The author Mark Twain was once asked about his many business ventures – most of which had failed. Twain explained how his ventures had failed not because of bad technology (most of the items he invested in became realities, but under different ownership), but rather had failed because he had not kept an eye on their progress.
He summed up the lesson that he had learned as follows:
“Put all your eggs in one basket – and watch that basket.”
If anything, that phrase is truer today than it was 100 years ago. HR organizations have vast quantities of information that they need to keep watch over; prospective hires, benefits changes, and so on. And with corporate downsizing and fiscal belt-tightening, few – if any – HR organizations have the luxury to turn to an employee and say “Hey you – it’s your job to keep an eye on our HR data and if anything looks wrong, let me know.”
That’s where Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) software comes into play.
Call it what you will – ‘business alerts’, ‘active notifications’, or even ‘exception management’ – the concept is the same. “If there’s information that relates to our HR activities or staff, we need to know about it.”
This is exactly what Mark Twain was talking about; keeping watch over your investments (in your case, your HR solution). In Twain’s day, the “watcher” had to be himself; in our day, we can automate the “watching process” thru BAM.
But another lesson that we can learn from Twain is that your HR solution is not the only “egg” in your basket. Chances are you’ve got other business applications that also warrant watching. Those might include a sales or CRM system, an accounting or ERP system, or even home-grown solutions tailored for your industry. All of these “eggs” need watching over.
And ideally, that “watching over” should be done by a single, company-wide, monitoring and response technology. A Business Activity Monitoring solution does this through a unique design that combines the following:
- Focus. BAM software focuses on doing one thing: identifying and responding to business conditions. It can identify the most sophisticated conditions (such as employees who have changed their benefits) and respond to them in the greatest variety of ways.
- Delivery. BAM gets the right information to the right people via the right device. Email, fax, pager, PDA, cell phone, instant message, web browser, and Twitter. Quick one-line alerts, or detailed documents such as review forms or absenteeism analyses. And reports are delivered when they’re needed most – at the time the information warrants it.
- Independence. BAM plays no favorites; it works with all business applications. HR, finance, manufacturing, CRM . . . the list goes on. Commercial applications as well as home-grown solutions. And BAM monitors information outside of your applications, including incoming email, web form submissions, and even your operating system.
- Integration. BAM solutions realize that sometimes the most critical conditions aren’t always represented by information in just one application – but rather in the combination of data between two or more applications. BAM is uniquely able to combine, analyze, and respond to such disparate data.
And so now, almost 100 years after Mark Twain’s passing, we can still take a lesson from him. Success – whether defined as the launch of a new invention, or defined as a productive HR department with well-managed employees – is dependent on your ability to watch over, identify, and respond to changing business conditions.