Entity Solutions is one of Australia’s leading workforce management service organizations. The company provides holistic engagement, management, and value-added services for white collar contractors (also referred to as independent professionals and independent contractors) and the organizations employing them. It also offers migration, back office, business establishment, and management services.
It serves more than 400 corporate organizations, recruitment agencies, and more than 2,500 independent contractors.
Entity Solutions’ core, brand value and competitor differentiator is service excellence. To continue to lead its competitors in delivering advanced workforce solutions, it strives to provide individualized and streamlined core support services. Entity Solutions decided to automate its human resources (HR) capabilities to support individual independent contractors and meet corporate expectations for secure, online workforce management. It also wanted to improve its customer experience and operating efficiency by consolidating in-house administrative functions and adopting online processes.
By implementing Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle WebCenter Content, Oracle Application Development Framework, and Oracle SOA Suite, Entity Solutions delivered a customized online portal to transact, communicate, and share information easily and quickly with its customers. It saved 100 work hours per week by automating manual HR processes, accelerated contract processing and new employee induction time by 100%, reduced paper and printing costs by 30%, improved the user experience, delivered better services, and maintained its leadership position and competitive advantage in the recruitment and contractor services markets.
Entity Solutions implemented Oracle WebCenter Portal to provide an online portal called Entity Online for its corporate customers and independent contractors. The new portal delivers a scalable, efficient, and user-friendly service that enables corporate clients and independent contractors to communicate and transact through an online channel, rather than over the phone, by fax, or in person. The portal also provides intuitive online management capabilities and improves user experience and services provided to both client groups.
For example, customers can download a blank timesheet and fill out the details, such as work hours or allowances, and upload the timesheet through the portal. The customer can also update or change details online, such as new pay rates or effective dates. The updated information is validated through the portal and then transferred into Entity’s back-office systems for payroll processing.
In the first 12 months following deployment, 90% of customers—2,000 individuals—signed onto the portal, and actively used its functionality. Entity Solutions also implemented Oracle SOA Suite to seamlessly integrate the portal with several back-office systems such as customer relationship management (CRM), payroll, and invoicing, and enable real time update of the information in the systems. It significantly improved workflow management, data integrity, and operating efficiency.
“As a leader in professional contracting services, we want our workforce solutions to be the best, the easiest to use, and the most time efficient and user-friendly for our customers,” said Jonathan Knowles, executive director, Entity Solutions. “Through Oracle WebCenter functionality, we now have a superior online portal that helps us attract and retain high quality professionals.”
Through the Entity Online portal, Entity Solutions automated several previously manual HR processes, such as new contract execution, pay slip distribution, contract extension, and expense claims. It enabled Entity Solutions to streamline communication processes, improve business efficiency and customer service, and reduce costs.
“Our clients can choose to receive broadcast messages via e-mail or SMS,” said Knowles. “For example, independent contractors receive an automated message about successful payroll delivery when we finish our pay run. Entity Online enables us to track processing and delivery of these services, and provides better services to corporate customers and independent contractors.
“Bringing new independent contractors onboard is also much quicker and costs less. We have improved the contract and induction processes by 100% by bringing it online. While we have had strong growth over last 18 months, we haven’t needed to increase staff. In fact, we automated most of our administrative workload, so we have been able to lower our headcount by consolidating five administrative branches into one national operations team.”
Entity Solutions has moved core business processes online and makes all forms, internal policies and tax information and regulations available on the portal. As a result, the company has cut printing and paper costs by 30% and reduced its environmental footprint. “Instead of printing contracts, putting them in the mail, manually tracking them, and waiting for them to be returned, we simply upload them into the online portal. We track contract progress online, and engage with the contractor if necessary. When the contract is executed, it is uploaded and stored online,” Knowles said.
Entity Solutions can now provide up-to-date and accurate reports for its corporate customers through dashboard functionality, and meet growing demand from corporate customers for a secure, online reporting channel.
Twelve corporate clients have adopted the Entity Online portal, enabling them to generate reports and integrate these into their own systems. For example, clients can see the summary report for individual payments made independent contractors or to staff managed by Entity Solutions through the reporting dashboard.
Oracle WebCenter Portal’s advanced security functionality also enabled Entity Solutions to gain a competitive advantage in winning new business, by withstanding vigorous external IT assessment and scrutiny.
“We can now show our customers, especially tier-one corporate clients, that our data is secure, particularly as it is sent over a secure portal. They can confidently use the system for planning and budgeting, and gain a holistic view of their workforce. It’s a significant win for us and something we promote within tenders to attract large-scale corporate customers,” Knowles said.
Entity Solutions also implemented Oracle WebCenter Content to store and publish documents, policies, and procedures that are relevant to the services provided to its customers. It delivers the content, such as contractor hiring policies, securely to Entity Online and enables the company to publish the content any time.
All 82 Entity Solutions staff can now easily access and manage the content in the portal through internal workspaces, improving the speed to complete tasks and update information, such as publishing a hiring policy update.
“Staff members have an Oracle WebCenter Portal Workspace screen—called Zeus—on their desktop, and it provides online workflows and user-friendly interface functionality, enabling our staff members to manage the content without IT assistance. We are already seeing significant business advances, especially in reducing overheads and streamlining processes,” Knowles said.
“We have a lot of technical processes, so automated workflows reduce the time for new employees to come up to speed, and to ensure process integrity. The simplicity and intuitiveness of the automated workflows has dramatically improved staff efficiency.”
Entity Solutions used Oracle Application Development Framework to implement 40 to 50 task flows, which present as wizard-like applications and guide customers through the online sign-up process and ensure that they input data and perform updates correctly.
For example, Entity Solutions used an automated on-boarding task flow to guide users on how to enter and update information online, such as contract and address details, emergency contacts, visa approvals, banking details, retirement fund contributions. More than 4,000 users use this task flow annually, saving the company 100 hours a week in general administrative tasks, while improving data accuracy.
“We no longer need to provide a helpline, as we have a system that allows users to intuitively and quickly complete the onboarding process. The functionality and the speed to deliver new capabilities to the portal saves in operating costs.” Knowles said.
Entity Solutions’ selected Oracle WebCenter Portal, for its integrated technology stack, superior security, simple architecture, and competitive price point.
“We met with six suppliers, including Microsoft, and found Oracle’s solutions checked more boxes than its competitors. We selected Oracle WebCenter Portal as it offered superior security, a simple architecture, and an integrated technology stack that costs less and delivers more than competitor offerings,” Knowles said.
The implementation process began in April 2011, with a single business unit pilot focused on back office administrative and payroll support. Oracle WebCenter Portal has been in production since mid-2011. The company extends the deployment every three months and consistently gains new functionality and competitive advantage.
Entity Solutions deployed its internal site in January 2013 and the external corporate portal, Entity Online, followed in February 2013.
Entity Solutions engaged Oracle partner LogicalTech in an advisory capacity during the product evaluation and selection process. LogicalTech worked with Entity Solutions for more than 18 months, providing technical support and resources, including architectural expertise.
“Of all the suppliers we considered, LogicalTech was the most dedicated to understanding our business and developing the Oracle business case. The team understood our business challenges and clearly articulated how Oracle WebCenter Portal could address them,” Knowles said.
“LogicalTech provided a great deal of support and guidance, and delivered a successful deployment. It is now assisting with skill transfer to ensure that we can continue to build our internal expertise.”