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Monday, September 24, 2001

ADP to the rescue of HR manager
Sumesh Raizada

MOST of us who are working in one organisation or the other may be aware of the procedures that are involved in salary disbursement and methods that are being employed for maintaining personal record in an organisation. These functions are performed usually by the HR or personnel department of the company in coordination with the accounts section. Organisations employ battery of staff in their HR department for managing and recording the leave status, salary and other perks disbursement, confidential reports, and promotions of the employees. Even today, in several government and public sector enterprises, huge manpower is involved for this purpose and record keeping is done manually on ledgers or record books that is extremely tedious.

Administration staff gets multiplied in case a company has its branches or units at different locations. Similarly in financial firms, banks and insurance companies customer record are required to be maintained and updated. To preserve these records for the complete duration of the employees service or customer transaction and thereafter, is another Herculean task.


Besides, in today’s period of cut- throat competition and cost reduction, organisations especially those in private sector are not in a position to afford huge manpower for record keeping. As a result, processes of an enterprise are now being automated, thanks to the rapid advancement in the field of Information Technology. There are several organisations, which have undertaken the task of providing Automatic Data Processing techniques world wide with the help of advanced and specialised software as well as hardware. Career prospects therefore exist in these companies, for developing, marketing and implementing ADP tools in various organisations.

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) is a sequence of processes involving personnel and equipment, to automatically perform a data processing operation. In an organisation, it may be performed by a single main computer or by several inter-linked computers. These computer units may be located at far off places and are connected through the Internet or other advanced network techniques. However all units are connected to a common storage device or main server, where data is stored completely or partially. Processing of data is performed automatically as per the pre-designated programs fed by the user. Various arithmetic and logical operations are performed while executing the program. In ADP, numerous tasks like data handling, sorting, computing and even analysing is done automatically. However professionals are required for preparing the programs that can instruct computers to perform sequence of operations like assembling, compiling, interpreting or translating so as to achieve the desired objective.

ADP Inc., a USA based firm, is the leading provider of software and hardware solutions for automatic data processing around the globe. Thousands of professionals are working either in its subsidiaries or joint ventures for providing and implementing ADP techniques in service and industrial sector. The firm is having its presence spread over the wide range of operations that include, employer services consisting of payroll and other HR functions — brokerage services consisting of data processing and investor communication, dealer services comprising of computing solutions for automobile manufacturers and distributors and finally, claims services that includes automobile repair estimating and claim processing.

ADP professionals are required to develop software solutions for varied needs of the clients or customers. The task is challenging as well as innovative, as they have to consider time and human resource constraints also, while designing software. Those working in ADP are involved in developing software solutions for other related activities like data communication and information services and computerised transaction processing. In fact, these professionals with their innovative ideas define the nature of operation and processes of many businesses. In Industrial enterprises, ADP professionals develop and maintain computerised payroll and human resource information services like attendance, record keeping, salaries and compensation packages and tax deposits.

In brokerage industry, ADP professionals design and develop software solutions for transaction processing, investor communication services, claim settlement in multiple currencies, online information delivery services, etc. ADP professionals have their utility in automobile industry also, where they are required to provide e-commerce and Internet based solutions for manufacturers as well as the dealers. The sales and related operations are regularly monitored and managed with the help of inter-linked communication network. For insurance sector, these professionals help in developing and promoting automated business solutions for property and casualty claims, automobile repair and accident claim settlement, etc.

In our country, among the leading provider of ADP solution and services is Hyderabad-based Wilco, a unit of ADP Inc. It has developed Gloss, a Web-based product that automates processing life cycle for banks, brokers and customers. Promising opportunity exists for professionals for promoting and implementing gloss range of products in the country as well as overseas market. With growth in market, Wilco plans to expand its activities; as a result development staff is being increased considerably. This shall create more career opportunity at its development centre as well as with the clients that includes Merrill Lynch, J,P.Morgan, ING Bearings, etc.

Emerging Business Service (EBS) division of ADP Inc. has recently ventured with some of the leading ISPs and e-commerce firms to provide Web-based payroll services to small and medium enterprises. Besides developing, implementing and maintaining software or hardware ADP solutions, professionals are also employed for marketing of the products. The sales professional needs to be qualified in business management, marketing or computers. However for design and development of ADP solutions, candidate needs to be MCA or engineer preferably in software, electrical or electronics. Though there is no separate curriculum on ADP in educational institutes, most of the training and learning is provided on the job itself. Those desirous of joining ADP career should be organised, flexible and innovative in their approach.

With the popularity of the Internet getting momentum in developing nations also, ADP has a vast scope for providing web-based solutions to the customers. In collaboration with Sutherland Group, which has its centre in Chennai also, ADP Inc. has developed an e-based HR services that offers on line solutions to clients offering them ease of operation, flexibility and convenience. Several small and medium-sized customers who cannot afford to install expensive specialised software can utilise the Web-based standard services related to staff management and compensation. Web-enabled ADP services also includes online recruitment and pre–employment screening. Software programmer and Web designers work for developing various human resource solutions catering to different requirement and needs of the client.

ADP professionals manage the operation of a data systems activities, which includes recording, collecting, verifying, interpreting, and presenting data that is used for planning automated data systems. They develop systems for propre utilisation of automatic data processing equipment (ADPE) for the user and assist them in the preparation of data automation requirements. Design, development as well as modifications of various ADP software as well as hardware are also monitored by the ADP professionals to ensure compatibility with specific operational requirement.

Overall ADP has a vast usage in almost every commercial or service environment. ADP tools are being used extensively in NASA as well as US Navy besides being used by several HR consultants and labour intensive enterprises. With its Web-based services, ADP is now expanding its reach to every corner of the world where small commercial user can also avail of the services. The growing demand for ADP services shall naturally increase the prospects for more and better career opportunities for the professionals in this field.