Oracle HR chief: IT managers can be responsible

IT managers look set to gain more responsibility over pay and promotions because human resources software is making it easier for them to make these decisions, says Oracle.

IT managers look set to gain more responsibility over pay and promotions because human resources software is making it easier for them to make these decisions, says Oracle.

The company also says major savings can be made in the HR department, as HR management software allows staff to enter their own data and automate other processes, meaning fewer HR staff are needed or can be employed to make more strategic and better HR decisions.

Oracle says its own HR management software is used by 1800 firms across 60 countries, including 15 in Asia-Pacific. The product, which forms part of the larger Oracle e-business suite, deals with payroll, training, staff benefits, time and labour and offers self-service, where staff can input their own personal details.

New Zealand users include National Bank, which recently installed the system, Air New Zealand and Waitemata Health.

Waitemata Health corporate projects manager Michael Sallai says the board installed Oracle’s core HR module in November 1999, followed by the training and administration modules soon after. Previously the company had several separate “best of breed” systems that did not talk to each other.

Now the software is used in recruitment from producing standardised letters to following applications from interview to job offers, as well as training. The browser-based system is integrated and uses just one database. It also lets staff check their own records and amend them themselves.

Sallai says the software has contributed savings and “acts as a foundation” for other savings.

Oracle is upgrading its own implementation of its software across the Asia-Pacific region.

Visiting Oracle Asia-Pacific HR executive Alison Sibree says using HR software has saved Oracle $100 million of the $1 billion that Oracle chief Larry Ellison has demanded in global e-business savings.

In the region Sibree says Oracle has had its system operating for a year and is now “in the process of completing the bells and whistles”.

Sibree says Oracle US has gone from one HR person for each 125 staff to one per 230. Such rations for Oracle Asia-Pacific will shift from 1:80 to 1:120, saving the region $US1.25 million over the next few years. In addition, further savings are made in having faster access to more and more information.

“The bottom line from an HR perspective is that it has pushed HR from a paper-pushing route, boring staff, to be more proactive and analytical,” says Sibree, who is compiling staff attrition rates across 14 countries. Sibree is using the software to assess why people are leaving, where they go and if particular managers or locations are at fault.

“The software allows us to make decisions in a faster time. Better information also leads to HR savings in recruitment,” she says, as firms can take evasive action sooner to stop such attrition.

Oracle says Manager Self-Service, due for launch next year, giving managers access to more information about their staff.

Previously, Sibree says, salaries, bonuses, stock-options and the like were managed by HR staff on multiple spreadsheets.

“Now, a manager can look at these on a computer, then give the percentage increase, play around with their people, look at appropriate workflows, and HR won’t be advised.

It will be good for managers. They are better equipped and closer to their employees in making decisions that would have been made one or two levels above them,” she says.

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