Each employee has a unique identifier assigned to them which started at ID# 1 and is now at around 30,000. When a person leaves the company the number is not re-used, so in reality we have less then 30,000 employees. We are not running out of this number.
Each employee also has an identifier assigned to them across the technology domain, which is in effect their login ID. These are 6 characters long, the first three of which signify what sort of user they are, and the last three represents the employee's initials. This is the problem area.
Examples of valid usernames for our company (ABC Corp) could be:
+ ABCMJS — User account belonging to Mary Jane Smith
+ ABCJ9B — User account belonging to John Brown (digit 9 generated randomly to differentiate from other people with the name John Doe)
+ ADMWPS — Adminsitrator account belonging to William Patrick Smith
+ TST123 — Test account used for development
Generally speaking, everyone has ABC in the front of their Login ID (and in some cases this is hard-coded in various applications; another problem altogether). We now have so many employees that we are running out of Employee ID's and an impact study has to be performed to see what systems will be affected if we were to change the format. We could use the Employee Number as the identifier, or a randomly generated number of some length, but after scouring Butler and Gartner as well a number of other reputable sites I could not find any indication of what is the best way forward.
Some people believe that the Employee ID should be reflective of their name (maryjanesmith), and some do not (8293489) — I believe there are merits for both; so, what format Employee ID would you use and why?
+ Random number, or alpha-numeric
+ Sequential Employee Number
+ Or something else?