TimeVision ties HR to organization charts

Lois Melbourne wouldn't mind helping the Homeland Security Department put its house in order.

Born earlier this year when federal legislation cobbled together nearly two-dozen agencies and 170,000 employees, DHS has had problems with the mega-merger. But as co-founder and chief executive officer of TimeVision, Inc., Melbourne believes her Irving, Tex.-based company has the software to help DHS "visualize how all of these organizations fit together."

Over the last nine years, TimeVision has developed software that companies use to create organizational charts that depict a company's structure, reporting relationships, chain of command, personnel profiles and contact information, and tie all of that into back-end human resources systems. Previously, such charts have been in paper form, usually outdated and sitting on shelves.

Listed on the General Services Administration schedule and Section 508 compliant for disabled users, TimeVision lists 1,700 state and local agencies, corporations and public utilities as clients. With a recent product upgrade release, the company is now tackling the federal government, recently partnering with Washington, D.C.-based Defense Solutions LLC to persuade DHS to use the organizational software.

"We've taken organizational charts to a whole different level by putting additional information into them so that you can see, for instance, how many people are going to retire in the next five years within a certain area of an organizational chart," said Lois Melbourne's husband and TimeVision co-founder, Ross Melbourne, who also serves as chief technology officer.

He said the charts, which can be displayed graphically, could also be used to learn which employees are military reservists, for example, or lump employees by geographical location. The company says there's a strong interest, especially within an organization's management team and human resources department, to use the software for planning purposes. This is vital during economic downturns, he added.

The city of Boulder, Colo., implemented the company's software two years ago to get a better handle on its 1,300 full-time employees, and its temporary and seasonal ones, said Hillary Howard, the city's human resources analyst.

Because the city has budget problems, the organizational chart on the intranet is immediately updated whenever there are layoffs, she said. The city, Howard added, also plans to use the software more for planning and reporting. She said Boulder would integrate TimeVision's product with another program that will allow employees to update their information through the Web.

The software, Ross Melbourne said, is scalable and able to handle anything from small organizations to companies and agencies with more than 1 million records. The software can tie into any back-end database and exchange data among disparate systems, providing groups with a fuller picture of the organization, he said. Implementation is fast, they said, and training is provided. The new upgrade has advanced security built into the product and can be used on handheld devices, especially critical if emergency contact information is needed, they said.

Companies such as SAP AG and Oracle Corp. demonstrate TimeVision alongside their human resources systems, said Lois Melbourne, although those firms do not resell the product. Pricing is based on the number of records for an organization, which buys a perpetual license, she said. Maintenance contracts cost about 15 percent of the license and include tech support and upgrades.

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