The evil Simpsons employer Mr Burns's technique of firing an employee by flicking a switch that drops them through a trap door is no longer all that far from reality.
A software package that automatically takes care of the sacking process does all the work needed to fire an employee short of asking Smithers to release the hounds on their way out.
Cryptically dubbed 'eProvision Day One' the software was designed by US firm Business Layers and aims to "ease the process of integrating a new employee into the system". But a bit of tweaking proved its efficiency as an automated way of cleaning up loose ends after giving a worker the boot.
After the 'leaving interview' a single click will lock up email, kill phone extensions, close payroll account details, cancel corporate credit cards and other privileges, and block building passes.
The software can even be set up to cancel network and desktop passwords to lock an ex-member staff out of their computer as well as send an alert to systems to collect their laptop.
The blurb on the box reads: "If (or when) people leave a company, they are simply 'de-provisioned' by the software and are securely and systematically disconnected from all resources, providing companies with an added level of security.
"Of course, the entire history is recorded to help uncover provisioning bottlenecks and to provide visibility into the approval process."
The system works by setting up a digital identity which follows employees around the company - all the way to the front door. But the creative, if somewhat ruthless, strategy applied by Business Layers means that the company kills off the digital identity.
The company is also making something of a killing during the downturn, as corporates announce extensive job cuts almost daily.
The software is apparently already in use by a number of Fortune 500 companies, and will be available in the UK from next month. So it might be time to check for suspicious looking trapdoors under your desk.
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