Skip to main content

Employee Relationship Management Ninja

Whenever you join a new company, there is a common problem that is seen everywhere. It is getting oriented with the company processes. If the company has more number of employees that can be counted on the fingers, then it is obvious that the newbie will be ragged and bullied by the gazillion computer systems that smash him on the face everyday.

One of the most common phrase you hear on an enterprise level application, "No it won't work on Chrome or Firefox, install Internet Explorer 6" (I am not making this up). I often wonder if microsoft pays these IT guys to promote them or why this uncanny love with Internet Explorer but whatever the fact is, these system are.

The systems are almost always slow, require some amount of dexterous skill and are working just because they are. Just like the governance in India these systems are working on some ancient wizardry. But the problem is, these enterprise system are necessary for governance. When we fill out a time sheet only then the billability is calculated and the expenses sheet is filled. The client is charged for the services provided and the company makes profit. So in the larger chain of events, the time sheet is directly responsible for the revenue growth of the system.

However, making it easier for employees is not on top priority. There are 800 million people on Facebook, each in the age group between 13 to 70 (more or less). No one had to teach them the system to use. They just did, looking at each other, collaborating, making mistakes. The enterprise systems are slow, buggy and have a big learning curve to them.

Its like telling the newbie on the first day of the job, "Hey to get into the team you need to do three backflips and two cartwheels.... start practicing."

Then there are those systems which have default values to be filled. Earlier in a company on day three I received a set of values to be filled in the application. Just fill it, they said. I had no clue what the values were. When I asked around, many people said they are filling those values for like three years. That made no sense, if there was a default value in the system, why ask employees to blindly copy paste them? Why not automate the thing completely. Its like ordering the pepperoni pizza and the delivery guy smiles and replies, "Here is your pizza, we have not put the pepperoni inside it. Here are pepperoni in the polythene bag, why don't you put it in yourself."

Well duh uh, I ordered a pepperoni pizza, so I should expect pepperoni inside it.

Employees in a way are also customers to the brand and organization. They are the internal customer to the brand and also need better relationship. In a CRM system, brands invest in relationship and in returns get cash. In the ERM system, you invest in cash and in return get a good long standing relationship with the employee.

Lets take a pledge of removing those bulky, buggy and slow enterprise level application and give your customer some blazing refreshing way to make their office fun.

Popular posts from this blog

The curious case of the custom redirection on Salesforce Console

Every developer worth their salt knows that the easiest way of redirection from a page to another is by using everyone's favorite function

public PageReference redirect() { PageReference pageRef = page.peskyProblemRedirection; pageRef.setRedirect(true); return pageRef; }
And the method is called by adding it to the Action attribute of the CommandButton or link, which works like charm and the user is redirected to the page after completion of the action.
So why am I going back to the basics? Because this way of redirection causes a pesky little problem in using the Service Cloud or Sales Cloud console.

Let's illustrate the problem, let's say you have a visualforce page as follows:

<apex:page sidebar="false" showHeader="false" controller="myExampleController"> <apex:form > <apex:pageBlock > <apex:pageBlockButtons > <apex:commandButton action="{!Redirect}&qu…

Some PDF tricks on Visualforce: Landscape, A4, page number and more

The beauty of Visualforce is simplicity. Remember the shock you received when you were told the entire page renders as PDF if you just add renderAs=PDF to the Page tag.

For those who thought I spoke alien language right now, here is the trick, to render a page as PDF, we add a simple attribute to the <apex: page> tag

<apex: page renderAs='pdf'> This will render the entire page as PDF.

Now, say we need to add some extra features to the PDF. Like a page number in the footer or we need to render the page in landscape mode. Faced with this problem, I put on my Indiana Jones hat and went hunting for it in the vast hay-sack of the internet (read: googled extensively). Imagine my happiness when i found a big big page with many big big examples to solve the problem. The document I am referring to is from W3C, paged Box media.

Long story short, I now possess the ultimate secret of rendering the page in any format I want. So here are few tricks I learned from the page. To p…

Cache me if you can: What you should know before daring to set URL parameter on visualforce

If someone gave me a pence for every time there was an SOQL query in an APEX Class without using Limit or a condition during a code review, I could afford a Lamborgini this month. Sigh. If only. We make it a habit of going digging for data, at the very moment we need it. The crux of this problem happens when you have chain classes which are independent of each other. Each class needs the reference from a single record and we have to query for that record every single time.

While we don't see it, every SOQL query has a cost to it, and it does not go in my Lamborghini fund, however, it should. In a recent project, we had to construct an Account 360 page that could fetch information from different integration points. The page was also called using a live telephony integration, which could pass the phone number for the account. This required an ability to keep in context the Account that was on call.

Passing the Account id in URL parameter was a valid option, however, any manipulatio…