Archive for the ‘Human Capital Management’ category

Buy, Build, and Go: ADP Acquires The Right Thing

October 20, 2011

ADP maintains the momentuem of its buy, build and go strategy to become a full service HRO service provider with the acquisition of The Right Thing (TRT). Coming late to the MPHRO game, ADP is wasting no time in becoming a principal player by building out its portfolio through rapid development of proprietary HR technlogy platforms and the acquisition of leaders in adjacent human capital management service lines. (Also see ADP has a Platform for HRO Success.)

By filling in the last major piece of the MPHRO services puzzle, ADP is the first MPHRO vendor to acquire a end-to-end RPO specialist. It will continue to offer its current recruitment administration and technology services and add the option of TRT’s RPO fully featured capabilities including sourcing, onboarding, employment branding, etc. As with the 2010 acquisition of Workscape, this opens up new client markets while maintaining its line of basic services.

The cross- and up-sell opportunities are great, given ADP’s client base of over 500k. The Right Thing, an ADP Company, brings in ~80 RPO clients mostly from the large market and it gains access to ADP’s midmarket client base. ADP adds more of the richer HR services needed by larger and more complex clients, or as Terrance McCrossen, ADP Division Vice President of Startegy and Marketing said, ADP is putting  more HR in HRO.”

The RightThing is first in North American 2010 revenues and fourth globally according to NelsonHall’s Targeting RPO market analysis. The ADP global sales and distribution network will pave the way for faster multi-country growth, one of the hottest trends in RPO, and a long-term TRT ambition.

The enriched MPHRO portfolio, client bases from Workscape and TRT, along with growing acceptance of platform services moving into the large market, all will be fuel for ADP growth. With fiscal year 2011 revenues, ending June 30, at ~$9.8bn.  At that size it takes big moves to noticeably move the revenue meter. The combined ADP will yield an estimated >$10bn in FY 2012.

Major ADP news has been coming out rapid fire, but behind the scenes many of these moves were in the planning, assessment, and dating stage for some time. ADP had been researching its RPO options for as long as two years because ADP understands a company is more than a sum of its parts, portfolio, footprint and net present value. It was also looking for a cultural match in customer dedication and a leadership team that would be open to staying with it longer term because of the increased opportunities to achieve their own goals and ambitions.

The new ADP Human Capital Management additions have a focus on talent management. An important space for HRO, although the usual path is to start with consulting and add outsourcing. I can’t help but speculate that in due time a partnership or acquistion of a HR consulting company may be in ADP’s future.

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

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ADP Puts HRO Strategy into Action

September 15, 2011

Strategy is not a plan, it is action. A strategy defines what actions a company will take to achieve its goals. With the just announced acquisition of Asparity Decision Solutions, a privately-held supplier of patented employee benefits decision support tools (DSTs) and analytics, ADP provides a good example of strategy in action.

It is part of ADP’s strategy for growth to expand the depth and breadth of its benefits outsourcing services. It is also core to ADP to provide clients “insightful solutions that drive business success,” and “turn knowledge into insight.”

ADP’s acquisition of Asparity is an all around win-win. This is an excellent fit for ADP, which continues to expand its value proposition by enhancing its benefits and human capital management business process capabilities in a manner well suited to its strengths. Together, ADP and Asparity will be able to provide knowledgeable insights into managing the rising cost of health care and link its services to creating broader business value.

Asparity provides web-based proprietary technology to Fortune 1,000 companies and public-sector organizations, including the Federal Employee Health Benefits program. Its interactive DSTs include personalized data to engage and assist employees in making complex health care and benefits selections. All the more important given the changes and challenges in navigating health options and costs that are increasing for employees as well as for employers. Employers receive in-depth data to analyze employee health care actions and conjoint analysis is available to determine prioritized employee preferences, both of which can help employers manage total health care costs.

The addition of Asparity is one more in the steady execution of its strategy. In 2010 it acquired Workscape and its enriched benefits capabilities. Also, ADP has just formed the new benefits Strategic Advisory Services Group to help mid- and large-market clients maximize the value of the in-depth benefits data and analysis that ADP will be able to provide.

ADP is moving into the kind of consultative service arena that can create business results well beyond lowering HR operating expenses, and enabling it to establish itself as a strategic business partner in balancing the total cost of benefits with the impact on talent management and the bottom line.

According to NelsonHall’s 2010 benefits market analysis ADP including Workscape is among the top ten providers in both participants and revenues. These new strategic moves, if well executed, should strengthen ADP’s growth in a very competitive benefits outsourcing market.

Other HRO vendors that continue to think of ADP as “only” a payroll provider may well be surprised when it pops up as a serious competitor in their market. How aligned are your actions with your strategy?

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

The Economy Will Rock, Let HRO Help You Roll With It!

August 25, 2011

The economic news continues to be as shaky and widespread as the East Coast earthquake this week in the U.S. The 5.8 quake was shaky with localized impacts, but it was not devastating. The older solid bedrock foundations under the East Coast mean that even a moderate earthquake can ring like a bell far and wide, which lessens the destructive impact overall.

The economic uncertainty will likely continue for some time and at some point we must all get on with business, even when there is some rocking and rolling. In my (non-financial expert) opinion, the economy is having an East Coast-style quake and is not facing the destructive seismic forces seen in 2008-2009. Companies able to tell the difference can gain an edge in the market while others panic and dither.

Talent management (TM) is about gaining and leveraging a competitive edge, whether it is in the form of recruiting, developing, or retaining talent. TM is a hot HRO topic and vendors large and small, software-only and full-BPO, and everyone in between are angling for a growing talent management footprint. Why? Because that is what they are hearing from surveys and directly from clients and prospects. That’s good news. Clients are once again recognizing the importance of TM and vendors are listening, investing, innovating, partnering, and acquiring more TM capabilities.

Our NelsonHall HRO analyst team just talked with several IBM Global Process HRO leaders including Mary Sue Rogers, General Manager of Global HR, Learning & Recruiting and John McGlone, Global Process Leader of Compensation and Benefits, on their TM point of view.  Part of our wide-range discussion was the infrastructure needed to support the tools and processes of TM. The underpinnings, like the impact of bedrock on earthquakes, have an integral role to play in the success of a TM program.

According to John, some look to “technology as the solve,” not understanding that it must work hand in glove with TM infrastructure, processes, and execution. TM strategy, policies, and consultation are all also important. TM is where all that is HR comes together and it is the perfect place to develop a dynamic balance of internal capabilities, a top-tier TM application (ERP module or specialty product) with HR outsourcing services that can provide and manage the talent and HR administrative infrastructure.

Another point we touched on with IBM is client maturity on the HR and TM journey. One size does not fit all. First, be sure the HRO vendor and TM products and services selected are appropriate for current use. Then, whether you have the luxury of building from scratch, or must get started with only modest changes to what you have, see that your HRO service provider has an applicable roadmap for development as business TM needs and capabilities change.

Don’t panic and dither. Rock and roll with HRO!

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

The HRO Need for an HCM Maturity Continuum

January 26, 2011

HRO service providers need to assess potential and current clients for business development just as clients assess vendors.  Evaluating HR organizational and enterprise leadership human capital management (HCM) maturity would help both buyers and providers select appropriate HRO and technology investments now and in the future.

My hypothesis – HRO vendors have more business development opportunities with a maturing client HR organization and enterprise that values and invests in its HCM capabilities.

For HRO service providers, HR is usually the direct client and knowing HCM maturity of the HR organization and the business is valuable in the initial sale and on-going relationship and revenue growth of the client relationship. Gauging client HCM maturity can guide the HRO services set selection and approach to winning and growing the business – and even determine if the opportunity is worth pursuing.

For HRO buyers, knowing realistically where you are and where you intend to go is important when selecting service providers.  The lowest cost provider of basic HRO technologies and services may meet today’s pressures for cost efficiency, but may not be able to help you improve HCM results and business outcomes in the future.  This can lead to disruptive changes in vendors and technologies or a network of vendors and services that does not sufficiently enable best in class performance for HR or the business.

There are pieces and parts available in many places and in many guises to develop a working HCM maturity model.  A wealth of internal knowledge is waiting to be tapped across the HR and HRO communities as well as within organizations.

Aberdeen Group’s “The 2011 HR Executive’s Agenda” report, which is based on findings from 439 organizations, states that HR is still spending too much time on tactical activities.  At the same time, the uncertain economy and focus on efficiency is the top HCM driver at 52%, which may then focus HR on tactical activities!  HR process standardization and automation are seen as top solutions, providing opportunity for HRO.

The second and third most important HCM drivers at 33% each are also good news for HRO: the return of interest in organic growth goals and perceived scarcity of key skills in the marketplace.  As NelsonHall has reported, increasing spend on RPO has already taken off and there is renewed interest in talent management solutions.

How HR balances conflicting drivers to be efficient and less tactical while investing in growth initiatives and upgrading the talent base may depend on the maturity of the organization itself and the enterprise leadership it supports.  “The 2011 HR Executive’s Agenda” is about and for HR executives, but it is also applicable to HRO and is helpful in understanding elements of HCM maturity.  Are you ready to assess the HCM maturity continuum and align HR service delivery investments with multiple and often conflicting business needs?  If you are, 2011 should be a good year!

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall