Visualization Solutions by Nakisa 4.3 Update Overview

The following blog post was originally posted to the ROC UK web site on 20 April 2015.


In Q1 of 2015, Nakisa released the latest iteration of their visualisation suite (VSN) of applications - version 4.3. With 4.2 being an interim release for Nakisa’s Performance and Goals product or perhaps an internal working version, 4.3 can probably be considered an upgrade from the 4.1 SP2 release. As well as rolling in various bug fixes and general performance improvements, version 4.3 includes some great feature enhancements.

New Features

The 4.3 release brings a number of interesting new features and changes.

User Interface

There are a number of user interface changes that affect the applications and are functional rather than simply aesthetic.

The charts that are so prolific throughout the VSN applications have had a useful tweak to make some of the interface buttons a little larger. As someone who has on many occasions managed to click on the wrong button of two side-by-side navigation options I’m very much in favour of this change.

In addition I’ve noted various highlighting effects that provide useful feedback as to what is selected, in-use, etc. Again I find this a rather useful addition.

A number of other changes such as more intelligent date defaulting and dynamic field sizing have also been incorporated, but I’ve found these changes a little more subtle.

SOVN OrgChart

Used to display organisational hierarchies

OrgChart is by far the most popular module in the VSN suite and has had a rich set updates in this release.

A welcome update to the standard product is the option to derive position to position hierarchy direct from SAP data where no relationship is explicitly maintained. Whilst ROC have been able to apply this with a customisation for some time, the addition of this will certainly make deployment quicker where this is a requirement.

A new direct reports section is one of the most obvious new features and this provides a table of line reports with functionality to print and mail a selection from the list. Useful if you perhaps want to contact a particular group and don’t have an internal mailing list for them.

The Quick Search option (to search for employees in a “Google-style” search bar) was a great addition - I even blogged about just that feature when it came out. It was previously only available for use with a live connection to SAP. Whilst most OrgChart implementations have such a live connection, occasionally it is necessary to deploy OrgChart such that the data is retrieved periodically and stored in a separate database. This is know in VSN parlance as a ?taged architecture’ and with 4.3 Quick Search is now also available for this type of implementation.

Quick Search has also had some enhancements in the back end administrative system making it easier to customise and if necessary disable.

There has also been a speed up for analytics in where the analytics data is being read straight from the SAP system (rather than a staging database). The analytics for an org unit are now calculated individually rather than as a set meaning you only wait for the analytic to be generated if you wish to view it. This is particularly notable as you progress closer to the root and potentially have more org units beneath it to calculate against.

The employee details panel which displays the full range of employee data has been enhanced to display position details where an employee is incumbent in multiple positions. This is a great counterpoint to the position details panel which already displays multiple employees for a shared position.

One of the most useful features in OrgChart is ChartBook which produces a PDF pamphlet of structural charts. This has received an update to now allow positions to be excluded (i.e. just display the org units). Sometimes just discussing the structure of an organisational branch without the pre-conceptions of existing positions is a useful approach so adding this filtering to the ChartBook options looks potentially rather useful.

SOVN OrgModeler

Used to plan changes to organisational hierarchies Apart from some significant changes behind the scenes (see below), OrgModeler now has the option to remove recently created objects (positions, org units, etc.) which makes it quicker to work-up some modelling scenarios.

(STVN) TalentHub for HR & Executives/ for Managers

Used for strategic talent management/ for general talent management The TalentHub for HR & Executives and TalentHub for Managers application have both received a couple of interesting updates.

A new set of functionality called TalentReviewMeeting? has been added. This supports the process of strategic talent reviews and includes several features to do this. TalentReviewMeeting? allows users to create and maintain SAP talent reviews and provides access to reporting functionality and additional tools to help visually build the structure and content for a review meeting. It also includes tools to manage talent assessment through monitoring and approving (potentials & risk of loss).

Secondly, the profile match from the talent profile now supports matching from an employee’s perspective which extends the usefulness of this functionality that much further.

SOVN OrgAudit, SOVN TeamManager & (STVN) TalentHub for Employees

The OrgAudit, TeamManager and TalentHub for Employees applications have been refreshed to pick up the general updates, but have not had any further specific development in this release.

Technical Updates

Behind the scenes there are a number of useful improvements that keep the system up to date with other technologies and provide enhanced security.

  • Full compatibility with some of the latest browser and browser technology releases.
    • OrgHub for Mobile is also now supported on iOS 8.
  • Compatibility with newer database technologies.
  • Enhanced security logging in back end administrative interface.
  • OrgModeler can now be enhanced and customised with code changes more easily due to an architectural change.
  • OrgModeler can now control the iDoc listener (which keeps planning data in sync between the OrgModeler database and SAP) from the application’s AdminConsole.

VSN 4.3 brings with it mainstream maintenance through to 27 January 2018 whereas VSN 4.0 and 4.1 are due to reach the end of mainstream maintenance at the end of November 2015. VSN 3.x and earlier versions are already out of mainstream support - more details available here.

Additional Applications

Nakisa have made many improvements to their Goals & Performance product, which is a complementary module to those in the SAP Solution Extension (i.e. those modules mentioned above).

These include:

  • Improved inheritance of goals.
  • Greater flexibility in employee goal contribution selection.
  • Support for reassignments during appraisal process.
  • Addition of public and private notes.
  • Ongoing maintenance of sections in appraisal form through removal out of date or irrelevant sections.
  • Restricting employee access to amend data once approved by a manager.

Coinciding with the new 4.3 release, Nakisa have also released the Nakisa Accelerator Suite which includes products for transformation (mergers, acquisitions & divestitures / strategic organizational design) and for talent (organizational vulnerability). All are customised solutions based on the existing suite, but specially tailored and integrated to provide a solution for a key business challenge.

More Information

If you would like to discuss upgrading or implementing any Nakisa solutions please contact us to arrange to speak to one of our consultants.

Author: Stephen Millard
Tags: | vsn | roc |

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