Archive for the ‘HRO Today Forum’ category

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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HRO Today Forum Europe 2012 Demonstrates the Value of HRO

November 20, 2012

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

I attended HRO Today Forum Europe in Dublin, Ireland from November 13th to 15th to present my “State of the Learning BPO Marketplace” analysis and to introduce subsequent speakers of the learning track.This conference was different than those I’ve attended in the past as several of the sessions were interactive small group discussions. The small groups allowed us to learn from each other, and created energy and enthusiasm!

Interactive sessions I attended included:

  • The opening recruitment session where we identified top challenges and solutions
  • A leadership development program workshop to identify top challenges and solutions.

There were ~260 registered attendees (the same as in Amsterdam two years ago), of which 87% were in attendance throughout the three days including ~50 HR practitioners. Here are some of the highlights from the forum:

Opening remarks: Elliott Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise, opened the conference by sharing some enlightening data from a recent survey, primarily Europe centric:

  • Twice the percentage of providers think HRO is thriving compared to buyers
  • 77% of vendors think M&A is good for HRO compared to 55% of buyers.

Opening keynote: David Andrews, CEO of AOI and founder of Xchanging, presented “Reshaping the HR Business and Lessons Learned from Across Europe.” David began by talking about the history of HR BPO and how BP was the first company to sign a major HRO contract with Exult in 1998 to obtain 40% cost savings to remain competitive. David’s concluding remarks were that the outsourcing space in the U.K. needs to be bigger since ~$18bn is spent by the U.K. government on back-office processes and only ~$700m is outsourced.

Panel discussion: “State of the Market Debate” was hosted by David Andrews and participants included Accenture, IBM, Logica, NorthgateArinso, and Xchanging. Margaret Spink, Managing Director of HR Services at Xchanging, stated SaaS will be the most important phenomenon in the industry and the mid-market will be the biggest growth area. I agreed with Margaret’s mid-market comment, but spent the next day wondering about SaaS until the Xchanging hosted breakfast when Margaret stated that HRO is not just about technology – I couldn’t agree more! Technology is an enabler and I believe more focus should be on implementation, process, utilization, effectiveness, and achievement of desired outcomes.

General session: The conference concluded with a payroll presentation led by Julie Fernandez of ISG followed by a panel that included SD Worx, Ceridian, and CloudPay. The focus of Julie’s presentation and panel were on multi-country payroll beginning with the benefits that include:

  • Reduced number of payroll providers for better procurement pricing and contract terms
  • Consolidated interfaces to HR
  • Improved visibility and reporting of employee headcount and cost
  • Reduced compliance and financial risk
  • Harmonized payroll processes and improved governance.

Challenges of multi-country payroll include securing buy-in of all the countries and funding. Part of the challenge is the implication that all countries must fit one model using one provider. All three panelists use partners in countries where they are not able to provide service themselves.

Q&As from the multi-country payroll session included:

  • Q: How do you get internal finance to have confidence in the provider to prevent an extra layer of checking on vendor performance?
  • A: CloudPay stated that multi-country payroll reports into the client CFO and that one way to satisfy finance is for the vendor to do more self-audits and disclosure.

An interesting discussion also took place on “cloud” with the panel in agreement that the true meaning is you can do anything from anywhere for anything, but that the industry is not there yet due to the concern of knowing where data resides. The industry will, however, grow into acceptance.

In sum, it was a worthwhile conference for anyone interested in learning, networking, and meeting potential clients. I look forward to HRO Today Forum Europe 2013 in London, November 12th to 14th, expected to be the biggest event yet.

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HRO Today Forum In Vogue

May 8, 2012

I found my attendance at last week’s HRO Today Forum to be very worthwhile. I presented my newly published research on the “State of the Learning BPO Marketplace,” including the emergence of social learning. While there, I took full advantage of attending many of the other sessions and meeting with several companies including: The Good Jobs, KellyOCG, Pinstripe, Randstad Sourceright, Kenexa, Aon Hewitt, Raytheon Professional Services, NorthgateArinso, Seven Step Recruitment, and Hays. Here are some of the highlights from the forum.

The Good Jobs: The Good Jobs is an online service that allows job seekers and employers an innovative way to find each other. Employers not only advertise job opportunities, but also their employment brand, culture, and corporate values to candidates. Job seekers can identify their life and work style priorities, and target those employers who meet their needs. Matching talent desired to employer desired will lead to employee engagement and retention in addition to business results, including increased productivity and lower cost by reduced attrition. No surprise The Good Jobs won the iTalent competition.

Where do Jobs Come From Panel: This panel was led by Prudential HR SVP Sharon Taylor and included Brink Lindsey from the Kauffman Foundation; Scott Case, CEO of Startup America; and John Haltiwanger from the University of Maryland. A few interesting data points from this session included the following:

  • 90% of companies are small, but 65% of employees work for large companies
  • 2003 – 2007 saw high job growth averaging 200,000 hires per month but it was not as strong as the 1990s
  • From ~1977 – 2003, there were only 5 years that job growth exceeded layoffs for non-start-up companies, i.e. a net creation in jobs
  • I missed the time period, but the point was that more jobs have been created in startups (3.5m) vs. established private sector companies (2.5m)
  • The fastest growing businesses are also the most profitable.

Is Outsourcing Good for America Debate: Interesting points from the pro side included:

  • 90% of outsourcing serves companies outside of the U.S.
  • 95% of world consumers are outside of the U.S.
  • 90% of what is made abroad gets sold abroad
  • Foreign companies invest more in the U.S. (e.g. Honda, Nissan, BMW) than the U.S. invests abroad (it’s a 2 way street)
  • The U.S. tax rate is one of the highest in the world adding to why some companies shift a portion of their business and jobs offshore.

Congratulations to all Bakers Dozen MSP winners led by Randstad Sourceright, Staff Management, Allegis Group Services, Adecco Solutions Group, The Bartech Group, Guidant Group, Advantage xPO, KellyOCG, Hyphen, Agile 1, Yoh, Hays Plc, and WorkforceLogic.

Congratulations to HRO Award recipients including providers NorthgateArinso, Pinstripe, Aon Hewitt, KellyOCG, and Evolv, Inc.; provider executives Cynthia Crose of IBM and Mike Ettling of NorthgateArinso; and buyer executive Chris Payton of Bank of America.

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

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