More on Enterprise RSS, Web 2.0 and HR

Posted: April 10th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

It seems that everyone’s joining the conversation started on Enterprise RSS, Web 2.0 and HR by Thomas Otter. Michael and Double Dubs have weighed in, and it”s high time I woke up and added my two cents. Dubs has most recently said:

“…I’ll be completely honest with saying that I’m not sold on RSS and OPML as enterprise business technologies. Perhaps I don’t get it, or I don’t have the same level of vision, but I do see potential. .….. My big hope for the future of HR technology actually lies with Oracle Fusion and SAP Netweaver. .….. The value that these SOA (service oriented architecture) platforms provide is an integration of process that goes outside of the core application suite.”

I agree. Global enterprises are generally allergic to emerging technologies and standards. We don’t ignore them, we lock them up in a lab for a while and make sure they don’t grow into anything ugly or dangerous. Services represent a huge advantage to those of us who see HR technology mashups in the future, but most large organizations are still busy laying the secure, high-availability plumbing to enable us to manage services at a global level. There can be stepping stones, for instance we pass workflow messages to the Portal in SOAP and have a core ”employee info” service available for non-HR apps to consume. When Oracle and others get to robust built-in support for SOA, we”ll be ready to exploit that flexibility.

I”m working on re-architecting our integrated worklist on the Portal and more than once I’ve wondered about leveraging RSS. But there are more questions than answers. I love my RSS feeds and I’d love to have that level of interaction on certain products I deliver but:  how does it become aware of whether I’ve inherited a new task in Taleo, or the HRMS, or Oracle EBS, or 14 other integrated systems only seconds after I finished a prior one? How do I remove the alert for a completed task off the Enterprise Portal without the user having to refresh a screen for someone who gets dozens of approval messages daily? How does RSS scale to a source system that sends out upwards of 40,000 messages a day? How come I have to explain what RSS is to my technology partners, those who would have to maintain this when it stops working, somewhere in the world that is inevitably dinner or sleep time somewhere else?

It”s frustrating to see potential and have limited resources. The conversation is wonderful and I hope it’s moving the experience forward but I see it as years off, at least in the type of environment I’m dealing with. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s doing something with RSS beyond pushing headlines out.