Archive for the ‘HR Tech’ category

Highlights and Trends in the HRO Market for H1 2013: Part 1

August 7, 2013
Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

It’s hard to believe that H1 2013 is complete, which makes it an ideal time to recap highlights and trends from the HRO world this year.

Overall Activity

There was a healthy number of new contracts awarded across all HRO service lines in H1 2013. In addition, renewals and contract extensions signed were consistent with H1 2012. There was, however, an increase in activity with organizations changing their existing service provider, particularly within benefits administration and RPO.

For the last few years, attention has been on the mid-market (500-10k employees), among other things, as an area for growth within HRO. Quarter-over-quarter, mid-market activity has made strides relative to the large market. In fact, in H1 2013, the majority of activity reported was from the mid-market.

Beyond HRO, the number of HR software contracts signed globally was up substantially compared to H1 2012. For example, in the U.S., ADP was awarded a contract for its Vantage HCM platform, including HR, payroll, benefits and onboarding modules, by The Paradies Shops covering 4k employees. In the U.K., Ceridian gained traction with its automatic enrollment module with Asda for 175k employees and WH Smith for 16k employees.

Payroll

Despite being a mature service line, payroll outsourcing does not disappoint. The biggest news reported in H1 2013 would have to be ADP’s acquisition of Payroll S.A., which will expand its LATAM payroll capabilities to Chile, Argentina and Peru. ADP already had in-country services in Brazil, and had capabilities through GlobalView and Streamline to serve multinationals in other LATAM countries.

Other news within payroll includes Acrede opening an office in Singapore to expand its global payroll reach into Asia-Pacific. Growth opportunities in the region include Japan and South Asia-Pacific.

RPO

The RPO market continues to be a hot one to watch. Contracts were awarded in various countries, including the U.S., U.K. and China, and ~20% of contract activity in H1 2013 was from multi-country deals.

The level of M&A activity was consistent with H1 2012, but the level of RPO partnerships has dwindled. Nevertheless, RPO vendors were busy expanding service offerings and delivery capabilities, and launching new websites. Some examples include:

  • Randstad Sourceright launching an RPO integrated assessment program
  • Manpower U.S. launching a multi-channel delivery model
  • Ochre House launching a COE to drive innovation
  • Randstad Sourceright opening a shared services center in Budapest
  • Hays launching a new mobile website
  • AMN Healthcare launching a redesigned website.

Although technically within H2, it is timely to mention the Pinstripe and Ochre House merger.

Learning

After a rather long lull, the learning BPO market has shown many signs of improvement. New contracts include Raytheon and GM Korea for content development and training administration services, and delivery of sales and non-technical training.

GP continued its acquisition frenzy focused on strengthening and expanding its geographic footprint with Prospero Learning Solutions (Canada) and Lorien Engineering Solutions (U.K. and Poland). Not to mention Capita’s acquisition of KnowledgePool.

Stay tuned next week for more highlights and trends from H1 2013 that are specific to benefits administration and MPHRO. I’ll also share some insights on what to expect in H2 2013 based on NelsonHall’s recent HRO Confidence Index survey.

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NGA’s Broadening Offerings

July 24, 2013
Liz Rennie, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Liz Rennie, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Last week we attended the Advisor & Analyst Summit with NGA where CEO Adel Al-Saleh presented the highlights for FY2013 (up to 30 April 2013) and described the company as an “IP-led HR services company.” Focus was given to the company’s ability to support global payrolls, whatever the HRIS platform, as NGA supports multiple platforms such as Workday, SuccessFactors, PeopleSoft, Oracle and SAP. Further, NGA announced that BPO agreements are in place with all the above-mentioned technology companies.

NGA serves all size companies and is particularly focused on global enterprise clients. Multi-country BPO HR/payroll is where NGA sees growth. Over the last year NGA experienced flat revenues, the downturn in the consulting was cited as the main reason; however, EBITDA was up by 8.6% to $157m. Workforce administration and global payroll were cited as areas which were experiencing growth. A “sweet-spot” client would be a client who wants its IT to be managed and requires service components for HR administration and/or payroll.

New wins and renewals for FY 2013 were cited as Aer Lingus (Irish HRO client based on ResourceLink), Textron (PeopleSoft renewal), Pirelli (40 countries in scope), State of Texas, McGraw-Hill and Orica.

FY 2014 priorities

  • Evolve the client-centric coverage. This means to increase the reporting and visibility of customer satisfaction to drive this higher
  • Drive the maturity of global delivery capabilities
  • Evolve the transformation consulting services
  • Invest and launch key IP platforms, including:
    – Global payroll
    – Service center tools & utilities
    – euHReka – Preceda – ResourceLink – Moorepay
  • Increase traction of key partnerships:
    – Workday
    – SuccessFactors-SAP
    – Oracle.

NGA already has more than 8 clients utilizing the Workday platform.

NGA presented its Global Delivery Model, which demonstrates the maturity and scale of NGA’s global delivery, including approximately 1.2k employees in Manila, 1k in Kochi, 100 in Dalian, China, 150 in Katowice, Poland, 500 in Granada, Spain and 200 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. These centers have been undergoing a center standardization based on Six Sigma to improve alignment.

NGA’s depth of knowledge is evident in the 8 IP components presented, including its NGA Service Catalogue, Global Statutory Center, ePIM Implementation Methodology, SunEXo (to track payroll status), ScopeHR (to configure scope), Online Reference Guide (for processes and instructions), Global Standard Training and Global Process Framework.

Being an IP-led HR services company, NGA has to clearly articulate the value of the IP to the client and then ensure that the IP roadmap is closely following its client’s needs. Furthermore, increasing technology capability with a broader partner ecosystem could bring further challenges, such as:

  • Finding the right technical solution for a client without confusing them; especially where they are simply asking for a service
  • When the IP becomes less technology centric, NGA could lose some of the depth of knowledge that is already built into the IP.

NGA continues to be a company that is flexible to the needs of its clients. In this current climate companies need agility in HR solutions, services, prices and (now more than ever) technology. NGA offers a global delivery network that is experienced and always hungry for more business.

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HRO Inflection Points

June 28, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Everywhere around us inflection points are occurring. Inflection points are a sign that change is occurring that will create a new order of things. Whether we see them, understand their long-term implications, and leverage them to our advantage is another issue.

Social Inflection Points Impact HRO

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on two issues impacting marriage law that will change who is entitled to marriage-related federal benefits.

Major social change invariably impacts HR and HRO services, and the marriage law rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court will have wide-ranging implications for workplace benefit plans in at least 12 states.

The long-term implications may take many years to become clear, but leveraging in the short term has already begun. ADP was the first HRO vendor I saw tweet about the court’s ruling by announcing an upcoming webinar on the changes to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Mercer quickly followed with a ‘benefits administration alert’ letter.

Technology Inflection Points Impact HRO

As a disruptive technology, SaaS has started a global “cloud war” that is only just beginning. HR and HRO are just a small piece of the IT landscape and we will see skirmishes as new entrants and long-term leaders battle for market share, industry leadership and shareholder value as they transform not only technology offerings, but revenue streams and business models.

Oracle’s Larry Ellison has been in the news for the last two weeks reporting on earnings that were already impacted by SaaS and the cloud war. Here was one of the industry’s titans comparing Oracle’s SaaS revenues (annualized at ~$1bn) to comparable revenues posted by perennial competitor SAP and upstart Workday!

Upgrade or rip-and-replace decisions are becoming imminent for HR clients and HRO services providers. Many vendors, including Ceridian, Mercer and Talent2, are already developing integrated service platforms and more cloud offerings for organizations of all sizes.

Client Inflection Points Impact HRO

To identify current trends in HRO customer requirements I reviewed current (2013) sources, including NelsonHall’s Targeting Payroll BPO market analysis and HR Outsourcing Confidence Index, and also HRO vendor discussions. Further, I reviewed a research survey by Mandy Sim, a University Teaching Fellow with the Business School at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, entitled the HRO Adoption Survey Report 2012, which identified key Asia-Pacific HRO practices based on a survey conducted on delegates who attended the HRO Today Forum APAC 2012.

Following are my findings on what today’s HRO clients, across service lines and geographies, are wanting from prospective vendors:

  • Value for price, balancing cost with improved outcomes and business impact
  • Standardization of processes and technologies
  • Advanced subject-matter expertise and best practices
  • Scalability across services and geographies
  • Access to new tools, technologies and services.

Ready or not, change is coming to HRO. Are you ready for how will it impact you and your organization?

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Catching Up with ADP

June 20, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

The recent passing of long-term U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg reminds us of his early role in the formation of what became ADP, a founding member of HR outsourcing. In the early 1950s he was engaged in selling insurance and sold a policy to two young New Jersey businessmen, Henry and Joseph Taub. The Taub’s were pioneering a then new concept; payroll outsourcing. The brothers knew payroll processing and Lautenberg knew sales and marketing. Lautenberg took a risk and joined the Taub brothers and together they created a new industry.

Establish Operating Principles

By the time the company incorporated in 1961 the three leaders established principles that still guide the company some 60 years later. Following are a few of the principles they put in place.

Focus on Business Markets that Offer Significant Growth Opportunities

ADP has always pursued growth through new market opportunities, both by expanding it service lines and by entering new geographies. Much of the early growth was through acquisitions, as well as organic growth. Lautenberg retired as CEO from ADP in 1982 having made over 100 acquisitions!

Over time, ADP became a global player. An early acquisition was GSI, a large payroll and HR services company in Europe. The latest 2013 acquisition is Payroll S.A. to expand LATAM payroll capabilities to Chile, Argentina, and Peru. In the last few years major acquisitions included Workscape (benefits), The RightThing (RPO) and SHPS (benefits).

Embrace Technological Change to Enhance Product and Service Offerings

By the early 1960s ADP had moved from manual operations to the pre-computer punch cards and on to leasing its first computer: an IBM 1401 mainframe. That willingness to continue to embrace the new is seen in ADP’s successful launch of a series of cloud-based SaaS HR technology and BPO service platforms, including Workforce Now (1k-20K employees), Vantage HCM (50-3k employees), and GlobalView for multi-nationals. Together, the three services support more than 40k clients.

The company has also launched extensive mobility options, including RUN powered by ADP for small business mobile payroll and ADP Mobile Solutions for access to a broad range of information and transactions spanning time and attendance to benefits and pay cards.

Attract and Retain Motivated and Talented People

ADP has grown into a $10bn global outsourcing business with one of only four remaining AAA credit ratings in the U.S. With ~570k clients across 125 countries, we know customers support its line-up of services and proprietary developed technologies. What about people? A few recent awards tell the story:

  • Ranked second on Fortune’s 2012 list of America’s Most Admired Companies in Financial Data Service
  • Ranked in the Top 50 on IDG’s Computerworld 2012 list of the 100 Best Places to Work in Information Technology (IT)
  • Named to the 2012 Working Mother 100 Best Companies, for the third time.

We therefore need to ask the question of prospective purchasers: does your prospective or current HRO service provider have long-term guiding principles and can you see evidence of them in action? Because ADP does.

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Mercer on the Move

June 14, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

This week I attended Mercer’s always well managed and informative analyst forum in Boston, MA. The meeting was focused on the talent consulting line of business.

Talent Management on the Rise

Mercer research indicates that human capital issues are a top CEO concern and managing talent is becoming a board of directors’ issue, moving beyond the traditional CEO succession planning and compensation to overall talent and workforce planning. The new Mercer Talent Barometer Survey, which was introduced at the 2013 World Economic Forum, reports that 60% of the 1,200 global companies surveyed are investing more in talent, but only 30% feel that their workforce plans are highly effective.

The business of talent has become both exciting and disruptive, with possible new entrants, globalization, media, innovations, and opportunities. (Talk about new entrants, eHarmony is considering getting into the talent matching game!)

With a possibility of double-digit growth, the talent group looked at how to grow across the talent value chain by expanding its services, tools and technology offerings for talent, rewards, and communications to increase growth and leverage Mercer’s depth of experience and capabilities.

The answer will become apparent over the next few months as more packaged solutions are launched that combine consulting, information, and technology to meet the needs of clients that want a less-customized consulting approach with “off-the-shelf” packaged and reusable services and tools.

Workforce Planning Versus HR Analytics

Some elements that will be leveraged are already mature and solid revenue producers. Surveys, benchmarks, and analytics for compensation/total rewards and job structures are a more than $200m line of business. Globalization of the revenues is already well on its way, with about equal distribution from North America, Europe, and emerging markets across 57 countries.

Instead of focusing on HR analytics, Mercer is emphasizing data acquisition and integration, data modeling, as well as data visualization as it applies to a wide range of workforce and data that drives business results. This may mean a consulting and outsourcing services engagement, it may mean workshops and training, or self-service use of integrated SaaS technology platforms with one or more Mercer products.

Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast

There are a lot of moving parts in Mercer’s strategy to create an integrated talent solutions portfolio.

It is brought together under the go-to-market Talent Impact label that includes new and existing products and services to forecast, engage, mobilize, reward and assess talent. Behind the scenes Mercer will be streamlining its own architecture into fewer and more integrated technology platforms to support the new offerings.

There is a lot to be done in a short time, but that is in alignment with the “think big, start small, and move fast” philosophy of Orlando Ashford, senior partner and president of Mercer’s talent business. Mercer is on the move!

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Moorepay’s Roadmap to Success is in the Cloud

October 4, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Moorepay is a payroll and employment service provider in the U.K. with over 10,000 clients and it is a part of NorthgateArinso (NGA). Earlier this year I blogged about the launch of its new HR and payroll platform service for the small employer market in the U.K. This week, I spoke with Ann Fitzpatrick, Moorepay managing director, for an update.

In a brief recap, MoorepayHR is a cloud-based SaaS and BPO service built on NGA’s Preceda SaaS platform that is customized for the U.K. market and combined with Moorepay’s payroll and HR services such as employment law and health and safety advisory.

Cloud Opens the Small Employer Market

Most major HRO vendors do not attempt to reach the small employer market, which is just what Moorepay serves. Certainly small employers want professional and modern services, but until the rise of streamlined HRO platforms in the cloud, the costs were unaffordable for both clients and vendors. In the U.S., ADP has had such great success with Workforce Now, it launched a larger version called Vantage HCM. Now, employers in the U.K. can have the same level of service as larger companies at very affordable price points.

The Roadmap to Success

There are three levels of service, each with its own pricing openly displayed right on the company’s website. Payroll is available as an option with each of the service levels.  Approximately 40% of clients are currently adding payroll. In a bit of a nice surprise, ~80% of customers are choosing the highest level that comes with client services, making it a real BPO offering.

A 1Q 2013 launch is planned for the highest level of service, HR Advanced, which will add modules for talent management, recruiting, and remuneration. That will make the service more valuable for employers in the 100-400 range with more complex HR needs.

With its large base of payroll clients, Moorepay will later market the new system and services to its existing clients to allow conversion to the new system and added services.

Finally, Moorepay is receiving good support from the NGA Preceda team and they will work together to ensure the technology development roadmap is completed in the near future, including mobile and tablet access.

The Proof is in the Pudding

The new system has just reached its three-hundredth customer and all of these customers are new to Moorepay. The company now has a solid base of wins and users to move forward with its multi-stage approach to growth.

The small employer market is clearly hungry for such a service. Even before launch, there were hundreds of inquiries, and the number of inbound leads has rapidly increased. You know something is going well when customers are lining up at your door!

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WorkForce Software Fits with HRO

July 27, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

“Let’s elevate the discussion on workforce management.” That’s how Kevin Choksi, CEO of WorkForce Software, kicked off the company’s first analyst day. Workforce management, with time, attendance, and scheduling at its heart, is not the most exciting topic, even when it is designed on open systems, is fully configurable, addresses all employee types, and can be deployed globally. But when you have passion for your products, the heart can beat with the energy and excitement that keeps the three founders on board after 13 years and attracts top talent to take the company to the next level of growth.

The inflection point for the company was late 2010 when the SaaS version of the core product, EmpCenter, was introduced. New clients selecting the SaaS option quickly grew to 80% compared to the licensed on-premise or hosted system options. Revenue growth has also accelerated dramatically and Workforce Software has increased the average size of its clients, total users, and services in 30 countries.

The live demo showed how clients can use the flexible rules engine to self-define and update calculations for workforce policies, labor/union requirements, etc. The flexible Advanced Scheduler can create schedules based on a wide range of customer defined requirements and can even directly contact employees to fill in empty shift positions according to availability, skills, seniority rules, etc.  

Two additional modules, Absence Compliance Tracker and Fatigue Management, are available as standalone services or can be integrated with EmpCenter, adding to the differentiation of the workforce management up-and-comer that is in a market currently dominated by the much larger Kronos.

Absence Compliance Tracker supports leave intake, leave determination, and case management. The system provides a recommended leave determination and supporting rationale based on the employee’s eligibility; company policies; and for the U.S., the more than 300 state and federal leave laws and regulations, improving consistency of policy application and providing evidence of compliance.

Fatigue Management helps prevent scheduling fatigued employees, something that is already a requirement in industries such as nuclear power, transportation, oil and gas, pipelines, etc. It will also accommodate industry, labor/union, or company best practices, all of which can address compliance and safety needs.

Making money does cost money. The good news is that WorkForce Software has secured its first infusion of external capital to ensure it can keep up with growth and its development roadmap. Look for it to add staff, geographies, and service locations over the next couple of years as well as adding more BYOD (bring your own device) mobile access and enhanced services.

Expanding is always easier when you have friends, so the company is working to enlarge its partner network. Recent additions include SuccessFactors, Oracle Fusion, and Patersons. WorkForce Software would do well to increase its connections to the HRO vendor community too, as even major HRO vendors sometimes integrate or refer clients to best-of-breed preferred partners.

It was refreshing to spend time with a company not only succeeding, but accelerating in this economic environment. It made even my HRO analyst heart beat just a bit faster.

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