Dell Makes Tech Decision to Drive HR Revolution

“Our mission is to bring forth a winning culture for our customers and employees” stated Mairead Coughlan, HR Director for Dell. She was among the 30+ customers who spoke about their company’s HR transformation at ServiceNow’s Knowledge18 conference. The event brought together 800+ HR professionals from around the world.

What started the HR revolution at Dell? Dell was experiencing what most businesses with a workforce of 140,000 spanning across 180 countries experience – HR silos due to disparate and complex HR architecture across the world. The tipping point for company’s HR executives was following the decision to acquire cloud computing giant EMC. As a result of the acquisition, HR inherited a myriad of EMC applications, over 400 integrations, and a divided global workforce that was operating on two separate instances of one HRIS software, PeopleSoft (7.5 and 9.1). It was time to create a HR experience that would support being one company.

HR Technology Selection Requirements

HR prioritized six very specific requirements for their needs to simplify existing HR systems which included, a highly-engaging user-experience, integration capabilities, simplified infrastructure so that IT and HR can run operations collaboratively and depth/breadth of the product capability to meet their unique and future business needs. After careful evaluation, Dell chose a leading cloud vendor for their Core HR, kept some existing tools that they chose not to retire and lastly selected ServiceNow for knowledge, case management and the engagement layer that would weave together the employee service experience across all HR applications.

Why ServiceNow?

In Dell’s observation, there were many HR tools previously implemented that were no longer serving their business needs which would retire, however there were tools they intended to keep, such as a separate HR application for time and attendance. “We selected a leading cloud vendor for our Core HR system, but we knew it wouldn’t satisfy all of our needs, there were still tools we were going to keep and we knew we needed ServiceNow to bring it all together through the employee portal” said Mairead Coughlan.

ServiceNow met all of their technology requirements, which included product/functional capabilities (case management, employee service portal) as well as technical and security capabilities (integration with a Core HR, security architecture and more). “We did our homework by asking many global companies to see what they were using first and then decided to select ServiceNow”, said Dennis Ford, HR Product Manager.

Portal, Knowledge and Case Management

With an aggressive timeline of 16 months, the Dell team launched the new technology-led HR experience in October of last year with over 250 harmonized processes. This meant retiring 40+ legacy HR tools to support a single, unified and harmonized experience across the board, with the right mix of HR applications running on the back-end that were not visible to the employee. This included the launch of their new Employee Service Center (internally branded as My HR), a single destination designed and personalized with knowledge to support each employees’ unique HR related needs. The portal and knowledge experience leverage consumer-grade technologies like conversation UI (chat) for employees to get fast answers and quick insights that the knowledge content may not cover – making it #EasyForEmployees.

Since the launch of the portal, Dell has averaged approximately 750 daily chats, 82% of the inquiries have resulted in resolution via chat. The company has barely scratched the surface on case management – since launch they’ve opened 200,000 cases with a resolve rate of 98% which means only 2% of those cases are re-opened. They’re also using ServiceNow’s case management to kick off several HR processes such as off boarding workflows that require interdepartmental support with HR, IT and facilities. Dell surveyed their internal team to get input on the recent launch:

“ServiceNow is making our life as HR as well as the life of our customers easier by way of automating the flow of work, removing dependencies on emails, keeping record of all HR queries in one place and delivering faster to our end users.” – Dell employee

Lessons Learned and What’s Next?

The journey of HR tech transformation at Dell continues but no journey is complete without sharing specific lessons that would be valuable to prospective ServiceNow adopters:

  1. ServiceNow functional experience a must: have skilled people on your core team
  2. Get cross-functional alignment early
  3. Time is valuable: build a cushion in your timeline to test, reiterate, and test some more

As a next step, the Dell team is now optimizing the experience for critical elements such as higher self-service capabilities, personalization (who you are and what you may need), adding 7 language capabilities and mobilizing the experience across wireless devices. Additionally, the team is even more so excited to get their hands on emerging technologies such as chatbots to enhance the service quality of what’s working best for their employees.


Content for this blog was created from the “Transforming Your Underlying HR Technology Infrastructure for Global HR Service Delivery at Dell” session at Knowledge18. For questions on this blog please reach out to Sunita Khatri: [email protected]