Voice of Experience: Mapping the World

Daniel Greer
Dir., Global IS Finance
Milwaukee, Wis.

MANAGER’S PROFILE: Oversees the information-technology budgeting process for the global temporary-employment services firm, which had $14.9 billion in 2004 sales. His group tracks 2,000 projects, 100 of which have budgets of $100,000 or more.
HIS PROJECT: To get a handle on operations in 40 countries, Manpower in 2004 rolled out the Clarity portfolio management software from Niku (since bought by Computer Associates). “The initial design was to get visibility into the I.T. spend, and from there to control it,” Greer says.

TIME SINK: Manpower knew what it spent on information technology overall. But Greer and his team found some surprises when he drilled into individual projects. “The ‘aha!’ was looking at the enormous amount of labor we were spending maintaining individual financial systems,” he says.

STANDARD ISSUE: So the company decided to standardize on a single financial system—PeopleSoft—worldwide and cut off several in-progress upgrades. The PeopleSoft project, to run through 2006, replaces packages from Lawson Software in the U.S., SAP in Germany and older AS/400 applications elsewhere. Greer says by using PeopleSoft globally, software licensing costs will be 30% less than if each region had kept separate systems.

RINSE AND REPEAT: Manpower also found identical projects in multiple regions that it has combined. “We had six countries doing their own e-mail projects,” Greer says. “We’ve been able to take hold of that spending.”