Archive for the ‘HRO Platform’ category

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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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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HRO and Innovation – Getting Practical

May 31, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Innovation in multi-process HRO (MPHRO) has been a topic of discussion, and some contention, since the early mega-deals that created the modern MPHRO market more than ten years ago.

Even in the early days there was a desire for innovation, but there was also a lack of common definitions and mutual understanding, along with difficulty in articulating innovation in contract language.

There was an even greater barrier – systems spaghetti. Early MPHRO clients had highly-customized ERP infrastructure, aging legacy systems, and third-party applications, much of which may have been non-centralized and non-integrated. Each major customer was in their own bubble of services and systems. It quickly became apparent that it would be hard to add new and different innovations within the constraints of the contracts and the technologies.

Platforms for Innovation

Major MPHRO service providers now have global multi-client service delivery and data centers with sophisticated workflow processes. Early clients have been moved bit-by-bit into the common support infrastructure, even if they remain on their own, licensed ERP systems.

Many HRO clients are ready for increased standardization and multi-client platforms to reduce cost and to improve performance. Innovative cloud-based SaaS and services platforms are opening up new services to the mid-market and parts of the large client market:

  • Clients on a shared service platform benefit from ongoing incremental improvements
  • Clients benefit from access to new products and services without paying a significant portion of the R&D needed for a one-off innovation.

Some tension between continuous improvement and innovation is natural, as the line between an “included enhancement” and what is “new and different to be added as an extra charge” looks very different depending on whether you are a buyer or a supplier.

Collaborative Innovation

Client user groups support both HRO improvement and innovation. Vendors were originally reluctant to let clients communicate with each other (partially because the clients might “gang-up” on the vendor – and sometimes they did!).

Companies like IBM and Xerox were leaders in developing client advisory boards. These interactive groups provide feedback on the services, give input into common needs, and even offer guidance on parts of the vendor’s development roadmap. They are not just “the voice of the customer”; they are also a built-in base of beta testers. Willingness to put some skin into the game is also a great way to test market viability and further strengthen relationships.

Infrastructure of Innovation

Buyers can develop their processes for HRO innovation in the following ways:

  • Assess vendors for innovation capabilities as part of the selection process
  • Develop the language and mutual expectations for measurable innovation upfront and include in the terms of contract. Include who pays, and when, determine if there will be vendor incentives, and clarify the client’s role
  • Use the governance process to jointly monitor, manage, and measure improvements and innovations over the course of the relationship.

The good news is that we are beginning to build the HRO infrastructure for future innovation; common language, standardized multi-client platforms, and client user groups.

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HRO and Innovation – a Changing Dynamic

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

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Last week the Human Resources Outsourcing Association’s (HROA) Publications & Practices Committee held a webinar on collaborative innovation in HRO with industry experts Lisa Johnson, director of recruiting, North America at Gate Gourmet, Rolf Kleiner, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at Kelly Services, Inc. and Dr. Greg McLaughlin, senior vice president of research & development for Global Targeting, Inc.

Understanding Innovation

Innovation has been a conundrum for years for HRO buyers and suppliers. There are many ways to define the word ‘innovation’ and that makes it hard to be sure each party is speaking the same language. All three experts agreed that open discussions between clients and service providers are needed to develop a mutual understanding of what innovation means in the context of the relationship and contract.

Greg walked us through aspects of innovation range from the conceptual “innovation is an experience”, to the practical “innovation begins with a need and ends with an outcome that creates a competitive advantage.”

Lisa looks for HRO suppliers with the spirit of innovation – backed by experience. Rolf looks for employees who “rise above the white noise” to work on special innovation projects that also support talent management.

Innovation and Continuous Improvement

The HROA Buyers Group’s survey on innovation and continuous improvement showed there is a commonality in basic definition and understanding developing across the community of buyers, service providers, and advisors. From the words of HRO community members:

  • Continuous improvement is an enhancement of a product, service or process that already exists:
    • Increased operational efficiency, improved user experience, ongoing, incremental, and step changes
    • Efficiency and effectiveness gains that “keep pace with the market”
  • Innovation is something new and different:
    • Cutting edge, transformational, precedent setting, competitive advantage, disruptive, and dramatic
    • A significant and often transformational change that, once introduced, “you wonder how you ever lived without it.”

The HRO community is in agreement that continuous improvement and innovation should be a collaborative effort between the HRO service provider and the client:

  • 92% of respondents agree that this collaborative effort is what should be happening between service provider and client, but only 59% see that as true now, with 40% of buyers and only 22% of providers agreeing that collaboration is actually happening in the marketplace right now
  • 77% agreed that innovation should be a collaborative effort among the parties, with agreement from 100% of advisors, 60% of HR practitioners, and 83% of providers.

 The Innovation Gaps

Significant gaps – and therefore opportunities – remain:

  • 75% of respondents said that continuous improvement is in the HRO contract
  • Only 42% agreed that innovation is included in the HRO contract.

In the next blog I will be getting practical about innovation in HRO.

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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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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

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