How the cloud is transforming HR

“Wash, rinse and repeat.” That’s how Justin Watras describes the paper-based process that used to take up hours of managers’ time whenever a new employee started at Brooks Brothers.

“In a perfect scenario they’d show up with a bunch of employment documents, but more often than not they forgot or weren’t told,” explained Watras, the clothing retailer’s director of talent management and organizational effectiveness. “Either way, a manager or HR member would have to devote significant time to sitting with them and filling out paperwork in a process that often lasted hours.”

It’s a little different today.

Now, as soon as someone accepts a job, Brooks Brothers sends out an email with a link to the online equivalent of all that paperwork so they can do their part ahead of time. Also included is access to an employee portal filled with resources such as FAQs and a video from the CEO.

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Google cloud chief on tackling the enterprise

SAN FRANCISCO — Google is looking to strategically tackle the enterprise cloud market by open sourcing some of its internal technologies, embracing a multiplatform design principle and setting what it thinks are reasonable expectations for what its customers should move into the public cloud. The company hopes to continue making strides in the crowded market, which Amazon dominates, by helping enterprises identify business processes that can rapidly transition to the cloud and deliver the fastest ROI.

Now that companies can store all the data they want in the cloud for as little as $ 0.01 per GB per month, figuring out what to do with it all is a significant challenge, according to Greg DeMichillie, Google Cloud Platform’s (GCP) director of product management, who spoke with CIO.com at the GCP user conference last week. “It’s the needle in the haystack,” DeMichillie says. “Companies are drowning in data that they know, or that they suspect, there’s value in … but they don’t know how to get the value out of it.”

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This couple can’t do the simplest things online because their last name is ‘Null’


Having a funny name can sometimes be unfortunate, but one couple is finding it pretty difficult to do anything online because of theirs. Jennifer Null (and her husband, who warned her it would be a bumpy ride when she took his last name) have trouble booking flights, accessing the IRS website and setting up utilities; just about anything that requires a real name. The problem is their last name, which — when entered into forms — tricks the database into thinking nothing had been entered. ‘Null’ is a word to indicate there is no value, so the program thinks they’re both trying to go…

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Self-driving cars are real, but they’re not solving mysteries yet

Video: Armand Valdes, Loris Ravera, Quincy Ledbetter

Carmakers are working hard to develop fully autonomous, self-driving cars.  And while we have some time to go before we can just hop into a car and let it drive us wherever we please, semi-autonomous cars are currently available and on the road today.  

So how does autonomous driving work, and what technology is used to make this futurist fantasy a reality? Check out the latest installment of Mashable Explains in the video above for those answers and more.  

Also, make sure to subscribe to Mashable on YouTube for new episodes of Mashable Explains every week. Read more…

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