for everyone - in this case, the carriers - let us look at the benefits if there are any

 

1.Shuffling order movements


A carrier receives multiple shipment tenders from his manufacturing or 3PL partners. The carrier proceeds to accept some of these tenders. Once the tenders are accepted, the carrier sends his trucks to fulfill the transportation services that he has hitherto accepted. At this point, the shipment is frozen, that is to say, the shipment cannot be modified by way of adding or removing orders from it.

But of course this is far from practical. Drivers assigned to the trucks can't make any rearrangements, namely, swapping a whole order or part of an order with other drivers. Once the tenders are accepted, the process is quite rigid and inflexible. If it is the same carrier who is operating in the same lane and his fleet comprises of multiple trucks, it should be possible to rearrange, isn't it?

Consider this - Truck 'A' with shipment 'A' onboard set off to its destination. But there is a breakdown and the truck is unable to deliver the goods. The driver swishes in his pockets and pulls out of his mobile, pinches his screen to locate his truck. Now, on the map, he can see a couple of other trucks just around the corner. He extracts the equipment utilization report and finds that the other trucks are underutilized and that they can carry some of his orders, the ones that are labeled 'overnight' or 'expedited.' He quickly summons the trucks and unloads few items from his truck, scans them judiciously as he hands them over to the other drivers.

Wouldn't it be useful to be able to do achieve this in a mobile application?

To make this happen, the carrier's transportation system, OTM or otherwise, must be able to send an actual shipment XML to the source OTM instance that has the planned shipment. The planned shipment is associated with order movements via the shipment equipment. Once the actual shipment XML is received, agents can be used to identify the order movements that were offloaded from the truck that broke down in transit and remove them from the shipment equipment. Similarly, the planned shipment of the truck that carried order movements in addition to what was accepted in the tender has to be modified by adding ship units to its shipment equipment.   


 2. Carrier invoices with delta cost


Some carriers invoice their partners regularly as and when the shipments are delivered. But most carriers invoice periodically, namely, month end invoicing. Now, a lot can happen between the first and last day of a month - the sun may run out of its hydrogen atoms and the earth may be plunged into eternal darkness! There is very little that OTM can do to handle sun's demise...

But, OTM of course can be configured to handle other miserly exceptions that arise purely out of the way the logistics industry operates. For instance, by the time the carrier invoices its 3PL or manufacturing partner, the contracts would have been renegotiated or the surcharges could be updated. The way we handle these delta changes between the invoice and the matched shipment is by configuring the service provider to copy delta costs at the time of approving the invoice.

Now, let's add a bit of flavor to this. Let's say the driver is unable to take the usual route due to unforeseen accidents on that route. He takes a different route and ends up paying for driving thru multiple toll gates, and even booking for an overnight stay at a roadside inn. These additional expenses are usually 'customer recoverable' and the driver should be able to flag them on his OTM mobile application.

If the driver also decides to get his truck's headlights fixed or change the brake pedals, it is hardly a case for recovering from the customer though. 

At the end of the month, before invoice is made out to the customer, the drivers' supervisor receives a notification on his mobile while he is on the site, busy assigning shipments to this fleet. On his OTM mobile, he gets to review the additional costs incurred against each invoice, the estimated and actual invoice amounts paired for quick reading.

Other examples of these accessorial costs could be the original driver enlisting help of other truck drivers. So, for instance the truck has left location A and is on its way to location D via locations B and C. This is a multi-stop shipment. On his way, the driver is alerted on his OTM mobile of another truck driver in his vicinity who is on his way to location D, this being a direct shipment. The second driver is shipping a return delivery which happens to be completely unplanned. Owing to the nature of this return delivery, his truck now appears as a notification for other truck drivers near him on the integrated Maps application. The original driver can now choose to offload some of his orders onto the return delivery truck depending on the other truck's equipment capacity.  Now that some of the orders have been offloaded, the original truck may not need to visit few locations on his route, thereby reducing the overall cost. The original driver should be able to indicate this on his OTM mobile which must transpire as a negative cost line item of his truck's invoice. The return delivery driver may incur an additional fuel surcharge which would correspond to a new accessorial cost on his truck's invoice.

To achieve this, we would have to add invoicing functionality to OTM mobile. Picture this interface alongside the standard set of screens that we are already getting in standard OTM mobile -

Carriers can select/deselect few order movements with the click of a button and promote the changes all the way to invoices. We can trigger invoice XML from the OTM mobile once the driver makes his edits and logs a delivery event at the destination. This way the information between orders and invoices is always in sync and few invoices would fail auto-approval. Also, the invoice-generation itself will be real-time thereby eliminating manual reconciliation which is taxing and prone to errors.

In short, making carriers more inclusive in the digital transformation.

 

Engage with our experts at #OOW17 booth 1602 & learn how you can transform your #digital capabilities infy.com/2vSljwe #InfosysAtOOW


Written by: Kranthi Askani


To Cloud or Not to Cloud: Make the leap of faith logically!

HCM and HRIT functions are veering towards adoption of cloud applications to effectively address the trends such as mobile workforce, uptake of digital platforms and emphasis on user experience. While the decision to move to cloud seems a no brainer, the shape and velocity of this adoption requires a more involved approach. CXOs have to contend with balancing their current operations, assessing the readiness of the organizations as well as resistance to change internally when making this decision. The blog examines the dimensions in an enterprise's decision mix enabling them to choose the right path to HCM cloud solutions.

 What is the trend?

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 The HR function and practice continues to evolve rapidly in response to the business world as well as to the societal changes from where it derives its capital from. The evolution is also getting influenced by technology.  

In organizations, the focus of HCM and HRIT functions has been on meeting operational requirements including compliance and administration while integrating with rest of the organizational business systems.

However, with the advent of millennials, trends such as mobile workforce, attitudinal changes such as increased desire for collaboration, uptake of digital platforms and emphasis on user experience have come to the fore.

These underlying trends are causing a rapid shift of HR role from transactional to tactical to strategic. This, in turn, is creating a demand for technology platforms that enable this shift. Foremost among these enablers and shapers are cloud-based HCM applications that offer sophisticated functionalities.

Is the Trend your Friend?

Moving to Cloud-based systems at first glance appears to be quite logical and an easy choice to make. Well, as many CHROs, CIOs and CTOs experience, it may not be an easy decision to make. Intrigued?

Imagine you are the CTO of a retail organization with around 30,000 employees. You will most probably have an enterprise-wide HRMS system based on a leading package such as PSFT or Oracle HRMS. To manage your needs in recruitment, temp staffing, time clocking & tracking the system landscape would include other applications. It is also quite likely that for the core functions you might have customized (bolt-ons etc) the enterprise HRMS system to meet your unique needs. With a view to getting richer functionalities and potential infrastructure cost savings, you understand that Cloud Applications may be the way to go.

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Then out tumbles some nagging but very pertinent concerns: does it offer the same amount of functionalities to meet my needs, will my business stakeholders be fine with what is offered, can the cloud handle the integrations, what about the customizations, what about my existing infrastructure investments...The list goes on...


 Is that all?

The initial set of problems that come to mind mostly deal with the ease of moving to Cloud. But was there a problem in your current HR applications that was constraining the HR functions to begin with? Is there a need for moving to cloud or doing anything at all? If there is a need, how pressing is it? Determination of the need is vital not only to make a business case from a technology or business standpoint, but also to prioritize the areas where you want to focus on.

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Need could be an expressedly Felt Need or an unstated Underlying Need. A Felt Need usually comes in the form of specific instance of users & stakeholders regarding the state of affairs of the application or function whereas Underlying Need is typically a desire for better functioning/functionalities or general opinion of the application or process. The stronger the Need, the higher the drive or support for the remedial action. The action proposed should deal with what specific functionalities and processes to be moved to Cloud, the sequence of adoption clearly articulating how these would address the Need dimension.

 Ease, Need and then...

One of the aspects, though known, that is underestimated, more often than not, is gauging whether the organization is ready for cloud adoption. It is important to recognize that the change management process begins even before the decision to move to cloud is made. The Adoption Readiness of key stakeholders from the HR organization as well as IT organization needs to be assessed. Readiness to adopt cloud can be considered in two parts -(a) Is there Awareness of the capabilities of Cloud Applications? (b) Do key stakeholders show sufficient Intent to move to Cloud? An analysis in these terms can help CXOs decide what actions to take to increase Adoption Readiness. If Awareness is found out to be low, then knowledge sessions on Cloud may be undertaken; in case of low Intent, workshops to understand the underlying concerns may be considered.

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Understanding Adoption Readiness across groups is also important. It is quite possible that the IT stakeholders are gung-ho about the movement whereas the business stakeholders may not be mentally ready. This insight will help CXOs/ sponsors in getting an advance view of which group to work on for buy-in and in the process unearth not-so-evident issues in the Cloud Adoption journey.

 What next?

After collecting data pertaining to these dimensions in preparation for cloud adoption, it is necessary that a sum total analysis be performed. It is imperative that the interplay of these dimensions and the state of the organization be clearly understood to chart out the path, roadmap if you will, that your organization's cloud journey will undertake. A well-thought out plan based on the inputs as mentioned above, will dramatically increase the chances of a cohesive, right-paced and successful Cloud Adoption.

Continue reading " To Cloud or Not to Cloud: Make the leap of faith logically! " »

September 28, 2017

Oracle Blockchain Services - New kid on the block or something more?

Recently Oracle has joined the Hyperledger consortium to offer its own Blockchain cloud service. Using Hyperledger fabric Oracle prepares to offer an enterprise grade distributed ledger cloud platform with numerous benefits to new as well as its existing customers. So the question is it is another blockchain solution or is it something more than that? Here we get into more details to analyze and understand the Oracle offering, its strength and how it can really make a difference to its existing Oracle customer base!

My earlier white paper published on infosys.com discusses how integrating the blockchain with ERP can bring an end-to-end supply chain transparency, from the most basic raw material to the final product in procession of a consumer. The paper discussed challenges like interoperability between established enterprise platforms like ERP systems and blockchains. Blockchain as an enterprise chain infrastructure (not standalone Blockchain systems), and security and compliance for enterprises to interact and share solutions and transactions. So how do we overcome such challenges? As one says 'Necessity is the mother of all inventions' and Oracle Blockchain Services is one such invention which can really bring in a new era where Blockchain is no longer a separate, standalone system rather very much a part of the existing ERP architecture with similar technology and strengthening the enterprise-grade distributed ledger platform with this offering being on the cloud. Hyperledger fabric enabled Oracle Blockchain service on the cloud can help customers build new blockchain-based applications and help existing Oracle customers to extended their Oracle SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and EBS investments. Due to all Oracle architecture the technology component is dynamic and versatile with REST APIs, SOAP APIs and SOA architecture helping to integrate almost real time data across systems for better decision making.

This new kid on the block is something more than the existing products mainly because of the 420,000 customers which Oracle enjoys and the ability it provides in extending the use of EBS/SaaS/PaaS and databases technologies. Oracle by virtue of its unique position in the ERP market with dominant On Premise, cloud application products and best of breed integration architectures with Fusion middleware and SOA suites. With variety of customers in place, Oracle with all these backbone technologies can provide simple and easy integration ability for customers to be on the oracle blockchain network leveraging the existing manpower as well infrastructure and gaining supply chain transparency. With Oracle Database, Oracle Platform and Technology like SOA and APIs the blockchain application will be extremely scalable, secure, robust and tightly integrated. Additionally the Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service have Oracle Cloud App Dev platform and built-in DevOps capabilities thus providing flexible integration capability with cost effective deployment and support.

The Oracle Blockchain network is initiated by a founding member who creates all components required to run a fully-fledged blockchain network. It then adds other member organizations generally termed as peers. Oracle BCS comes with the multi-channel support feature. It's a unique feature that can help separate/ control the transaction transparency among various peers within the same blockchain network. So in a way it provides ability to segregate peers within a blockchain network. With these the Oracle Blockchain seems extremely promising and can easily help existing Oracle database and Application customers to integrate Oracle blockchain cloud services with their system and begin the journey of supply chain transparency!

Be with us on 3rd October 3:45PM for the Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service, Strategy & Roadmap session (CON6847) to get more details on Oracle BCS.

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