Learning

Hewitt Associates to Provide HR BPO Services to Wachovia Corporation; Companies Expand Long-Standing Benefits Outsourcing Relati

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 4, 2005–Hewitt Associates (NYSE:HEW), a global human resources services firm, announced today it will provide HR business process outsourcing (BPO) services to Wachovia Corporation (NYSE:WB), one of the nation’s largest financial services providers. The deal is an expansion of the companies’ long-standing HR partnership, as Hewitt has provided benefits outsourcing and HR consulting services to Wachovia since the late 1990s.

Under the new seven-year agreement, Hewitt will provide HR BPO services, including contact center, payroll, learning and benefits outsourcing to more than 90,000 Wachovia employees

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ALPHASTAFF AND TAMARAC ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, LLC FORM HUMAN RESOURCE OUTSOURCING PARTNERSHIP

AlphaStaff to provide human resource services for more than 5,000 employees

Boca Raton, FL August 3, 2005 — AlphaStaff Group, Inc., a market leader in Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO), and Tamarac Administrative Services, LLC, a leader in the senior housing industry, today announced their HR Outsourcing and Co-Employment partnership. AlphaStaff will provide high-end safety, human resource (HR) and tax services, along with worker’s compensation coverage, for over 5,000 Tamarac employees in 27 locations throughout Florida and Georgia

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Six U.S. Federal Government Agencies Renew E-Learning Contracts with GeoLearning

Leading provider of Managed Learning Services expands its dominance within the U.S. federal government.


WEST DES MOINES, IOWA, August 2, 2005 — GeoLearning, Inc., the leading provider of Managed Learning Services and hosted learning technology, expanded its dominance within the U.S. federal government today with the announcement of one-year renewals and/or expansions of contracts with six federal agencies for its GeoMaestro learning management suite:

U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)
U

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security Selects GeoLearning’s Hosted LMS Suite

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA, July 18, 2005 — GeoLearning, Inc., the leading provider of Managed Learning Services and hosted learning technology, announced today that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected the GeoMaestro learning management suite to deliver training content and manage enterprise-wide human capital performance for 14,000 of its employees.

GeoMaestro is an Internet-hosted learning management platform that enables organizations to capture, create, manage and share knowledge to improve workforce productivity, accelerate critical business processes, and drive organizational performance

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Caterpillar Chooses Kenexa for Survey Services

Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA), a provider of talent acquisition and retention solutions, announced that it will be providing Caterpillars workforce with a comprehensive survey offering to gather valuable employee feedback. Caterpillar is Continue reading →

BT and Accenture Sign Five-Year Learning Outsourcing Contract

LONDON; July 6, 2005 BT and Accenture (NYSE:ACN) have signed a five-year, $127 million (70 million) business processing outsourcing (BPO) contract for learning services. This contract renews a previous learning agreement between the two companies and complements the 10-year (US$575 million) human resources outsourcing contract signed by BT and Accenture in January 2005.

The services to be provided under the new contract include technical and safety training around switching, data, transmission and network technologies

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HR Is Alive and Getting Better!

A report from the San Diego SHRM Conference

by Matt DeLuca

I just returned from the SHRM Conference. It was such a terrific gathering that it will take two columns for me to do it justice. This months column will be an overview. Next months will be devoted to a major topicadding value and getting to know the customer. Now for the conference highlights.

First, new buzzwords in HR terminology abounded, some helpful and some just silly. For example, the 9-80 schedule. Houstons oil companies are putting exempt and non-exempt workers alike on a 9-80 schedule where employees work nine days every two weeks for a total of 80 hours. Everyone usually gets the same day off, (I guess calls all go to voice mail on the tenth day). Then there was the 720, a 360-degree performance measurement tool that includes customersbut isnt that what a 360-degree evaluation was already supposed to include?

Second, there didnt seem to be a lot of new products out there, just more of the same. The only exception was new products in healthcare and wellness. Medtronic and others are now offering leases for sophisticated monitoring devices so that employees can check their blood pressure and heart rate at work as frequently as they like. Will the sequence be 401(k) investments first and blood pressure next or the other way around?

Third, tchotchkes a Yiddish word for give aways with no English equivalentare getting more elaborate. Thomson was giving away luggage on wheels (lines were at least an hour long). The Gap offered flipflops (hopefully not encouraging employees to wear them on their business casual days). Human Resource Executive was putting attendees pictures on the cover of their magazine as vendors at carnivals frequently do (You too can be TIMEs person of the year!) And vendor-sponsored parties included star quality entertainment Hootie and the Blowfish (at the San Diego Zoo of all places!) and the Village Peoplealong with open bars, pedi-cab transportation, and, of course, more open bars.

Fourth, outsourcing is being re-examined as an HR service delivery strategy. First Advantage used the conference as an opportunity to kickoff its new superbrand. You may know First Advantage for the variety of HR services they provide on the back end (reference checking, tax consulting, and risk management, to name a few). Then again, you may not know them because First Advantage has taken an aggressive strategy of acquiring a disparate group of organizations in a very segmented marketplace and have been demonstrating the real synergies that come from economies of scale and top quality service delivery by pulling several companies under one huge net. Of particular interest was CEO John Longs response to an outsourcing question at a press briefingthat his organization may provide services, as a third party vendor, to an outsourcing organization under their own brand, but his strategy is for First Advantage to offer its services as a provider/supplier in a more traditional sense.

Fifth, content is still king. The presentations I saw were loaded with useful substance and very thought provoking. Of course, I have a bias for HR practitioners who told their stories, such as Margaret Morford or ex-SHRM CEO Michael Losey. Or Bob Pruitt, who discussed how by bringing humor into the performance appraisal process at Parkview Noble Hospital he vastly improved the results. Then there were the metrics (Fitz-ensupdated, finally!), benchmarking (Kaplan is outinflexible!), and best practices (UCLAs Professor Moshe Rubinstein, a Masters Series presenter, asked why we should limit our line of sight to yesterdays best?). More important, SHRM demonstrated terrific research initiatives that included its second-year sponsoring of the 50 Best Small and Medium Places to Work. More kudos to SHRM for making it so easy to spot both the CEOs and their HR leaders from all the winners, by providing them with large badges so that we could see for ourselves their passion and energy and hear how much they value their employees and HR.

Last, it was good to see that HR is getting a seat at the table. Now we need to be sure we know what we need to do (and how to act) once we get there. More on that next month.

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KnowledgePlanet Becomes First to Offer One Price, Bundled Training Back Office Solution

KnowledgePlanet Training Back Office offers on-demand technology and ongoing administration and operations management in one solution 

MECHANICSBURG, PA (Jun 14, 2005) – KnowledgePlanet has further integrated its Training Back Office components to become the first learning solutions provider to offer a one-price, bundled service of on-demand technology and ongoing administration and operations management. The consolidated suite advances KnowledgePlanet’s strategy to focus learning technologies on significantly increasing customers’  competitiveness and profitability

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Drivers for WLM Solutions

How workforce realignment forces strategic thinking in HR organizations.

by Phil Fersht, Jason Corsello

The massive workforce expansion of the 90s has dramatically reversed with the combined forces of economic recession and global outsourcing. HR leaders are challenged to ensure that the workforce delivers on the corporate business strategy. At the same time, the dynamic economic environment is constantly forcing organizations to reshape the workforce. Many organizations that have traditionally focused on driving down costs by automating or outsourcing non-strategic, transaction processes are now looking at new approaches to create a flexible, sustainable workforce. Workforce lifecycle management (WLM) solutions are being deployed to extend internal mobility, improve the quality and timeliness of new hires, and increase the performance of the workforce.

 

BECOMING PERFORMANCE-DRIVEN 

With workforce reductions in place, leading organizations are creating a performance-driven culture based on measurable results that are aligned with corporate goals. The aggressive recruitment of high-performing talent will intensify, making competition tough for organizations that dont excel in WLM. Key areas of interest for performance- driven organizations include pay-for-performance programs and succession planning initiatives that accelerate the performance and growth of employees. Organizations are migrating HR BPO vendors in pursuit of cost reduction and to enable HR to think more strategically about their human capital. Recent case studies show that high-performance organizations consistently outsource administrative HR functions. Organizations of all sizes have adopted global outsourcing strategies to maintain initiatives in cost reduction and margin improvement. Self-service is a key enabler driving WLM adoption. As workforce mobility increases, organizations are empowering employees to be more self-sufficient. Using employee selfservice applications has lessened dependency on HR to provide administrative support. Self-service applications provide a single destination for all HR issues, consequently increasing the use of WLM solutions. In addition, self-service applications enable employees and managers to track career development and progress, further enhancing the performance of the organization. As M&A activity continues to pick up, organizations continue to implement processes that accelerate integration. WLM solutions can help organizations define their internal hierarchy, making it easier to analyze workforce requirements. WLM solutions can also enable integration by quickly identifying the right candidates for the merged entity. In addition, WLM can rapidly eliminate redundancy in the workforce and create a more cohesive and progressive organization.

 

ACHIEVING SUCCESSFUL WLM

 

Understand your organizations key performance indicators (KPIs).

Organizations must understand the key attributes that drive their financial success and link those drivers with their WLM strategy. For example, highturnover organizations should define a strategy for talent management and improving workforce quality. Lowturnover organizations should center on performance management and improving employee development, pay-for-performance, and succession planning.

 

Assign an executive sponsor.

A vision for human capital that is sponsored from the highest levels within an organization is key to transformation and leading strategic initiatives. Take inventory of past technology investments in workforce and learning management and identify the future strategic fit toward a closely aligned, integrated approach. Build integrated WLM capabilities incrementally.

 

Combine your WLM strategy with your HR BPO strategy.

If your organization is currently considering HR BPO or is an early adopter, this is an opportunity to establish a WLM solution with minimal or no additional cash investment. Todays leading providers offer WLM functionality within their platforms. Some are building their own proprietary tools, whereas others are offering best-ofbreed solutions integrated with their own platform. Ensure the BPO supplier can establish an effective program that provides you with the tools and support you need to manage these solutions.

 

Get started.

Adopting a WLM solution will not cure bad internal processes. Start by getting executive sponsorship that will spearhead the transformation process. Then begin due diligence immediately. Best-practice methodologies from HR service providers must be combined with technology and business transformation expertise. A WLM strategy should consider where an organization would like to be in several years. Although the integrated WLM approach is still in the development stage, it provides a great opportunity to create a leadership position for workforce excellence. [HRO]   

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An Outsourcing Insiders View of HRO World

We are all learning as we grow.

by Matt DeLuca

Jay Whitehead did it again at this years HRO World Conference. Always ready to push the edge, he boldly reminded all within earshot of the late Pope John Paul IIs message do not be afraid and fondly attached it to a major need for those of us in the HRO spacelearning. Learning is especially important at a time when we are constantly seeking new ways to be effective, while constantly delving further into outsourcing.

Ironically, Jays bold reminder was just before Susan Olivers presentation. She is Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Wal-Mart. Intrigued by her prepared keynote presentation that not even once included the O word, I first wondered about her abilities and those of the leadership at Wal-Mart. From Olivers speech, it is clear that she represents a model that Wal-Mart wants for HR that recalls the traditional line/staff support approach. While this seems the antithesis of the direction that most companies are moving, it is their company and they do employ 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce, so they must be doing something right. However, the success must be coming from other areas, as I am hard pressed to see where it is coming from their proposed HR model.

Taking a completely opposite approach, another attendee at HRO World and head of HR for another big retailer was Randy Ross, SVP Human Resources from Best Buy. Entering the Best Buy suite was an otherworldly event. People were buzzing and Randy greeted everyone who caught his eye. It seemed he was going to explode with ideas and excitement if the session did not immediately commence. And what a session it was!

Here is the future of HR. Ross is a bright strategic thinker with a strong action orientation. He quickly took charge of the session while sharing the podium with COO Diane Shelgren from Accenture HR Services. She had been the senior person responsible for the completion of the outsourcing agreement. It was clear that Best Buy and Accenture are still learning after a full year of implementation already behind them. Both Randy and Diane were articulate and extremely informative. They challenged the audience to ask demanding questions and they were quick with brief and insightful responses. This is the model that offers a glimpse of the future of HR outsourcing one that includes the challenges that need to be addressed and the rewards to follow.

If these two events werent memorable enough, on Wednesday, along came Andy Stern, head of the largest U.S. union, SEIU, with a rousing keynote that was thought provoking for a variety of reasons. In case you are wondering, he did mention the O wordin fact, he mentioned it many, many times. He is the one who has challenged the second generation leadership of the AFL-CIO to think as they have never thought before, and he is the one who continues to encourage them to expand and threatened them with the possibility of a walkout by the SEIU. To think he agreed to attend the conference and to do so after appearing on the cover of HRO Today magazine led to heightened expectations from those who rose early to hear his address in person. His suggestion that employers consider outsourcing to unions is certainly a radical way of thinking and even worth considering, until one realizes that a major systemic problem facing the unions continues to be redundancies within their own ranks. The problem starts with the traditional and current union model that has always considered the basic organization to be the union local with its benefits and training functions. Union locals are basically small businesses that refuse to consolidate themselves in the interest of eliminating redundancies and gaining expertise that, in fact, HR outsourcers provide. As bright as Andy Stern is, he has yet to recognize what HRO could provide to his organization.

How to sum up this barrage of messages gleaned from HRO World 2005? Do not be afraid to learnespecially when the experts themselves are still seeking the appropriate, relevant, and effective answers.

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