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Xerox PeopleNet - Creating IT/HR Synergies


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"By eliminating unproductive uses of people's time, Xerox PeopleNet makes them more efficient, allowing them to focus their efforts on the important aspects of their job."

- Karen Mihara, Development Manager, Xerox PeopleNet.

The Xerox PeopleNet Story

With revenues of $ 18.7 billion in the year 2000, Xerox is a global leader in the document-management business. The company offers a vast range of document products, services and solutions in association with its joint-venture partner, Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. of Japan. The products include digital printing and publishing systems; digital multifunction devices and copiers; laser and solid ink printers; fax machines; document-management software; supplies (toner, paper, ink cartridges, etc.); and comprehensive document-management services such as running in-house production centers and developing online document repositories.

In the early 1990s, Xerox saw media reports commenting that the functioning of the company's HR department was 'hardly a model of efficiency1.' The company realized that the fully centralized functions of hiring, awarding bonuses and granting promotions were resulting in the central HR department being over-burdened. More often than not, HR personnel were tied up in paperwork that left them little time to use their skills elsewhere. As a result, tasks such as counseling managers on ways to handle employee problems were frequently postponed by HR managers. Xerox was not happy with its internal job posting process as well. In the existing setup, hiring managers filled in job description forms and sent them to the HR department, where the information was reentered on posting forms.

It often took a week before employees could view the job listings, thus delaying the recruitment process considerably. In 1992, Xerox began to explore the possibilities of using a computer system to release HR professionals from the monotony of administrative tasks. The company decided to install an intranet2 application to act as a communication and productivity tool for its 50,000 managers and employees. The idea was to deliver traditional human resource information such as benefits, compensation, policy manuals, phone directory and training as well as the ability to change personal information like name and address, to minimize the HR administrative support needed by employees.

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1] Working Smart,, May 1, 1996.
2] An intranet is a private network that is contained within an enterprise. It may consist of many interlinked local area networks and also use leased lines in the Wide Area Network. Typically, an intranet includes connections through one or more gateway computers to the outside Internet. The main purpose of an intranet is to share company information and computing resources among employees. An intranet can also be used to facilitate working in groups and for teleconferences.

Case Details

Case Code : ITSY004
Themes: Internet companies
Case Length : 07 Pages
Period : 1990-2000
Organization : Xerox
Pub Date : 2001
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : Japan
Industry : Computers and Information Technology

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