Busy? Maybe. Boring? Never. This is how we roll at COGENT!!

By Sabita Reddy

Consultants

Whether it is to waking up to a melodious alarm go off on your nightstand or to the polite greetings of the front desk staff of the hotel you are at..

May be the day just kickstarts with a meeting at the client’s or maybe you are just waiting to get off that red eye…

Not a day in the life of our SAP consultants goes by without having to juggle between different time zones, prioritize tasks for the day from their to-do lists, get frenzied about rewriting that report while making sure the kids get dropped off to their schools on time, make every effort to understand a possibly dysfunctional environment while seated at the new client’s office meeting, or review a report for the fourth time as the deliverables of the project are due in a few hours.

Such busy schedules and short timescales may seem to create the notion that this work is meant for those very few – who like to live the nomadic life. However, there are the others who have consciously chosen this arena and who also fall under the ‘consultant’ category, just because they have the opportunity to work in their pajamas sitting on that favorite recliner, or as they tuck their kid for a nap.

Being a consultant can be hard, but the flexible timing and working hours in this line of business means that the consultants are responsible for the time at work and also for the time they enjoy. If working hard, being busy, and wanting to have a ton of variety in your professional life, is a pursuit…then this job is certainly for you.

At Cogent, our SAP experts admit to enjoying every single day at their job. As they work on game-changing projects for various leading companies, they say they gain an in-depth knowledge of a different industry with every new project, and are challenged to do things differently every single time, to meet each client’s expectations. They love being dragged and made to jump out of their current routine tasks and lay hands on other on-going projects with their team-mates. Most exciting of all is that they feel lucky to socialize with people from different countries, cultures and disciplines. In the midst of all this chaos, they actually find time for some pleasure too. They enjoy the breathtaking views of the Mt. Rainier in the Northwest, and the blue skies and white sandy shores in Miami. They waste no time pretending to be Irish at the St. Paddy’s day parade in Chicago, or to just sit back and relish the flavors of the southern-style deep-pit barbecue while in Texas. At the end of their projects, our consultants are just eagerly looking forward to their next adventure that Cogent has for them.

Our troopers add that their ‘not-so-glamorous-work’ (realistically speaking), has turned out to be a fun and a challenging one instead. Being able to lean onto some great mentors at any given time of the day (who are ready to answer their call regardless of which time zone they are in), and being able to get the best staff support and incentive system at Cogent, they claim to take away a very unique experience that has continuously enriched and enhanced their professional and personal pursuits like no other company.

In simple yet true sense, Cogenters are busy exploring the best of all worlds, and Cogent promises to keep it that way for them!

We are just not a staffing company, but a family filled with knowledge, fun, security and stability.

Come, Grow with us!

My session at HR 2016

-Ganpy

SAP HR 2016 was a return to my home territory as a speaker. The last time I spoke  at an SAP Insider conference (HR conference) was in 2010. So, it has been a while. A lot has changed in the SAP HCM landscape since then. And I have in some ways, moved onto doing more exciting things – not entirely away from SAP HCM, but onto more generic HCM technologies & Mobility in particular. This year, I decided to test how much of a thirst is there among the audience, especially the ones attending SAP HR conferences, for my current pet topic, “Employee Engagement” and decided to submit an abstract during the fall of 2015. I was very clear that this topic is not SAP specific.

The SAP Insider HR conference producers apparently thought there was enough interest in my topic and in my abstract & selected my topic and invited me to speak. I have to thank them for their confidence in me. Creating the right content for this session was not very difficult, but I had fun doing it. And also, it helped me organize what I wanted to convey to my audience in a very organic and an organized way. I delivered my session today (02/26) as scheduled and I was satisfied with the overall flow, reach and audience participation.

Thorsten Gorny and Steve Ditty, my lovely colleagues from Cogent IBS accompanied me to Las Vegas this year. We had a great time bonding & talking about HR, Coobo, Cabaana and Cogent in general.

Here are a few pictures from the last 4 days.

If you are interested in downloading/reading my presentation, here you go…
Enjoy!

 

 

 

Happiness

Can you measure happiness? More importantly, assuming you can measure happiness, can you control happiness through measurable parameters? And even more importantly, assuming you can control happiness through measurable parameters, how much control do you have over those parameters versus the control your environment has? 
A very interesting computational model tries to explore this above question. 
And we at Cogent, have been doing our own research on Happiness in a totally different context (Employee Happiness). Needless to say, this is exactly why this study caught our eyes.

The subjective well-being or happiness of individuals is an important metric for societies. Although happiness is influenced by life circumstances and population demographics such as wealth, we know little about how the cumulative influence of daily life events are aggregated into subjective feelings. Using computational modeling, we show that emotional reactivity in the form of momentary happiness in response to outcomes of a probabilistic reward task is explained not by current task earnings, but by the combined influence of recent reward expectations and prediction errors arising from those expectations. The robustness of this account was evident in a large-scale replication involving 18,420 participants. Using functional MRI, we show that the very same influences account for task-dependent striatal activity in a manner akin to the influences underpinning changes in happiness.

Read more to see how the formula for happiness could be this.
Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.39.17 PM

Source: PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America)

Workforce Solutions Review

Sharing a recent publication from Ingentis.
Author: Christine König, Ingentis

HR Technologies for the Multi-Generational Workforce

HR technologies of today and tomorrow must be flexible and responsive to the largest demographic groups, Generation Y (millenials) and Generation Z. Gen Y, aged from early 20s to early 30s, grew up with many new technologies and they can be characterized by their need for flexible working arrangements. An intensification of these characteristics is represented in their successors, Gen Z. Born in the mid-1990s and later, most of Gen Z will be entering the workplace within the next few years and have an even closer bond to technologies and social networking than Gen Y. They have high expectations from all technology since they have grown up with mobile phones, smartphones, and tablets.

You can download the publication here.

 

HR 2015

The Roadmap – Or is it a mirage?

By Ganpy

When I walked out of the SAP Insider HR 2014 conference last year, my experience was two headed – one as an exhibitor and the other as an SAP HR practitioner. As an exhibitor, it was probably the worst conference we had done (won’t use this blogpost to discuss the reasons but there were perhaps many). And as an HR practitioner, the conference was a bit deflating in some ways. The mixed message that was being sent left everyone a bit confused (putting it mildly). SAP reconfirmed that SuccessFactors was here to stay but they just couldn’t guide its customers in the most practical way to get them buy that message and also make sense of what that means for them.

Fast Forward One Year.

The SAP HR leadership came out all guns blazing this year (or so it seemed like) with the message that they have figured out a roadmap. And there indeed is one. And only one. Well sort of…And all customers should get on board with it and the final destination will be CLOUD. To me that was the best thing to have come out of the conference. A unified message. Unlike the previous year’s. I say that with a super script note that there was also this other message that floated around during the conference that the on-premise support is going to be available till 2025.

Yes. For another 10 years. Which has already been assured by SAP.

Even though this message sort of dilutes the potency of the former message in many regards, this is also reassuring to many large customers who haven’t looked at SuccessFactors as a potential HR system yet but have much rather treated SuccessFactors for what it originally was – a Talent Management system. So knowing that SAP is already promising them another 10 years of on-premise support, they are under no pressure to evaluate a cloud system, even though the supposed roadmap provided by SAP leads them to cloud at some point in future.

Ha. I see what you are thinking. A Roadmap shrouded in a cloud of ambiguity. 

No pun intended.

Personally I was also keen to learn a thing or two about Employee Central Payroll which finally has taken some shape compared to where they were in 2014. I attended a session on Employee Central Payroll hosted by Graham Wong, CEO of HRFP, a leading HR focused SAP consulting firm. HRFP has had the unique opportunity to be one of the early adopters of ECP and they have implemented the solution internally.

Nothing better than a bunch of veteran, platinum SAP HR consultants getting their hands dirty and sharing their experiences. Right? The session was one of the very few unbiased and no-sales-pitchy sessions.

My biggest takeaway on this topic (and from this session) was that it is going to take more than a working product to convince customers to develop a business case to justify a switch from an on-premise SAP Payroll to ECP.

I personally don’t see this is as an easy task at all. It also is why SAP may be taking an extremely cautious approach in figuring out how to package their message for this solution in contrast to how they did for Employee Central. I don’t see SAP placing their bets fully on ECP as yet. If ECP is eventually successful, it will likely be with brand new clients, who buy Employee Central because they want a cloud HR cloud solution and they are the ones who would rather outsource their payroll to a cloud based provider. ECP fits right in as the perfect solution for such customers. But then we are talking about a totally different market. Non-SAP for all practical purposes.

The core of ECP is SAP’s payroll engine and hence should be reassuring to all those who want to question the robustness of ECP. But because it is a disjoint payroll system (not unified like SAP HR/Payroll) – there still are many loose ends to be tied, especially when it comes to Benefits and Time integration. May be they never will get tied, if SAP decides to target ECP to the above category of customers who are better fit for this product.

Booth

Booth

Exhibition Hall

Hotel Bellagio - Venue

Hotel Bellagio – Venue

Cogent IBS didn’t have a booth this year, but we extended our support to Ingentis, who had a booth on the exhibition floor. Our overall experience as an exhibitor was much better than last year’s. To quote an Ingentis colleague, “100 times better”. The expo hall seemed to have shrunk in size (and in the number of exhibitors) and this may have helped us a bit. We were one of the very few (two or three) product companies on the floor. The real test on our ROI for the conference will be when we qualify the leads we got out of the conference.

As I sit on the plane typing this post and reminisce over the past few days at HR 2015, I have mixed thoughts..

As much as networking with past customers, colleagues, partners and friends was refreshing, energizing and rewarding, as it always is, I continue to wonder if SAP has managed to convince its customers what their HR solution roadmap should be?

Or is it a mirage?

Highlights of HR2014 – Nice, France

By Ganpy

Let’s get the obligatory joke out of the way first. Shall we?

“Was the Nice conference nice?”

“Yes. It was..”

Michael (Ingentis) and Ganpy

Michael (Ingentis) and Ganpy

Exhibition Hall

Thorsten giving a Demo

Now that we have the joke out of the way, I will quickly summarize our experiences from the conference.

The +

  • Venue – Couldn’t have picked a better venue in Europe for that particular week. With so much going around Nice in that week and with all the great weather, it seemed just right to have a conference in Nice.

The  –

  • Venue – Yes, This was in France. But there clearly were no French customers at the conference. Or, if they were there, we didn’t spot them. In the hours of idle time we had at the booth on Day 2 and Day 3, we exchanged notes with our booth neighbors who are a French company and they confirmed the same. And the reason? Apparently, the speculated reason was that the Insider conferences are priced very high for an average French customer.

The +

  • Our Booth Location – Yes, it was perfect on Day 1. We had good traffic on Day 1 and we were placed right on course through the main entrance to the Exhibition hall and a beverage/refreshment table was placed right in front of our booth.

The –

  • Our Booth Location – The exact same location. But on Day 2 and Day 3 that was a bane to us (perhaps because they moved the refreshment table somewhere else). We had a low turnout on Day 2 and a lower turnout on Day 3.

The +

  • 5 conferences at the same time – HR, BI, FI, GRC and HANA – all attendees came together for those 3 days in Nice. This made us meet all kinds of customers and we did learn a thing or two about the daily operations challenges in SAP in areas outside of SAP.

The –

  • 5 conferences at the same time – HR, BI, FI, GRC and HANA – all the attendees came together for those 3 days in Nice. This meant we couldn’t really tell who was HR, as our primary focus was HR customers and hence sometimes, what appeared like a decent conversation at the booth eventually would end in a meaningless conclusion.

The ,

  • The European versions of these conferences are still maturing. May take another 3-4 years before they get into a rhythm, if they do that it.
  • They have to keep changing the venue but perhaps, should settle down to one or two options eventually, as from what we have seen, the venue doesn’t necessarily seem to encourage more local customers to show up for the conference.
  • Our partnership with Ingentis keeps getting stronger at a personal level when we get to spend more time at these conferences, because we get an opportunity to understand each others’ businesses in detail, through personal insights.

The ?

  • Many questions to ponder before we plan our next year’s SAP Insider conferences. Cogent IBS, needs to consolidate a product portfolio, with a clear message for these Insider conferences (especially the European versions), so that our pre-conference and post-conference marketing campaigns could be a little more impactful. Our message for 2014 was “HR Anywhere” and that seemed to resonate well in the US conference, but probably not that much in Europe.
  • More analysis on how to generate a better traction at the booth needs to be done (again for the European version). We did well overall, in terms of quality of leads but we are not yet sure, if we missed any opportunity to meet more customers than we did.

The .

  • In summary, this was really a great conference and we will continue to take part in this, either till we see we are not generating any quality leads or till we see the conferences stop growing at some point. For now, both of the above are not true.
  • Our Thanks to Ingentis for being part of this conference and for sharing the booth space.

 

A Recap of HR 2014

-By Ganpy

As with every year, the first conference in the calendar is always exciting for us. And that too as an exhibitor.  The HR 2014 conference in Orlando held was the first scheduled conference for us. And needless to add, we were planning for this with so much fervor and eagerness, during the past couple of months leading up to the conference. Ingentis GmbH, our partners, were also with us at the conference and we had a great time in Orlando for a week. The below is a quick recap of my experiences from the conference both as an SAP HCM practitioner and as an Exhibitor.

As an SAP HCM practitioner

SAP, after the acquisition of SuccessFactors has definitely been very aggressive in pushing cloud HR solutions in the last year or so. But since the penetration of on-premise SAP HCM has been pretty deep already, it has been and will continue to be a challenge for SAP to get every customer onboard with cloud. They have been reasonably successful till now, in getting all their customers’ ears, but what is also true is that many of the customers are probably doing this, merely because they don’t know how else to react.  Having said that, I believe that SAP on-premise solutions will continue to dominate in the near future, while more and more customers, for the fear of being left out and also due to peer pressure in the industry, will simply purchase SuccessFactors Employee Central and start playing around with the landscape it offers. I for one, expect more discussions in the marketplace and perhaps some confusion as to what is the right strategy for every customer. This also means, some consultants will be busier than the rest, while the general overall HCM consulting landscape will continue to dwindle. In this context, for me, as an SAP HCM practitioner, this conference was particularly interesting to see what kind of mindset customers were in and how the conference & the many educational sessions were going to help them answer some of their questions. I did talk to many customers and I also had some knowledge exchange discussions with fellow HCM practitioners in the market. I met with some companies with interesting new solutions to augment HR systems, much like what Cogent IBS and Ingentis are doing.

Here are my takeaways:

  • There is lot of angst amongst customers
  • The options available for a regular SAP HCM customer are too many that it is not very clear what the best option is for someone at a given point of time
SAP HCM Options

SAP HCM Options

  • There is more acceptance of cloud for HR than a couple of years ago
  • Majority of the customers have either already bought SuccessFactors or are going to in the near future. But how far they will use EC and ECP is an unknown
  • From a consulting standpoint, many established consultants are very optimistic with these changes while some are not, but the universal consensus is that SAP HR consulting will never be the same and the net monetary effect on the consulting industry will actually be negative
  • SuccessFactors has come a long way from being a standalone Talent Management solution to being the center of the HR universe
  • In about 24 months, we will know if SAP’s SuccessFactors bet actually worked or not

As an Exhibitor

Alright. Now, to the more interesting aspect for me in this blog post, that is to share our experiences as an Exhibitor. If you were part of the mailing list, you would have received some of our pre-conference campaigns and you would have noticed that our concept for HR 2014 was “HR Anywhere”. Our main objective was to showcase  our mPower HCM suite of apps – mPower mD, mPower mE, mPower mM, DynaMeet and Ingentis org.manager & distribution.list. In addition, we were also trying to highlight our Mobility consulting and HCM consulting services.

Set Up

Booth Set Up – 1

Booth Set up - Done

Booth Set up – Done

On Monday, the Cogent-Ingentis team (Ganpy, Sean, XP and Markos) finished setting up the booth. And on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 of the conference (March 11, 12 and 13 2014), we were there bright and early at the venue, to get things started.

At the Booth - Day 1

At the Booth – Day 1

The below are some pictures from our booth.

At the Booth - Day 1

At the Booth – Day 2

Day 3

Day 3

Day 1 was certainly the busiest, as we met several customers and other conference attendees stop by. As the conference continued to gain some momentum, we were able to get the attention we wanted to and bring some traffic to the booth.

Overall, here are some takeaways from the conference as an exhibitor:

  • The general interest for highly easy to use HR Mobile solutions is high
  • In spite of several HR apps being available in the mobile marketplace, there is no single app that gives user experience the importance it deserves
  • Our mE (ESS) and mM (MSS) apps certainly got the most attention
  • There were at least 5 or 6 potential customers who showed particular interest in these mE apps and we hope to follow up with them in the coming weeks
  • There were some interesting leads for Ingentis as well (for org.manager)
  • mPower mD as an augmented solution for Ingentis org.manager probably was not messaged well during this conference but we hope to do a better job of that in the next conference
  • The idea of selling a standalone Mobile Directory was a bit of a challenge in an SAP conference. But interestingly there were customers who wanted to hear a bit more about Employee Engagement, when we brought that up. As our mD solution continues to evolve, I am sure this is something we will keep in mind

After we dismantled our booth and packed our booth materials on Day 3, we couldn’t help but agree that the conference went by too fast. We had ups and downs throughout the conference and the kind of team we had made it all worth. There were probably a few things that the conference organizers could have done differently to accommodate more exhibitor friendly schedules, but there is never a perfect schedule in such conferences.

So, Thanks to the wonderful team from Wispubs/SAP Insider for putting together a great conference.

We should also acknowledge and thank our partners from Ingentis, especially Markos, for all the help & support they provided for the conference.

Now that we are back at our home bases, we hope to carry forward the momentum we gathered at HR 2014, Orlando.

The next stop will be Nice, France. See you soon! Oui. Oui.

Notes from HR Tech Europe 2013 – Amsterdam

By Thorsten Gorny

I admit I love going to conferences and expos! I love the day before the official start when vendors are setting up their booths, when you literally can watch how a whole industry is getting ready to expose its products and services. I love the opening day when all the attendees are strolling in and the expo hall is getting busy and you feel the excitement in the air. And of course I love to catch up with clients, partners and other vendors, to stroll around, see all the great products and solutions and get a first hand experience with all the new and exciting stuff.

With the HR Tech conference in Amsterdam, being the last stop of our conference journey for 2013, a great and a joyful conference year is ending for us at Cogent. Having been invited from our partner Ingentis to share their booth, it was a great opportunity for us to extend our network in Europe and also to get in touch with many Ingentis’ clients. Just the right event for our official market launch of the “Ingentis org.manager” version of our mobile directory app mPower mD. (With the now available version Ingentis’ org.manager clients are able to implement the app in no time without any investments in any additional infrastructure since it seamlessly integrates into their existing system landscape interfacing directly with Ingentis org.manager).

Besides the business side of things it is always great fun to catch up with our partners from Ingentis and we always come back home with lots of new ideas, great experiences and much good energy. So thanks again to Ingentis for sharing the booth with us!

Our booth team L-R: Thorsten Gorny, Michael Grimm (Ingentis) and René Mallon (org.systems NL)

Some background info about the conference

Even though the HR Tech conference Europe might be still quite new to many since it only was inaugurated in 2011, it quickly has grown into one of Europe’s most important conferences in the HR space. In this year’s conference 42 Nations were represented, 75 Conference Sessions with 78 Speakers were held, 1439 attendees and more than 15 million employees are potentially influenced by those who attended the conference.

As these numbers tell, the conference was a quite well attended event with a very international background. Besides the big ‘usual’ sponsors like SAP, ORACLE, workday, SuccessFactors there were many smaller companies and startups showcasing their solutions, which made this conference the perfect event for HR professionals to get a good overview about the latest and greatest in the HR space. And since it was happening in Amsterdam, one of my favorite cities in Europe, the location made the event even more attractive to many people.

What was ”hot” at this year’s HR Tech Europe?

As you could tell from the experience at other recent conferences, there was a lot of hype around the ‘usual’ topics such as Cloud and Talent Management. As for Cloud solutions I feel the European market, being usually a little more conservative than the US market, is slowly getting ready for Cloud HR solutions. Just based on my observations and discussions during the conference I can tell there is a high interest in “Cloudification” of HR. It will be interesting to see how fast the European market catches up…

Also, and this is good news for our mobility practice at Cogent, I can say the “Applification” of HR has turned from a novelty – or new approach – into a not only accepted but even increasingly expected matter. People expect the simplicity and easiness from consumer apps at their workplace as well, so it’s time for HR and solution providers alike to take into account that “Employees” are actual people. And as such they like to choose their own tools, their own devices, want to be freed from their desks and do their work whenever and wherever… For us as a solution and a service provider it means we not only have to convince the organization or the HR department, we also have to convince every single employee (people) that we have a solution that it’s worth working with.

This might sound like a big headache but I look at it as a great chance and opportunity for bringing fresh ideas and new ways of thinking into the marketplace. And it was very interesting to see all the different approaches from different vendors to face that challenge.

The following companies with their solutions I think made a very good job of “applificating” the HR solution landscape and hence grabbed my attention:

Dashboarding 2.0 – Dashboards taken to the next level

If you are using Dashboards you really have to check out Macromicro (www.macromicro.com) and their awesome new way of visualizing your HR data. With Macromicro you can literally dive into your data and gain an entirely new and more precise perspective of your organization through an interactive, animated, multivariate interface. Personally I think this is the hottest stuff for Reporting & Analytics at the moment and I am looking forward to see how this new startup rocks the marketplace in the near future.

Streamlining your on-boarding process

Another vendor that grabbed my attention was Appical, a mobile learning solutions vendor based out of the Netherlands. They grabbed my attention for a couple of reasons: First, it was almost not possible for me to not notice them since they had their booth just across the aisle from our booth. Second, they had a really cool theme: Their booth had two airplane seats and they had their product flyer designed like an airline ticket since their solution was about ‘on-boarding’ new employees. And third, of course, the product itself was cool too. They have developed a mobile app that helps you on-boarding new employees in a modern and engaging way. The app comes with a web editor which enables clients to develop their own content for their ‘on-boarding’ app. So if you want to improve your on-boarding process you might want to look into Appical which was, by the way, the winner of the iHR 2013 Award for HR Tech Start-ups.

“Socialification of HR”

Another interesting solution that I had a chance to play with was xtune, a social collaboration platform that makes it easier to connecting and sharing expertise within an organization in order to solve a problem or achieve a goal easier and faster. Anyone can create a “swarm” by sharing an idea, problem or a project. xTune finds those people who have relevant expertise and interest on the subject and invites them to join a so called “swarm”. The level of participation within the swarm can vary, participation and sharing of expertise in a swarm are encouraged through transparency and a unique social rewarding system. So if you would like “to know what you know” go ahead and check out xTune (www.intunex.fi).


Of course, these solutions are just a small selection of many great solutions showcased at the conference and also are just my own individual choices – but in my opinion they are definitely worth taking a look at. If you are interested in more (less biased:) information please feel free to go ahead and check out the sources listed below or just contact me directly at tgorny@cogentibs.com.

More information about HR Tech Europe

HR Tech Europe website: http://www.hrtecheurope.com/

Pictures from the conference: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hrtecheurope

Presentations from all speakers and sessions: http://www.slideshare.net/hrtecheurope

HR 2013 – Our experience

HR 2013 – Our exprience

(By Ganpy)

The set-up…

When Sean and I arrived in Vegas on the 24th, we were a bit apprehensive. Wouldn’t we be? We had this humongous pressure of making sure our booth set up went well the next day. This was our first time setting up a booth with a sort of magnetic display and there were several unknowns around what parts we could be missing, etc. So as much we would have liked to have a quiet and a relaxed Sunday evening, it turned out to be just quiet.

The next day, when we arrived at the venue (Hotel Bellagio), our partners and our neighbors for 3 days, Michael and Markos from Ingentis were already there. In fact, they were already done with most of their booth set up. In hindsight, that turned out to be good. Thanks to them, we were able to speed up our process of setting up our booth. With a couple of pauses, we were done with our booth set up by around 2 PM and the only thing that was left at that time was the monitor which hadn’t arrived yet.

It took us another 3-4 hours before we mounted the monitor, et al. Phew.

Our Booth - After the monitor is mounted

Our Booth – After the monitor is mounted

So thus it all began. We were officially ready for HR2013.

The fun..

Both Sean and I needed just 10-15 minutes to get into the groove of things on Day 1. This is normally the case in any exhibition environment. You need some time to get used to your surroundings, your booth neighbors, the general atmosphere, the logistics of things in and around, etc. But this time it was a bit different because we were offering pictures at the booth along with a raffle draw. This surely was an entertaining way to get people to interact with us. We met some potential customers, who were genuinely interested in knowing what “mHR” was all about and those who showed keen interest in our mobility offerings.

Needless to say, Day 1 was the busiest day, with Day 2 and Day 3 were progressively less active in terms of the number of people who stopped by our booth to enquire about our Mobility offerings. Overall, we met some really good customers, who we think will benefit from our mobility offerings specially our “mPower HCM App suite”.

For more information on our mPower App Suite and to learn more about our current Mobility offerings, you may refer to our Mobility page.

The take aways…

HR 2013 was all about two things:

1) SuccessFactors

2) Mobility

  • We were glad and excited to showcase one of the above 2 much talked about topics at the conference.
  • The excitement for Enterprise Mobility is real, while it is true that most customers still do not know how to go about implementing their enterprise wide mobility strategy.
  • The scope for our Corporate Directory app is enormous. We just need to find the right message to get across so that more customers can get a feel for some of the unique features we bring along with our product and how working with Cogent to get a mobile solution like this to their enterprise will actually prove beneficial compared to a few other options they may have. I am sure this will happen in due course of time.
  • We need to continue to focus on the most commonly felt pain areas within HR functions, where mobilizing those would improve the overall efficiency of the processes.
  • Customers still need a lot of guidance and help right from choosing the right architecture for mobilizing their HR functions to deciding what functions they should mobilize to achieve the maximum ROI.
To conclude, we learned a lot by being an exhibitor because this gave us an opportunity to interact with customers across many industries face to face and to understand their day to day challenges, in a more hands-on environment.
It would be an understatement to say that Cogent IBS is in for a successful and an energizing ride in the Enterprise Mobility space.
Here are a few more pictures:
Our Neighbors from Ingentis - Markos and Michael

Our Neighbors from Ingentis –
Markos and Michael

Sean, Ganpy, Michael and Markos

Sean, Ganpy, Michael and Markos

Mobilizing your workforce

This will be the future

[Author: Nataraj Ganapathy (Ganpy), Principal at Cogent IBS Inc. & an SAP HCM Expert with over 17 years of industry experience]

If you are from the HR industry, I am sure you must have come across this phrase quite often. Specially, in the past couple of years. The era of smart phones and tablets have certainly brought a new dimension to our professional lives giving most of us a sense of blurring division between our work and personal lives.

But it’s not all bad. In fact, that blurring division is what I think could make our personal lives function more effectively, if we know how to balance our priorities. Some of the old schoolers may not agree with me. To me, whether you like the idea of this blurring division or not, it is here to stay and it is probably going to get more and more blurry in the coming years.

Mobility and HCM

Making some of the common HR functions available on mobile devices is not a revolutionary idea. It is merely an extension of what the market demands specifically in the HR domain. SAP itself has jumped on the bandwagon and has come out with a few apps of their own.
And there are a few other companies out there in the market today that develop mobile apps for SAP HR core business processes so that an organization’s workforce that are on the move have access to them wherever they are. In essence, anywhere, anytime access to basic HR functions.

There is enough proof out there already that confirms our belief, that empowering your workforce with such applications will increase productivity both in the short run and in the long run.

Here are some examples of HR functions where mobile applications when available could increase the productivity of your organization’s mobile workforce.

  • Employee Lookup Or Corporate Directory – Ability to pull employee contact details and some other basic information including reporting structure.
  • Leave Requests – Letting employees enter their leave requests and follow-up based on manager approvals/rejections
  • Time sheets – Weekly/Daily time entry
  • Travel Requests – Letting employees enter their travel requests and follow-up based on manager approvals/rejections
  • Approvals – Time sheet approvals, leave request/travel request approvals
  • Travel Expenses – Ability to enter travel expenses including automatic receipt imports/capture and be able to submit them for approval

The above are just a few commonly used HR functions by most of a company’s workforce.
If some or all of the above functions are available on mobile devices with a well thought out design and flow, imagine the kind of flexibility that your mobile workforce will derive from this.

This brings us back to the question of blurring division between work and personal lives, as with the advent of such mobile apps on your smart phones & tablets, some may feel that work is going to tend to expand to fill your living rooms and bed rooms, as you now are able to execute functions & transactions that you once were able to do only when you are at your desk in the office.

As a result, In my opinion, what will really blur in future is not so much the division between your work and personal lives, but really the very concept of ‘your office’ or ‘your desk’.

Good or Bad, this not going to be a choice for the future. This will be the future.

Embrace it and get ready to mobilize your workforce.