PeopleSoft beefs up employee management application

Business application vendor PeopleSoft is rolling out an application that will allow companies to treat their employees like valued customers.

The company this week is expected to announce HR HelpDesk, which will draw from the company's human capital management human resources and customer relationship management (CRM) product lines. PeopleSoft claims it will enable companies to escalate queries from their employees to the most appropriate human resources specialists via multiple channels, including call center, fax and the Web.

"It's a highly integrated end-to-end service delivery model specifically for human resources services," said Hanif Ismail, director of global human capital management strategies at Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft. "It includes real-time integration between CRM and human resource management systems [HRMS]."

A human resources specialist using the application will automatically be logged on to both CRM and HRMS applications and can securely access an employee's profile in the master human resources database according to rules contained there. "We've built in a 360-degree view of the employee you can access as soon as you get the phone call," said Ismail.

While simpler enquiries can be answered via the Web or through self-service, HR HelpDesk also permits personal interaction. It comes with a knowledge base component for a human resources specialist to search through and deliver answers. For more sophisticated queries -- such as when an employee needs a consultant to assist him in deciding a health care package -- the application can also route employees to the most appropriate human resources personnel.

This is a fairly unique offering that can complement a company that also uses self-service applications, said Jim Holincheck, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based consultancy Gartner Inc. "There are still many cases where an employee needs to interact with human resources," he said.

HR HelpDesk could boost human resources specialists' productivity by placing employee data directly onscreen in front of them. Holincheck noted, however, that Siebel Systems Inc. has an employee resource management help desk product, but it is not human resource-specific.

HR HelpDesk will ship in the first quarter as part of the PeopleSoft 8.8 CRM and HRMS applications.

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