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    « HR Tech Central | Main | Corporate Social Networking Vendors - Here's your chance »

    HR Technology, Amtrak, and Priorities 

    Last week Amtrak announced it would spend $9.4 Million on HR Technology, specifically for what it is calling 'Employee Information Management'. Notably, the $9.4 Million is significantly more that will be spent on 'Customer facing' type initiatives like CRM and an improvements to the passenger information systems.

    Full details on the Amtrak projects can be found here.

    Of note in the article is how Amtrak feels its HR Technology is 7 to 10 years behind other similarly sized organizations, and that significant cost savings can be realized by the introduction of automated processes and the use of Employee and Manager Self-Service. A key component of the project is the E-learning portal to help define and deliver needed development content to the employee.

    It does beg the question of how did Amtrak allow the critical HR Information Systems to get so out of date and how can such a large organization still be so reliant on manual and paper-based HR processes to such an extent.

    I don't claim to know the inner workings of the Amtrak IT strategy, but since they are earmarking $9.4 Million for HR Technology, and only about $6 Million on the CRM and passenger systems combined, it does seem apparent that the HR systems have been neglected and underfunded.

    So it is good and refreshing to see such a significant investment on HR Tech, the key systems to help employees manage their infromation, learning and development, view competency information, and hopefully become more engaged and productive in their careers.

    Maybe Amtrak is finally seeing that a great CRM and a fantastic passenger information portal are not the only critical systems in an organization.  Because truly, it is the employees that have to serve the passengers, deliver excellent service, and make the crucial decisions to execute the strategy.

    And employees can't do any of those things at their best if they are busy filling out HR forms, waiting days for HR information, and chasing down data that should be readily available.

    So Cheers to Amtrak for making a commitment and investment in HR Technology and in their employees.



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    Reader Comments (3)

    It is nice to see $$$ being spent on HR Technology. My guess is that Amtrak has a payroll system (mainframe based perhaps) and no real HR system today.

    March 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Krupa

    Thanks Michael for the comment, I will bet you are right on. Payroll of course always needs to be taken care of first, and the rest always could wait. Hopefully, this is the start of a trend, good news for guys like us!

    March 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterSteve

    My guess is that Amtrak has a payroll system (mainframe based perhaps) and no real HR system today.

    March 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAtari emulators

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