Software puts staff in the picture

The organisation

KPN is a market leader in the Dutch telecoms sector, providing telephony and data services to the consumer market and businesses across Europe. It has 18,300 staff based in 200 locations in The Netherlands, and employs 31,116 in total across Europe.

The aim

With so many employees based in disparate locations, KPN relies on IT systems to manage many of its business processes, including HR. It had implemented PeopleSoft 8 HRMS to provide its managers and staff with self-service HR. It wanted an additional application to help it to deliver information from the system to its users and managers, and to provide them with reporting and charting capabilities.

System supplier

HRM Software was set up in 1986 and offers a range of web-based human capital management and HR administration applications. Its products include HR Connect Executive for succession and career planning and performance management, HRM Connect Pay Review, a pay review management system, and HRCharter, which generates charts from HR systems.

The approach

The product had to interface with KPN’s PeopleSoft system. It opted for HRM Software’s HRCharter Enterprise, which has an interface certified for use with PeopleSoft systems.

Prior to installing HRCharter, managers were producing charts using time-consuming software packages of various standards, says Ad van Santvoort, manager of HR systems and information provision at KPN.

“The charts were very limited and could not be used for any management planning,” he says. “When looking at other products, either the price was not right or the installation looked too complex. But I liked HRCharter immediately.”

The solution

The software is a web application that enables KPN’s managers to generate charts from the underlying database held in the PeopleSoft system. It eliminates the need for typing names into boxes or laying out the charts, automatically formatting the information for printing or viewing. Virtually all of the information in the PeopleSoft database can be made available to HRCharter, giving KPN the flexibility to use charts to support a wide range of HR management and planning activities.

The telecoms company has used the software’s reporting capabilities to help to monitor a number of key HR programmes, including training and development and absence management. The software is also being used to help managers to review skills and competencies and to identify development needs.

“If a manager wanted information about the qualifications or training of staff before, this information had to be compiled manually,” says van Santvoort.

“HRCharter gives them this information in a split second and in a way that they find easy to use in analysis.”

The bottom line

The take-up of the software has been high, with about 1,400 KPN managers using HRCharter. Being able to visualise personnel information graphically and share it has improved communication throughout the company. KPN also plans to use it for key data on staff to assist with making departmental and organisational decisions and changes.

“Our e-HR applications have streamlined many routine business processes,” says van Santvoort. “And feedback from managers is very positive about the way that HRCharter is benefiting them and the business.”

Gadget of the month: Sony Ericsson HCB-700 hands-free set

What is it?

A mobile phone hands-free kit for the car, which incorporates a ‘Voice Digit Dialling’ feature. It comprises two units: the control, which is mounted close to your hand, and the information display screen, which should be attached either on top of the dashboard or close to the rearview mirror so that you do not have to look away from the road to see the read-out.

What will it let me do?

Say a phone number out loud, and it automatically dials it. If the number is already registered in your phone’s address book, you need only call out the name in the book. Incoming calls are indicated on the display unit so you can decide whether to take or reject the call. And for ease of use, a wireless connection means the hands-free set can be used even though your mobile phone handset is in your pocket or bag.

How much does it cost?

No price was available at the time of going to press as the HCB-700 was due to be launched this week.

Where can i find out more?

At, where you can also link to the e-shop.


The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO), which organises the recruitment of European Union officials, is introducing computer-based testing from assessment specialist PSL as the first stage of its selection process. Depending on the number of posts available, EPSO can find itself dealing with up to 25,000 candidates at a time.

The Scottish Executive is rolling out the Home Computer Initiative (HCI) scheme for the entire Scottish public sector. It enables employees to buy PCs at discounted rates through a tax concession. Following an e-auction, BT and Dell have been given the status of preferred suppliers. Other chosen suppliers are Fujitsu Siemens and Club IT.

Jotun Paints (Europe) has opted for Northgate HR’s bureau payroll service for the company’s UK operation. It is already using Northgate HR’s payroll technology for its pensions payroll service. The move will create a reduction in unnecessary data duplication and day-to-day administration.

Research snapshot

Eighty-one per cent of companies plan to increase their offshore outsourcing over the next two to three years, according to a survey of 100 senior UK executives responsible for outsourcing.

The research by sourcing advisory firm TPI also highlighted the trend of using ‘captives’ when outsourcing IT and business processes to low-cost locations such as China and India. These are subsidiary companies wholly owned by the organisation rather than an external service provider.

“The growth of captives stems from companies now being more aware of how to conduct an offshore operation and less reliant on external service providers,” says Duncan Aitchison, managing director, international, with TPI. “Where external providers are engaged, it is for more complex reasons than simple cost reduction.”

Data mine: Age discrimination legislation

Age Positive

Useful background and Q&A on the forthcoming age discrimination legislation from the team within the Department for Work and Pensions. Its Age Positive campaign promotes the benefits of a mixed-age workforce.

Department of Trade & Industry

Download details of the Coming of Age consultation and the draft regulations on the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. Consultation ends on 17 October 2005, and legislation is due to come into force from 1 October 2006.

Employers Forum on Age (EFA)

The EFA is encouraging employers to respond to the Coming of Age draft regulations consultation and its legal section has a factsheet called Last Chance to help employers get up to speed with the proposed legislation. The EFA has more than 180 member organisations, which collectively employ more than 14% of the UK workforce.

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