Archive for the ‘HRO Pricing’ 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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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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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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Changes in Outsourcing Today May Impact HRO Tomorrow

July 20, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Being ever watchful on behalf of our HRO community, I periodically look beyond HRO into the larger outsourcing industry to see what emerging trends could impact HRO. Today’s perspective is from NelsonHall’s own Sarah Burnett and her Targeting the U.K. Central Government BPO Market report.

In HRO, pricing options beyond the ubiquitous per employee per year or month (PEPY or PEPM) have been pushed now and then by both clients and vendors. Under great cost reduction mandates, the central government sector in the U.K. is currently looking at alternative pricing options to ensure outsourcing delivers the required return while transferring more risk to the service provider.

 Traditional fixed pricing such as PEPY /PEPM is still the most common model for U.K central government contracts, but its use is slowly decreasing. Pricing based on fixed fees with an incentive for performance above requirements and delivery of planned enhancements is part of the mix, but it’s not really growing.

Two other models are increasing, although from small initial bases. The first is customer-usage pricing where the vendor directly charges the end users, whether internal or external, and actual usage must cover the vendors cost. This seems similar to the encroachment we are seeing in SaaS-based services. If you pay by the sip for the system, why not pay an associated by the sip fee for any surrounding BPO support? The usage fee may work well for discrete transactions like processing a drivers license application, but would not work as well for more complex HRO services.

The second is outcome-based pricing where the BPO service provider takes on more of the risk in creating business results. Fees would be fully or partially based on the vendor’s ability to increase the success of the associated program. In the U.K., the largest experiment is with the DWP’s Work Programme. The purpose is to increase the success rate of the welfare-to-work program using a network of private, public, and volunteer organizations. Over the first three years, guaranteed fees will decline and vendors will increasingly be paid for participants that get and sustain employment.

Some HRO vendors propose outcome-based pricing incentives themselves, but it is more difficult than it may look. HRO processes flow across organization lines in the client’s business and the service provider may not have enough direct control / authority or process scope to ensure improved business outcomes are due largely to its efforts.

Whether a client is in the public or the private sector, some trends will migrate from one type of client to another. Be ready to discuss pricing model alternatives and the pros and cons of each related to the HRO services being offered. Expect to see an increase in the variety of pricing elements in a contract as one all-encompassing price per participant may no longer best serve the needs of either providers or clients.

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