Empowerment – People and Places: Come and See Us at #CIPFAWales

If you’re going to keep up with the ever-changing nature of the IT industry, it’s important that you’re empowered to take control and shape the future of your own organisation.

Next week, we’ll be attending the CIPFA Cymru Wales Annual Conference — which is the biggest public sector conference in the country – to speak with clients and colleagues alike about how we can do just that, enabling people to think differently and provide better services for all.

Our very own Managing Director, Simon Robinson, will be giving a workshop at the event entitled “Empower Your Staff or Close Down Services” and, if past conferences are anything to go by, you won’t want to miss it!

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If you’re attending the conference, don’t forget to come and visit us at stand 7, where we’ll have a number of exciting challenges that will demonstrate the empowering aspects of the Cloud while giving you the chance to win some money for a charity of your choice.

We’ll also be chatting to people about our PolicyPlus family of products and how they can benefit those in the public sector. If you have any questions, this is your chance to ask them – don’t be shy!

If you aren’t able to attend the conference, watch this space – we have a few things up our sleeves that should help you to feel like you were right there with us!

To find out more, visit the CIPFA website. Don’t forget: if you want to attend, you’ll need to book your place before you go.

If you’re planning on attending, let us know what you’re looking forward to the most by leaving a comment below or sending us a Tweet.

We hope to see you there!

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Parental Leave – too complex to comply?

Every year, tens of thousands of new mothers in the UK are forced to give up their jobs due to issues largely relating to both employers’ and employees’ understanding (or lack thereof) of parental statutory rights and maternity leave.

This number isn’t hard to believe when you realise that new mothers encounter significant problems when requesting time off and flexible working, and that 16% of employers feel maternity leave is too difficult to implement.

It seems that parents are receiving a fair amount of misinformation, too – about 21% of employed mothers believe they are only entitled to 39 weeks of statutory paid maternity leave, despite being entitled to an extended maternity leave of up to 52 weeks, and fathers who choose not to take paternity leave tend to do so because they don’t think they can afford to take the time off, even though they’re entitled to pay during that time.

On top of this, almost half of all pregnant women in the UK are disadvantaged in some way simply for being pregnant or taking maternity leave, and around 7% of those women (30,000 people!) lose their jobs as a direct result of their pregnancy. Discrimination due to pregnancy or parenthood status is illegal, and yet this sort of thing continues to happen every day.

The main reasons that employers give for not complying with the law, whether unintentionally or otherwise, seem to be the costs and difficulties associated with planning and organising work or cover for employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave, as well as a general lack of knowledge or understanding of maternity rights.

It’s no surprise, then, that there is such a stigma attached to parental leave – the complexity of the process itself seems to be a significant contributing factor to employers’ reluctance to allow certain types of parental leave, as well as to all parties’ overall lack of understanding of statutory leave entitlements. Aside from the cultural expectations regarding the roles of mothers and fathers, the discrimination that some parents experience in the workplace could, in fact, be an indirect result of the pressure that managers experience during the parental leave process, which largely seems to centre around the cost incurred by the organisation.

 So how do we solve these problems?

There are three simple steps that you can take to avoid the common problems associated with parental leave:

  1. Remove the burden of knowledge from employees

It seems logical to combat this lack of knowledge by educating your organisation’s entire workforce about their entitlements and the legal issues surrounding parental leave, but is this inevitably costly process – which will have to be repeated often – really the best solution?

Instead, consider the benefits of completely removing the burden of knowledge from your employees and placing it onto your ERP system, which already deals with many of your other policies and procedures, allowing your policies to work as intended without relying on an employee’s understanding of that policy to determine its success.

If the steps of the procedure are predetermined and automated, and if your policies are not open to interpretation, there’s much less room for error, and even less room for personal opinions to affect the final judgment.

  1. Keep it mobile

Your employees need time to discuss their choices with their partners, families and medical teams, and they need to be able to easily compare and contrast all their options so they can find the dates that are perfect for everyone involved.

A request process that can be initiated from any location is ideal in this case, as it will allow your employees to make their decisions with the help of others and see the results in real time, rather than relying on their memory of a prior discussion and trying to make the decisions on their own.

If your employees can take their time and don’t feel rushed or pressured to decide before they’re ready, they can have more confidence in their final decision. This will speed up the process and managers will be able to organise cover for that employee’s work much sooner.

In the event that an employee does have to alter their request, a process that can be initiated from home immediately, rather than one that requires them to visit the workplace, will help you to avoid that last-minute panic to organise cover by notifying you as soon as possible. 

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  1. Keep it simple

It’s clear that many managers are uncomfortable with the idea of employees taking parental leave, both because of the negative effects imposed on other employees and because of the costs incurred by the organisation. It could be that finding cover for the employee’s role is too difficult or costly on short notice, or that the entire process is too lengthy and involved, subtracting from time that should be spent doing something more productive.

These concerns are valid, but they’re also very easily solved by ensuring that the process is kept as simple as possible.

Managers don’t need to be involved at every step of the way – they only need to be informed when the employee has reached their final decision so they can provide their approval and organise cover. There’s also no reason for the process to involve a large amount of information gathering if your organisation has its own ERP system, as most of that information is already present.

The perfect parental leave process will ensure that the employee is provided with all the information they need to make their decision without excessive managerial input, and will aim to reduce complexity as much as possible to minimise the time spent seeking clarification and increase the time that managers have to organise cover or redistribute workloads.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your employees not only feel comfortable requesting parental leave, but also that they receive no less than what they’re legally entitled to and no more than your policies allow.

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ParentalLeavePlus can help!

ERPaaS have developed ParentalLeavePlus, which implements these solutions for you in the form of a user-friendly, mobile-enabled application that integrates directly with your ERP system. It enables employees to create clear projections of their parental leave entitlement based on different dates and circumstances as many times as they like, from wherever they like, reducing the length of the process to mere minutes and ensuring that both legal and organisational policies are enforced consistently in every situation without bias or error.

Considering how easy it is for employees to generate these projections and to understand exactly what they’re entitled to, requests can easily be submitted months before the leave is due to start, enabling managers to organise appropriate cover or distribute the workload evenly between remaining employees without difficulty.

When using ParentalLeavePlus, you may also find that you’d benefit from another of our applications, FlexibleWorkingPlus, which can ensure that every new parent’s return to work happens as smoothly and comfortably as possible by simplifying the process of requesting and approving flexible working patterns.

Best of all, these applications can be up and running within two months, and we don’t charge for consultation or support, so your organisation can begin saving right from the get-go!

Find out more about ParentalLeavePlus

If ParentalLeavePlus sounds like something your organisation would benefit from, or if you would like to find out more information, visit www.erpaas.com, or click here to view and download our ParentalLeavePlus brochure. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below, contact us via Twitter, or send us an email at info@erpaas.com.

(This post is part of a series of posts showcasing the benefits that each of our PolicyPlus applications can bring to your organisation. Click here to visit the original post and view a list of all the posts in the series.)

 

FlexibleWorkingPlus – A Flexible Application for Flexible Working

It’s been more than two years since the right to request a flexible working pattern was extended to all employees of UK businesses, and yet less than 9% of job vacancies in the UK currently offer flexible working.

Here at ERPaaS, most of our employees work flexibly, and it really does make a difference. We’re quicker to respond to urgent issues, we’re more comfortable and therefore less stressed, we’re more productive and we have a better work-life balance. Flexible working equals flexible employees who can respond and adapt to any situation or life circumstance. On top of that, because a lot of us work from home, we also save a fortune on office space, commuting, equipment, and sick pay (there’s no need to pull a sickie when your working pattern perfectly suits your lifestyle!).

Most of the above goes without saying; the advantages of flexible working patterns have been reported on and blogged about and presented at conferences for years now, but nobody ever seems to focus on the main disadvantage – the cost. How on Earth can an organisation that already has complex processes, policies and procedures in place – along with the matching computer systems – ever hope to implement a new set of policies and procedures on such a large scale without generating a huge bill?

It’s the classic corporate computer conundrum: your organisation’s computer systems are monstrous and unyielding, stubbornly standing in the way of progress and refusing to accommodate any changes without an unreasonable amount of effort and cost. How can you realistically achieve the seemingly miraculous cost savings that are being reported on every other week? The initial consultation alone could set you back tens of thousands of pounds, if not more, and who knows how long the project will actually take?

Well, we want you to know that it doesn’t have to be this way – your computer systems should be just as flexible as your working patterns!

ERPaaS have developed FlexibleWorkingPlus, a PolicyPlus application that is designed to automate your flexible working policies to provide a simple and efficient method of requesting and approving flexible working patterns from anywhere and at any time. It’s fully mobile enabled, so you don’t have to worry about having to travel in to the office to use it, it’s extremely user friendly, meaning it can be ready for use immediately with little to no training required, and it integrates directly into your existing ERP system, so you won’t have to spend time transferring data.

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FlexibleWorkingPlus is, of course, flexible enough to accommodate policies of any shape and size, regardless of their prevalence in your industry, so you don’t have to worry – all your non-standard policies will be applied exactly as intended, and the process for updating them is just a simple as it would be for any standard policy.

Best of all, we aim to get your new application up and running within two months, so there’ll be no waiting around, and we don’t charge for consultation, development or support.

We know first-hand how important flexible working can be to an organisation, so we’ve worked hard to design an application that will make its implementation as straightforward and quick as possible. If your organisation is looking to offer some degree of flexibility in employee working patterns, or if you have already done so but desperately need to streamline the process, FlexibleWorkingPlus is almost certainly the solution to all your problems.

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For more information, visit www.erpaas.com, or click here to view and download our FlexibleWorkingPlus brochure. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below, contact us via Twitter, or send us an email at info@erpaas.com.

(This post is part of a series of posts showcasing the benefits that each of our PolicyPlus applications can bring to your organisation. Click here to visit the original post and view a list of all the posts in the series.)

Fun in the Sun at Oracle EMEA Football Tournament 2016

The start of October saw some of the ERPaaS team head off to sunny Marbella, Spain to represent Scotland in the 18th annual Oracle EMEA Football Tournament. Reigning champions Ireland took the #Oracup again this year, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Team Scotland!

The team consisted of midfield anchorman, Robert Peddie; our very own defensive rock, Mark Dernie; and a mix of our colleagues from various other Scottish organisations – some seasoned competitors and some first-timers, who brought a burst of energy and youth to the team.

Both days began without a hitch and everyone performed admirably but, alas, a victorious Team Scotland just wasn’t to be. Day one ended with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Auld Enemy, England, leaving Scotland unable to qualify for the finals. Nevertheless, the team soldiered on and had an excellent time on day two, ending the tournament with smiles on their faces, despite losing their final game to Portugal.

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They acted gracefully in their defeat and made sure to go out with a bang, scoring plenty of goals and making friends with their international counterparts along the way. The unusually high temperatures for this time of year coupled with the quick pace of the games led to a lot of thirsty and tired bodies but, luckily, the good company kept everyone in high spirits and the abundance of chilled beer at hand made sure that all thirst was well and truly quenched. After looking at the final results, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Team Scotland were taking advantage of the beer situation mid-match, but don’t worry, guys – we won’t tell if you won’t! 😉

Check out this fantastic drone footage that was taken during the tournament to get a feel for what it was like:

This tournament was an excellent opportunity for some team building and socialisation with our Oracle colleagues from all over the world, and everyone involved is almost certainly looking forward to the next one. ERPaaS will once again be represented in the Oracle Scotland team during next year’s tournament, which will be held in Romania. If you want to congratulate the team for not letting the scoreboard get them down, or if you’ve got any tips for next year’s team, leave a comment below or tweet us @erpasaservice and we’ll make sure to let them know!

Look out, Ireland – Team Scotland are coming for that #Oracup!

Six Ways AttendancePlus Will Revolutionise Absence Management

In an age of smartphones, Cloud computing and super fast internet, why are most organisations still using the same complex, clunky and often incoherent HR systems that have been around for more than a decade? Why does something as simple as absence management still require endless amounts of paperwork, phone calls and meetings, when it could just as easily be done in five minutes at the press of a few buttons?

Here at ERPaaS, we’ve been working hard to answer these questions and bring a much-needed update to these seemingly ancient systems and practices. Keep reading to find out six ways that our new product, AttendancePlus, will revolutionise absence management in your organisation.

capture1.  Anyone can manage absences from anywhere and at any time:

AttendancePlus propels your absence management system into the modern day by enabling employees at your organisation to record and approve absences using any mobile, tablet or desktop device. Sickness absences can be recorded from your doctor’s office; holidays can be requested during a conversation with your travel agent; and family emergencies can be reported from home, allowing you to coordinate properly with your spouse or family members. Gone are the days of being chained to your desk – AttendancePlus is fully self-service and mobile-enabled, meaning you can record or approve absences in any place and at any time.

2. It’s flexible enough to accommodate your needs:

That attendance policy is the industry standard, but is it really appropriate for your organisation’s needs? There’s no reason that you should be confined to a predetermined list of policies – AttendancePlus enables you to create and implement new policies whenever the need arises, and it accommodates any number and variety of policies, regardless of their prevalence in your specific industry.

3. It integrates seamlessly with your existing ERP system:

AttendancePlus is not intended as a replacement for your existing ERP system – instead, it integrates seamlessly with that system to offer increased flexibility and usability while maintaining all of your existing employee data. AttendancePlus eliminates the costly and time-consuming customisation exercise that is normally required to expand the functionality of typical systems by plugging itself into your existing ERP system and using it as a data source. This provides all of the benefits of a new system with none of the hassle of data transfers or starting from scratch.   AttendancePlus can also determine and apply policy rules for individual employees based on data that is stored in your ERP system, such as each employee’s terms and conditions of employment, rather than applying general or non-specific policies to large groups of employees and leaving the specifics open to interpretation.

4. You have complete control:

Create and edit your organisation’s policies using the word processing and spreadsheet software that you already use on a day-to-day basis. A policy can be edited in minutes by someone with no technical expertise, and without outside help. You don’t need our permission to make changes to your own system!

5. It’ll be up and running in no time:

Here at ERPaaS, we aim to get your new application up and running in two months. Drawn-out development processes and yearly progress reports are not our thing – we know that you want to make the switch as quickly as possible and so we do our best to make that happen.

6. No developers, no consultant fees and no hidden costs:

We provide you with continuous updates as part of the initial cost, and will never charge you for unnecessary development or consultation. Changes to your own policies are all completely free of charge with no prior consultation required. AttendancePlus comes with absolutely no hidden costs – with ERPaaS, what you see is what you get!

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For more information, visit www.erpaas.com, or click here to view and download our AttendancePlus brochure. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below, contact us via Twitter, or send us an email at info@erpaas.com.

#CIPFA2016 Highlights

Last week ERPaaS had the pleasure of hosting an exhibition stand at CIPFA annual in Manchester. The conference was an overwhelming success, particularly our Managing Director Simon Robinson’s workshop which was overflowing with attendees.

ERPaaS talked about the impact of Cloud and SaaS on Public Services, the culture change that come with moving to it, and the leadership decisions facing senior Public Service officers.  We also talked about the huge change that is taking place in the IT industry as large IT companies wrestle with the impact of their revenues collapsing as the industry transitions.  We demonstrated how we personalise Cloud ERP with PolicyPlus and move transactions into digital mobile self-service on Smartphones.  We connected  with decision makers from all over the United Kingdom.

We had a fantastic time at the conference and it saw the return of our ERPaaS buzz game! Many steady handed attendees tried to beat the buzz but our overall winner was Chorni Henriques of Hays Recruitment. She took home a £250 prize for her charity of choice!

The conference was rife with interesting workshops and we found the experience of connecting with many of those in Finance invaluable. Here are some of our highlights of the event.

 

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We hope you enjoyed looking at some of our highlights. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to find out which event we will be attending next.

Careers: Product and Professional Services

Our Product and Professional Services groups are both growing. We have opportunities for experienced professionals looking to work in a dynamic environment where you can use your can do attitude to make a difference to our organisation and our customers.

HR and Payroll

We are looking for someone who has extensive experience of implementing large HR and Payroll systems in Oracle e-business suite. Any exposure to Oracle Cloud would be advantageous.

Role Requirements

  • 5+ years’ experience of implementing Oracle Payroll and HR Modules
  • Deep knowledge of Fast Formula definitions and other HR/Payroll related configuration tasks.
  • Extensive experience working within an Oracle E-Business Suite environment.
  • Knowledge of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 and beyond – HRMS, Self Service HR, iRecruitment and Payroll modules.

Product Expert

We are also looking for an experienced Oracle Financials Product expert who has experience of implanting core Financials modules i.e. GL, AP, AR, FA, CM and Tax. Additional experience of other modules and any Oracle Cloud exposure would be advantageous.

Role Requirements

  •  5+ years experience of implementing Oracle Financial modules
  • Implementation experience in other Oracle modules such as Procurement, Projects, HRMS would also be advantageous.

For both roles

  •  Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Experience of working effectively within a team and of displaying good communication skills.
  • Excellent mentoring and skills transfer capabilities
  • Organized and self-motivated
  • Willingness to travel

If you feel that you have the relevant experience to apply for either of these roles, please do get in touch. Email your CV and a cover letter to recruit@erpaas.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

CIPFA Annual Conference Manchester

After three years in London, CIPFA Annual Conference and Exhibition will return to Manchester for 2016. As the sector heads into the seventh year of fiscal consolidation – now under a majority Conservative government – attention is turning to the future of the finance profession. This year’s conference will focus on how public services need to become more commercial and productive to ensure long-term growth and regeneration.

ERPaaS are pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting at the conference on the 13th of July.  Our Managing Director Simon Robinson willing be presenting at the event with a talk on digital mobile transformation. Simon’s workshop will be from 15:10-16:10. We will announce the room number on our Twitter page closer to the time of the conference.

We had an excellent time at CIPFA Scotland and we are thoroughly looking forward to our involvement in July. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on our Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook if you’re attending.

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CIPFA Scotland 2016 Highlights

Last Thursday and Friday some of the team at ERPaaS had the pleasure of attending CIPFA Scotland 2016. We thoroughly enjoyed the conference which aimed to drop the traditional barriers between the public and private sectors, ensuring that true collaboration, good practice and innovative thought are recognised.

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Some of the highlights of the conference included our managing director Simon’s talk which helped demystify the cloud, our buzzer game and the black tie event. To celebrate the event, we’ve put together some of our highlights in the link below.

https://storify.com/erpasaservice/cipfascot-highlights

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We’d like to personally thank CIPFA for organising such a fantastic conference. If you’d like to keep up to date with other events ERPaaS will be attending, please take a look at our events page here. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook too.

An introduction to ERPaaS at Scottish CIPFA Public Finance Conference 2016

With only 9 days to go, we thought we’d give a little insight into our stand at Scottish CIPFA. Scotland’s politicians and decision makers will gather in Glasgow at what is the biggest public sector conference in Scotland.

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There will be a focus on the leadership skills that Scotland’s public service professionals will need to pave a confident route through austerity. ERPaaS is taking a leading role in establishing a digital Scotland. This means personalisation of Cloud ERP, and digital mobile self-service enablement for back office applications.

Our Managing Director Simon Robinson aims to not only demystify Cloud and Cloud ERP but also outline the impact on the IT industry and what it means to clients. Simon will talk about where the quick wins are, some of the barriers, leadership challenges and where to get started. You can watch Simon speak at the conference at 12:00pm on 17th  March.

We will be giving attendees an insight some of the exciting things ERPaaS have been getting up to. Including demonstrations of our revolutionary PolicyPlus software. PolicyPlus enables us to personalise the cloud to reflect the unique aspects of your organisation. We also use PolicyPlus to deliver cloud apps such as National Living Wage which is our latest cloud service. You could also be in with the chance to win £250 for your charity of choice so make sure you say hello to us at stand 15. See you next week!