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Telefónica Digital: “Divide your cloud deployment timeframes by four”

Derek du Preez | Jan. 30, 2013
Telefónica Digital is in the process of deploying Workday’s cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) tool to thousands of employees globally, and has said that companies should be looking to divide their typical deployment timeframes for a project of this size by as many as four times.

"Think of a suitable timeline for doing a project of this scale and then divide it by three or four. When you look at a system implementation across 17 countries, it would be quite easy to say it's going to take 12 to 24 months. But, with the cloud people should really be looking to speed this up."

He added: "We got our first business live within four months in Israel, and we basically said to the Israeli workforce go away and really kick the tyres on this thing and tell us what you think. The sooner you get it live the better because that's when you get great feedback."

However, Shaw did warn other companies looking to the cloud that migrating data from many disparate systems isn't an easy task, but advised that the onus of managing data quality should be put on the employees themselves.

"Data migration took us longer than expected, so don't underestimate this. This was due to the amount of data validation checks within Workday, which is a good thing for security, but it does take time," he said.

"We relied on a global network of 'data owners' to collect and supply the data, which had been held in disparate databases across the world. We wanted to get employee and manager self-service live very quickly, so that we could force ownership of the data onto our employees."

He added: "So rather than sitting in HQ going through and cleansing the data, we wanted our employees to check their own data and update it. It's something that's worked really well, so within the first month of going live we have had over 80 percent adoption."

Shaw said that this is the 'only way you can get true data quality' when you are operating from so many locations, and that he believes not many companies realise this and as a result go through 'round after round' of data cleansing.

Telefónica Digital also came to realise, in terms of data migration, that the process templates provided by Workday were not entirely fitted to TD's processes, and as a result required an element of modification to be accurate.

"You also need to make sure that processes are truly end-to-end. We went live with over 130 processes in less than four months, but you do need to spend time making sure that they are end-to-end and not just system focused," advised Shaw.

"There are parts of a process that happen off system, as well as the system bits. The cloud tools come with template processes, but in our experience you can't just lift and shift them, you need to tweak them and modify them so that they work in your business environment."


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