HR Web Charter by HRMSoftware.com

Established in 1986, HRM Software is the developer of three HR software solutions including ExecuTRACK, competency management and succession planning software, HRGlobe, HRM Software´s HRIS, and HR Charter, organizational charting software. This review takes a look at the features and functionality of HR Charter.
Organizational charts are an effective method of understanding the complexities of how a business functions, and reporting rel

HRWebCharter by HRM Software Ltd.

Organizational charts are an effective method of understanding the complexities of how a business functions, and reporting relationships.   As companies are becoming more fluid and contain fewer layers, the process of de-layering and managing current employee information can be an HR nightmare. Primary reasons for maintaining an up to date organization chart include the ability to effectively communicate a company´s organizational structure and lines of authority to its related constituencies such as shareholders, employees, customers, etc.   In addition, an org chart can assist with HR planning and career succession to indicate where staffing gaps may occur, potential internal employees to fill those gaps and where the organization needs to change to accommodate for future growth or reductions.

 Companies have options when it comes to keeping track of current organizational information.   Although onerous, many companies still use Microsoft Office applications to create and maintain their organizational information.   Some HRIS applications have modules that include Organizational Charting templates.   Another alternative is to purchase relatively inexpensive, depending on the size of your company and the desired capabilities, specialized organizational charting software.   HR.com has reviewed both OrgPlus by Human Concepts and OrgPublisher by TimeVision.   Here is another competitor, HRWebCharter, developed by UK-based HRM Software.  

Who is HRM Software?

Established in 1986, HRM Software is the developer of three HR software solutions including ExecuTRACK, competency management and succession planning software, HRGlobe, HRM Software´s HRIS, and HR Charter, organizational charting software.   This review will take a look at the features and functionality of HR Charter.

What is HR Charter?

HR Charter is available in two versions: a desktop version, and a web-based version.   Therefore, the desktop version is a standalone product that can be installed on an individual workstation when company-wide deployment is not required.   In contrast, HRWebCharter was designed for installation over a company intranet and therefore eliminates the manual distribution process.   Rather than publishing static chart data files, HRWebCharter is able to access real-time data from HR databases for enterprise-wide charting.

Employees can access and print out this information right from their own PC´s.   Both versions can use pre-existing HR data imported from your HRIS or applications such as Microsoft Exchange to generate your organizational charts.   Alternatively, users can have the option of implementing HRWebCharter with its own web-based database.   Using this self-service system, individual employees can edit their own pre-authorized information.

How do you use HRWebCharter?

There are two ways that users can access HRWebCharter using what HRM Software Roles-based access through its "power" and "kiosk" user versions.   Kiosk version implies access for the widest possible deployment while the power version only allows specified, authorized users access to confidential or sensitive information.

Power and kiosk users have access to difference levels of information.   For example, both power and kiosk users can:

·               Search for employees using numerous search criteria such as name, job title or department

·               Create organizational charts from the existing database

·               Navigate through charts and view the information associated with various employees such as telephone numbers, email addresses, photographs, responsibilities and skills.

In contrast, power users have access to more specialized and secure features and information such as:

·               Expanded chart creation features including conditional mapping and color coding, drag and drop functionality

·               Hide or mask capabilities for selected employees

·               Various print options such as wall or book chart formats with full indices

·               Output charts as JPEG files or the ability to copy and paste charts into MS Word or PowerPoint presentations.

Flexibility

 HRWebCharter was designed to give users a high level of design flexibility by providing the ability to change the shape, color, font and shading effects.   Additional web pages can customized and integrated into HRWebCharter and your corporate intranet using corporate logos and the integration of hyperlinks.

Technical Requirements

Minimum Server Hardware
Processor: A Pentium III based server (or better). Multi-processor systems will offer enhanced performance.
Memory: 256MB minimum.
Disk: At least 200MB free disk space for initial program files. Additional space may be required for use of certain features.
CD-ROM drive: For software installation

Client Software (Plug-in User)
Operating System:
Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, or 2000
Software:
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 SP 2 or above or Netscape Navigator 4.x (NB: Netscape 6.0 is not currently supported).

Documentation

A 20-odd page "Getting Started" manual is posted online and users are encouraged to download and print it when navigating through the full application demo version.   It is estimated that navigating through the main features of HRWebCharter will take about 15 minutes.   However, users can also access a detailed help menu through the web demo.

Support

For European site visitors support can be reached by email, fax or phone between 9am - 5:30 pm London time Monday to Friday.  

The company also offers training, implementation, and customization services for an additional fee.

For North American clients, please contact HRSoft at www.HRsoft.com for support and purchasing information.

Pricing

HRWebCharter pricing depends on a few factors, such as the type of access (self service/kiosk or power user) and the back end database.   As a guideline, the license cost for a typical company of 1000 employees is $10,000 USD.

HRMSoftware will be launching a Desktop edition at the end of March. This will retail in the US for $650.

Demonstration

There are two demo versions that you can view from HRM Software´s site.   One requires a full download and plug-in and the other does not require software installation but does not have the full capabilities of the full version.

The interface is thankfully unlike a drawing tool and more similar to a standard HRIS panel with open fields for entering data and buttons to select functionality.   The downloaded manual takes you step-by-step through the general and "watered-down" process of searching for employee information.   Once the screen is presented with the organizational chart, it becomes divided into two halves.   The actual org chart is printed on the left while detailed employee information appears on the right side of the screen.   Users must simply select employees by clicking on their boxes on the org chart to display more detailed information.   Detailed information included in the demo consists of a job profile, photograph, email, telephone number, job title and job code, department, and location.  

A sub menu is included on the right hand side of the screen where one can print various types of information such as age profiles, work absences, job information, employee education profiles, etc.   Users also can adjust the overall layout and display of the information using this submenu.

Summary

HRM Software has designed an intuitive and well-presented product that has incorporated a high degree of flexibility and information accessibility.   The integration of a separate panel of employee detailed information improves the overall quick access of information without having drill down through additional menus.   The presentation is clear, the application is highly flexible, and navigation is simple.

One of the primary reasons for the high level of application flexibility is HRWebCharter´s Open Database Connectivity (ODBC).   This implies that the org charts produced can incorporate additional information beyond surface-visible information such as any related employee information.   Therefore, the presence of an ODBC instills another dimension to information management such as performance and salary history, or position candidates.     In this way, more distant data relationships can easily be stored and viewed through HRWebCharter.

For North American companies that are interested, this product is also sold and supported by HRSoft in the U.S.   You can find them at www.hrsoft.com.  

About the company

HRM Software develops, markets and supports software solutions for strategic HR. Based in the UK, HRM supports thousands of customers in over 60 countries through an established network of distributors.   Since HRM Software was established in 1986, we''ve acquired an impressive, and loyal, client base that includes many of the major organisations at the forefront of HR best practice. Our ambition is to continue to provide technically innovative software that meets the changing needs of organisations, large and small, to better develop the potential of their most important asset - their people. And we''re committed to excellence - in system design, implementation, support and service.

Company Contact Information

HRM Software Limited
Southside
105 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 6QT
United Kingdom

www.hrmsoftware.com

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