Archive for the ‘Mobile Apps’ category

The Fertile Ground of HRO Innovation

February 9, 2012

Kelly Services’ recent announcement of its new Office of Innovation was fascinating as the company has long been a leader and innovator in the staffing services field. Go global, check. Provide MSP, check. Add RPO, check. Add consulting, check. Launch mobile access applications, check. Supply chain management, check. Its success shows in the results, with 2011 revenues totaling $5.6 billion, a 12% increase over 2010.

To find out more, I had a lively discussion with Kelly Services’ Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Rolf Kleiner. Basically, Kelly Services has already done so much that it is focusing on new solutions and capabilities to remain ahead of the competition and keep up with its many Fortune 500 clients.

According to Kleiner, the company has always done well with the “little I” incremental innovations that improve and enhance its current services and capabilities. Kelly Services is also looking for new “big I” innovations, those that can move the needle on results and set precedents within the company and in the marketplace. It was felt that by adding more visibility and vetting larger scale opportunities, the Office of Innovation will be able to identify, develop, and bring new innovations to market faster.

Kleiner plans to set up a “pull” process for ideas that includes many stakeholder groups including employees, clients, suppliers, and other industry experts. He likened the process to farming. It will take working with the communities of interest on an on-going collaborative basis to develop a harvest of ideas.

There were several items I found especially interesting. One is using this effort as an opportunity for talent management. Some proof of concept and development projects will be managed by the Office of Innovation and will provide highly visible opportunities for those assigned. When projects are managed outside of the normal lines of business, integration and communications will be maintained which brings reality to planning and brings market needs and innovation participation deep into the infrastructure and culture of Kelly Services.

Also, there is a very crisp vision for the strategic initiative and clear criteria for the kind of innovation opportunities that are being sought. There is solid alignment with the goals of the company, scale for sizing market opportunities, and an openness to solutions that could include internal developments, partnerships, supplier networks, etc.

Finally, the selection of Kleiner as head of the Office of Innovation is a strong indication of Kelly Services’ seriousness with this endeavor. He reports directly to the CEO and his previous assignment was as Senior Vice President and General Manager for the KellyOCG group, which provides consulting and outsourcing services. The pulse of the market, the voice of the customer, and the operational beat of the business are all fresh and fertile ground for Kleiner’s new challenge.

Our NelsonHall HRO team always advises clients to look for service providers that can meet today’s needs as well as offer partnership for meeting the needs of tomorrow. How is your HRO vendor focusing on the future?

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

Three Forces Shaping HRO for 2012

December 6, 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, let’s look ahead to 2012 and the three current trends that will continue into the New Year and beyond.

HR SaaS has been around for years. Now that the breadth of cloud coverage is in the HR ERP space it is opening up the middle market for HRO at long last, and is swimming upstream into the large client market. HR mobile applications are proliferating and vendors will be hard-pressed to deal with the rising demand by clients and participants for more on-the-go functionality. What seemed like an innovative differentiator is quickly becoming a competitive requirement.

HRO globalization has long been on the agenda of many HRO vendors, mainly targeted by major multinational companies (MNCs), but there are only so many global MNCs. We are now seeing additional focus on regional service networks for multi-country companies. HRO activity in emerging markets is also picking up for MNCs and for in-country client services. Expect to see HRO acquisitions, partnerships, and new offices for sales and service delivery grow in 2012 as service providers continue to fill-in geographic footprints and service gaps.

The globalization of RPO will continue to be a big story in 2012. RPO vendors are gearing up to meet the demand and two of the largest acquisitions in 2011 included SourceRight (part of SFN Group), which was acquired by Randstad, and The RightThing, which was acquired by ADP.

The growing global RPO demand was illustrated in a big way by Kenexa when it was awarded with a five-year RPO contract by Eli Lilly and Company, which includes recruiting in Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. NelsonHall estimates the deal to be worth more than $50 million, one of the largest RPO contracts to date.

HRO contract awards will continue to increase across Asia Pacific, with some year to year variability due to economic conditions. Three years ago, ~10% of contracts included Australia, with half of those for clients headquartered in Australia. Two years ago, it was ~11%, with about an even split of Australian-based clients. In the past year, the number has jumped to ~16%, with the majority of contracts for clients based in Australia.

China has also emerged as a client base for HRO, including for in-country services. As emerging market companies reach a fast-growth stage and expand their services internationally, the need for HR technology, processes, and delivery capabilities can outstrip the local talent base for HR. For example, Manpower made two acquisitions in China, REACH HR in South China and Xi’ and Fresco in Henan Province.

These are three of the forces shaping the future of HRO. Those HRO vendors that are able to update their portfolio of services and quickly and cost effectively invest in the acquisition or development of new capabilities will gain an advantage in the growing marketplace for HRO.

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

The Rise of Smartphone Apps in Benefits Administration

November 16, 2011

Over the past year, HRO service providers have launched various smartphone apps. One of the first apps I became aware of was ADP’s RUN app for small business owners. It’s been interesting monitoring the progress of this app since its launch in October 2010. Within six months, it reached 100,000 users while only available for Apple devices. It has since been made available to the Android and RIM platforms, adding even more users.

Payroll seemed like an ideal place for HRO service providers to develop apps. ADP then took it one step further and launched the ADP Mobile Solutions app, which provides users with HR, payroll, and benefits information including retirement savings information such as current 401(k) allocations, distribution percentages, account balances, and rates of return.

Towers Watson also has an app, TWGlobal50. It provides HR and benefits professionals with various information including planned pay increases, changes in employee engagement levels, talent mobility interest rates, and changes in healthcare benefit costs.

Unlike payroll, apps within benefits administration can cover a broad range of topics such as Morneau Shepell’s My EAP app, which provides the following:

  • Health and wellness articles (from its workhealthlife.com website)
  • Access to confidential e-counseling
  • LifeSpeak On Demand video clips on a range of personal and work-related topics.

Other apps available from benefits administration providers allow users to access more personalized data. For example, Buck Consultants’ Benefits Genie Lite and Benefits Genie apps enable users to track a wide variety of health and insurance information for themselves or other family members including:

  • Allergy information
  • Prescription medications
  • Vaccinations
  • Operations
  • Family history
  • Physician contact information
  • Benefits co-payments and deductibles, etc.

Although not an app per se, Aon Hewitt is also enabling its client employees to access their personal health and retirement information from smartphones via secure websites, allowing users to make changes to their retirement plans and even enroll for benefits.

These more interactive personalized apps make it easy for employees to stay connected and engaged as more responsibility is being shifted on individuals to manage their own retirement savings and health. Also, with healthcare reform, we are likely to see apps expanding to new areas such as healthcare exchanges.

Mobile access from any device will quickly move from a differentiator to a requirement, including for HRO. The difficulty is the development time, costs, and security challenges for services that will not likely generate new revenues as much as protect revenues and support continued growth. Technology investment decisions will be critical in staying current and still managing needed margins.

Stay tuned.

Amy L. Gurchensky, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

 

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

Going Mobile

April 14, 2011

In early November, my colleague Linda Merritt wrote a blog titled “Mobile Apps Are Ringing Up HRO.” It recognized ADP as one of the early entrants with its payroll app “RUN Powered by ADP” for small business owners, which was launched in October 2010 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with plans to release Android and RIM-compatible versions this year.  Well, it’s hard to believe it has been this long for those of us considered middle-aged, but 40 years ago, Pete Townshend of the rock band The Who wrote “Going Mobile.” The song was about taking a vacation by riding around in a car with no particular destination, something Pete liked to do.  I don’t think Pete was thinking about processing payroll while riding around in his car, but this week ADP issued a press release with some very impressive statistics noting that there are already 100,000 users for its RUN payroll app.

A comment by one user, Scott McKain, stated “with just a few clicks, we process payroll conveniently and securely… and since transitioning to the RUN Powered by ADP mobile platform, we can now process payroll securely over a mobile device, no matter where our busy schedules take us.” Hopefully, Scott is not processing payroll while driving around in his car on vacation.

The article also references a 2010 nationwide survey conducted by ADP Research Institute that found that small businesses are leading the trend toward increased mobility, with 90% of small business executives out of the office an average of 23% of the time per 40-hour work week.

Since ADP released its app, other providers have announced mobile offerings for HR services as well, which include:

  • Raet’s iPhone and iPad app for gross and net payment calculations and accessing jobs and news from Raet (March 2011)
  • Manpower’s mobile recruitment app for candidates and recruiters (February 2011)
  • Wipro and McGraw-Hill’s partnership to develop “mConnect,” an open-standard mobile learning (m-learning) platform targeted at low-income, rural, and otherwise underserved students and workers in emerging markets (January 2011)
  • Buck Consultants’ (subsidiary of ACS, a Xerox Company) two iPhone apps for health and insurance information: Benefits Genie Lite and Benefits Genie, which give individuals the ability to set future appointment reminders and track health and insurance information (November 2010).

Other providers to launch mobile apps include SourceRight Solutions, Kenexa, and The RightThing.

Out of the necessity to provide payroll services, I think we will continue to see increased mobile payroll for processing payslips, viewing payslips, and performing other associated functions such as direct deposit.  In general, mobile offerings for other HR service lines including benefits, recruitment, and learning will be more gradual to take off because they are not as time-sensitive as payroll.  I believe that mobile recruitment will take off but initially more so for hiring managers to approve job requisitions when out of the office and candidates to check on status of jobs they are submitting for.  M-learning will initially be for more self-paced learning to access content and as I stated last fall in my blog I do believe benefits mobile apps will be important for accessing benefits information, including doctors and other medical care providers for such instances when you are on vaction and an emergency arises or as Pete Townshend would say for when you are Going Mobile.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall