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IBM Business Package for Portal Automates Human Resource Tasks; Reduces Administrative Costs


ARMONK, NY - Reinforcing its market leadership, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announces the addition of a second solution to its suite of Portal business packages for organizations that want the flexibility to rapidly build out new line of business solutions on top of WebSphere Portal software.

Reinforcing its market leadership, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announces the addition of a second solution to its suite of Portal business packages for organizations that want the flexibility to rapidly build out a new line of business solutions on top of WebSphere Portal software.

Available now is an easy to use add-on package -- known as an “accelerator” -- designed for improving productivity and performance by streamlining employee and manager-related Human Resources (HR) activities such as on-boarding a new employee, vacation planning, implementing a pay raise or other administrative tasks.

Based on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), IBM Lotus Workforce Management software, an IBM Self-Service Accelerator, is one of the new five accelerators offered with IBM WebSphere Portal software to help companies quickly deploy business-specific projects such as collaboration or dashboards. In late April, IBM announced the accelerators for IBM WebSphere Portal, including the release of the IBM Dashboard Accelerator, which is quickly gaining momentum in the marketplace. The Dashboard KPI sample catalog continues to grow, with new dashboards for local government, finance and automotive. It has been downloaded hundreds of times in the three months since it was launched.

Overworked HR organizations are required to deliver more service with fewer resources, impacting their ability to focus on strategic items that help ensure the vitality of their workforce. Intense labor competition requires organizations to devote resources to strategic activities to attract the right people and retain them.

IBM Lotus Workforce Management software helps organizations increase HR service delivery efficiency by providing employees with direct access to their HR information and transactions. This new tool also allows managers and HR administrators to directly engage in strategic HR functions. This way, HR resources are freed from administrative tasks and able to increase focus on strategic initiatives such as improving employee communication, developing employee retention and growth programs.

Organizations are looking to cut down the cycle of costly and time consuming processes such as getting a new employee up and running quickly. “Companies agree that employee self-service is critical. Across companies of all sizes, the biggest business driver and perceived positive outcome from employee portals is improved employee self-service. Self-service includes a wide range of activities -- such as benefits enrollment, managing personnel information, 401(k) tools, time and expense reporting, and performance reviews, among others,” the report states. - Forrester: “Companies Adopt Employee Portals, Not Portal Best Practices,” Matthew Brown.January,12 2007 (,7211,40879,00.html).

“Employee and manager self service is one of leading applications that WebSphere Portal is deployed for, so it is crucial to give IT departments and LOBs a new package to quickly and easily deploy a solution that is flexible to handle a variety of back end data,” said Larry Bowden, vice president of portal solutions for IBM Lotus. “Lotus Workforce Management will help our customers accelerate their efforts with building and deploying employee and manager self service solutions on top of Websphere Portal for use with SAP HR and other backend systems, thereby enhancing and extending their investments by making them more accessible.”

IBM Lotus Workforce Management software builds on IBM’s SOA technologies and brings the open, Web 2.0 enabled features of WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Portlet Factory and Lotus to SAP HR environments.

Benefits include:

* An intuitive, user-friendly interface that requires little training: Employees and managers are provided with a unified and personalized view into the content, transactions, third party applications and services they need to complete their work, streamlining their user experience and helping them to accomplish the task at hand without having to be trained on several different systems. The use of checklists guides employees through the steps required to complete activities related to career and life events in accordance with company policy and best practices. This eliminates much of the guess work and wasted time that employees often encounter when trying to determine what needs to be done. It also helps them complete their work on time by tracking progress and alerting them to impending due dates.
* An SOA architecture that helps customers integrate multiple backends and business processes: Self-service solutions often need to integrate multiple systems together such as benefits, payroll, training and travel into one single, cohesive front end. IBM Lotus Workforce Management can easily be adapted and customized to match specific requirements, making it easy to be integrated with a customer’s existing deployment.
* The ability to easily adapt and customize the front end functionality to match specific requirements: Every customer will have different requirements. IBM Lotus Workforce Management software provides many pre- built HR self-service components for HR activities such as updating an address, changing marital status or hiring a new employee -- that can be used “as-is” or quickly customized to fit a user’s exact needs.
* Ability to draw upon existing investments in IBM software and skills: Lotus Workforce Management helps customers accelerate value from their investments in IBM software and skills, drawing upon WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Portlet Factory and WebSphere Process Server. All user facing components -- or portlets -- are crafted with WebSphere Portlet Factory which offers a rapid and easy way to modify and extend the solution. Additionally all workflows for items such as new hires, employee transfers, pay changes, etc., run on an included license of WebSphere Process Server. Additional custom workflows can be easily developed to extend the solution by leveraging a full WebSphere Process Server license.

“When it comes to customizing portals to meet their immediate needs, our customers don’t want to reinvent the wheel. They want an HR solution that’s quick to implement out of the box, with built-in connectivity to their existing SAP backend data with a more simple, intuitive user interface to drive their HR projects. IBM’s new accelerator provides all that and gives our customers the kind of customization that our customers need,” said Dennis Rot, portal architect with Portico, a Netherlands-based IBM Business Partner. “Our customers will gain greater productivity from being able to combine their SAP HR data with other applications, plus the cost savings inherent in being able to add functionality to quickly match business requirements.”

This product is a component of the IBM Workforce Effectiveness - Workforce Performance solution from IBM Global Business Services, a combination of Human Capital Management consulting services and Lotus and vendor software designed to provide HR executives and line managers with timely insights into workforce information, and employees and managers with the HR self service tools required to improve productivity.

IBM Lotus Workforce Management is priced at $50,000 per processor and is available now. The Dashboard Accelerator is priced at $67,000 per processor and available now. The Dashboard KPI Catalog is included at no charge for any licensed customer of the Dashboard Accelerator at


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