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TEC Product Certification Report: Oracle E-Business Suite (12.1) for HRM
Human Resource Management
is also known as : HRM Evaluation Centers
, Extensive HRM Products
, Scalable HRM System
, HRM Solution
, HR Area
, HR Trends
, Human Resource Manager
, HR Niche
, Human Resource Area
Human Resource Management Solution, HRMS Functional Capabilities, Non Competitive Zone of HRM, Managing Human Resource, Human Resource Management System, HRMS, Managing HR, Non Competitive Zone of HRM, Strategic Human Resources, Tier-One HRM System's Interface, HR Functions, HR Staffing, Workforce Service Delivery, HRM Checklist, Compare HRM Solutions, Best HRM System, Human Resource Performance Software, HRM Average Solutions, Oracle HRM Benefits, Asset Inventory Software.
Table of Contents
Oracle E-Business Suite (12.1) has been certified by
Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
Gabriel Gheorghiu, TEC Research Analyst
Demonstration conducted by
Balakrishnan Kumarapuram, Oracle Global Partner Demo Services, Director
Raphael Lallemand, Oracle Midsize Applications Programs, Director
Sandip Bagchi, Oracle
Ranjith Krishnamoorthy, Oracle
Sayan Chatterjee, Oracle
Anuj Saxena, Oracle
Degang Fu, Oracle
Narasimha Gabbita, Oracle
Saralikanth Potluri, Oracle
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) is pleased to announce that Oracle product, E-Business Suite (12.1) is now TEC Certified for online evaluation in the Human Resource Management (HRM) Evaluation Center. The Human Resource Management Evaluation Center enables you to compare and evaluate functionality based on TEC's comprehensive model of HRM software. Data used in the Evaluation Center are obtained from the vendor's responses to TEC's request for information (RFI). Certification ensures that
- Oracle E-Business Suite product's capabilities have been demonstrated to a TEC analyst based on the responses it provided in its completed TEC RFI;
- A TEC analyst has analytically and comparatively reviewed Oracle E-Business Suite RFI data against known benchmarks.
There are many benefits to evaluating a TEC Certified product. To potential clients of a software vendor, TEC certification provides the following:
- Reassurance: You can be assured that the data TEC provides about its certified products conform to a well-defined standard of accuracy. When a vendor's product is TEC Certified, it means that a trusted, independent third party has seen the product up close.
- Better Communication with Vendors: TEC certification helps ensure that vendors understand and respond accurately to their clients' RFI criteria. Certification with TEC analysts provides the opportunity to clarify any issues with the RFI criteria. This ensures that the vendor is speaking the same language as its potential clients—and gives the clients an unambiguous specification of product functionality to inform their selections.
The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations that rely on the integrity of TEC's research services for assistance with their software selection projects. Organizations looking for a solution can be confident that they're comparing the product on an "apples to apples" basis with other, similar products.
Oracle E-Business Suite Market Data Summary
Oracle Corporation is one of the most-recognized global software companies in the world, and is a leader in information management systems and business applications software development, including HRM and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The company also develops, markets, distributes, and deploys their applications, along with related consulting, educational, and support services providing. Oracle E-Business Suite is its flagship application software package, and is positioned as an application for all types of businesses, of all sizes—from small entities to large multinational corporations. A few modules of the product have been on the market since the late 80s; it is now respected worldwide for its robustness, functionality, and scalability. The E-Business Suite can be successfully used by a business of any size—however, the software reaches its highest potential when it is used in midsized businesses and in large and multinational organizations with a wide geographical presence and a significant number of employees.
Being a global IT organization and the developer of one of the most extensive HRM products on the market, Oracle inarguably has all the necessary resources to develop and maintain the product, and in-depth knowledge of vertical industries for a long list of businesses and operation areas. The Oracle E-Business Suite application's customers include thousands of small, medium, and large multinational manufacturers, retailers and distributors, facilities, services, and governmental organizations. The company offers many preconfigured vertical solutions that are created by its partners around the globe, and that make the implementation process shorter and easier to manage.
Oracle E-Business Suite application is successfully used at businesses and organizations for whom the number of users ranges from dozens to as many as tens of thousands. The company delivers the software application translated into all major languages, and offers support in more than 145 countries. The on-demand version of Oracle E-Business Suite HRM is also available for companies that prefer hosted and managed applications.
Upon reviewing Oracle E-Business Suite HRM during the TEC certification process, TEC analysts determined that the application is very rich in functionality; it is a fit for practically any business model and any size of organization. At the same time, its user interface screens and menus are unified and consistent; the view and logic are visual and user-friendly. The layout of the screens makes the system relatively easy to navigate.
As far as the functionality of the Oracle E-Business Suite HRM system is concerned, the following are the highlights:
- Oracle's open architecture allows for integration of different systems between various departments and regions.
- This product is certainly very complex and sophisticated, and has many different applications, processes, and internal tools. This sophistication makes it likely that users will need to expend considerable efforts to learn and become familiar with all the available tools and features.
- Oracle E-Business Suite ERP system is a flexible and complete product in terms of the availability of multinational, multilanguage, multicurrency, and multisite functionality. The product is truly global and can be especially beneficial in this type of business environment.
- The system's user interface features the usual screen texts, menus, tabs, and combination thereof with graphical representation of information, such as embedded diagrams and charts. It allows users to work with information quickly and with a minimal number of errors.
- Oracle E-Business Suite HRM contains built-in search and select functionality—a very powerful and helpful tool that is not often seen in managerial systems.
- There are many types of customizable dashboards throughout the entire application that help managers and other users involved in their business processes to control functions.
- Operations that are similar for different business subdivisions can be centralized and unified to prevent data inconsistency and errors (e.g., the global tax engine, the centralized payments engine, the unified bank account model). Also, the whole back-office model can be copied from one operational unit to another.
- The system provides the ability to convert raw shop floor data into formats that can be further used by the business intelligence (BI) application to create analytics, reports, and dashboards.
- The master data management (MDM) application can centrally control all business processes associated with different physical locations (such as remote corporate subdivisions), including integration with mapping and other third-party applications.
- Oracle Business Intelligent Publisher is a tool that provides easy creation and modification of documents generated by the BI application.
Despite all the software's features and advantages, Oracle E-Business Suite's level of functionality can be superfluous for some small businesses—sometimes exceeding their requirements. However, it must be noted that Oracle Corporation exerts significant efforts to make the application less complicated for small and medium businesses, by providing them with faster and easier configuration and implementation methods and tools. At the same time, complexity-as-a-weakness is also another of the system's strengths, which is the ability to support an expanding business and to support the future needs of a growing company. A highly scalable HRM system, by definition, does not limit a company in its increasing functional and technical requirements, and will remain adequate and efficient for any business scenario.
Based on four main principles, here is how Oracle E-Business Suite HRM fared.
Ease of Use
- Layout: A tier-one HRM system's interface is complex by definition, but taking this into consideration, the layout is straightforward and uncluttered. Information is arranged in screens, frames, and boxes, which allows for simple multitasking.
- Interface: The software has a fairly intuitive and logical interface which is highly configurable; its pattern and style are designed in Oracle's typical conservative manner, and are consistent throughout the screens of the system's major modules.
- Performing tasks: Tasks performed in any specific module are logically defined and accomplished. However, they do require that the user be trained on the application. The number of steps required to perform an average task was also reduced in the last release.
- Navigation: There are additional navigation tools and features available that make navigation easier and faster. Oracle E-Business Suite also supports touch-screen interfaces for information access and entering.
- Server: The solution can be deployed on the client's premise, or can be hosted and managed by the vendor.
- Information retrieval: The multiple querying, reporting, and auditing capabilities of the software allow users to search and track information they need. Often, users do not even need to run a report to obtain particular information; it can be easily obtained via a search-and-select function.
- E-mail notifications: Pre-built role-specific alerts and notifications are available, and their settings can be easily configured for particular users or user groups.
- Data export: Users can easily export data to Microsoft Excel and other third-party applications.
- Reporting capabilities: The solution offers extensive reporting and BI capabilities that are embedded into the software (for example: role-based analytical interface, dashboard tools, and multiple standard reports), or that are offered as a standalone application (Oracle Enterprise Performance Management).
Ease of Modification
- Setup: The user interface is highly configurable according to user preferences and needs. Many fields, buttons, tabs, and general layouts of screens can be easily created or modified as required.
- Flexibility: No hard coding is required for screen and user workspace modification; they can be reconfigured for the entire organization, at the department level (or for user groups), or at the user level.
- Integration capabilities: The solution offers seamless integration of core modules of E-Business Suite, and easy integration with other Oracle products or third-party applications using the flexible Oracle Application Integration Architecture and Oracle Service-Oriented Architecture Suite products.
- New features: In release 12.1, E-Business Suite Oracle offers many new technical and functional features that allow businesses to better organize data, increase efficiency, and improve the visibility and accuracy of the data. Many of these features are innovations with respect to the software industry as a whole.
- Security: Multiple-level access control technology allows various authorization settings according to user, group, or department, or by combined or segregated duties.
- Scalability: As evidenced by the vendor's marketing message, the application has superior scalability, from as few as 5 users to over 10,000 users. It offers the ability to set up multiple sites for different legal entities or remote subdivisions within the same company.
There are few principal competitors of Oracle E-Business Suite on the market; most of them are human resource modules or subsystems of large ERP systems, such as SAP ERP, Lawson Software, and another Oracle's product—Oracle PeopleSoft. However, other HRM-only vendors play with Oracle E-Business Suite on the HR niche, such as Ultimate Software, Automatic Data Processing, or Ceridian. It should also be noted that software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors in the human resources (HR) area have been able to progress quickly and offer powerful and strong products over few recent years, so it is quite possible that the market may be noticeably amended and reshuffled.
Using the TEC Advisor decision support engine, we have prepared a few high-level graphs that identify this product's functional focus.
The TEC Focus Indicator (FI)TM
This TEC Focus Indicator (FI) tells you which types of functionality are most likely to differentiate E-Business Suite from other HRM products. It includes three zones indicating the product's focus: the Dominant zone, Competitive zone, and Not Competitive zone.
TEC's models of software systems are designed with a comprehensive breadth; generally vendors will deliver a common base of functionality. While we believe in the necessity of knowing whether a product supports a base of common functionality, it's very helpful to understand how a product really differs from the crowd.
The bars in this FI chart represent neither the quality of the product nor an absolute quantity of supported functionality. Rather, the bars show support relative to the average solution.
The functional focus arrow indicates which modules of this product provide an equal or greater quantity of support than the average solution. Modules near the top of the functional focus arrow reveal where Oracle E-Business Suite is more likely to differentiate itself through breadth of functionality. The more concern you have for the type of functionality near the top of the functional focus, the more it's to your advantage to explore this product further.
Understanding the TEC FI Zones
The Overall bar bar shows the overall difference in supported functionality between E-Business Suite and the average solution. To understand how we calculate this difference read the Calculating the TEC FI section, which follows.
The Overall bar is our measure for determining which modules fall within the Dominant zone. If a module's difference from the average is greater than the product's overall difference from the average, we label it dominant. Those are the modules most responsible for pulling the Overall bar beyond the average.
Modules with values that do not extend beyond the Overall bar but still provide as much or more functionality than the average solution, are labeled competitive.
Oracle E-Business Suite has two modules located in the Dominant zone: Workforce Management and Training.
Oracle E-Business Suite HRM is quite far from being an average HRM solution in these two functional modules, except in the Health and Safety field, where Oracle's product is weaker than a knowledge base (KB) average; and Workforce Administration, where an average solution's rating numbers are pretty close to Oracle's results.
More details about the modules in the Dominant zone are available in the Functionality Benchmark section of this report.
The area of functional focus within the green Dominant zone indicates two things. First, it indicates which of the most competitive modules contribute the most pull in raising the product's score above the average. Second, it indicates where the product has a significantly greater level of support for functionality than the average solution in this space.
This also may reveal how the vendor has focused its product development. These modules may or may not make up the bulk or even the core of the functionality within the product but if you require more than the average breadth of functionality from these modules, this product will stand a better than average chance of satisfying your requirements.
Oracle E-Business Suite has three modules located in the Competitive zone: Benefits, Payroll, and Personnel Management.
The difference in functional levels of support between Oracle E-Business Suite and an average product in the Competitive Zone of the HR area is not that impressive as it is in the Dominant zone, which means that Oracle's competitors also offer good level of functionality in these modules. In Recruitment Management, the average solution even outperforms Oracle's software as it demonstrates a higher rating figure.
More details of the modules in the Competitive zone are available in the Functionality Benchmark section.
The area of functional focus within the green Competitive zone indicates where the product has a level of support for functionality that is somewhat greater or on par with the average solution.
In some cases, a module may be considered a commodity within the market so many vendors offer the majority of the functionality, thus it is difficult to differentiate a product based on breadth of functionality. In other cases, a vendor may intend its product to compete on a level that satisfies most customers' requirements for certain modules; however its focus on the market requires that it differentiate itself through other modules.
Not Competitive Zone
It must be noted that none of the functional modules of Oracle E-Business Suite are located in Non Competitive zone of HRM—the product is certainly strong in the space.
Generally, the area in the red Not Competitive zone indicates where the product supports a lesser quantity of functionality than an average solution. Modules listed in this section are unlikely to be as important to the vendor's target market as the other modules. It may also be the case that the product is a newer entrant to the space. If the product has a lot of modules in the Not Competitive zone it signifies a more finely scoped target for its functionality than other products, which may be indicative of a point solution.
Even if a product has modules in the Not Competitive zone it may still be entirely capable of satisfying your requirements for this functionality, particularly if the average solution offers more functionality than you require. Nevertheless you should be aware that if you require a greater than average breadth of functionality from a module in the Not Competitive zone, this product may not offer all of what you require. It's likely that you would need to review the product in more depth to determine whether its functionality is sufficient.
Calculating the TEC FI
TEC defines an average solution using data about real software products available on the market. We calculate an average of the capabilities about which vendors recently provided us with information and that we've certified. We define these capabilities and assign numeric ratings representing various levels of support in our models of enterprise software. These models may be accessed on our publicly available evaluation centers. Typically, we use anywhere from a thousand to several thousand criteria to determine the average scores.
The average solution forms the benchmark from which we calculate the difference in functionality offered by E-Business Suite. We plot the average solution's capabilities at point zero on the x-axis.
Next, we determine the quantity of functionality supported by E-Business Suite for each module in our model. We assume that all criteria are equally important. In a real world situation of course, you would give a greater priority to criteria that are more important for your needs. However, for the sake of the TEC FI analysis, we want to understand something about the product's focus independent of any users' functional priorities. (Note: If you wish to prioritize and evaluate the product's functionality, you can do so online in our HR Evaluation Center.)
We calculate the difference between E-Business Suite and the average solution, and we plot that value as a positive or negative distance from zero (the average solution's capability). If, for example, E-Business Suite offers a greater quantity of support for a particular module than found in the average solution, its line will extend to the right of zero.
It's important to note as well that just because a product has more or less functionality than another product it does not mean it is a good or bad product. To understand whether it will do what you need it to do, at a price within your budget, you must evaluate the product in-depth.
The following functionality benchmark graphs represent E-Business Suite's quantity of support for the functionality within each module identified in the TEC FI. The further the solid line extends toward the edge of the graph, the more functionality E-Business Suite supports. For the sake of comparison, you can see what you might expect from the average solution by viewing the dashed, orange line.
The rating for the Oracle E-Business Suite in the Human Resources module demonstrates an excellent result for Workforce Forecasting and Planning, Employee Metrics, Project Management and Tracking, Time Tracking, Expense Tracking, and Proactive Information Delivery areas, where the scores are equal to 100 percent. However, in other submodules the results are not as impressive, especially in Workforce Gap Analysis, Administration, and Health and Safety. The overall rating of Oracle E-Business Suite for Workforce Management functionality is 92.8 percent.
As for the average competitor, it is far behind Oracle's product in almost all areas, with the exception of Employee Metrics, Administration, and Health and Safety, where rating numbers are close to each others. Health and Safety is the only field where the average rival surpasses E-Business Suite. The overall rating of the average HRM competitor for Workforce Management functionality is 49.29 percent, and the differences vary from -7.6 (Health and Safety) to 69.68 (Workforce Forecasting and Planning) percent.
According to our diagram, the Oracle E-Business Suite is excellent in Quality Management, as it demonstrates 100 percent support level in both Planning and Administration functional areas. The average HRM competitor is behind with 57.75 and 60.16 percent accordingly. The differences between the products are 42.25 percent for Planning and 39.84 percent for Administration. It must be mentioned that there are fewer total number of criteria for this module compared to other modules.
The rating of Oracle E-Business Suite's Benefits module is excellent—it is equal to 100 percent for all three functional areas: Standard Benefits, Profile of Employee Benefit Plan, and Administering Benefits. The average HRM solution also demonstrates stable and relatively good results—the rating figures for the submodules vary between 89.14 and 89.76 percent with the rating of 89.53 percent for the entire module. Again, the fewer total number of evaluation criteria should be considered during an estimation process.
In the Payroll area, the Oracle E-Business Suite demonstrates an excellent rating score—it is equal to 100 for all six functional areas. Oracle competitors show lower average rating—it is equal to 89.87 percent. However in Security and Audit submodule it almost reaches E-Business Suite with its rating of 98.71 percent. In other fields the average rival's rating is not that stable and varies between 77.71 percent for User Balances and 91.81percent for Profile for Employee Payroll. The biggest difference in rating between Oracle's software and the average is in User Balances (22.29 percent), Earnings and Deductions (12.2 percent), and Automated Time Sheet (8.57 percent). The fewer total number of evaluation criteria for some modules should be considered during an evaluation process.
In the Personnel Management module, the overall position of Oracle E-Business Suite is strong-in eight out of eleven functional areas it demonstrates 100 percent of support level. These areas are: Profile of Personnel, Job Position and Wage Profiles, Career Development and Training, Management of Rewards, Budgeting and Cost Control, Employment History and Personnel Reporting, and Discipline Actions Tracking. At the same time few functional areas rating reductions allowed its competitors to almost reach it, and in case of Recruitment Management, even leave Oracle's product behind with 12.18 percent of difference. The largest gaps in functionality between two graphs are in Management of Rewards (20 percent), Profile of Personnel (15.20 percent), and Employee Self-Service (11.07 percent).
Oracle's E-Business Suite application demonstrates a lead role in all functional areas reviewed. Analysis of the graphs and software ratings clearly shows that this product is one of the dominant solutions on the market: it is mature, well-balanced, innovative, and comprehensive in functionality. Different types and sizes of businesses may benefit from Oracle E-Business Suite as a Human Resource Management System (HRMS) because of the product's flexibility and scalability.
Although there are few functional areas of E-Business Suite HRM where it offers support level lower than the average, Oracle's software overall functional rating still exceeds the average HRMS functional capabilities.
Nevertheless, based on TEC's product research during the product certification process, we consider this product to be well established, reliable, and suitable for companies that are dedicated to performance improvement and future development.
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) provides insight and expertise in offering impartial resources and services to minimize the costs, risks, and time associated with software selection. Over 3.5 million technology decision makers visit TEC's Web sites each month, to find information on hundreds of solutions, and to access articles, white papers, and podcasts. TEC's decision support system (DSS) and analyst data assist with the evaluation, comparison, and selection of enterprise solutions and services. TEC's offerings include in-depth research, detailed product information, and software selection services for any industry or company size.
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