HR Technology Conference – the BEST One Around!

October is my favorite time of the year. It’s the best time for taking a vacation. It’s warm during the days, cooler at nights. It’s the time of year I got married to my love of 30 years. It’s right before my birthday in November. It has all those wonderful fall colors which are my color palette for my clothes, my home, my hair. What’s not to love?

And then, there’s my favorite conference of the year – the HR Technology Conference, this year back in Chicago. While I work my fanny off preparing for presenting the CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey, this year at 3:15PM on October 8th, once I’m done, I’m there to learn, to network, and yes….to have some fun!

For the past few years, I’ve focused on the analytics sessions. This year, I expect analytics to be melded into most sessions, but there are three sessions on the topic that stand out for me. If you are new to workforce analytics, go to Relieve the Guilt! A Starter’s Guide to Workforce Analyticswith Brian Kelly one of my top “go to” guys on workforce analytics. Another session is with my other “go to” guy, Dr. Jac Fitz-enz, who I’ve known since the early nineties when we shared the same hallway to the bathrooms from our respective office suites in Saratoga, Ca. He’s has a panel on Demystifying Predictive Analytics, with some of the greatest thinkers on the topic, along with one of the absolute best (and funny) practitioners – Natalie Tarnopolsky, Wells Fargo Bank.And then, there’s the Expert Discussion session with Thomas Otter on Big Data. If you don’t go to his session, I’ll understand and be grateful as you’ll likely be in my session at the same time. But, will someone please go and tell me what he says?

Much of what you see about this year’s conference focuses on this year being an inflexion point or a generational shift in computing with the drivers of HR technologies these days being – The Cloud and Social Technology in the Enterprise. Many sessions will be on that, from Naomi Bloom’s Master Panel – Bringing HR into The Cloud with the executives of all the leading vendors to Yvette Cameron’s The Social Enterprise: New Tools Transform How Work Gets Done. And, there are many more sessions to educate and delight you. Download the entire program.  And, of course there are also the exhibit hall and vendor visits and parties and getting together with my Chica’s (slang term for a group of girlfriends) and great Chicago food.

I recognize the cloud and social technology are ushering in the next fifteen years of computing. My session, however, will continue to focus on the breadth of HR technology adoption and the value organizations achieve from that adoption. Yes, I’ll include social and cloud and big data and work management software too, but I’ll put these in the context of how the enterprise and its employees are holistically served and getting value. While Workday is awesome and growing fast in adoption, I’m continued to be blown away with what mature organizations achieve with the combination of process and technology maturity built on ERP-based HR management systems, service delivery applications, integrated talent management, workforce management, and a myriad of business intelligence tools. My session will continue to put all of those in perspective, using the CedarCrestone HR Systems Application Blueprint.

I’m working on an update to this blueprint that embraces a key component — user experience. So come to my session to see what’s really happening with how pervasive is social and mobile and analytics. And, you will hear a big, personal announcement from me.

If you have not registered yet, please do so immediately. Bill Kutik, the program chair and Dos Equis man or the most interesting man in the world, says they’re running out of conference hotel rooms. Miss the shuttle service, pay for cabs, don’t be surrounded by attendees, don’t have the same great experience you will if you register now and make your travel plans. Please use the Promotion Code SPK12 (all caps) when you register at to get $550 off the conference rate of $1,795. This is good all the way up to the last day of the conference. But really ….don’t wait.

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