Grant Thornton LLP has leveraged Oracle’s cloud infrastructure to enable a matching service. This is not a romantic dating service but matches a clients needs to the best available professional. Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. The organisation has 58 offices across the USA with more than 8000 employees. In an organisation that large it is impossible for every individual to be aware of the expertise and experience that other individuals within the business have.
Workforce Analysis one step further
This is more than resource allocation and keeping consultants occupied. That is still very important and a service that Grant Thornton already offers. Kevin Braithwaite a Director at Grant Thornton LLP explains the benefits and service in a recent blog. Grant Thornton has been looking for is an advancing offering that ensures that a client is matched to the best consultant available.
Traditional intranets do not always solve the problem either. So Grant Thornton turned to Oracle for a solution. Using the Oracle public cloud infrastructure they consolidated all their workforce data. They then deployed an analytics solution on top. The analytics takes the client requirements and matches them against the most appropriate consultant. This solution is currently only implemented within the USA. However one assumes that it will roll out to cover the more than 42,000 employees across 130 countries in due course that Grant Thornton has.
Grant Thornton Chief People and Culture Officer Pamela Harless explains why Oracle: “We turned to Oracle because we wanted to tap big data to more effectively get the right client-service professionals in the right roles. The ability to pair the correct people with carefully aligned projects is critical in the highly competitive world of professional services—and it’s why we chose an integrated Oracle Cloud infrastructure and analytics environment.”
According to the press release Grant Thornton also took advantage of the Oracle Accelerated Buying Experience. In the past Oracle were criticised for their slow procurement process. As Safra Catz, CEO at Oracle said: “The way things used to be couldn’t continue, with a long proof of concept, 50-page contracts, calling in lawyers on both sides, negotiating, making a deal, then starting a three-year implementation. Expectations are completely different with the cloud. The old time frames simply don’t apply.”
To improve the process Oracle introduced several changes to their sales organisation, leveraging the cloud to do so. The enhanced process enabled Grant Thornton to meet their aggressive timescales and kept the project on track. For Oracle is it a good example of how they are not just introducing cloud offerings but also transforming their business to think in a more agile way. Don Johnson, vice president of product development at Oracle commented: “We are excited about this partnership with Grant Thornton. The solution they built underlines the power, flexibility and agility of the Oracle Cloud Platform. This partnership is an example of the modern investments we are making in building the next generation storage platform.”
Analytics in Grant Thornton
What is isn’t clear is what analytics technology Grant Thornton used. The organisation purchased an analytics company themselves in 2014, Local Futures Group. However it appears their platform of choice for analytics is Informatica, a gold Oracle partner. Whether this latest solution uses their platform could not be confirmed but it seems likely. The project was up for an Oracle innovation awards. It reached the final four but did not actually win.
What is clear is that this is a solution that will not stay within Grant Thornton. The organisation has more than 250 analytics experts and will be looking to resell the application to other businesses. The idea of matching skills and experience to requirements is not new. It is the level of sophistication that is different here.
Other companies are also working on similar solutions. SAP is introducing a mentor/mentoree matching process that is not dissimilar just internally focused. One wonders what the next step will be. If during initial meetings personality traits are captured then perhaps it considering some of the algorithms used by more traditional dating services is something worth doing.