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North Pole Productivity Best Practices

December 19, 2014
Gregg and Santa

Gregg Gordon being very patient with his customer’s “jolliness” in 2012

As many of you know, I’m pretty tight with the big guy. Last year, I got an interview on Christmas Eve! As you can imagine, Nick (he doesn’t like being called “Chris”) was super stressed over delivery issues, but he really opened up for me and my readers. So there’s that. While most of my coverage has been related to workforce management at the North Pole headquarters, I’m not in Santa’s pocket with the old cookie crumbs. Nope. I’ve reported on the elf strike of 2011, and also ran an extensive interview with “Strider,” a discontent millennial reindeer. Still, you’ve got to admire the sheer scale of the operation, and I’m proud Kronos is there to help. Our own Gregg Gordon has spent quite a bit of time at “Ice Station Zebra” as he calls it (he hates the cold), consulting on lean manufacturing with their EEC (Executive Elf Committee), and has helped the operation increase productivity almost 4x all while reducing costs! Check this out. Disney produced this documentary on Santa’s workshop in 1932. As you’ll see, it’s a very labor intensive operation, and it worked for the estimated 2,070,000,000 people not on the naughty list that year mostly due to the big guy’s leadership, spirit, and a fully engaged workforce:

Now, fast forward to 2014, and there are around 7 billion on Santa’s list! (As an aside, North Pole coal production for the naughty is off the charts, but that’s a blog for another time…) Anyway, after implementing Workforce Scheduler in 2011, they moved to Workforce Central SaaS after melting of the polar ice cap flooded their datacenter in 2012. While they upgraded to our cloud, the EEC had the foresight to add analytics and mobile technologies to their Workforce Central suite, and things are really humming this year. I mean, this is increased productivity illustrated. What took Disney over 6 minutes to document in 1932, we’ll show you in 34 seconds… That’s workforce innovation that works.

Conducting a sound Kronos project

December 18, 2014

Rather than simply write that today’s guest post is from Terri Edkins, a Senior Manager on our Services Marketing team, let me share a little of what Terri means to us. It’s performance appraisal time at Kronos, and here’s what one internal customer had to say about her: “Leo, I have a crush on Terri Edkins. She is fantastic. Great partner. Thanks Terri for your collaboration. Have great day!”

Pops 1By Terri Edkins

It’s become a tradition to head to the Boston Pops Holiday concert every year. We meet for lunch and then spend the afternoon catching up with friends old and new, sipping champagne, and listening to beautiful Christmas music. There are lots of laughs, hugs, and good cheer. This year we got to see it through the eyes of a 12-year old child and it was m.a.g.i.c.a.l. It’s a blessing to have such good friends!

Every year the Pops change up their program to keep it fresh. This year’s new element was a tribute to the Christmas truce along the Western Front in 1914. It was very poignant and beautifully orchestrated and really helps put things in perspective during the holiday season.

Pops2As you sit there in the wonderful hall enveloped by the sights and the sounds coming at you from every direction, one thing always stands out: the conductor. According to The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music (Fifth ed.) the primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble. In Boston, it’s Keith Lockhart and he does all this and still finds time to converse with Santa and interact with the audience.

Our project managers are conductors too. They bring the entire team together, set and manage expectations, and most importantly, listen to you throughout the entire project. They really do keep things running smoothly so that your implementation or upgrade stays on tempo. Listen to a Kronos conductor, Shira Griffin, describe how she unifies a Kronos project ensemble to orchestrate the experience you expect.


Who are Play Joyce and Work Joyce? Oh, and cloud ROI…

December 17, 2014

quote bubbleYesterday was our virtual cloud conference (recordings available) and it was very cool. I was pleased with the content and presentation of our 4 webinars, the excellent Q&A, and the “traffic” in our virtual booths. Then… Just one stroke before 4PM, a chat bubble appeared from “Mr. M:”

Mr. M: Hi Leo
Mr. M: nice to see you here
Leo: Thank you. These are all the service folks I work with.
Mr. M: I read the Working Smarter Cafe weekly

The Joyce's - (Work) and (Play)

The Joyce’s – (Work) and (Play)

Leo: Oh, thank you!
Mr. M: We’re evaluating a move to the cloud
Mr. M: First upgrade from 6.2 to 7 then hopefully hop on the Cloud
Mr. M: Management needs ROI!!
Leo: Did you look at the Forrester paper on Total Economic Impact?
Mr. M: uhhh… no!
Mr. M: where is it?
Leo: Resource Center. Pull down the tab under “Directory.”
Leo: It’s a couple years old, but the numbers still work. In fact, they’re better b/c prices have dropped.
Mr. M: before I forget… who are Play Joyce and Work Joyce?
Leo: Play is my GF and Work is my boss. Both Joyce’s!
Leo: Both bosses…
Leo: Hey, if you get stuck looking for any cloud info, email me at

Fifteen minutes later, the Making the Case for Kronos Cloud webinar started, and Mr. M got excellent insights and business case numbers from our Dan Rooney and Alex Kerin. Later Mr. M asked if I was going to write about him on the blog… Hey, Mr. M, if you ever want to guest blog

Starting Lineup for Today’s Kronos Virtual Cloud Conference!

December 16, 2014

I know all of you with fantasy cloud teams are all breathlessly awaiting the starting lineup for today’s 1:00 ET kickoff of our virtual cloud conference, and I’ve got it!

cloud virtual

What is the Workforce Central Cloud?
Time: 1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

Dan Santangelo has broad experience and expertise in a variety of Cloud Solutions including Cloud Colocation & Application Hosting, SaaS, and Managed Services. Dan has held many roles within the Cloud industry ranging from solution engineering and architecture to serving as a cloud strategic advisor for top Cloud providers in the industry. Dan was also a Kronos customer responsible for managing Global IT support, integration, and configuration teams as well as serving as a Program Manager, leading a Kronos Global Deployment across 15 countries.

The Kronos Cloud: Customers First
Time: 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Paul Schmiedel, CISA, is Manager, Information Security at Kronos responsible for the implementation of data security frameworks in the Kronos Cloud where customer data is stored. Paul joined Kronos in 2011, to manage the Kronos compliance monitoring programs and successfully published the SOC 2 data security reports for the Kronos Private Cloud since its inception in 2012.

How to Get to the Kronos Cloud
Time: 3:15 PM – 4:00 PM

Andrew Manos is the director of cloud services business development for Kronos Incorporated. In this role, Andrew is responsible for broadening knowledge of cloud within Kronos and leading the cloud services conversations for complex WFC solutions thinking about deploying with a cloud strategy. Andrew was responsible for launching Kronos WFC Cloud Services from 2009-2013, packaging the offerings and go-to-market strategy and hiring the first generation business development and operations teams in the US and India.

Making the Case for Kronos Cloud – (If you want the numbers, this is your session!)
Time: 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

Dan Rooney has extensive experience and expertise in Cloud, SaaS, and Managed Services Solutions. Dan has over 7 experience advising Kronos customers on their Cloud strategies and has assisted hundreds of customers with deploying or migrating their solutions to the Kronos Cloud. He has worked at Kronos for over 15 years in sales business development, marketing, and services roles.

Alex Kerin manages Kronos’ Workforce Consulting Practice, the team responsible for helping organizations understand the potential ROI and value of labor management solutions. Alex has worked in labor management and optimization for over a decade, visiting customer locations as diverse as local community hospitals and three miles into a coal mine in West Virginia.

Belly up to the HR Bar!

December 15, 2014
Sharlyn HRB

Sharlyn Lauby, the HR Bartender

Isn’t “HR Bartender” a brilliant name for the website of an HR professional? I mean, we all have our “stuff,” and if you don’t have a therapist, a real bartender, and don’t air all your problems on Facebook, who can you turn to? How about your HR professional? Did you know (Play)Joyce is an HR professional with a master’s degree in psychology? Now it’s all making sense, right?

Sharlyn Lauby is also an HR pro, and she’s the mixologist at HR Bartender. I’ve had the pleasure of hanging with her at the last 2 KronosWorks, but not at the bar. If you haven’t been to Sharlyn’s saloon, I recommend you drink these up right away:

Of course you should start with Everything #HR Needs to Know About “The Cloud.” Sharlyn interviewed a marginally credible marketing weasel for that one…

Hey, don’t forget about tomorrow’s free Virtual Cloud Conference from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET. The conference will have 4 cloud webinars, and you’ll have live access to our cloud experts who can answer all of your questions about the Workforce Central cloud!

Take the Einstein-Rosen bridge to the Kronos cloud!

December 12, 2014

Einstein-Rosen bridgeInterstellar” left me wanting more. I was sucked in by the artistic gravity of “2001” comparisons, but Kubrick’s classic occupies a filmmaking dimension that Christopher Nolan’s film couldn’t punch through. Hey, I recommend it, both for the popcorn fun and grandeur, and for moments of mind bending science. One scene staying with me over time is when they explain the concept of a “wormhole” (aka the Einstein-Rosen bridge) by drawing two X’s on a sheet of paper, then folding the paper in half to connect the X’s and sticking a pen through the paper, representing the “wormhole.” Of course in space, the X’s are billions or more miles apart… Cool.

While moving Kronos from your on-premise datacenter to the cloud might seem interstellar, you don’t need a wormhole to get there. In fact, next Tuesday, December 16, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET we’re having a free Virtual Cloud Conference. The conference will have 4 cloud webinars, plus you’ll have access to experts who can answer all of your questions about the Workforce Central cloud.

Sure, it’s longer than the movie, and I’m sorry I can’t promise that you won’t be left wanting more… Kronos cloud.

Top 10 Things My Boss Shouldn’t Know About Me (but does…)

December 11, 2014

the_truth_is_out_thereContent curation on the part of some online entity teased me with a article called 10 Things You Should Never Tell Your Boss. I bit, and it’s ridiculous. I’ll just say that Kronos wasn’t named the top place to work in Massachusetts because we’re a bunch of workbots who don’t know each other. This place thrives because of real relationships we have with each other, with our customers, and with our partners. Still, I’m an oversharer, so there may be some things in the list (Work)Joyce shouldn’t know about me, but does…

  • 10. Night Life – She knows all about my nightly 3-4 minutes of “reading” in bed until the iPad wakes me up by falling on my face. Let’s just say it’s taking the kid in the Alchemist a loooong time to get across the desert.
  • 9. Religious Beliefs – I believe we both believe what we believe, and mostly we believe in the right to believe whatever we believe.
  • 8. Political Affiliation – We’re aligned on this, and politics has become so absurd that our alignment is somewhere between comedians Al Franken and Dennis Miller.
  • 7. Spouse’s Income – N/A, but I’m pretty sure she knows mine.
  • 6. You’re Working Another Job – Yeah, no, but if I decide to moonlight writing a book, she’ll be one of the first to know… After all of you.
  • 5. Sexual Orientation – Um. Yep. She knows.
  • 4. Your Living Situation – (Work)Joyce knows I love having my daughter and granddaughter live with me, and she’s aware that if my daughter has her way, I’ll have my own apartment soon.
  • 3. Mental Health Issues – I think anyone here regularly is well aware of those… Plus, (Work)Joyce follows me on Facebook…
  • 2. (Some) Physical Health Problems – If I have a physical problem, I’m usually whining about it to anyone who’ll listen, so yeah, she knows.
  • 1. Anything Your Boss Hasn’t Told You – This list is ridiculous, BUT it may not be for every employee. I’m very fortunate to have a close relationship with (Work)Joyce, and we TRUST each other, but it’s also been a decade.* If you’re a new employee, you may want to feel things out a bit before you tell your boss all your dark secrets.

*Oh, sorry. I’m told it’s only been 8 years. It just seems longer. See, I kid (Work)Joyce!


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