We have the opportunity to attend Oracle HCM World in Chicago, held from April 4th to 7h 2016. The conference is well attended with over 1000 participants, coming from customers, prospects and the ecosystem. 

Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

No time to watch - read on:

HR Helpdesk – All enterprise applications see their challenges with resulting into questions on how to use them. HR Applications typically have the largest user population in the enterprise and as such the questions and support requests of employees demand for more automation. Historically enterprises have looked at IT and CRM helpdesk applications to automate the requests from employees. But those solutions have seen typical challenges one experiences when moving an enterprise product from its designed use case to another one – at some point, somewhere things do not fit as smooth as they could. HCM software vendors have the opportunity to change that, offering the helpdesk application inside of their own technology framework, and that is exactly what Oracle announced at HCM World. The approach has considerate advantages, the user and all its data is known, the subject matter experts want to feed know ledge bases before it comes to the support call, direct screen sharing and most importantly, the support professional can take over the transaction, solve the problem and teach the employee right away. The new helpdesk functionality will come on Oracle HCM 12, coming in fall of 2016, we look forward to see it in action with customers and real support cases.

Learning advances – One year ago Oracle surprised with the announcement of a brand new learning, starting with the self-creation, publication and social propagation. One year later with Oracle HCM 11 Oracle Learning users have now access to SCORM compliant e-Learning, as well as an offline capability of using Learning with no connectivity. But the most important capability in this release is the ability to embed learning content into business processes, something Oracle is leveraging already in its above Helpdesk offering. And finally SCORM is always important and 1.2/2004 are supported. Fall will be the big release for Oracle Learning, when the first steps into classroom are coming.

Worklife Portfolio grows – Oracle is the large, suite level HCM vendor with a set of Worklife Applications (Wellness, Competitions etc.) and keeps adding in this area, in the HCM 11 release with a volunteering capability, allowing employees to sign up, find relevant volunteering opportunities and matching to them. The combination of the Career Development functionality guiding employees in suitable, synergetic to career goals volunteering opportunities is a welcome functionality and underlines the suite level benefits suite level vendors should seek and exploit for their vendors.


A good 3rd edition of Oracle HCM World, with record attendance of mostly practitioners, as Oracle has designed the event. Global interesting is very good, with (my estimate) close to half of the attendees not coming from the US. Oracle has moved the overall HCM forward as well (above I focus on net new modules and major advances) certainly a benefit of having over 2000 developers on the HCM products (excludes Peoplesoft resources, I know the question has come up already).

On the concern side Oracle needs to address two major issues, which are growing year over year, the first glance user interface is not up to speed with 21st century best practices. The irony is that the Oracle HCM user experience gets better as you drill down, with all other vendors it usually degrades. And then Oracle runs Recruiting on the Taleo platform, getting this key functionality on the overall Oracle cloud platform (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS) is something the vendor needs to tackle sooner than later.

But overall a very good event for Oracle and its HCM customers and prospects. There can be no doubt that enterprises need to look at Oracle for addressing their HCM automation needs, and it is likely to make the short list. Turning great product capability into cloud revenue has moved from a product to a marketing, sales, business development challenge, a good problem to have for any enterprise software vendor.