Archive for the ‘Business Process Outsourcing’ category

Spotlight on Infosys BPO and HRO: Growing, Growing, and Growing

August 16, 2012

Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Since its inception 10 years ago, Infosys has experienced great growth and success. Its fiscal 2012 BPO revenues were $495m, more than tripling since the $147m it reported in 2007. To support its growing client list over this period, Infosys has nearly doubled its headcount to more than 21k employees and has added 16 international centers to the two centers it had in 2007.

 The company provides a balanced mix of horizontals from finance and accounting to sourcing and procurement to customer service, and of course HR.

In addition to its multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO) offering, Infosys’ standalone HR BPO offerings include:

  • Payroll
  • RPO
  • Learning.

The company has a very strong HRO client base in North America, which accounts for 45%. The remainder of its HRO clients are fairly distributed between Asia Pacific (30%) and Europe (25%).

While Infosys’ HR technology offering is very strong, its HR BPO business has been steadily growing, and the company is aggressive with its target revenues for HRO over the next few years. With its planned growth initiatives, I believe it has a very good chance of meeting its targets due to its:

  • High client retention rate
  • Ability to expand existing contracts to grow with its clients
  • Healthy pipeline with the possibility of a multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO) win in the near future.

My overall impression of Infosys at their recent analyst day was that they are genuinely nice warm people who really listen and are transparent. All qualities which I highly admire, and apparently qualities that are valued by two of its existing clients that came to speak during the analyst day:

  • A North American headquartered banking and financial services company
  • A U.S. headquartered media company.

Other reasons why these clients selected Infosys for BPO services included:

  • Executive attention
  • Trust to do the right thing
  • A broad offering for future growth opportunities
  • Flexibility
  • Technology capabilities.

The lesson reinforced by these clients is that organizations are looking for service providers who listen and genuinely understand them so together, they can create a strong, lasting partnership where both companies prosper in their respective area of expertise.

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NorthgateArinso Sets a Cadence for Growth

April 25, 2012

NorthgateArinso (NGA) recently held its annual analyst day in Boston. Chief Executive Mike Ettling reported that NGA’s revenues have increased 6-7% every quarter for the last six quarters and it had brought in over £500m in revenues for 2011. With very good growth under its belt and its built-out set of services, updated core technologies, and global delivery network, NGA is setting new goals to reach its target of $1bn in revenues by 2014.

The company is defining itself as “an HR BPaaS business enabled by technology, process, and domain expertise.” Business-platform-as-a-service is what many are calling business platforms, and since we are talking about HRO, I call it HRO platforms. From that perspective, NGA is already in the BPaaS business of providing bundled business process services and technology solutions.

NGA has ~8,500 personnel in 35 countries with HR technology, outsourcing, and consulting services in over 100 countries. That will not change. It will continue to offer unbundled technology and software services for payroll and HR. It will also continue to offer consulting services for HR systems and implementation of sand integrations, as both are good revenue streams. What is new is that the company is staking out its direction for future growth as an HRO services company, not a technology company.

How does an already good, solid HRO performer accelerate to outpace its competitors? For NGA, the answer is in structure and cadence.

Structure

Management structure is seen in the cascading goals, upcoming changes in organizational structure and alignment of compensation, the use of metrics, and the top-down involvement in selecting and managing key initiatives, investments, and projects. NGA is continuing to standardize its services into a catalog of selections, standardize implementation, and even standardize the offer to delivery process. It is developing an internal system called ScopeHR, which will standardize and automate the production of all key BPO/BPaaS information and documents to make solution selection, selling, pricing, and contracting easier, faster, and more efficient for both the client and NGA.

Cadence

Timing and pacing are also NGA keys in achieving profitable long-term growth. This includes an understanding of how to migrate and grow client scale and scope over time, to step-by-step refine its robust system for services delivery that includes moving to “mega centers of scale” and plans for workforce development to avoid capability gaps. Components of the service delivery value chain are addressed, cross-checked, and backed up. Continuous improvement is also seen in the use of Lean Six Sigma teams, CCMI standards, and an operational excellence framework to increase capability maturity while growing the business and retaining satisfied customers.

There is still a lot of uncertainty in the economy, which may impact NGA’s plans and timing. Given NorthgateArinso’s track record so far, clear goals, and achievement plans, if it adds in a bit of flexibility, the odds are good that it will hit its target.

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.

Oracle Buying Taleo: Is It a Good Deal?

February 20, 2012

As Howie Mandel always says to his guests after they’ve pressed the button and say “Deal!” on the TV show Deal or No Deal—”but was it a good deal?” Time will of course tell, but I do believe Oracle has made a very good deal. As the acquisition was announced just last February 9, I’ll briefly recap what had happened.

Oracle announced an agreement to buy Taleo for $46 per share, an 18% premium over Taleo’s stock price the day before the announcement, equating to $1.9 billion. As Taleo’s board has approved the acquisition, it is now subject to normal regulatory approval and is expected to close by summer. This follows SAP’s announcement on December 3, 2011 to acquire SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion. I had blogged about my take on the acquisition last December 13, 2011, stating that SuccessFactors is a provider of talent management software, but software alone does not get at the core of what makes for effective talent management. First, let me state that I also feel that SAP buying SuccessFactors was a good deal, albeit a steep price, as cloud-based software, including talent management is clearly on the rise and expected to continue to grow. NelsonHall has seen a large increase in the number of cloud SaaS HR services contracts and nearly 15% of HRO contracts in 2011 also included talent management software, often performance management, mostly in the mid-market.

Getting back to Oracle, Taleo provides cloud-based talent management software as well, so this is also a good deal, but how does that make this different? Because Taleo adds recruitment capability that Oracle did not have before. And although SuccessFactors provides recruitment software as does Taleo, Taleo also has an applicant tracking system that according to NelsonHall’s 2011 RPO report is the most widely used recruitment technology and applicant tracking system, utilized by approximately 80% of all RPO vendors for their clients, Oracle’s PeopleSoft had been in sixth place. The RPO report also noted that approximately 45% of all recruitment technology was platform-based. Taleo also has a business edition, popular in the mid-market for clients seeking a more standardized solution, used by vendors including Alexander Mann Solutions and Pinstripe. According to NelsonHall’s HRO forecast, RPO will have the highest growth of all HR services through the forecast period of 2015.

In summary, I think both acquisitions by SAP and Oracle are good; especially as clients continue to focus on talent management and recognize the need to have integrated technology and processes, most importantly supported by leadership that understand this. I’m in the final stages of my learning BPO research interviews and I‘m seeing a clear trend that learning vendors are now also providing talent management software and associated consulting services to their clients along with their learning services. I look forward to aggregating this data that I’ll present at the HRO Today Forum in Washington, DC on May 1st, titled State of the Learning BPO Marketplace, including the Emergence of Social Learning.

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

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Infosys BPO Analyst Day: A Rounding Success

November 4, 2011

Although a little late, I wanted to give Infosys kudos for hosting a very informative and engaging BPO Analyst Day in late October, which included presentations by two very satisfied North American based clients.

First, I’d like to highlight the progress Infosys has made:

  • From 2006 to 2011, BPO revenue has grown approximately five-fold with the number of clients increasing almost four-fold and global headcount increasing nearly six-fold
  • Although I can’t disclose HRO revenues, they are rapidly growing globally, led by North America and followed by Europe
  • BPO delivery capability is global from centers across North America, Latin America, South America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

What particularly impressed me at the event was the lengthy discussion titled “Our people are our biggest assets,” led by managing director and CEO Swami Swaminathan. The topic may sound cliché, but it was from the heart because Infosys truly wants employees to have a career for life that’s achieved by:

  • Leadership focus
  • Performance-based compensation
  • Recognition and reward
  • Career planning and development
  • Comfort with the working environment
  • Pride in being an Infosys employee.

There’s too much good business information to capture in a short blog, but to summarize, Infosys is helping clients build tomorrow’s enterprise by:

  • Enabling clients to transform their business
  • Moving operations up the value chain, including Centers of Excellence with benchmarking and best practices
  • Deploying new engagement models including business process as a service, technology enabled process automation, and cloud-enabled services
  • Leveraging technology to create value including dashboards and customer portals.

Client presentations were by a large apparel retailer and a large global telecom.  The retailer outsourced both F&A and HR.  HRO services included platform-based BPO with PeopleSoft 9.0 and modules for core HR including self-service; benefits including annual enrollment; time and attendance; payroll; and components of the HR helpdesk. Its reasons for choosing Infosys included:

  • Access to technology and tools to transform
  • Quality of resources to support the account and its ability to work with the client to achieve its goal
  • Cultural fit and reputation.

The telecom client outsourced to transform, leverage best in class processes, people and technology, and augment its sourcing group with new talent. F&A outsourcing included source to pay.

Concluding the day and joined by clients at the larger colloquium were two successful panel discussions.  The first was titled “Sustaining complex change” and included the buy-side from Montreal, Charming Shoppes Inc., and Cisco.  I had the pleasure of facilitating the second discussion that was titled “What is the defining role of HR in shaping tomorrow’s business: Globalization, convergence, social media, and talent management.  This panel included the buy-side from Charming Shoppes and Transfield Services.

In all, it was a very impressive day to round out numerous analyst events I attended in 2011, and this one will be memorable!

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, 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.

IBM & Air Canada: Proof that Traditional MPHRO Contracts Are Not Endangered

October 14, 2011

Before blogging about other current events such as ADP’s recent acquisition of The RightThing, one final announcement from HR Tech to address further is IBM’s contract win with Air Canada.

Air Canada was an early participant for outsourcing HR services as part of its business practice. In early 2004, it awarded a 7-year multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO) services contract to Exult, which was acquired by Hewitt a few months later. Hewitt, and then “Aon Hewitt” since its acquisition, provided Air Canada’s ~36k employees with workforce admin, payroll, benefits admin, recruiting, and learning admin services, a very “traditional” MPHRO contract at the time.

In addition, Air Canada awarded NorthgateArinso with a 5-year contract for managed payroll services in the U.K. in late 2010.  Then it decided to shake things up by opening up its MPHRO contract for competition. Key to winning the contract would be a provider that would continue to drive innovative transformation and ensure lower costs.

Last week, it became clear that IBM was the provider that Air Canada was looking for when it signed a ~8 year MPHRO contract for Air Canada’s North American employees and retirees.  Services include HR contact center, employee data management, employee travel support, payroll, benefits admin, leave management, recruiting services with support from Manpower, and software application support for the HR systems used to provide the services.  This recently announced contract is proof that traditional MPHRO contracts are not endangered.

Several weeks ago, I discussed the four market segments of MPHRO that exist in the market.  Among the emerging segments such as “multi-country standardization” was the “client-specific shared service / transformation” group, which represents many of the traditional, transformative deals that occurred in the early to mid 2000’s such as Hewitt’s contract with Air Canada.  Although growth for this segment isn’t expected to be quite as high as the other emerging segments, it is still expected to increase modestly through 2015 contrary to popular belief.

IBM and Aon Hewitt are both leaders within MPHRO.  Within the shared service transformation segment, Aon Hewitt is ranked first in terms of revenue with nearly ~19% market share; IBM is ranked second with ~14% market share.  Aon Hewitt is also doing its part to keep this segment alive; earlier this year it signed a MPHRO contract of significant size with an unnamed financial services organization.

While all the focus lately is on the newer species of MPHRO contracts, specifically the multi-country standardization contracts, the four existing segments can and will continue to co-exist in the larger ecosystem.

If you’re a MPHRO provider focused on the shared service transformation market segment be sure to tout your contract awards and renewals, so everyone knows that this segment is alive and well.  We love to share the good news!

Amy L. Gurchensky, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

 

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First Year+ Strong for ACS, a Xerox Company

September 9, 2011

With a year and a half passing since Xerox acquired ACS, Xerox has appropriately defined its new tagline: “Services-Led, Technology-Driven” with revenues roughly split equally between its Services segment and its Technology segment. Of Xerox Services, BPO is leading, accounting for 55% of revenues. The remainder of its Services revenue is ITO (12%) and DO (32%).

Within BPO, its four segments are HR, F&A, customer care, and transaction processing. Focusing on HR specifically, ACS is doing well according to information shared at yesterday’s Industry Analyst Meeting in NYC.  In total, the company has secured 44 HR services deals in the past 18 months.  Its first HRO deal since the acquisition was closed was a 5 year H&W services contract with P&G in March 2010.  

Some recent HRO highlights include signing a long-term TBO contract with a wireless telecommunications company, winning its largest ever learning services contract with a pharmaceutical company, and leveraging the ACS and Xerox relationship to win a multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO) contract from a competitor. 

Serving more than 11m employees and retirees worldwide, the company is focused on “consumer-driven solutions” or viewing the client employee as the end-consumer.  Part of this initiative includes its client collaboration group, FutureThink, which began piloting last year and has recently expanded. 

Its plans for geographic expansion are ripening.  The company has made great progress with its first target, Europe, with revenues increasing 10% and pipeline growth up more than 100%.  Approximately 90% of this pipeline improvement is the result of Xerox synergy.  Another positive is a recent MPHRO win from this region. 

Aside from Europe, ACS is targeting Latin America, specifically Brazil and Mexico, and Asia.  In Latin America, the company has a good market presence due to its acquisition of ExcellerateHRO last year. 

Additional acquisitions and partnerships can’t be ruled out either, especially for building out service capabilities.  Finally, to support all this growth, ACS has made investments in CRM, expanding its India and Malaysia centers.

Eighteen months since the acquisition has closed, Xerox has demonstrated a successful integration of ACS and signs are pointing to a positive future for HR services.

Amy L. Gurchensky, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

HRO – When Will the Horizontal Go Vertical to Grow?

January 20, 2011

Most HRO Insight blogs provide commentary on HRO market news. Occasionally, I like to speculate and dream about how HRO can fully become the linchpin in leveraging HR into the strategic business partner the HR profession has long desired – and business has long needed.  This week, I blend a bit of both market news and pondering on the vertical specialization of HRO.

According to the January 2011 NelsonHall BPO Index, 2010 was an uneven year for BPO recovery.  Total contract value (TCV) for HRO declined from $2.3Bn to $1.5Bn largely due to the drop off in Europe.  North America HRO almost held its own with $1.3Bn in 2010 compared to $1.6Bn in 2009.

Which BPO area grew its piece of the smaller BPO pie?  The options include back office, middle office, and front office.  Back office BPO functions are horizontal and include HRO and F&A; middle office BPO functions cover vertical industry-specific services such as mortgage processing or check processing in the banking sector, etc.; and front office BPO includes customer contact and sales centers.  Middle office, or industry-specific BPO, is the winner with the largest area at $13Bn and 69% of 2010 TCV, leaping up from a 40% share in 2009.  Growth in a down market is surely the sign of compelling client interest and savvy vendors meeting their needs.

Horizontal BPO processes cross the enterprise and are part of almost every business.  The problem is mistaking universality for being generic.  HRO is too often marketed on the strengths of cost and process functionality.  Customization is used for adapting to the quirks of client’s prior HR systems and processes.  To fight the costly morass of over-customization, HRO service providers have strengthened the use of preprogrammed selectable parameters – building in cost effective flexibility, but also reinforcing the generic aspect of HRO.

Rajiv Raghunandan, Infosys BPO Strategic Business Practice Head for Sales and Fulfillment, was recently interviewed by SSON and commented on how Infosys is taking an end-to-end process view of the F&A order-to-cash process and expanding its revenue, client relationships, and market opportunities.  Infosys leveraged its internal knowledge and experience from its client base to find areas of critical mass to take what was a horizontal process and verticalize it for a growing list of industry segments.

Vertical specialization can and should be done for HR as well.  As I have previously mentioned, TriNet, a PEO and HRO service provider in the small and mid market, is already offering integrated solutions for software and banking.  TriNet combined its core technology with customized services for hiring, compensation, performance management, and risk mitigation.

Sustainable growth in HRO is dependent on breaking the bounds of cost-driven volume administrative transaction processing and moving up the value chain to strategic business impacting partnerships.  There is a largely untapped HRO gold mine out there.  Just think of what the large HRO service providers could do with a gathering and packing of the knowledge and services already resident in their client bases!

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall