Oracle has announced the latest features for its Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud portfolio at at Oracle HCM World in Chicago this week. While there are several minor enhancement that can be found in the recent release notes there are also three significant improvements highlighted.
The Oracle HR Help Desk (HRHD) Cloud
Details of exactly what this solution does are surprisingly scarce. PeopleSoft has an HRHD functionality with the 360-degree view of the workforce as Oracle described the new functionality.This is probably not an employee function but one that will allow HR professionals to access employee data from any part of the business structure, be that reporting employee, manager, project, department or wherever. The solution includes “advanced search capabilities”, though what these are is not elaborated on.
Oracle has however introduced some help desk functionality such as case management with escalation although we could not find any further detail on what this meant. That HR teams are now able to track issues is a welcome enhancement to the software and the automation of such functions will help HR teams in some complex cases with the documentation and auditing compliance. It is disappointing though that Oracle did not release more information about what the functionality actually was.
Companies globally are improving their CSR initiatives with many introducing volunteer programs like that by Microsoft, Oracle and Tableau. The new feature will allow employee’s using the Oracle “My Volunteering” feature to identify volunteer projects that they wish to enrol in that their company supports. Interestingly Oracle have also turned this around for the business to actively suggest which volunteer projects individuals might be best suited for given their career ambitions and interests.
There is an assumption here that employees only want to volunteer on the basis that it will further their career rather than for philanthropic reasons. This means it is in danger of becoming more about helping the company achieve its CSR ambitions than the desire of an employee to give back to the community. This is a tricky balance to achieve for all companies and one that they may need to be aware of if they seek to use that functionality.
My Volunteering is a positive addition to the HCM cloud, but CSR initiatives should be more about enabling the employee desires rather than imposing CSR responsibities.
Oracle Learning Cloud
The Oracle Learning Cloud is still part of the HCM Cloud and some new enhancements such as support for e-learning standards such as SCORM 1.2/2004 has been included in the latest release. There is also the addition of an Offline Mobile Learning application. This will allow employees to download learning modules and be able to access them no matter where they are.
This is an interesting development and for those Oracle customers whose employees do a lot of travel, it will allow them to download learning modules prior to flying and use travel time more effectively without the need to be constantly connected. While WiFi is available now on some planes it is often not of the highest speed or quality. While this will enable employees to brush up on skills during what might have been lost time an airplane is not the easiest place to work especially in cramped economy seating.
These additional features will be welcomed by many companies. Although they may not be game changers it shows that Oracle are improving their cloud solutions in the face of competition from Workday and SAP. It will be interesting to see how companies deploy and take advantage of these new features over the coming months.
Chris Leone, senior vice president, Oracle HCM Development commented: “To attract and retain the best talent in today’s fiercely competitive global market, organizations increasingly need to offer the same types of digital experiences that employees have become accustomed to in the consumer world.
“With the latest additions to Oracle HCM Cloud, Oracle continues to help organizations drive digital transformation by creating highly effective and modern HR departments. As a result, Oracle HCM Cloud gives organizations the ability to drive positive business outcomes through their HR functions.”