This article is part of our Essential Guide: A guide to HR technology

Misys expects payback in 12 months from talent management in the cloud

Financial software company Misys has opted for a cloud based talent management system, after SAP proved wanting.

Financial services software company Misys has rolled out a talent management platform for over 4,000 employees.

The platform, from cloud software company SumTotal, is expected to pay for itself in less than a year.

“We only have to impact our employees to be 1% more effective and we can pay back within six months,” said project manager Helen Thiel.

Accurate staff records

The platform, known as MiCareer, has given Misys an accurate record of its staff, their skills and career development programmes across 50 countries for the first time.

The company had previously relied on a five-year-old SAP HR system, but it had proved unpopular with employees who found it difficult to use. Many managers in the organisation chose not to use the system, with the result that HR records were incomplete.

Key parts of MiCareer

Learning Management System

Employees can search for internal and external courses, and see how training will help them in their career progression

Compensation Management

Manages merit reviews, bonus reviews and promotion reviews. Managers can look at the performance of teams, and check the impact of bonus payments on budgets.

Performance Management

Allows employees to set personal goals which align with the higher level goals of the company. People can see how their work benefits the whole organisation.

“People were going offline and there were as many recruitment approvals being done outside the system as there were inside the system,” she said.

Misys hired Thiel, director of Veran Performance, as interim head of global operations and transformation in October 2011 to manage a replacement HR system.

Misys had originally considered replacing SAP HR in its entirety but the plans changed after Vista Equity Partners, a company that specialises in turning around enterprise software companies, bought Misys in June 2012.

“We were advised that the implementation costs of doing a new end-to-end core HR and talent management system would have been significant,” said Thiel.

Bolt on cloud service

Misys decided on a lower cost option, to keep SAP HR and to add a talent management service on top of it.

It chose the ElixHR cloud service from SumTotal, another company in the Vista Equity Partners group.

Added urgency

A decision to merge Misys  with Turaz, a company that specialised in risk management software for the financial industry in June 2012, gave the project added urgency.

The two companies had overlapping customers and it was essential to bring them together as quickly as possible, said Thiel.

“We could not have two or three people phoning the same person trying to sell very different products,” she said.

Misys and Turaz set an annual, ambitious five-month deadline for introducing a talent management system. Their aim was to get it up and running in time for managers to calculate annual performance and pay reviews.

The project team began with a series of workshops with SumTotal to define the specifications for the talent management system in February 2013. The tight-deadline meant there was little room to do anything more elaborate than an out-of-the-box implementation.

“We had to work within the standard configurations, and avoid customisation. That caused us to make some drastic business decisions,” she said.

One of the biggest technical challenges was developing an interface to link ElixHR with Misys’ existing SAP HR system. Creating a single sign-on capability for the talent management system was another hurdle, said Thiel.

Better accuracy

The system, which went live in June 2013, has made it much easier for employees to manage their career development and training. Employees can log on, see what skills they need to move to a new position in the organisation, and apply for relevant training courses. Career paths are much clearer.

The accuracy of the company’s HR data has also improved dramatically, said Thiel.

“Managers have become very keen to see information on their team. If the team is not 100% correct, or it shows someone is a contractor, instead of a permanent member of staff, they come back to us and ask us to change the data,” she said.

The next step is to merge people data with business data to help the company to identify the skills it will need in the future.

Misys uses, a web service for salespeople, to track calls to the support desk. The system tracks calls according to the module of the product affected, and Misys categorises the skills of its staff in a similar way.

“By merging the two, that is how we can measure our skills gaps,” said Thiel.

Benefit of hindsight

With the benefit of hindsight, the decision to bolt on a cloud-based HR system to Misys existing SAP based HR system proved the right one, says Thiel.

“If we had set out to re-implement a new HR system from scratch, by now we would have only replaced like for like what we already had,” she said.

“We might have a much more user friendly starter and leaver process, but we would not have added anything else of value to the organisation.”

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