Automating HR management in Egypt

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Focusing on developing a specialized product allowed Egyptian software company HITS Solutions to enter more than 40 countries, working with around 300 companies and institutions around the world.

HITS Solutions develops agile HR and people management software that help manage employees and salaries by using technologies like cloud computing. It can be adjusted in accordance to the policies and procedures of each company or state, to include taxes, insurance, and payroll.

HITS was founded in 1999 by engineers Gamal Shenouda and Sameh Fakhoury. One year later, it partnered with Microsoft to use their software development techniques.  

In 2012, it depended on Microsoft services to develop the Dynamic Nervous Application (DNA) technology. The DNA system distinguishes itself for being agile or lean and adjustable: you don’t need developers to adjust equations related to taxes, payroll and vacations depending on the country the company is operating in, all it takes is one employee with access.

Challenges they are working towards overcoming  

HITS faced several challenges, some are related to the market, others to the region’s unstable situation.

Rose Kamel. (Image via Rose Kamel)

HITS’ marketing manager Rose Kamel said that even though some companies and institutions don’t consider HR management important, they still want to buy a system.

“Some companies think that the software alone will help them. They don’t know that they should have a structure for the company, HR department, database. The system needs inputs that lead to better outputs,” she said

On the other hand, as most tech companies connecting their products to the cloud, this Egyptian company had to reassure its customers about the safety of their data in cloud computing. In addition to that, the company had to deal with the changing economic situation in Egypt and scale abroad to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and many countries in Africa and others in Asia and Europe.

Specialized but complicated

The DNA system was launched in 2012 to replace a previous HITS technology by the name of Nas.NET.

DNA uses cloud computing Azure from Microsoft, and provides services to manage individuals, time and human resources depending on artificial intelligence, data analysis and connecting different devices and programs within the company.  Customers can buy each service for $1.5 monthly per employee, per module.

HITS called its system ‘Dynamic Nervous Application’ because it links different devices and tables to automate HR management and make reporting easier and faster.

For example, the system creates a folder for each employee where vacation days, bonuses, KPIs, compensations, and claims are logged daily up to retirement. Employees can ask for a vacation and receive approval via an app on their phones. They are directly added to their file in the company system.

Model of a performance index report using Power BI technique from Microsoft. (Image via HITS)

DNA tells the company the number of job openings, and helps it choose the right employee based on the resume and qualifications for the job, then monitors employee performance, suggests a promotion, bonus or transfer.

Towards a smart management of human resources

Studies show that companies with skilled employees show an increase in productivity by 29 percent. Finding those employees requires an effective HR management.

Meanwhile, there is a global trend for using big data in HR management, and developing countries are no exception.

Many companies in the region provide ERP (enterprise resources planning), HRMS (human resource management system) and other systems. Dubai-based Zeta Software, Amman-based Menaitech, and Cairo-based Delta Software are few.

A recent Deloitte report about the latest trends in managing human capital showed that 78 percent of those surveyed in the Middle East and 75 percent of those surveyed in Africa found that employee data analysis is important when it comes to HR management.

HITS won the country partner of the year award 2013.
From left to right: Gamal Shnodah HITS' CEO, Jon Roskill from Microsoft,
and Mina Monir HITS' software development manager. (Image via HITS)

Kamel agreed, adding that companies have become more accepting of cloud computing technologies. “We have banks as clients such as Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait in Kuwait and in Egypt, and governments such as Gabon and Zambia,” she added.

HITS tries to educate customers new to the HR field by providing consultancy services. It studies their current situation  and provides them with advice about HR management “to get the best returns on the DNA system if they choose to use it,” said Kamel.

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