Case Study: How Oracle Software Drives Business Transformation for Caesars Entertainment

Caesars Entertainment casino chipsIs new HR software in your future? There are many reasons company’s explore new software options, from reducing the paper trail to exploring new business intelligence opportunities. Trends in HR software have opened some intriguing options in the areas of cloud hosting, deep analytics, artificial intelligence, and performance management.

At the HR Tech Conference, we listened in as software company Oracle interviewed Michael O’Brien, Vice President of Corporate HR Services at Caesars Entertainment Corporation, about their recent software transition to Oracle’s platform.

The Challenge: Meeting the Needs of a Diverse Workforce

Caesars Entertainment manages fifty casinos in thirteen states and five countries. The company emphasizes a collaborative culture motivated by innovation and continuous improvement. Caesars has always been highly engaged in annual surveys and talent management, but they didn't have the technology to track high performers and build a stronger talent strategy. As they faced a new millennium, they had to address talent management challenges arising from a shifting workforce, including:

  • Diversity of Experience—Building a workforce that includes employees with diverse experiences is an excellent goal. However, it also requires a targeted development strategy that will reach the full spectrum of workers including those from different socioeconomic backgrounds, those who are seasoned and tenured, and those just joining the team.

  • Technology Access—Half of the employees at Caesars Entertainment do not have access to a computer on a daily basis, but approximately 95% do have a smartphone. That has significant implications for communication and learning.

  • Employer Branding—Employer branding needed to address issues such as real-time performance management, expectations of younger workers, online training opportunities, and frequent feedback. 

  • Paper Replacement—The company still relied on spreadsheets to manage data. That needed to change to improve user experience and facilitate better business decisions.

The Goal: Connect HR Data to Decision Making

Key criteria for a new solution had to support the organization’s primary goal: to transform core infrastructure systems for talent management while leveraging data that would facilitate better business decisions and engage employees more effectively.

O’Brien wanted a software solution that offered:

  • Simplicity
  • A User-Friendly Interface
  • Customization Capabilities
  • Business Transformation Opportunities
  • Long-Term Partnership
  • Cultural Fit

 “Engaging employees will make or break your business,” said O’Brien. “Millennials are looking for authenticity, feedback, and an employer brand that converges with the company brand. We needed a partnership with a company that has the resources and focus to drive innovation.”

The Results: Strategic Investment in Innovation

O’Brien and his team have been working toward implementation for about a year. The project involved transitioning from spreadsheets to a robust data management system, moving most business processes into the cloud, and building both core competencies and analytics that will support employee engagement and talent management more efficiently.

Implementation is always a learning process, and O’Brien emphasized meeting those challenges with a strong business case. He cited several lessons learned during the implementation process:

  • Data conversion takes longer than you think. That’s especially true when you’re moving away from spreadsheets for the first time.

  • Pick your partners wisely. Look for a good cultural fit as well as a stable company that will still be around in ten years. O’Brien chose Oracle in part because they did what they said, they were effective problem solvers, and they were committed to investing in client success.

  • Be careful about over-customization. Avoid getting lost in the art of possibility. Instead, focus first on replicating and improving what you are doing today, and then leverage best-in-class solutions where it makes sense to do so.

“Infrastructure must support talent and growth,” said O’Brien. “A successful implementation will make HR teams more efficient, help them get tasks done more quickly, and find ways to repurpose individuals whose jobs were replaced by the software.”

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