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B2E - business to employee - future trends
by Aarthi Ramesh
The latest, addition to the glossary of new economy terms is B2E and what is it? It is about Business to Employee, with the former empowering the latter with the help of technology like Intranet. Bijay Sahoo, General Manager, HR, Wipro Technologies and Hema Ravichander, Senior Vice-president, HR, Infosys shed more light on this at the E-HR conference organised by the Bangalore chapter of NHRD, on Nov 1-3, 2001.
Bijay shared his experiences with B2E Portals and illustrated how the HR division in Wipro was using technology to deliver service to its employees. He noted that workplace dimensions had altered over the years, "From being a closed economy, we have become a global work force. The definition of jobs is changing and people are giving more importance to family and life after work". The focus, he said, was moving towards enabling employee processes.
For a similar reason, the HR functions in Infosys was also globalised. Hema pointed out that the HR had to globalise, scale up and handle employees who wanted more information about the organisation and beyond. She said, "People are critical to any organisation and if they are well informed they are happy and happy employees are the best brand ambassadors of the company."
The Wipro Intranet, "Channel W" bonds 9500 Wiproites across the globe. It addresses all the areas that an employee needs - community, collaboration and care. The portal has affinity clubs, message boards, chat, Intranet search, personalisation engine and even a space for Wiproites to buy and sell stuff. It however is not just for fun alone.
As a knowledge-intensive company, which is growing at a rapid pace, it knows it must use the technology to manage and share this knowledge. The portal provides a framework that encourages and facilitates Knowledge Management. One section of Channel W is devoted to internal corporate communication, white papers, articles and knowledge and idea sharing.
"Sparsh", the Intranet where Infoscions get in touch with other, answers all FAQ's on income tax, company policies or security. "An employee can easily navigate to other department portals for information on training or leadership programs without as much as moving out of his cubicle", Hema said. There is also help available online to learn how to do things in the company. The 'Employee Data Sheet' allows the employee to update his personal information online. The 'Request Tracker' is an application where an employee can request for information or service. 'Connect Infy' is a referral-hiring scheme, which allows the employee to refer a candidate who he knows will fit the role.
Highlighting the benefits of an employee portal, Hema said portals were a big source of Knowledge dispersion. Bijay noted that, "A portal can provide employee self-service solution, act as a binding force across various HR initiatives and result in a clear, orchestrated and powerful HR strategy."
In his concluding remarks, Bijay further espoused the advantages of the B2E initiatives. He said, "Since the focus of HR has shifted from administrative to value added services, the B2E portals aid HR executives of the company to be available to employees and strategise. It reduces operating costs, improves awareness, employee feedback and communication". Hema, however pointed out that, "IT should enable HR, but HR should not lose itís human face."
26th August 2005 From India, Pune