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UnitedNetworks Energises Human Capital

UnitedNetworks Energises Human Capital with PeopleSoft and CGEY

Since 1999, UnitedNetworks Limited (NZSE: UNL) has undertaken three mergers, launched a new business and divested a business unit that contained a large percentage of the workforce. The end result is an asset rich company with less than 200 employees. All of which created a unique set of requirements when choosing PeopleSoft’s Human Resource Management System (HRMS) to support its corporate HR strategy.

To help make the right connection, UnitedNetworks undertook a competitive process, selecting a company that not only had experience in HRMS, but also had a good understanding of organisational development initiatives – Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. Their role was to translate UnitedNetworks’ unique organisational development requirements into technical systems requirements.

UnitedNetworks chose PeopleSoft 8 HRMS as the solution for its superior functionality and capability to deliver an integrated HR solution spanning performance management, recruitment and selection, training and development, and succession planning. Then it was back to market for implementation bids. In a separate tendering process Cap Gemini Ernst & Young’s consulting team was chosen to implement the solution.

Unique Requirements

The intellectual capital of employees at UnitedNetworks is one of its key assets. The implementation of PeopleSoft 8 HRMS was seen as an opportunity to better leverage this asset.

UnitedNetwork’s workforce performs predominantly knowledge-based rather than manual tasks and so requires timely and detailed information for managerial decision-making.

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“We equip our managers with the tools to do business,” says Darren Crowe, Organisational Development Manager. “As knowledge workers they need to be empowered to make decisions. The PeopleSoft 8 HRMS, which we have named TalentLink, gives our managers improved access to employee information and the ability to view and analyse business data through real-time online management reporting.”

Lisa Boag, UnitedNetworks’ Functional Specialist on the project adds, “We are in the early stages of implementation so the full benefits of the system have yet to be realised, however we have already achieved time savings throughout the organisation. This includes employee data being entered only once, managers are now able to look up information about their teams online, and employees can access and update their personal details themselves without needing to go through HR.”

Culture Change

The implementation of PeopleSoft 8 HRMS is part of a wider cultural change within UnitedNetworks. The creation of a multidisciplinary network infrastructure company marked a changed in the way the business needed to function and describe itself. A business that was once defined by a linesmen caricature now has professional knowledge workers as its workforce. To support this new look business, Organisational Development and Effectiveness’ (OD&E) focus has shifted from operational HR to strategic HR leadership. PeopleSoft 8 HRMS was seen as an opportunity to provide an integrated solution from which organisational development initiatives can be driven. As the organisation moves towards the model of the self-reliant employee, and managers have even more access to decision support tools and business intelligence, OD&E will be free to focus on their role of strategic HR leadership within the organisation.

Since going live in May, UnitedNetworks has been able to manage its intellectual capital more efficiently, streamlining processing and administration at hiring and termination, connecting business units through automating workflows, and empowering managers and individual employees.

Relationships Key to Success

Lisa Boag says that good partnerships are fundamental to the success of the project. “We believe strong relationships are important. Both our prior experience with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and their background and experience with PeopleSoft HRMS implementation contributed to their selection as the implementation partner for the project.

“We chose Cap Gemini Ernst & Young for their support on the ground, competitiveness on cost, and significant experience and expertise in leading HR practice, which contributed to the value they can add to the implementation,” says Boag.

Connecting People to Business Processes

As the phased approach to implementation progresses, UnitedNetworks anticipates realising further benefits as the PeopleSoft applications are integrated in areas such as performance management, recruitment processes, training and development, and succession planning.

David Webster, PeopleSoft Managing Director Australia and New Zealand commented, “PeopleSoft is focussed on enabling the real-time enterprise, connecting people to business processes as they happen. This accelerates actions and improves decision making while giving all users enhanced visibility and autonomy.

“UnitedNetworks required personalised, seamless and immediate interaction between Human Resources and the rest of the organisation, to empower managers and employees.

“PeopleSoft and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young are collaborating to provided a solution that delivers streamlined management of intellectual capital and an empowered workforce – which should provide measurable business benefits for UnitedNetworks as the project progresses,” says Webster.

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young has been a PeopleSoft Global Alliance Partner since 1991 and has delivered over 300 successful PeopleSoft implementations worldwide. The company utilises PeopleSoft for all its own internal applications in the US making it one of the largest services industry clients for PeopleSoft globally and giving its consulting team first hand knowledge of the technology from a user’s perspective.

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