Case study: Ofcom
About the organisation
Ofcom was formed at the end of 2003 as a result of the Communications Act, which merged the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Indepen-dent Television Commission, Oftel, the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency into one super-regulator. Ofcom now has 850 employees, mostly based in London but with regional offices in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.
The five original organisations all had different systems and working practices. Much of the HR data was paper- and spreadsheet-based. The HR team needed to transfer the data onto one HR system prior to the new organisation's launch, bringing together five different sets of terms and conditions of employment.
Oxfordshire-based HR and payroll software provider Snowdrop Systems already supplied HR software to the Independent Television Commission and Oftel. Ofcom retained Snowdrop to manage all the HR data across the whole of the new organisation.
Snowdrop implemented its Ever-green (HR), Fountain (training), Spring (recruitment) and U-Access (self-service HR) modules - customised to accommodate the changes of the merger and branded in line with Ofcom's new image. The new software needed to link in with as many other business systems as possible to help the HR team make the best use of its data.
HR operations manager John Donnelly sees the Snowdrop system as a key driver for changing the way HR supports the whole business.
"Our aim is to work smarter and minimise administration, devolving some of this responsibility to staff and line managers," he says. "This frees up our time so we can support the organisation at a higher level."
Snowdrop worked with Ofcom to bring together all the data from the different organisations into one system. The system is known internally as 'e-colleagues'. Employees can now view and change basic data through Ofcom's intranet, and managers can access key data on their teams, such as absence records. Paper-based administration is reduced thanks to online sick forms.
Snowdrop set up workflows - automatic e-mails to line managers generated by the system - to help them keep track of key performance indicators such as sickness absence and training and development data.
The system links directly with Ofcom's recruitment website and