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ADP, Oracle release cloud HCM improvements

ADP and Oracle announced hundreds of improvements and new functions in cloud HCM, but the companies face a tough fight for market share.

Amid fierce competition, ADP LLC and Oracle recently announced hundreds of improvements and new functions to their cloud human capital management (HCM) products.

The enhancements and additions come when Oracle and ADP are vying for market share with other big cloud HCM vendors, such as Workday, SAP, Cornerstone OnDemand and The Ultimate Software Group Inc.

Leaders at Oracle and ADP said the changes are based on extensive research and aim to boost productivity and make cloud HCM easier to use.

 The tenth release of Oracle HCM Cloud is available now.

Career development, analytics lead Oracle changes

In an interview, Gretchen Alarcon, a group vice president for product strategy at Oracle, touted changes in cloud HCM software that provide:

  • Ways for employees to better manage and control their career development and reputations at work;
  • A mobile option for managing performance of employees; and
  • Analytics for workforce assessment and planning.

In the area of career development, employees can use the software to compare their current skills and experiences to ideal profiles of higher positions, as well as determine how they can best fit into that advanced role.

They could also compare themselves against people in an organization who might be a step or two ahead of them, she said.

A manager could use the system to look at employees and recommend what could likely be their next jobs in an organization based on their capabilities. The system allows for more vision about the next steps in employees' careers, she said.

The release also includes a new mobile application for reviewing and comparing a team of employees instead of just a single employee.

The application is available for tablets and smart phones because it is aimed at taking advantage of tapping and swiping of screens, she said.

The application allows a supervisor to look at a team of employees and assess each one for certain goals or skills. With the application, a manager could more easily compare one employee to another, make comments during the comparisons, and provide faster and more effective feedback, she said.

In analytics, an improvement allows managers to go outside their own HR systems and bring in information from other sources to provide more comprehensive views during workforce assessment or workforce planning, she said.

For example, when planning a compensation budget, a supervisor could extract industry surveys from a subscription service or government reports and combine that material with internal data, she said.

The release also includes a different method for reviewing the talents of people up for promotion.

The software, for example, allows a manager to start with a pool of 50 individuals and use analytical tools to study each person by seniority, risk of loss, the effects of the employee leaving or race -- if a minority is being sought for advancement.

"It is a different approach to talent review," she said. "Start from talent pools as opposed to going top down through an organization."

ADP offers new big data analytics for cloud HCM

Meanwhile, ADP recently released cloud HCM products, such as ADP DataCloud, a big data analytics offering. DataCloud is available with Vantage HCM for large enterprises, generally with 1,000 or more employees, and Workforce Now for organizations with 50 to 1,000 employees, said Tony Marzulli, vice president of global product marketing at ADP.

DataCloud can be turned on in less than a day and includes five basic functions, he said.

First, it provides "fully integrated" reporting, he said. This allows organizations to produce reports that include statistics from across different ADP systems, such as payroll, benefits, records of time and attendance, and talent management.

Another function is benchmarking, which allows a business to compare itself to other, similar businesses based on certain metrics, such as turnover. The source of the comparative data is anonymous and aggregated.

A third function provides a company with key performance indicators across more than 40 categories, which can then be filtered by different parameters. An HR manager could determine all employer-related expenses for benefit plan administration -- including premium contributions and administrative costs -- by various times, locations and categories, for example.

Future ADP features will offer predictive services

This fall, DataCloud will pilot predictive analytics, which will warn supervisors in advance if top employees might leave an organization.

Next year, DataCloud will add the fifth function, ADP Data Exchange, which allows for combining critical business data from different sources, including statistics from DataCloud, as well as a company's own revenue and financial numbers, he said.

A retailer, for example, could look at high-performing sales people in a retail store and compare them to store sales. This would provide insights into whether increased sales are driven by the best employees according to performance reviews, he said.

In addition, the retailer could compare the results against other stores in the same business and at different time periods, he said.

ADP this fall will also release new onboarding software in Vantage HCM.

The software introduces a hire to a new team, mentor and key people in the organization -- all two weeks before the start date. If an existing employee receives a new job in the organization, the software can provide the same material, he said.

The software also serves up the paperwork involved with onboarding, plus goals and objectives.

Another key piece in ADP's cloud HCM for large enterprises is talent management for career development and learning, Marzulli said.

Because the software  is "an intelligent system" that knows an employee's background and skills, it can determine if the employee is qualified for a higher-level position, or over what time period an employee could become qualified, he said. The software could suggest specific training and development if needed.

On its "RUN" platform for small businesses, generally with up to 50 employees, ADP is making it simple for an owner to run payroll from a mobile device, he said. They can use the mobile device to schedule payroll for the same time, bi-weekly or once a month, for example.

Employee access is also easier, he said. Employees at small businesses can now see their paychecks online, with allocations and totals year to date.

Next Steps

Read the HCM software buyers guide

ADP reopens offices, stays firm on HCM plans

Get an overview of Oracle HCM Cloud

Dig Deeper on Cloud HR software