Oracle Upgrades HR Cloud Software To Battle Rivals

Integrating human capital management and talent management into other business apps gives Oracle stronger footing against challengers SAP, and Workday, says president Mark Hurd at Oracle OpenWorld.
Oracle, under pressure from competitor Workday, announced upgrades to Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud and Oracle Talent Management Cloud at Oracle OpenWorld Monday.

Workday is an eight-year-old SaaS startup that went public last October and raised $685 million. It's using the funds to compete for new human capital management (HCM) software users and existing Oracle PeopleSoft customers. SAP, IBM and are also stepping up their efforts in human capital management.

Oracle is fighting back from its position as a deeper and more fully integrated software stack. Monday, the first full day of Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, Oracle president Mark Hurd emphasized enhancements to the Oracle HCM products.

Hurd pointed out at an afternoon press conference that talent management isn't such an isolated function, now that HCM Cloud and Talent Management Cloud have been more closely integrated. As the talent management system captures comments and evaluations on particular employees, that data can be added to other parts of HCM, such as succession planning and talent pool apps. The talent review dashboard has been connected to the succession planning and talent pool apps to give managers a more holistic view of position candidates.

[ Want to see how Workday expects to compete with Oracle? See Workday Posts Strong Start As Public Company. ]

Many of the changes in the Oracle Talent Management application are upgraded features of Taleo, which Oracle acquired in February 2012.

In his morning keynote Monday, Hurd also said that HCM Cloud and Talent Management Cloud will make increasing use of social networking. With the updates, employees may choose elements from their LinkedIn profiles to add to their internal Talent Management profiles. The Oracle Recruiting Cloud app, part of Talent Management, can automatically send job postings and other notices to designated Facebook pages, Twitter handles and LinkedIn groups.

Unlike other vendors that are also offering HCM and talent management, Hurd said Oracle is integrating them "horizontally as well as vertically." By that he means integrating not just with other HCM or HR applications but with payroll, general ledger and other financial systems. That's necessary for the full effect of Talent Management and HCM to be felt in an organization, he said.

"I hear they're working on financial services at Workday," he noted during the press conference, in his only direct reference to a competitor. Workday already has financial applications that it's integrating with its own HCM apps, but they are younger and less mature than its HCM apps. "It isn't important that you just have a suite," Hurd said. The horizontal integration with other, mature applications also counts, he said.

Other updates included an Android application for HCM Cloud that allows managers to access human resource systems from mobile devices and tablets. An iOS version already exists.

Likewise, managers may work offline on performance reviews, then synchronize their work with the central Talent Management Cloud system.

Learn more about enterprise software by attending the Interop conference track on Applications and Collaboration in New York from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.