More than 60 applications comprise PeopleSoft’s HCM (human capital management) suite — an application area that used to be called human resources. PeopleSoft’s human resources management systems, or HRMS, comprise the “guts” of the application set, Jason Averbook, director of global product marketing, told CRM Buyer Magazine.
HRMS includes mission-critical modules, such as payroll, along with applications that support enterprise-wide processes, such as performance management.
Alongside the basic applications, said Averbook, are incentive-management tools that draw on data from CRM, and financial modules to perform complex sales and commission calculations. Another ancillary area is the learning category of applications, which includes skill-tracking and workforce-deployment tools.
And, because managers always need extensive reporting from their HR systems, PeopleSoft HCM includes a group of analytics modules. These tools are built around the “balanced scorecard” outcome-measurement approach, said Averbook, measuring employees’ impact on processes, processes’ impact on customers, and, finally, the impact of HR changes on an enterprise’s bottom line.
Of those 60-some individual applications, several have been introduced or upgraded within the past week. On Monday, PeopleSoft announced three new products in the HRMS suite: ePerformance, Help Desk for Human Resources, and Mobile Time Management. Additionally, PeopleSoft has expanded its geographic capabilities for Global Payroll to include India, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Netherlands and Brazil.
An industry-specialized sales incentive-management module for high-tech and industrial organizations was just rolled out. In addition, a newly released enterprise learning management (ELM) application supports delivery and promotion of training to workforces, customers, suppliers and partners.
Workforce management is a hot issue that many organizations have overlooked to their detriment, Deloitte Consulting partner Mark Peacock told CRM Buyer. He pointed out that without the ability to get the right people serving customers at the right time, enterprise investments in more complex strategic software like CRM can be wasted.
PeopleSoft transfers best practices from its CRM software to the HCM applications, said Michelle Stratton, product marketing manager for the newly released PeopleSoft Human Resources Help Desk application. She told CRM Buyer that the technology treats employees just like customers –but inside, instead of outside, the company.
The module provides information to HR personnel when responding to a wide range of calls, not just those from current employees. Retired employees, for instance, are likely to need help with HR procedures as well.
“There is no reason to exclude any group if it generates calls to HR,” Stratton said, stressing that the most effective HR departments take customer-facing practices and turn them toward employees.
PeopleSoft likes to lead customers through a three-step process when considering which of the many HCM modules to deploy, and when. Rather than targeting prospective customers by vertical industry, Averbook said, PeopleSoft strives to serve organizations that have enough complexity in their workforce — such as personnel in multiple countries or skill areas — to warrant advanced functionality, regardless of company size.
Step by Step
First comes the “streamline” step, in which business processes are automated. These operations include payroll, workforce management and support for mobile employees. An installation undertaken by a firm on the small end of the company size that PeopleSoft serves might pay about US$100,000 for licensing and another $100,000 for implementation.
Next is the “deploy” step, which seeks to put all the various constituents in an organization directly in touch with the system itself — the self-service aspect. Applications with this type of functionality allow employees to make benefit program changes or direct deposit of paychecks, for example.
The last step is to “align” employees and strategic goals. Here is where executives can make business decisions and allow them to filter down through many employee-touching processes, such as performance management and compensation. A very large enterprise that undertakes a comprehensive implementation through all three steps is looking at a multimillion-dollar project, said Averbook.
Since the first release in 1987, all PeopleSoft enterprise software has been built on a common technical platform — PeopleTools. Today, Averbook stressed, all applications are entirely Web-based. He contrasted PeopleSoft’s history with that of competitors in the ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM space, such as Siebel and SAP, which have changed infrastructures over the years.