IT helps HR lay foundation for other functions

The Internet and technology will push HR up the pecking order in companies,
Vance Kearney, vice-president for EMEA at Oracle, told delegates.

He pointed out that no e-business could be effective without HR information,
as sales, marketing, procurement and financial departments need the data.

HR has a crucial part to play in developing global systems and in
standardising and integrating those systems.

But Kearney warned HR directors not to get carried away with their role as
the business partner and described the function as a support service like
customer services or sales.

"There is a big myth about HR. It is no different from any other kind of
service, such as the sales or finance departments, it is just a service to the
business, and is not that elaborate," he said.

"We hire people, try not to loose them, get the best out them while we
can and while we have them."

Kearney said HR directors should follow other support functions in their use
of technology.

"Customer services and sales are being revolutionised by the Internet,
bringing better data, service, happier customers with lower staff numbers. HR
directors asking "what is next?" should be looking at these sales and
service departments."

Oracle’s experience demonstrates the cost and efficiency benefits of the
Internet for HR.

The company’s customer service call centres have seen a 45 per cent drop in
the number of calls since it introduced self-service assistance via the
Internet.

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