Success Factors for the Market Segments of MPHRO

Last week, I discussed the four market segments of multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO) as defined in my 2011 NelsonHall MPHRO report: multi-country standardization, client-specific shared service transformation, core business focus, and technology-led HR service enhancement.  This week, I’ll examine success factors for service providers within each segment.

In the “multi-country standardization segment,” which is the segment with the highest growth rate for the next five years, it is critical for vendors to be able to support a client’s operations across a wide range of countries including emerging markets. Providers must also be able to rollout standardized HR administration and payroll to create a global system of record. Examples of service providers operating in this segment include ADP, HP, and NorthgateArinso.

To be successful in the “client-specific shared service transformation segment,” the largest of the four, vendors must provide HRO support directly or through a partner for all HR service lines (i.e., payroll, benefits, learning, RPO, and workforce development services) and have a high degree of multi-shore delivery capabilities to support clients in various locations.  Equally important is a service provider’s ability to be able to work with the client’s existing HR technology.  One of the biggest challenges faced by vendors in this group is getting clients to transition more than just back-office functions to its offshore service centers to reduce operating costs.  Service providers operating in this segment include those that have been long-term players in the MPHRO market such as Accenture; IBM; Aon Hewitt; ACS, a Xerox Company; and U.K.-based Capita.

Within the “core business focus” market segment, success is contingent on a provider’s ability to quickly deploy HR services and be accessible when expertise is required.  In terms of HRO offerings, standardized HR administration and payroll are a must and providing support for talent management services is very appealing.  The biggest challenge for vendors operating here is all the competition that exists from some of the following vendors: Genpact, TCS, Talent2, Infosys, HCL, Wipro, and Caliber Point.

Success in the final segment, “technology-led HR service enhancement,” requires vendors to provide their own standard technology for HR administration and payroll that includes talent management functions.  Also, it’s important that this technology be rolled-out relatively quickly.  Providers that fall within this segment mirror the multi-country standardization segment, but also include vendors such as Ceridian.

There’s lots of room in the MPHRO market for all types of buyers, so it’s critical for service providers to decide which segments are of strategic value and to define their sweet spots in their MPHRO portfolios and fill in capability gaps where contracts can be lost to competitors.

Amy Gurchensky, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

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