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Oracle adds employee recognition, rewards to its cloud HCM

Oracle boosts its Cloud HCM suite with an employee recognition platform and healthcare-tailored workforce scheduling tool, leveraging insights from its $28B Cerner Corp. purchase.

Oracle has expanded its Cloud Human Capital Management suite, introducing an employee recognition and rewards platform alongside a workforce scheduling management tool primarily tailored for the healthcare sector.

Leveraging expertise from its $28 billion purchase of healthcare technology firm Cerner Corp. last year, Oracle developed a workforce management tool. This system combines business and electronic health record data, optimizes scheduling processes and offers employees self-service autonomy in managing their shifts.

The integrated system, dubbed Oracle Workforce Scheduling and Workforce Labor Optimization, is available to various industries, including retail and manufacturing. However, the spotlight remained on healthcare at the annual CloudWorld conference, said Yvette Cameron, senior vice president of global product strategy at Oracle Cloud HCM.

"Foundationally," the workforce management tool can be used in other industries, but it may need fine tuning to meet specific industry needs, such as retail, said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research.

Having integrated management and system information is critical "for the manager to decide whether to pitch the shift, and for the employee to see how much they can make," he said.

As Oracle HCM ventures into the competitive market of recognition and rewards tools, analysts see a strategic move. According to Zachary Chertok, an analyst at IDC, the initiative seems less about tapping into the established market and more about enriching the data pool, tying it seamlessly with an AI system under a unified security environment to "amplify the value of their client's operational data."

Oracle wants to amplify the value of their client's operational data.
Zachary ChertokAnalyst, IDC

The new Oracle Celebrate tool is natively developed and part of Oracle ME, its employee experience platform. Oracle seeks to harmonize Celebrate data throughout various HR functions, including performance reviews and learning.

The workforce scheduling system combines data from business systems and electronic health record data to optimize scheduling. It also gives employees self-service scheduling. Allowing employees to manage shifts and schedules is "going to help them balance work-life requirements," Cameron said.

Oracle HCM's new offerings are separate products with their own pricing.

Oracle HCM competition

As Oracle adds recognition and rewards, competitors are diversifying product lines. Workhuman and Achievers, for instance, expanded into employee resource groups, while Achievers added workplace belonging, Chertok said. 

Workhuman this week said it has increased its integration with Microsoft Teams to take more advantage of its technology, such as dynamic forms. When pinned as an app on Teams, it will open, like hitting a web browser tab.

Recognition software is used to achieve an employer's culture goals, said Jim Drewry, Workhuman's vice president of product, and the integration with Teams brings recognition and rewards into the flow of work, he said. If someone wants to recognize employees, that person will see the employees' connections and the people they most closely collaborate with, making it easier to note those who helped close a deal, for instance.

It's essential for employees to want to use Workhuman's software and to feel that "it's a benefit, not a burden," Drewry said.

Patrick Thibodeau covers HCM and ERP technologies for TechTarget Editorial. He's worked for more than two decades as an enterprise IT reporter.

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