The Intricate World of HRO Provider Partnerships

It is uncommon to see a multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO) provider with a go-it-alone strategy.  Beyond the services a particular MPHRO service provider considers core, you will usually find other select HRO vendors. The option to operate in a networked HRO supply chain environment can be a valuable choice.  Some benefits include:

  • Providing clients with the option of selected best-of-breed software applications with the primary provider managing the interfaces and integrations under one contract
  • Investing in what the MPHRO vendor does best and offering a wider range of service options through partnerships
  • Entering new geographies faster with less investment, an option especially seen in knitting together global payroll and increasingly in multi-country RPO
  • Buying time to develop more robust internal offerings
  • Creating a pool of potential investments or M&A targets.

This week, NorthgateArinso (NGA) and Workday announced a partnership to bring multi-country payroll to the Workday cloud.  Workday 16 customers will have the option to access NGA’s payroll processing capabilities in 51 countries through NGA’s new euHReka Inclusion Framework.

Workday, launched in 2006, is one of the first and largest start-ups to provide a SaaS-only HR ERP. Revenues are estimated to be  ~$150m this year with ~210 customers, most in the mid-market, but some are large market clients with 55k to 100k employees.  Still U.S.-centric in revenues and clients, Workday is expanding into the U.K. and Canada and plans to expand further in Europe in 2012. Workday is in a fast growth mode, targeting a 100% increase in revenues for 2012. It is busy selling, implementing new clients, and building out a full suite of HR and financial cloud-based ERP services. In the meantime, it can offer clients greater options via its partner network. In addition to NGA, other partners for multi-country payroll include ADP, Patersons, and SafeGuard World International.

Another example comes from Ceridian, which is expanding its investment and service partnership with Dayforce. The two have been partnering since 2009 to offer InView, a platform SaaS solution that blends Ceridian’s payroll, human resources, and benefits administration offerings with Dayforce’s workforce management software application. The expanded InView HR and Self-Service is to be released in 4Q 2011 and new payroll functionality is on track for 1Q 2012.

InView is starting out quickly as a successful partnership. Ceridian set a target of 300 clients for the first year and exceeded that number in six months. As more clients go live, the partnership will have to carefully balance service with growth to ensure long-term success.

HRO vendor partnerships are not always successful and must be carefully structured and managed, especially when the vendor partners may well compete with one another in some markets or services. With care, this can be a strategy with benefits for clients and the HRO vendor partners.

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

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