Oracle licensing problems
Another benefit has been the simplification of licensing arrangements, which had become a sticking point with PeopleSoft owner Oracle. Although Medtronic had a global licence for PeopleSoft, Hansen said that the company incurred unexpected charges when rolling out features in new countries.
"It took me about nine months to implement the PeopleSoft [absence management] solution and I was seriously over budget. The people from Oracle told me that if I was to go to another country I have to pay more licences. So in every single country there are extra licences and sign up costs for their module, which then completely blew off my business case," he said.
"Also at Oracle I had to pay for extra functionality. Here at Workday it is packaged and you can use it much faster."
Big data pilot
Having completed the first phase of the Workday rollout, the second part will involve the optimisation of software features. Medtronic also plans to incorporate more features of the software as a service tool, including a planned trial of Workday's big data analytics functions over the next 12 months.
For Medtronic's HR department, big data could mean analysing millions of staff records to provide better career paths to aid the development of staff by placing them into roles that have historically led to quicker progression.
"One of the scenarios we are trying to build out with big data is 'career-pathing'," said Hansen. "We have seven million records of job history and career history that have been built up over the years. We want to start doing some analysis on that now.
"We could look at what a successful career path has been at Medtronic historically and start analysing this data. [This could highlight] certain paths that led to success, what those factors were, and how can we potentially start integrating this into our succession planning and talent planning review."
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