The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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Developing an Application For Yourself

systematicHR Avatar

Oracle coded their compensation workbench so they could use it themselves.  It’s the best module in their HR suite.  What a novel idea to create an application you think is good enough to use yourself.  There are other models of course.  SuccessFactors and other SaaS organizations now have a healthy record of coding and being able to execute changes in customer requests very quickly, but there is some sense to coding for yourself.

Especially if you are Oracle.  You are large and diverse enough that your needs are going to suite the large majority of organizations out there.  What if you’re ADP?  Should ADP be able to cater to the 90% of organizations, or maybe they should go create a payroll system that even their employees would love?  (maybe they are getting close to that, I don’t know).  The point is, if Oracle is so large and diverse, and one would assume that their own HR department is using the entire suite, why is Oracle HRMS widely regarded as a lesser HR system?  Does their own HR department have to run customizations on the product?  Or perhaps their HR department is not part of the development loop?

I’m not on an Oracle (or ADP) rampage.  I’m just questioning all vendors if they ask their HR department if the product is cool.  It’s the closest real world feedback you can get.  All too often in a product world, product development and sales is king, and HR and other administrative is wasted overhead.  Well guess what, your own HR department is the best opinion you might get.  This approach may not work for everyone.  Most talent vendor are too small for their HR department to really have insight whether a 50,000 person company will derive value from the product.  But no matter what, they can still point out bugs, usability and navigational problems, recommend things they would like to have, etc…

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4 responses to “Developing an Application For Yourself”

  1. Bill Kutik Avatar
    Bill Kutik

    Interesting history here, Dubs. Years ago, I believe 10, Oracle outsourced their HR to Fidelity, as part of the deal for Fidelity to use Oracle for their own HRO customers. After awhile, Joel Summers, then head of the product, realized exactly what you said: How can it get better if our own hands aren’t on it? And he brought it back in house. Fidelity is still using it, as far as I know.

  2. John Johnston Avatar

    At one point a few years ago, SAP HR got on the bandwagon and started moving eveyone in SAP onto their own HR product. They called it “Eating their own dogfood…” as I recall.

    Would be interesting to see how their experience has gone and if their learnings made it into any of the new offerings

    John Johnston

  3. systematicHR Avatar

    Bill: Last I heard (I haven’t paid attention to Fidelity HRO in at least a year) they were trying to roll clients off who were on the Oracle product. Apparently they didn’t even use Oracle HR, but some highly bastardized and customized version of it that had almost no resemblance? Not sure what Fidelity is heading towards…

  4. Bill Kutik Avatar
    Bill Kutik

    As with all things, Fidelity is incredibly secretive about what they’re doing with their HRO platform. I happen to know they will not be using the former IBM HR Access, which they purchased. But just because you heavily customize something, doesn’t mean you’re not still using it. I guess the question is whether they’re still paying maintenance or whatever to Oracle. And we won’t know the answer to that, either.