Bob Keane, Remedy Corporation's Senior Product Manager for the Remedy
SetUp@Work product started work only four days after he was hired. Although
his own desktop machine hadn't been delivered yet, he was set up with
a loaner, and all permissions and links were in place so that he could
start to work. In addition, he could easily check the status of his PC,
desk blotter, trash basket, and other yet-to-be-delivered items from a
browser. Andrew Pritchard, Remedy's Director of Solutions Marketing, remembers
the first employee he hired once the precursor of SetUp@Work had been
deployed internally. "Not only was he all set up with a computer and a
phone and phone number, and ready to go the minute he walked in the door,
he already had 55 e-mails!" (It turns out that many of the 55 e-mails
were confirmations of service setups and orientation meetings that Mr.
Pritchard had specified for him.)
SetUp@Work is a tool that lets managers define the full range of services
needed by an employee. Beyond its use for new employees it is also targeted
as a tool to support groups or whole companies during moves to new quarters.
Companies can also use it to speed the integration of new employees after
an acquisition. Remedy calls this an Employee Transition Management product.
tool works with Remedy's Strategic Service Suite to transfer a manager's
request for hardware, software, permissions, and services to the groups
responsible for meeting them and to track and report status. Behind the
scenes are Remedy's powerful workflow tool, the Action Request System
Corporation: Poised for a Comeback?) and a newer tool, an approval
engine that manages the potentially complex hierarchy of approvals needed
to unlock the goods and services the employee needs.
offers the following prototype ROI calculation to help justify the product.
The claim is that to set up or move an employee without automated assistance
costs $750, assuming a total of 8 hours spent by the IT, HR and Facilities
departments. Using SetUp@Work reduces the cost to $200. In a 2,000 person
company, with an expected 300 new employees, 300 employee moves and 200
replacement hires due to attrition each year, the savings from SetUp@Work
is $440,000. This takes into account the employees' lost productivity,
although perhaps not the cost of the hiring manager's Grecian Formula
14, needed to hide all those newly grayed hairs.
product has been newly released with a number of features, including integration
with other Remedy applications, interface enhancements that make the product
more useful in multi-site organizations, and intelligent task assignment.
With intelligent task assignment the system will automatically make task
assignments that are consistent with the particular new employee. In practice,
this means that a hiring manager in Boston can use a template to kick
off setting up the new employee without bothering to specify that the
assigned service technician should be one based in Eastern Massachusetts
rather than one in Southern France. To the user SetUp@Work appears to
manipulate a family of objects with inheritance and instantiation; however
the implementation is not based on object oriented technologies.
Strategy and Trajectory
SetUp@Work is one piece of the larger Remedy@Work suite of workplace
automation solutions, which also includes Remedy Purchasing@Work and
a soon to be released travel and expense product (see Remedy
Plots A Course To Travel And Expense Capabilities).
of Remedy's products are compatible through the Action Request System
and their Enterprise Integration Engine, which provides connectivity to
back-end ERP, HR and database systems. As an example, the SetUp@Work product
can be fully integrated with Remedy's Help Desk, Change Management and
Purchasing@Work products. Thus, if a new employee needs a desktop computer
or desk that can't be found in inventory the order can be generated and
sent for approval automatically.
puts SetUp@Work on two strategic growth paths. First, as a member of the
Remedy@Work suite it will be joined by other complementary applications.
Among possible new products would be collaboration and task management
tools. It seems likely that evolution will move in the direction of a
portal solution, in the sense that Remedy may find ways to integrate other
standard employee functions, such as e-mail and schedule management from
Microsoft or Lotus, under the common Remedy@Work interface. Second, SetUp@Work
also is part of a "vertical" application suite targeted to IT asset management,
working in tandem with such applications as Remedy Change Management and
Remedy Service Level Agreements.
said, we don't foresee any major changes to this product in the next two
years. Unless (and we think this unlikely) it turns out not to meet customer
needs, we think Remedy will treat it as a well-defined product eligible
for only minor enhancements, and turn its attention to rolling out new
is looking for its early adopters among mid-level companies, especially
those meeting one of more of these conditions:
contingent work force
of an industry undergoing deregulation.
believes that the product is fully scaleable to the largest enterprises.
time Remedy expects most sales to be to existing customers, but has
already had new customers come to the company because of SetUp@Work.
Remedy believes that this interest validates its assumption that there
is a significant market for Employee Transition Management, and expects
to be the leading vendor.
Sometimes we see complex products and wonder whether they have yet found
the problem that will justify them. SetUp@Work is exactly the opposite
kind of product. You only have to hear about it to say, "Of course. How
obvious." It's an elegant idea that almost every growing company can see
an immediate need for. Certainly, anyone who's had a new job or a new
desk since about 1988 knows why this product was created.
is its hallmark, but some serious infrastructure is needed to make it
work well. Remedy's Action Request System and its Approval Server engine
provide that infrastructure. As noted above, Remedy can offer out-of-the-box
integration. This is an obvious advantage that will be increasingly leveraged
with future products.
The major weakness of the product may be only that it is not conceptually
difficult to replicate. While it is true that Remedy has a lead both in
terms of timing and in terms of the sophistication of its AR System, its
competitors could easily announce products that have the same general
description. This would tend to fragment and confuse the market. Remedy's
best protection is to develop its marketing to new customers quickly;
the existing customers who might add SetUp@Work shouldn't be ignored,
but are not likely to go away. Of course, most B2B markets are fragmented
anyway, so this is hardly a major concern.
we don't see too much to change here. This is a simple product that meets
a significant need and promises substantial ROI, if not in terms of the
time of the newly hired employee then certainly for the time it saves
the hiring manager.
some sense, though, that simplicity and high value create a problem for
Remedy when selling to customers who do not have Remedy's infrastructure
in place. Such customers must in effect have a number of Remedy infrastructure
products to get full value, which we define so as to imply full integration
with back-end systems. These are provided with the purchase of SetUp@Work,
so cost isn't an issue. But the additional pieces do add some complexity
to the IT department's life. Having a version of this product that could
make use of other components could be of value. Since Remedy already has
begun to build partnerships with integration and middleware vendors, so
as to provide alternatives to their own Enterprise Integration Engine,
this is probably an easy path to follow.
downside is that this move might reduce the product's ability to leverage
sales of other Remedy products to such customers. Our guess is that Remedy
would be better off with a more inclusive strategy, but we recommend only
that they make the call as soon as they can. Certainly, the early announcement
of a "standalone" version, if that is the decision, could inhibit some
How much would you give if, on your next job, you could be ready to do
real work on the first day? How much time has it cost you to have your
office moved? How much would you give if, as a hiring manager, you could
reduce the administrative headache of launching a new employee, or of
moving a group, by fifty or sixty percent? Add these together and multiply
by the number of new or moved employees. Even if the value doesn't quite
satisfy ROI requirements, it will be clear that investigating SetUp@Work
is the humane thing to do for the other people in your company.
believe that existing Remedy customers will have no trouble justifying
this product. For customers who are not already Remedy users there will
be questions to answer about integration with back-end systems or with
other workplace products. Explore these carefully with Remedy.