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2.4 from 21 votes

Authoria HR

Date: June 30 2000


Authoria HR: What if your HR department never closed?

A Product by Authoria, Inc.

Authoria´s slogan "What if your HR department never closed?" captures a fundamental theme behind business today. Businesses are not only moving their customer interactions to the Web, but also the interactions they have with their employees.

As a top ten winner of the 1998 Human Resource Executive HR product award, Authoria´s clients include Lucent Technologies and McDonald´s Corporation.

What is it?

The Authoria HR product is a Web-based application used in call centers and as corporate HR Intranets to help answer employees questions about benefits and HR policies.

How does it help HR professionals?

For organizations with complex benefit plans, the Authoria HR product helps keep benefit information current, as well as other HR related information.

With a 24-hour, 7 day/week accessible HR department, workers can find answers to their HR-related questions online, freeing HR´s time for more strategic activities.

How does it work?

The content on Authoria´s Web site does not represent the Authoria HR product well. This made reviewing the product difficult at first. However, after calling the company and speaking to a knowledgeable representative, I felt that I understood the product. Thus, to the best of my knowledge the product builds a central depository of HR information that has been collected from appropriate people in a particular company. The depository is made interactive based on keyword search and employee´s role in the company. There is no open enrollment or typical "employee self-service" functionality. Authoria HR is simply an extremely interactive employee handbook that almost mimics a real-life HR Generalist.

The Authoria HR product is typically deployed over a corporate Intranet, but it can be used in a call center too. Containing more than 5,500 HR and benefit information topics in a "HR knowledgebase", employees can retrieve answers to questions, such as "What is paternal leave?".

The " HR knowledgebase" is at the heart of the Authoria HR product. More than an HRMS database, which is a "back-end" HR system that stores, tracks and maintains employee data, an HR knowledgebase transforms HRMS data into user-friendly, and informative content for employees. Employees can use the tool to find answers to their HR-related questions and make informed choices.

As a smart product, employees are fully informed on topics relevant to their situation. More than just answering FAQ-type questions, the Authoria HR product can qualify answers to employee questions based on an employee´s role within a company. For example, an employee could click on "Life Events" and type in "We are having a baby". Authoria HR then provides all the necessary information the employee needs for that particular situation. And, the more information the employee provides, the more personalized Authoria HR´s answers become.

In the case of an employee having a baby, the employee would be directed to a Web page that contains a quick overview of how the birth impacts their eligible plans and policies, including enrollment periods and effective dates. For example, the employee may learn that he/she has the option to update their beneficiary designation in their 401(k). The employee will then be shown how to update the plan, and other relevant information, such as the portion of the hospital fee and doctor´s fee the plan will cover.

There are four components to the Authoria HR application.

  • Data Manager - HR managers can customize and update company HR policies, as well as manage employee data.
  • Logic Designer - The logic designer is the "rules engine". When company policies change, HR inputs the changes once and logic designer implements the policy change throughout the entire system.
  • Data Designer - This tool enables companies to create new screens and variables quickly and easily for gathering data for major plan changes.
  • Authoria Administrator - Authoria Administrator manages all the security issues for the entire system.

Product Selection Indicators:

Competition                                                     There are no direct competitors right now, but the Authoria HR product will be challenged as online benefits and HR providers add search functionalities to their HRMS systems.

Documents/Manual                             A comprehensive manual is included with the package.

Installation                                                           The program is installed on the clients corporate Intranet.

Price                                                                             The price is dependent on integration factors, level of scalability and number of employees.

Scalability                                                           Entirely.

Software integration                         Integrates with HRMS, HRIS, leading payroll, record-keeping and backoffice administration from PeopleSoft, Oracle, SAP, Lawson, and other ODBC compliant HRMS/HRIS systems. As well, the system integrates with call tracking and management applications from Quintus and Remedy, and with transaction solutions by Concur, Interlynx Technology, TALX and Workscape.

Support                                                                   Support is offered as a package with the program. There is in-house or on-site training provided to all clients.

System Requirements                 Authoria HR Authoring Workstation Specifications:

§                 Pentium 75 MHz min.

§                 Ram: 64MB min; 128 MB recommended

§                 Operating System: Windows NT Workstation

§                 Service Pack: 3 or Windows 95 OEM Release 2

§                 Network Protocol: TCP/IP; DNS enabled

§                 ODBC Driver; Microsoft ODBC v. 3.0 or above

Authoria HR Server Specifications:

§                 Pentium: 233 MHz

§                 RAM: 128 MB min; 256 recommended

§                 Operating System: Windows NT Server 4.0

§                 Service Pack: 3 or higher

§                 File System: NTFS

§                 Network Protocol: TCP/IP, DNS or host file

§                 ODBC Driver: Microsoft ODBC v.3.0 or above with Access 95/97

Overall Evaluation:

The Authoria HR product is essentially an online, interactive employee handbook that has a rigorous keyword and employee-role search function allowing it to mimic an HR Generalist.

Such a product serves to reduce administrative transaction costs, increase time for strategic projects and allows employees to access information from anywhere, at anytime.

About the Company:

Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, Authoria Inc., has been in business since 1984 providing Internet applications for e-workforce communications. Authoria´s clients list includes Allied Signal, Lucent Technologies, McDonalds Corporation and Wells Fargo.


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