Interview with Julie Windsor MD of Talentia Software UK

GPAcomparison spoke the other day with Julie Windsor, Managing Director of Talentia Software on the launch of their enhanced HCM software.

GPAcomparison: Hi Julie; could you give us a brief overview of the new HCM software?
JWOur Human Capital Management (HCM) system has been developed specifically to support the changing role of HR departments within organisations by streamlining processes and reducing data administration surrounding key tasks such as employee details updates and holiday requests.
The new Talentia HCM system provides the foundation for organisations’ HR operations through the delivery of vital HR intelligence such as training, succession and career planning, recruitment, performance, 360 feedback and organisational planning information.
The software allows employees from companies of all sizes to easily add and change personal details and to view career development plans and has been developed with the needs of international businesses specifically in mind, incorporating multi-language and multi-currency functionality.
Our comprehensive system also offers security over sensitive data and enables HR and/or managers to view organisational charts at a glance. This aids succession planning by providing the location of high performers. Users can also access data anytime, anywhere; Talentia HCM has been designed and built for the cloud and is available to users via tablet or mobile.
GPAcomparison: Can you give some examples of typical cost reductions that can be achieved with the software?
JW: The system frees up time for HR teams by streamlining procedures and providing a single consistent source of data. Through the provision of instant access to HR intelligence and accurate data, the system also enables HR to keep firm control of budgets as well as focus on strategic activity.
By simplifying processes, our software also significantly reduces the possibility of human error for administrative tasks such as inputting salary increases and significantly cuts down on the amount of personnel involved in
updating employee information such as address changes.
We appreciate that while HR is where employee data starts, it is essential that this data integrates successfully with associated business functions such as payroll, finance and the administration of pensions. By offering the whole HCM suite, we can facilitate one dedicated system for businesses that covers the complete employee lifecycle.
GPAcomparison: Envisioning the future role for HR, what would you say are the key areas of strategy to which they will be able to contribute?
JW: Looking ahead, we believe that HR will need to adapt to fit shifting business requirements and that HR practitioners will need to be able to work alongside finance in order to make forward-t hinking decisions. We are already seeing this change as HR departments are becoming increasingly immersed in business processes and corporate performance – however, in order to truly operate within the inner circle, it will be vital to evolve and to speak the language of finance.
With the abundance of data at HR’s disposal, practitioners are perfectly placed to provide key strategic insight on organisational succession planning – but in order to do this effectively, it will become increasingly important to have systems in place that can make sense of this big data.
We anticipate that, in the near future, HR will undergo a transition from administrative to a front-line function, implementing the strategies that are talked about internally. With the evolution of self-service systems enabling employees to ‘own’ their data, we will see fewer administrators and a rise in HR directors and managers whose key role will be to examine this data in order to provide enhanced corporate insight.
GPAcomparison: Do you believe that HCM software must inevitably lead to a reduction in headcount either in HR or elsewhere in an organisation? 
JW: We do not believe that headcount should, or will, reduce as a result of the implementation of HCM software. While it is clear that HR’s role is evolving, at the same time business legislation is ever increasing so it is difficult to envisage a time when experienced HR staff will not be needed. As yet, I have never met an under-worked and over-staffed HR team!
HCM is not about a reduction in headcount. Rather, it is about recognising the shift towards HR becoming more strategic with practitioners doing the job that they are meant and trained to do at a higher level.
The biggest asset to any business’ bottom line is its people, and any reduction in an organisation’s HR function will have an impact on staff representation. We firmly believe that HR should have a louder voice going forward, not a shrinking one.
GPAcomparison: Playing Devil's Advocate here for a moment: part of the business case for HR software is usually predicated on the reduction of administration time for HR staff and the enhancements for all staff brought on by Self Service and automation; in other words, Full Time equivalents (FTE).
It is easier to quantify an FTE saving than make a guess about increased productivity, so do you think that will make it harder to convince Finance directors to sign off on a new HCM project?
JW: It is clearly easier to measure return on investment when talking about quantifiable factors such as the salary of an FTE rather than to measure an increase in productivity or a reduction in absence. However, introducing a HCM system will enable the HR team to function more efficiently, potentially without additional FTEs, despite business growth and change. We find that often the business case put forward refers to the system replacing the need to recruit more staff rather than a decrease in the headcount that already exists.
GPAcomparison: many thanks for this insight Julie. 
 Julie Windsor - Managing Director of Talentia Software UK
Biography: Julie Windsor, Managing Director of Talentia Software UK
A graduate of Cambridge University, Julie started her career in the software industry with a leading financial services company and later moved to a subsidiary of US giant, Control Data, where she was responsible for introducing solutions targeted at HR. Recognising that new developments in software were about to change the face of HR, Julie was part of a team that formed HRM Software, which focused on talent management solutions for major international businesses. As a director and board member of HRM Software, Julie worked with over 50% of the top 100 UK companies and helped to turn it into the market leader in its field. After the merger with Cezanne Software in 2006, Julie was appointed Director of Operations for the UK and Benelux and was a member of the board. Following the acquisition of Cezanne Software Holding Limited by Talentia Software (formerly known as Lefebvre) in 2013, Julie is Managing Director of Talentia Software UK and on the board of Talentia Software Holding Limited.