Infosys synchronizes global HR processes for publishing giant Reed Elsevier.
by Alison Weiss, May 2011
The ever-evolving world of digital publishing and research has changed a lot over the past decade. And Reed Elsevier has had to change with it.
In the process of transforming from a print-based to an online revenue-based company, the world-leading provider of professional information and online workflow solutions discovered a need for news skills in the workforce. But existing IT systems were not supporting Human Resources’ need to identify employees by expertise, develop the new skills required for a dynamic market, and manage the workforce across the business. The U.K. and Netherlands–based Reed Elsevier needed a new system to provide greater visibility and greater control over HR-related data that serves 35,000 employees in 15 countries.
The company required a more cohesive human capital management (HCM) system and strategy among its disparate operations to continue to flourish. New, stringent international data protection and privacy regulations posed data security challenges for existing HR systems. Also, in recent years Reed Elsevier has grown through mergers and acquisitions, adding various inherited HR systems to the IT footprint.
“We had more than one way to manage even simple processes, with barriers to having effective analysis and visibility across the enterprise,” says Tom Sayers, program director at Reed Elsevier.
Management at Reed Elsevier selected Oracle Diamond Partner Infosys Technologies to implement Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise HCM applications, release 9.0 as the foundation for its new PeopleHUB global HCM initiative. The goal of the project was for Infosys to use its expertise to manage all the functional, technical, and program management work streams to help create an optimally customized system outfitted with an intuitive user interface. The scope of the project utilized Infosys’ Global Template Process to harmonize 30 key business processes across eight modules. The company also provided Reed Elsevier with add-on tools and solutions that ultimately provided cost savings and reduced customizations.
With a long history of working with multinational firms implementing large-scale HCM systems, the Infosys team understood the process consolidation issues faced by global companies looking to introduce new HCM systems individually by region or by country. “Too often, somebody feels something has been thrust upon them by another more powerful region or group in the organization,” says Tarang Puranik, PeopleSoft practice manager and associate vice president at Infosys.
To avoid this potential conflict and to emphasize inclusivity, teams including Infosys and Reed Elsevier staff traveled to Global Process Template workshops at key Reed Elsevier locales. The teams used Infosys’ innovative Global Template approach to precisely identify critical business processes and determine key local regulatory requirements at each locale—all before starting the development and implementation process.
Puranik says the Global Template approach relies on standard global processes defined by the PeopleSoft product, which reduces IT administration and reporting overhead and minimizes the costs associated with customization. “Before, HR teams across regions wouldn’t know what other regions were doing,” he says. “But after the Global Template approach, there was a better appreciation of what is happening across Reed, as well.”
With such effective preplanning, Reed Elsevier management was confident enough to implement multiple PeopleSoft modules simultaneously for the PeopleHUB HCM system. By December 2009, Infosys had consolidated Reed Elsevier’s two PeopleSoft Enterprise 8.8 installations into a single system. Subsequently, North America was reimplemented on PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0 and went live in July 2010 with Human Resources, Benefits Administration, Payroll Interface, Time and Labor, ePerformance, Absence Management, and Community Portal, thereby establishing the global foundation for other regions. “Now Reed Elsevier can see accurate, real-time information about its workforce through a single information system with data that is fully integrated and not siloed,” says Puranik.
Infosys is a global consulting and information technology services company with more than a decade of deep experience with PeopleSoft, making it an excellent choice as a strategic partner to implement Reed Elsevier’s HCM transformation strategy. Infosys is one of only two global Oracle Diamond partners and has achieved Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized status in many Oracle practice areas including PeopleSoft, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Oracle Exadata, among others. Oracle and Infosys share a research lab at Oracle’s headquarters called the Oracle-Infosys Innovation Center, through which the two companies cocreate solutions for clients in every industry.
Indeed, Reed Elsevier management is very pleased with the Infosys partnership. “It’s been a really close relationship, with the Infosys team working right in the same building. The boundaries are really quite blurred,” Sayers says. “This is only the end of the beginning. Now that we have the system in, we need as a business to begin to realize all the indirect benefits, identifying those opportunities and learning how to leverage the HCM application and getting the most value out of it.”
Moving forward in 2011 for the next phase of the project, Infosys and Reed Elsevier will work together to implement PeopleHUB across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Sayers says, “Infosys has the bandwidth and skills to be able to provide the extra resources we need. Their value is delivering to clients and offering critical commercial flexibility.”
“People are the most valuable assets for a company,” continues Sayers. “Any increase in the quality of information that we have about our people that yields an incremental benefit in terms of developing internal talents or small efficiency savings has a real impact to the bottom line of our business.”