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HR Technology Changes that will impact on your next HR Solution

It’s not easy being a HR professional (Implementing HR Technology – The Team & Change Management Process), regardless if you’re an internal consultant or an external one (Improving Performance from the Inside), or whether you are a specialist (Thinking Strategically at Every Step) or a HR generalist. The role has been evolving to be less of a paper pusher to a more value-add, strategic business partner (HR and L&D Professionals: Checklist for Business Success). We try our best but there are still some HR practitioners that are not helping our cause and giving us a bad name (Bad, bad boss!).

We know we need to speak the business language and learn from our Finance colleagues by putting metrics to people and get smarter with talent analytics and workforce planning. The one key way to do so is to invest in technology (Just add Tech – Include Technology into your Learning Strategy) whilst at the same time ensure that our HR Strategy is aligned to the organisation’s business goals (Alignment).

While conducting an internal analysis is crucial in terms of understanding what is required for the organisation’s current and future goals as well as what is suitable, you will also need to understand how technology is changing and ultimately look out for solutions that drive high levels of value for your organisation.

Some of these technological changes that will impact on your HR technology solution which you should consider are:

  • Mobile applications – With the sophistication of mobile phones and our addiction to using them for various reasons including accessing the Internet, your next HR technology solution should also be designed for mobile use (Are you ready for Mobile Learning?).
  • Cloud-based system – Increasing mobility and accessibility also calls for your HR system to be available in the cloud in which it is available to your employees on demand via the Internet.
  • Ease of use (design) and user experience – The mobile application for your HR system not only needs to look good (in the small screen), it also needs to be easy to use with less taps and swipes. Instead of having user manuals and training to get started, your HR system should also be easy enough for any person to pick up and start using it with less clicks too.
  • More social – If this fits your culture, your HR solution should be more social and fun and that gamification should also be embedded to track usage, points and activities. This will make the system more engaging and will encourage social learning and crowdsourcing (working together online). It should also be quick and easy to provide instant feedback, recognition and acknowledgement of good performance. The HR processes should be so integrated that employees get to use the HR system every day and it becomes part of their daily routine.
  • Analytics driven – In addition to basic operational and trends reporting, it should have smart analytics capabilities like recommend learning (e.g. similar to Amazon recommendation system in which it suggests other products based on recent purchases) and predict retention.
  • Available in real-time – Related to some of the above, your HR solution should be able to report and manage real-time data, real-time feedback and continuous social feeds to provide value to people.

Overall, you will be at an advantage as it will be a buyer’s market since there are more choices in the HR Technology market as vendors get more competitive and innovative in their offerings.

Implementing HR Technology – The Team & Change Management Process


With the advancement in HR technology, it is not surprising that organisations are now slowly (but surely) investing in the new HR applications available in the market or upgrading their legacy systems into cloud computing. New set of challenges emerge for managers from: which software and vendors to shortlist and select, to implementation, who are to be part of the project team, to managing the change journey as well as ensuring a return of investment.

Being in the field as both an internal and external HR consultant, and the fortune of implementing several different technology into organisations, I had my fair share of the good and bad experience as well as learning from stories of other consultants in the industry. Different organisations go about it differently. Some more successfully than others. Some “horror” stories may also ring true as common problems, for example misalignment of strategies, selecting the wrong solution, a range of different systems in the organisation that don’t integrate well with each other, bad vendor experience (or if you’re from the other side, bad client experience), incompetent or wrong people selected as part of the project team, not managing the change process, lack of management support, lack of resources, etc., the list goes on for all things wrong.

As a consultant, there is only so much that are within our control. We may also be called upon at different stages of the project and our roles in the project could vary too. For the purpose of this article which is further inspired by a recent “horror” story I heard, I will only focus on a couple of key areas that we are likely to have some influence in: The Project Team and The Change Management Process.

The Team

  • Clear roles and responsibilities of each member – Internal employees can sometimes be assigned into projects other than their usual job in their organisation (this normal execution of standard functional operations within an organization is usually called “business as usual (BAU) in projects). Whether you are the project lead or one of the team members or from the vendor team, it is crucial that you and each of your project team members understand your own respective role and responsibilities in the project. Set clear expectations about the nature and scope of their involvement. This will also prevent frustration, pushing away responsibilities and blame, especially when the going gets tough.
  • Cross-functional team – Even when implementing a new or upgraded HR system, it will be great if members comes from different functional group. For instance, it will be great if HR, IT and Finance are represented as these functions are usually impacted in the implementation of HR Technology. IT needs to advise on any IT infrastructure and security issues. Finance can provide input on the key data and measures that management are concern about. In fact, if the HR in the organisation is new to analytics, Finance can advise HR to adopt and use human capital metrics and put numbers to people. If there are a few existing systems that data need to be extracted from or will be impacted, these system owners should also be involved.
  • Competent in respective role – Each team member should be competent in their role. It is also essential that the Project Manager (PM) understands the project, its deliverables and most importantly is competent in project management too (it never fails to amaze me that there are PM who are clueless – the story that I was “inspired” by is of a big superannuation organisation that had just threaten to can a $1million contract as the vendor PM is hopeless. I will leave it as that because that, is another story all together).
  • Purpose of the team and project – Just like managing any teams, it is important to get the team to work well together and to manage the team dynamics. Understanding the purpose and benefits of the team and project are important too.


changeChange Management Process

As HR professionals, we may be more familiar with the people and communication approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations to a desired future state from planning the change to managing the change and to reinforcing the change. We also need to be familiar with the IT Change Management process of controlling and managing requests to effect changes to any aspect of IT services.

People & Communications

  • Stakeholder Analysis – As part of planning and preparation, this will help assess the attitudes of the stakeholders regarding the potential changes with the introduction / upgrading of the HR system
  • Change Impact Analysis – This helps to identify the potential consequences of the change, or estimate what needs to be modified to accomplish the change.
  • Communications Plan – This is important to identify who needs what information when as well as the most effective communication method(s) for it. It will also be good to include who is responsible for the message and who is to deliver it. By understanding the purpose and benefits project, you will also be able to reinforce these messages to the right people.
  • Sponsorship – Strong management support and sponsorship is required to provide the authority and credibility needed for a change to be successful.
  • Training Plan – Deliver training programs that develop skills that is needed to support “the new way”. This can be set up for the different groups of users of the new HR system which can include the new / revised processes.
  • Performance Support Aids and materials – Develop performance support materials that will help employees use the new HR system. This can be FAQs, job aids, etc.
  • Resistance management – Resistance is a natural and common reaction. Expect and plan for resistance and identify the steps you can take to build buy-in and commitment like getting people involved, understanding the impact and the benefits. With your understanding of the project, you can also include your success measures and have a feedback system in place to monitor your success and resistance levels.

IT Change Management Process

  • Enforce change process – Ensure there is a centralised change and approval process and that the process from raising to closing changes are followed.
  • Log all change requests – All requests raised should be recorded, accessed and evaluated.
  • Thoroughly test all changes – As changes to the system are planned and scheduled, it is also important that any changes to the system are tested. It is especially important to include User Acceptance Testing (UAT) as it is one sure way to reduce or eliminate change requests, and drastically reduce project costs. The goal of UAT is to assess if the system can support day-to-day business and user scenarios and ensure the system is sufficient and correct for business usage.
  • Communication and dissemination – Ensure timely change communication and dissemination

As consultants, we may be called upon at different stages of the HR Technology project. There are plenty of opportunities at various stages in which you can influence and contribute. This article only focuses on two such areas as I find that the project team and the change management process are key gaps at projects and among our HR profession. Good luck!

The #Salesforce #SaaS Economy

As an keen enthusiast and evangelist of Software as a Service (SaaS) based digital Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies, please feel free to read my published articles regarding SaaS and Salesforce CRM:

As a SaaS CRM platform, Salesforce are one of the few vendors who are currently conquering the CRM market. Just by looking at the image header for this article, the facts speak for themselves!

Ready to Implement a Cloud Based Software as a Service (SaaS) Solution?

If you need any assistance and require my services to help consult, implement, test and launch your SaaS systems than please contact myself to discuss services for hire further.

Why You Need a #VPN & Benefits

What is a #VPN?

Quite simply, a #VPN or Virtual Private Network, is a selection of computers (or discrete networks) networked together over a public network—namely, the internet.

For example, some businesses may use VPNs when connecting to remote datacenters. Individual users also use VPNs to gain access to network resources when they’re not physically on the same LAN (local area network), or as a method for securing and encrypting their communications when they’re using an untrusted public network.

When a business or individual connects to a #VPN, they usually launch a #VPN client on their computer, sign in with their credentials i.e password and username, and voila, their computer exchanges trusted keys with a far away server in another part of the world!. Once both computers have verified each other as being authentic, all internet communications are encrypted and secured from eavesdropping.

A #VPN is a way to strengthen your access and security on an internet network that you’re not physically connected to. How you choose to use a #VPN is up to you the users. Example #VPN users fall into a few categories:

  • The student/worker – uses a #VPN provided to them by their school or business when accessing informaton on their network when they’re at home or traveling. Also, if they’re concerned about hacking and security, they can always sign in to their #VPN when using either airport or cafe FREE WI-Fi to ensure that no one’s easedropping on their connection.
  • The downloader – this business or individual doesn’t want on some businesses witch-hunt list simply because they have a torrenting app installed on their computer. Quite simply, VPNs are clearly the only way to remain safe when using a torrent client like BitTorrent. It’s better safe than trying to defend yourself in court or paying a massive fine for something you may or may not have even done.
  • Privacy focused and security advocate – this individual uses a #VPN service to keep communications secure also encrypted and away from all spying eyes if they’re either at home or overseas. They may feel extremely paranoid and security conscious from an IT perspective and  to them, unsecure connections mean someone may be reading what they say.
  • Globetrotters! –  These individuals for example would like to watch live sports and events on TV no matter were they are in the world! Without dealing with their fragile and unrelaible local networks. They like to see their favorite TV shows as they screen as opposed to waiting for translations or re-broadcasts (or watch the versions aired in other countries,) listen to location-restricted streaming internet radio, or want to use a new web service or application that looks great but for some reason is limited to a specific country or region.
  • Some combination of the above – The ideal is, if you’re not one of these above, you’re quite likely to be a combination of them depending on what you want to achieve online.

In all of the above cases, a #VPN service can be extremely helpful and useful especially when it comes to WiFi security etc. Additionally, if it’s an issue to protect yourself when you’re out, whether you as an online user deal with sensitive confidential data for your occupation etc.

Even if none of the above sound right to you, you will always benefit from using a#VPN. You should definitely use one when you travel or work on an untrusted network

What Makes for a Good #VPN?

The best VPNs offer a solid balance of features, Account Security, Virtual Firewall, Country IP Address Anywhere, VPN Account Encryption and Unblocking Websites etc.. Here’s what you should look for.

VPN Account Security

All #VPN users can use more and more security, #VPN accounts with give you all that. When creating private virtual tunnels between your computer and theirs,  you can surf the internet from there, your #VPN account with is consistently giving you a layer of security you never have before!

Use Accounts as a Virtual Firewall on your PC, Mac or Mobile Device

Ask yourselves, “how can a #VPN prevent a hacker attacking your computer?” Online attacks are often targeted directly to your existing and known IP address. With a #VPN account your home computer IP address cannot be seen or identified. #VPN servers are backed by some of the best known and industry expert hardware and engineers who consistently monitor activity to make sure the #VPN server is protected at all times.

Have your Country IP Address Anywhere

Use your #VPN service to protect yourself while using online banking and financial sites …

If you like to travel abroad, you’ll already know the issues that can be found when attempting to order anything online! There are many scripts on the market that will analyze where the order is being placed from. For example, If you’re an Expat (Expatriate) living in China, and you want to order something from a Ecommerce site, quite possibly, it will be blocked and marked as a suspicious transaction! Following this, the inconvenience of using global roaming rates on your mobile to call your credit card company again and again to let them know it’s you the account holder and not fraudulent users online!

This can also happen when you try to do online banking from overseas. You will need the IP of your home country to safely transact on the Internet while you are abroad. If Ecommerce and Banking companies see you conducting your banking from a foreign country, there is a good chance your account will be marked for fraud. Use a #VPN account to prevent these unfortunate occurrences.

Use a #VPN account to encrypt your traffic while using Public WIFI

FREE WIFI Hot Spots are everywhere now! Wherever you go in the world! This is very convenient but can also be extremely dangerous. Beware…FREE WIFI Hot Spot hackers are on the lose and increasing. It’s too easy now for criminals to do intercept your network. Using a #VPN service will help prevent FREE WIFI Hot Spot hackers infiltrating your devices and viewing your private login details, all passwords and private inforamtion data.

Using a VPN account encrypts all your traffic and will prevent this problem.

Skype Users Looking for better rate

We all agree, Skype is absolutley fantastic! If you don’t use Skype, download it and try it now! ( You can use Skype to communicate online for FREE, NO Mobile Roaming or Phone Card Costs! Here’s a little secret fact about Skype, they base your per minute charges on what IP address you are using / connected to. For example, if you have a American IP Address and you call a American phone number, you are making an American domestic call! Great when your holidaying in the USA! The #VPN service can pay for itself if you are doing enough overseas calls to friends and family abroad or calling home from abroad etc.

International Users Blocked by Government Control

For example, American people living and accessing the web overseas are quite often frustrated by the controls of the governments where they live. Another country is Saudi Arabia with strict control on what web sites you can access, and even if you can use a VOIP service provider. Also China etc.

Having a #VPN account will allow you to bypass the controls, Its important that we all believe in freedom of speech for all.

Use VPN Accounts to Protect your Identity and Surf Anonymously #VPN accounts enable you to access the web without anyone knowing your true IP Address. IP’s are tracked and traced in a number of ways i.e. order forms, websites, and also for malicious purposes.

When you have a #VPN account, your IP Address will look like this to the world:  Santa Monica  California   (IP number noted here is just an example)

Prioritize Your Priorities .. Skill & #CRM Technologies

Priorities: we all have these and it’s sometimes difficult to decide which should be dealt with first. For years, the world famous think tanks and theorists have used guidelines to measure daily activities to determine overall priorities.

Continued Professional Development, On-Going Knowledge IP transfer and leanings, no matter what our age is a great way to keep our minds healthy and active.

Finding and identifying new ways of working to become more productive is a great way to develop your skills especially when combined with tools such as CRM technology.

A key principle to use when priortising is the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80-20 rule. This clearly states 20 percent of your activities do account for 80 percent of your results.For example, if you have 10 action items, only 2 of those actions will be worth 5 or 10 times more than the other 8 activities put together!

There’s never enough time to do everything, but there’s always enough time to do the most important thing.”

As a keen enthusiast of #CRM cloud based technology, I strongly advise that you undertake your management of identifying all and executing priorities by utilising Activites and Tasks within your #CRM systems that enable you to monitor the progress, status and outcomes of all required actions to build both good internal and external stakeholder relationships.

This is a key part of the end user education process and  user adoption process for any implemented #CRM cloud based technology.

#CRM cloud based technology such as Salesforce and INFOR allow users to integrate all email communications, tasks and activities with a click of a button by way of an API that can be installed and configured by the end user themselves.

Creating a Task in #Salesforce #CRM


Another way to is to use tools such as Google Tasks (Gtasks), all you need is a Google Gmail account and simply use the Gtask App to allow you view you calendar of events and tasks you have detailed in one simple interface.

Effective Calendaring and using Google Calendar and tasks

The following guidelines will help you Prioritize Your Priorities…

  1. Create a list / statement, write down your main goal(s). Always use this as your overall focus in assisting you to create your list of priorities that will help you achieve your goal.
  2. Create your “Very Important” task list; can be done in a number of ways: (written and then electronically) a: Make your to-do list for your day i.e. all actions Include that must be done that day, together with additional items that can be completed over a period of time. And/or b: Create a list for all actions you need to complete in order to be successful. Examples could include follow-up stakeholder management business activities of all types, research and engaging with colleagues etc.
  3. Rank your action items in order of proffered priority based on the initial objective goal you set in step 1. Occasionally, some actions are similar and these can be grouped to assist in helping you If various items are similar, you can categorize them to help Prioritize Your Priorities.
  4. Now the best part! Pareto’s rule … Simply highlight the top 20 percent of your priorities and make a memorable list of 5 things that allows you to allocate the majority of your time to those things.
  5. Finally, print your memorable list based on you achieving your top 20% and ensure it’s displayed where you can regularly reference this. Remember, technique and repetition is very important…

After undertaking the above guidelines, confidently ensure you utilize the technique daily, during weekends and also when you find yourself too busy!…

The secret being … that all your activities in the top 20% with your memorable list must be completed every day. Also be feasible, realistic, achievable and simple enough to be completed in 24hrs.