CATEGORY: Enterprise Portals

REVIEWER: Sarah Thomas, human resources consultant for iLogistix.

BACKGROUND: Based in Fremont, California, iLogistix provides intelligent value chain solutions which offer seamless and standardized connectivity between back-end operations and electronic demand from e-commerce Web sites, EDI or other sources.

PLATFORMS: LifeMap runs on a Windows NT intranet.

PROBLEM SOLVED: iLogistix has nearly 1,200 employees worldwide with six service center sites in the U.S. An evaluation of HR processes revealed that the staff was consumed by activities that didn't directly benefit employees. Staff had little time left for strategic planning and effective service delivery after reviewing invoices, verifying employee status, answering the same questions repeatedly, reconciling individual issues with providers and performing other administrative tasks.

The four-pronged challenge was to improve services while maintaining HR staff levels, provide local access to benefits information, maintain a high level of personal care and attention characteristic of the corporate culture and enhance the credibility of HR by addressing employee concerns. Using LifeMap as the front end of the new HR self- service intranet, iLogistix designed an HR module that 1) interfaced with the upgraded Human Resources Microsystems' HRIS Pro Net which already interfaced with the payroll system; 2) interfaced with Benefitsite, the Web site customized with iLogistix health plan providers by Marsh, the new outside broker-consultant for benefits services; 3) interfaced with the Web site of the 401(k) provider, Massachusetts Mutual; 4) allowed for online enrollment and other self-service benefits transactions; and 5) freed HR staff to become true service providers.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Deployment of a Web HR intranet is a cost-efficient way for iLogistix, a mid-sized global company, to design and employ a solution with the same benefits/value that larger complex organization provide for employees. LifeMap enhances online enrollment and self- service benefits transactions that eliminate redundancy of work, increase accuracy and provide real-time updates. The solution is cost-effective and cost- justifiable. As iLogistix updates and expands the HR module, LifeMap Communications will continue to collaborate and work with other companies to provide a seamless solution.

STRENGTHS: iLogistix' IS department perceives LifeMap to be well conceived and designed. LifeMap always works. LifeMap is easy for employees to use to find the information they need to learn about and to help administer their benefits.

WEAKNESSES: iLogistix would like additional Life Events beyond the 10 Life Events currently available. LifeMap Communications is planning to expand the product to include a series of Life Events.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Most other products that delivered benefits-related services to employees over the intranet focused only on improving company efficiency. LifeMap organizes benefits information the way employees want to view them: around life events, such as "becoming a parent," "your company retirement plan," "planning for college" and "going on vacation." LifeMap Communications knows what HR is all about: that HR provides benefits to take care of the life events closest to the employees and their families. LifeMap works seamlessly with other products in the HR module.

DELIVERABLES: LifeMap provides localized access to comprehensive benefits information via the company intranet; year 2000 open enrollment complete with online enrollment; digital reporting to dental, medical and vision vendors; integration with key HR systems and Web sites; ongoing addition of new life events to accommodate employee requests; and widespread change in employee perception of HR.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The LifeMap team was totally open to customizing LifeMap to our unique situation. They worked with all our requirements to integrate seamlessly with other systems and Web sites. The LifeMap team worked with us to plan, customize, train and prepare employees for roll out and use.

DOCUMENTATION: LifeMap Communications provides excellent ongoing support and services. Services include development tools to rapidly design and deploy custom modifications, employee education tools to promote frequent and continued use of LifeMap, and periodic updates regarding new content and technological developments. Documentation is available as a printed manual and as a Word file.

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