1 Portal solutions for e-hr Executive brief March 2006 E-HR: Increasing human resources
2 Page 2 Contents 2 Executive summary 3 Trends in human resources 5 Drive HR and worker efficiency with portals 6 Portals help human resources organizations deliver the services employees need 7 A proven e-hr solution 8 Creating the ideal infrastructure for e-hr portals 11 Generating business value from HR 12 A trusted provider of technology to boost productivity Executive summary Human resources (HR) departments play a critical role in contributing to the overall productivity and strength of an organization. As HR helps to build a stronger workforce through better recruiting, training and retention, the workforce helps drive the efficiency of the business as a whole. And a more productive, efficient and agile business can better respond to competitive and market shifts, and be more profitable. But many traditional human resources organizations struggle to allocate their resources. They are often hindered by a multitude of manual, paper-based processes and transactions, such as tax, payroll and benefits information, that are costly, prone to errors and time-consuming to manage. This can make it difficult for HR organizations to focus on higher value business initiatives that help to drive profitability and efficiency. To improve their own efficiency and contribute to the organization s bottom line, many human resources organizations are transforming to an e-hr business model, moving traditional HR tasks, tools and processes onto internal intranets or the Internet via a portal. Organizations are seeking e-hr solutions that can help automate tasks and streamline workflow, and improve the efficiency of the workforce by providing self-service tools, training and information. By automating processes, HR can better align itself with the business objectives of the enterprise and focus on higher value business services and employee needs, such as training and development. This executive brief shares how IBM s portal solution, IBM WebSphere Portal software, provides the framework and tools for automating human resources processes. With a single point of access to people, processes and applications, human resources organizations can deliver self-service support to employees, automate processes and manage the complexity of administering benefits, and focus on developing and delivering new productivity-enhancing services to increase the overall efficiency and productivity of the business.
3 Page Trends in human resources Every business has a human resources function, and most businesses from small and midsize businesses to global enterprises, including the public sector are investing in making human resources more efficient. Human resources organizations are learning that, as they become more efficient at retaining a better, more highly skilled workforce through enhanced employee satisfaction and improved internal and external HR processes, the workers they service can become more effective. In turn, this improved worker efficiency can help drive the productivity of an organization as a whole. 1 Because a business is only as good as its workforce, human resources organizations are seeking ways to retain and improve their workforce by providing high-value services, such as self-service capabilities, training and education but at a low cost to the enterprise. To help further reduce costs, they also recognize the need to automate many manual, paper-based processes and transactions, such as tax, payroll and benefits. Currently, many human resources organizations administer a multitude of programs and tasks that require employees to input reams of data a process that is not only prone to error and time-consuming for employees, but prevents human resources from focusing on higher value business activities such as training and recruiting. To improve their overall internal efficiency while adding bottom-line value to the enterprise, HR organizations must prioritize resources. They are looking for solutions that will enable them to deliver high-value services and tools to employees, automate processes and workflow, and align their activities with business objectives. Achieving these goals is the initial step in moving from a human resources system to an e-hr system that represents a new approach to aligning people, processes and technology.
4 Page Delivering services and tools to employees Providing self-service and self-support capabilities to employees, such as access to benefits information, and expense and travel systems, can free HR from handling time-consuming, low-business-value information requests. Instead, HR can focus on supporting the evolving needs of the enterprise and more business-critical activities, such as training and recruiting, while reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Streamlining processes and workflow Businesses everywhere are investing in automation to streamline costly manual human resources processes with mixed results. Well-designed solutions that take usability into consideration and integrate legacy data to accomplish specific tasks can produce measurable savings. Poorly conceived islands of automation may only compound the problem and poison the waters for automated human resources solutions. The best human resources productivity solutions go a step beyond increasing productivity for both the human resources department and all employees. They arm the organization with new benchmarks and measures of competitiveness. Aligning with business objectives Businesses are asking their human resources departments to provide more bottom-line impact as they seek new efficiencies and competitive advantages. Competition increasingly hinges on knowledge, and human resources organizations are being asked to deliver highly specialized training and information to equip employees to better compete in the global marketplace. Complying with regulatory mandates requires human resources to administer new types of training and document awareness programs. Increased focus on recruiting, performance and retention can help build a more agile corporate culture that increases employee productivity and profitability.
5 Page Direct channel External vendors/ business partners Employee Browser Supervisor Browser Browser Human resources (HR) Web servers Channel application servers Core systems Headquarters location Call center Internet Portals provide a centralized repository of information that can be customized for each user and is accessible from a Web browser. Drive HR and worker efficiency with portals Many companies are deploying human resources portals to evolve human resources into e-hr and to improve the overall productivity of the organization. A portal is a personalized view of information presented in a Web browser. The volumes of human resources forms, data, applications and processes can present a great opportunity for centralized viewing in a portal. These HR-focused portals are quite often the cornerstone and starting point for organization-wide portal implementations that provide comprehensive productivity gains to all lines of business. Portals can help human resources control which information is presented to each individual employee and when it is displayed. By providing role-based viewing of human resources information, a worker sees information according to his or her role, preferences and profile. An individual s profile can vary based on job function or title, department, income or years of employment and security level. The amount and type of information needed much of which requires security varies significantly according to the values and data in the employee s profile. In addition, a single portal sign-on can provide an employee with access to multiple applications and data sources.
6 Page 6 Portals also can improve efficiency by helping to reduce errors. Portals can validate the data employees input to benefit forms, verifying that numeric values are correctly entered and that the entered number falls within a valid range. Fields requiring names can be checked for text inputs, and benefit forms can even be prepopulated with names, addresses and values from the employee s records. Portals help human resources organizations deliver the services employees need When integrated with collaboration and workflow, portals equip human resources to train, motivate, educate and retain employees with a much richer menu of services. Research shows that companies that invest in human capital develop a powerful and sustainable competitive advantage. 2 New, integrated tools, such as calendaring, enable human resources to automatically keep track of when benefit data needs to be updated, when programs expire, and when periodic training and awareness classes are due. Training, education, awareness and compliance programs can be managed at a fraction of their previous costs. Task portlets or connections to messaging systems can be used to automatically notify employees of the HR processes that need their attention. Customized role-based content can present each individual with tailored training or information that pertains to authorized benefits only. Electronic forms designed specifically for each role can capture and verify each data field before updating the human resources database. Tailored content can be segmented, can target desired recruiting candidates, and can automate performance evaluations and retention programs. HR can deliver to the organization a higher-quality and more stable workforce able to sustain greater productivity at a lower cost.
7 Page A proven e-hr solution IBM has developed IBM WebSphere Portal software, a member of the IBM Workplace family, to help businesses of all sizes realize new efficiencies while gaining new levels of business value from human resources programs. IBM WebSphere Portal software provides the framework for companies to present highly personalized and security-rich views of human resources information from the office, plant, kiosk or home. With IBM WebSphere Portal software, organizations can integrate business applications, workflow, content and presence awareness in a single, role-based environment enhancing employee self-service by enabling users to gain easy access to information and resources, collaborate with other portal users inside and outside of the organization, and respond more quickly and effectively to customer needs. Portal services Enterprise service bus SOAP service request Service flow B2B interactions Data Existing applications New service logic Common run-time environment A service-oriented approach offers faster and more responsive integration of applications and business processes.
8 Page Creating the ideal infrastructure for e-hr portals Building an efficient and productive e-hr solution requires a service-oriented architecture (SOA). An SOA is the ideal foundation for e-hr portals and collaborative workflow, because it is based on services. Services for an SOA are defined conceptually, rather than technically, as business functions and processes that have been broken down into individual, reusable components. Companies of all sizes, from small businesses to global enterprises, meet the needs of their employee and customer business processes with services. The services are enabled with combinations of components that, for example, provide calendaring, messaging or forms, while integrating with a database, employee resource management (ERM) system or other HR system. The role of the portal is to act as the delivery mechanism for services, aggregating them and exposing them to each unique HR audience in a role-based and personalized way. An example of an HR manager s portal, where employee information, manager s tools and other relevant information are assembled in one place
9 Page The many processes and tasks managed by human resources require a broad mix of services to adequately support all of the functionality needed to make employees and the HR department more productive. Portal work environments aggregate these components and help deliver them to a user based upon the user s role in the organization. For example, an employee can access a portal that includes expense and travel systems, training, and other HR-related documents and tools, enabling the worker to retrieve the required information when he or she needs it. With the HR-related information and relevant tools easily and readily available to each employee, HR is freed to dedicate its time to supporting the needs of the business instead of handling information requests. This employee self-support helps enable the human resources organization to reduce costs through increased efficiency. 2. Organizational goals 3. Targeted results 4. Approve targets 5. Actual results 6. Approve results 7. Approve results 1. Provide review tool Employee First-line management Second-line management HR staff Collaborative portal Resolution Resource CRM Each audience requires unique information throughout many HR processes. The portal gathers the necessary information from back-end systems or other staff, and creates customized front-end views.
10 Page 10 In another example, a role-based employee review tool provided by HR can facilitate communication between employees and management. Line managers can use the tool to communicate the annual goals of the organization. Employees then use the tool to input their targeted goals at the start of the year, and their actual results at year-end, while management approves the results. Each person in the process is notified when his or her input is needed, as appropriate to his or her role. Human resources carefully monitors all key elements of the workflow to ensure and help improve the process and employee experience, and the process can be extended to include external vendors. 2. Organizational goals 3. Targeted results 4. Approve targets 5. Actual results 6. Approve results 8. Receive results 1. Provide review tool 7a. Approve results 7b. Recognize results Employee First-line management Second-line management HR staff Award vendor Collaborative portal Resolution Resource CRM Business partner Users are provided with information based on their roles and according to their responsibilities in a process. In this case, a business need to recognize employee performance triggers a connection to an external award vendor.
11 Page 11 Generating business value from HR IBM WebSphere Portal software leverages IBM s significant SOA investments and leadership position. WebSphere Portal and Workplace software, built on an SOA framework, provide the optimized mix of processes and people connectivity needed for e-hr. An IBM WebSphere Portal software solution can help businesses of all sizes realize: Lower costs by increasing efficiency with automated processes for managing the many types of transactions found in human resources. Enhanced efficiency through single sign-on to existing HR systems from vendors such as SAP, Oracle and Lawson; employee self-service using electronic forms; and streamlined processes for managing benefits, training and compliance programs. Increased revenues from the competitive advantages delivered by a human resources department focused on supporting business strategy. A more agile and competitive corporate culture, able to quickly adapt to change. Portals can also help organizations become an On Demand Business. An On Demand Business is a company whose business processes are integrated end to end, across the company and with partners, suppliers and customers, and can quickly respond to any marketplace demand. The On Demand Business has integrated its legacy human resources data into streamlined portal-based information processes. Human resources transactions are automated in employee self-service forms and applications. The portal increases the efficiency of employees and enhances the productivity of the entire human resources department. Furthermore, the commonplace errors buried in the mountains of paper-based human resources forms and data can be greatly reduced.
12 Freed from the task of managing tedious manual transaction processes, the human resources department in the On Demand Business focuses on new services to improve agility and competitiveness. HR can help organizations of all sizes quickly acquire and disseminate knowledge that enables the On Demand Business to more rapidly identify opportunities. A trusted provider of technology to boost productivity Today s competitive business environment brings new challenges and opportunities daily. Businesses need to reduce the costs of managing human resources while transforming human resources into e-hr. IBM WebSphere Portal software can help integrate your human resources information management into a streamlined, costsaving, automated process that enables the strategic focus of e-hr. Businesses of all sizes and types can feel confident that IBM can help them turn their human resources into e-hr with proven portal and collaboration solutions and legendary IBM support. For more information To find out more about IBM WebSphere Portal software, please visit: ibm.com/websphere/portal Copyright IBM Corporation 2006 IBM Corporation Software Group One Rogers Street Cambridge, MA U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, the On Demand Business logo, WebSphere and Workplace are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. The information contained in this documentation is provided for informational purposes only. While efforts were made to verify the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in this documentation, it is provided as is without warranty of any kind, express or implied. In addition, this information is based on IBM s current product plans and strategy, which are subject to change by IBM without notice. IBM shall not be responsible for any damages arising out of the use of, or otherwise related to, this documentation or any other documentation. Nothing contained in this documentation is intended to, nor shall have the effect of, creating any warranties or representations from IBM (or its suppliers or licensors), or altering the terms and conditions of the applicable license agreement governing the use of IBM software. 1 Based upon market trends documented in The Capability Within: IBM Global Human Capital Study 2005, Randy MacDonald, SVP, HR, IBM; Mary Sue Rogers, global and EMEA human capital management leader, IBM Business Consulting Services. To obtain a full copy of The Capability Within: IBM Global Human Capital Study 2005, please visit: www-1.ibm.com/services/us/bcs/html/2005_ human_cap_mgt_gen.html 2 Ibid, page 7 GC