SAN FRANCISCO: IT chiefs were reminded of the need for obtaining business support for technology projects as the chief information of officer of Xerox detailed the firm's latest project to move its human resources systems to the cloud.
Steve Little told Oracle OpenWorld attendees that the organisation of 145,000 employees and 10,000 contractors currently has no single view of its workforce.
"Xerox is going through a fairly significant transformation. There's the legacy Xerox, the printer copier, the Paolo Alto research centre and four years ago we bought ACS. We’re going through transformation to become a services businesses," he said.
Part of this transformation has seen Xerox begin a project to move its HR systems into the cloud using Oracle’s HCM product.
"We've got around 158 payroll and HR systems around the world, and so we undertook an initiative to put in a global HR system. It’s an interesting dynamic for us, as we're a traditional large corporation where we run everything, but it made sense for us," he explained.
"We had the talent management system, Taleo, and we run Oracle ERP. We're looking for the integration of various components to drive the value we can get out of it. We're just at the start of that journey but it's a no brainer to do it. The value comes in standardising how we manage people in the business."
Despite Little and his team seeing the merit of the Oracle investment, he advised that partnership with other business units was vital to make the project a success.
"You can't really have IT projects, you need to have IT and business projects. Our HR director is co-sponsoring the project," he explained.
"I was more supportive of the project at the beginning than he was, but he certainly understands the importance of what we’re trying to do. It's the only way to be successful in large complex projects like this."
However, this major IT project has to be done at minimal cost, a similar situation facing Walgreen's IT chief with his plans to overhaul supply chains and analytics at the pharmacy giant.
Little noted, "IT budgets at Xerox are a little down. When you have conversations about spending more money on IT, I say there’s more we can do to drive some efficiencies, especially in the legacy environment. We’ve got 25 or 30-year-old systems, and we've got a lot of systems that do the same thing so we need to simplify that environment.
"We're not cleaning the slate and starting from scratch, we’re taking the best platforms that we have and converging onto those to drive out cost and drive consistency for our business."
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