There was a lot of information, as usual at analyst summits, not easy to find the Top 3 takeaways, but here you go:
Oracle has the Essentials down now – For quite some time the Oracle HCM products had to focus to get the basics right – not just on the product side, but also on the go to market and services side. Apparently this is now addressed with Oracle HCM, which has doubled the number of Core HR customers and live Core HR customers. Global customers have passed 700+.
For the longest time the consensus in the analyst community was that Oracle HCM would mainly attract existing Oracle customers from the Install Base, but with over 50% of Cloud HCM customers being new to Oracle, that’s not the case either anymore. At the same time we have no account of Oracle HCM implementations going bad, which is quite a feat, given the growth numbers and the related training and scaling issues in the services of both Oracle and partners.
On the product side Oracle practices good housekeeping. For instance its Performance Management module was one of the older members of the Talent Management family and Oracle has recently undertaken user experience improvements and built a new mobile application. Oracle as well keeps adding depth to its products, e.g. the vendor has improved its Workforce Modelling capabilities, its Compensation functionality (e.g. Matrix Planning) and is improving Time and Labor usability.
Differentiation Grows – And when you have the basics right, you have time to work on differentiation. A year ago Oracle had created the Competition functionality, and had all HCM World 2014 attendees count steps with Fitbits. What then was a ‘cute’ addition to the core HCM functionality has now grown into a sizeable group of differentiating applications that flank the traditional HCM applications. Oracle calls them the ‘Tools for the Digital Workforce’ and they are
- My Reputation – A product that understands the social reputation and influence of employees.
- My Wellness – A product that motivates employees to do the right thing for their health.
- My Competitions – A product that can align and reward desired behavior with competitions.
- Career Development – A product that balances employee ambitions and manager contributions to employee careers.
- Learning – A new Learning system (see launch here) that is built for the digital / social age.
On another differentiation track, Oracle has been adding more vertical capabilities to the HCM products, more prominently collective bargaining agreements and seniority management. Deeper industry functionality has been a differentiator for enterprise software since decades, but vendors can only build vertical functionality once the basics are right, that Oracle can deliver more vertical capabilities is an indication for the vendor having the basics right at this point.
|Oracle HCM Release 10 Themes|
- Oracle has done a lot of work on the UI side, and the scan, glance, commit paradigm is powerful, but needs some new clothes on some screens. UI innovation is in full out gallop, and new UI concepts show their age after 2-3 quarters, not after 2-3 years (as it was in the past).
- Oracle HCM still operated in the bi-modal world of new Oracle HCM products and remaining Taleo functionality. And while the UI harmonization that Oracle has done goes to great length for combined users, our main concern is that Oracle may miss the recruiting revolution that is currently under way.
- The most fundamental and game changing functionality for enterprise software is (true) analytics (more here). And while Oracle talks a good reporting, visualization and recommendation engine story, it does have little true analytics offerings today.