Posted tagged ‘Accenture’

Highlights and Trends in the HRO Market for H1 2013: Part 2

August 14, 2013
Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Last week, I zeroed in on specific market activity within the payroll, learning and RPO service lines. This week, I’ll take a closer look at H1 2013 activity within benefits administration and MPHRO as well as provide some insights on what to expect in H2 2013 based on NelsonHall’s recent HRO Confidence Index.

Benefits Administration

Contract signings aside, there has been a plethora of activity within benefits administration in H1 2013, including:

  • New offerings:
    • Mercer launched a private benefits exchange, Mercer Marketplace
    • Buck Consultants launched an automatic enrollment offering in the U.K.
    • Secova launched a Coordination of Benefits (COB) audit offering to coordinate benefits with insurance carriers
  • Acquisitions: Wageworks acquired Crosby Benefit Systems and Benefit Concepts to strengthen its H&W administration offering, including reimbursement account and COBRA administration
  • Partnerships:
    • Fidelity partnered with Extend Health, a Towers Watson company, to provide retiree healthcare services
    • JLT Employee Benefits partnered with Vielife for health and wellbeing services in the U.K.
  • New technologies:
    • Xerox launched an account-based benefits portal, BenefitWallet, to assist with managing multiple health accounts on one platform, including HSAs, HRAs, FSAs, HIAs (health/wellness incentive accounts) and other specialized services
    • Aon Hewitt launched an absence management tool, 360 Absence Solutions, to help clients manage absence-related costs, compliance risks, the administrative burden and lost productivity
  • Educational resources:
    • Mercer and ADP both launched websites to provide information on healthcare reform
    • Ceridian launched an auto-enrollment knowledge center in the U.K.

MPHRO

In recent years, the MPHRO market has been relatively quiet in terms of contract announcements and H1 2013 was no exception. However, my last MPHRO research study, published in February 2013, revealed that the market is very much alive with new wins and contract renewals from all the major vendors, including IBM and Accenture. In fact, IBM recently won a new seven-year, multi-country MPHRO contract, which was bundled with F&A outsourcing services. Other wins include ADP and Marriott Vacations Worldwide for core HR, payroll, time & labor management and talent management covering ~9.2k employees.

Many vendors have been focused on their strategies for expansion, including Aon Hewitt with its acquisition of OmniPoint Workday Services. Although still early, NelsonHall expects ADP to make inroads in LATAM with its MPHRO services since it added RPO capabilities in this region from its acquisition of The RightThing and now expands its payroll footprint from the Payroll S.A. acquisition.

H2 2013

So what does the rest of the year have in store? NelsonHall’s recent HRO Confidence Index survey finds that overall expectations for HRO revenue growth remain at the same level as those reported for the last five quarters; with payroll leading followed by RPO. Top industry sectors for HRO services include healthcare, pharmaceuticals and high-tech. By geography, vendors have reported increased confidence for revenue growth in Central and Eastern Europe and Central and Latin America.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year unfolds for HRO.

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.

Advertisements

SaaS versus BPO

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

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

The HR Outsourcing Association (HROA) just completed a series of webinars on SaaS and HR BPO. There was a wide range of HROA industry experts bringing their real world experience on each panel including Accenture, ADP, Aon Hewitt, Futurestep, IBM, ISG, NorthgateArinso, Oracle/Taleo, and more.

SaaS or BPO is Not the Question

The conversation was largely about the difference between SaaS and the ERP systems included in most current BPO deals. It was not about using only SaaS or only BPO. SaaS can and does fit into BPO. I expect to see lots of growth in SaaS and BPO combinations in the next few years as SaaS platforms scale and grow in handling complexity.

SaaS is a Success Story of Innovation

The rise of SaaS was also fueled by the recessionary pressure to lower HR costs. Pre-downturn, HR leaders strongly preferred the customization power of ERPs to conform to a client’s policies and processes. Now the acceptance of the speed and economic advantage of configuration and standardized processes makes SaaS a viable option for an increasing array of HR services and even HR management system infrastructure (HRMS).

BPO service providers are also prime sources of many SaaS applications:

  • SAP and Oracle offer cloud HRMS used as the core for most HRO platforms such as: Genpact Hosted HRMS Platform, Infosys TalentEdge, CGI Oracle HCM, Caliber Point Republic, TCS HR platform
  • Proprietary systems include: ADP Vantage HCM and Workforce Now, NorthgateArinso ResourceLink Aurora, Preceda, and MoorepayHR, Ceridian DayForce and HRevolution
  • Talent management applications including RPO services have been so popular that Oracle snapped up Taleo, IBM acquired Kenexa, and SAP bought SuccessFactors.

Selection and Implementation Commonalities

The buyer experience has common elements whether selecting SaaS or BPO.

  • The upfront client planning process is the same: identify goals and objectives aligned with business and HR strategies; gather cost, process, and performance data to build a business case; consider enterprise risk; etc.
  • Vendor selection: do not just select the service; ensure there is a proven record of vendor performance and solid evidence of collaborative client relationships.

SaaS is not Self-Installing

While the total time and effort may be less, all the traditional elements remain. Webinar panelists warned that even if the decision has been made to use SaaS, do not underestimate the time and effort to make a vendor selection, manage change, gain buy-in, and project management implementation.

Even though one of the advantages of SaaS solutions is faster and “easier” implementations, it will still take buyers time and effort to standardize processes and data and to determine the configurations. Make sure that as a buyer, you know and plan for the skill and effort needed. Like BPO, experience says to consider a phased in rollout starting with one service / process and bring the learning forward to the rest of the implementation.

Next time, we will explore to SaaS or not to SaaS.

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.

Accenture and Unilever Renew Major MPHRO Contract for Five More Years

December 20, 2012
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Let’s wrap-up 2012 on a high note for HR BPO with news of Accenture’s award of a 5-year multi-process HRO (MPHRO) contract renewal from Unilever. When orginally announced in 2006, the 7-year contract was the single largest HRO deal signed with an estimated value of $1bn.

First Generation HRO

The focus of the first generation Unilever contract was largely on cost reduction (20% – 30%) and creation of a unfied global HR operating environment of systems and services across 100 countries and 20 languages. Unilver had already begun the tranformation process by introducing shared service centers in key areas to capture some of the early gains on its own as part of its One Unilever program to reduce the cost of back-office services including HR, F&A, and IT. It then moved to HRO to make further progress in efficiency, cost, and to gain a single source of the truth in reporting and mearsurement capabilities.

Second Generation HRO

Accenture will continue to support ~130,000 Unilever employees operating in more than 100 countries through its global delivery network including multiple centers across the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific. MPHRO services include:

  • Core HR administration
  • Payroll administration
  • Recruitment
  • Learning services covering content sourcing and development, program planning and delivery, and learning system hosting
  • Management and administrative services.

As is common with renewals, there are some expansions of scope and a greater focus on improvements, in addtion to a desire for further cost reducing efficencies.

Accenture will be introducing service improvements to drive greater efficiencies and improve the user experience and align the services it delivers with Unilever’s Talent Agenda. New elements include:

  • Introducing a more proactive recruiting approach, including the expanded use of social media (Accenture itself has been using LinkedIn and Twitter to recruit staff for a few years now)
  • Expanding the scope of the learning services delivered by Accenture to include professional skill-building modules in the curriculum to support Unilever’s focus on developing future leaders; learning programs will make greater use of virtual instructor-led training (VILT), which is in line with Unilever’s sustainability agenda
  • Evolving in performance metrics to go beyond traditional operational SLAs to include metrics focused on the client’s desired business outcomes.

It is a good quarter when you can announce a major MPHRO deal, whether it’s new or a renewal. For FY Q1 2013, Accenture’s revenues were $7.2bn, up 5% in local currencies; EPS were up 10% to $1.06; and operating income was up 7% to $1.05bn. Outsourcing brought in $3.26bn in revenues, and $3.3bn in new bookings. A good quarter indeed!

Happy holidays from the NelsonHall HRO team: Gary Bragar, Amy Gurchensky, and Linda Merritt.

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.

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.

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.

Employment Branding: Business, Culture, and HRO

May 25, 2012

Yesterday, I participated in a very lively online Twitter discussion about employment branding. Branding is a common topic for businesses, particularly for corporate, product, and service identities. Employment branding is important to ensure the attraction and retention of employees that can deliver the business brand experience. Meghan M. Biro’s brand humanization concept is that it is all connected: the business brand, its culture, and its ability to attract and retain talent. That connectivity is a business opportunity for HRO, think RPO and employment branding services, and it is also an issue for HRO service providers as employers.

In an earlier blog this year, I concluded that HRO will not hinder and may even help clients achieve human capital leadership, using leadership and best place to work awards as evidence. Diversity award lists from DiversityInc.com and Diversity MBA magazine have just come out for 2012 and again we see recognition of HRO service providers including Accenture, ADP, and IBM, as well as many companies that use HRO. Here are examples from the world of RPO:

  • Alexander Mann Solutions: Citi and Deloitte
  • Futurestep: General Mills and Kaiser Permanente
  • KellyOCG: GE
  • Kenexa: Verizon and U.S. Navy
  • ManpowerGroup Solutions: Wells Fargo
  • Randstad SourceRight: AT&T and Capital One
  • The RightThing, an ADP Company: Kellogg and WellPoint.

As part of my long running theme on talent management, I believe strongly that HRO vendors can and should be leaders in creating the agile workforces of the future. Part of being a leader is practicing what you preach, which is largely what corporate and employment branding is about.

In HRO service providers often need to scale up and scale down quickly, while still ensuring a full slate of experienced subject matter experts. On top of that, many HRO service providers base client care centers and processing centers in talent competitive markets, which often stimulates high turnover and brings together workforces from very different cultures. This is the second challenge of employment branding for HRO, as employers, each service provide needs to build a differentiated employment brand and corporate culture to attract and retain the talent needed to fulfill its business brand.

Part of developing an employment brand is determining what attributes make a particular employer a good place to work and developing programs to ensure those elements are in the workplace and recognized by current and prospective employees and are aligned with business outcomes. Sounds simple, but it surely isn’t.

Buyers, ask your HRO service providers about their workforce practices to see if they practice what they sell. Service providers, in addition to client testimonials, engage and leverage your own employees as brand ambassadors.

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.

What are the Top Global Skill Shortages?

April 26, 2012

Even when the U.S. unemployment rate was over 10%, we’ve heard that the unemployment of skilled workers with college degrees remained low at ~4-5%, and we’ve read data on just how bad the skill shortage is, including ManpowerGroup’s findings that 52% of U.S. companies are struggling to fill key jobs. We’ve also heard from me as an analyst (and former HRO buy-side client), pointing to the fact that development and retention of talent are more paramount than ever. But not as much has been written about what are the top global skill shortages. Well not until last week when U.K.-based global recruitment and RPO provider Hays issued a good concise summary of the top ten global skill shortages.

The list divides the skills by soft skills and hard skills that are in shortage globally.

Soft Skills

  • Languages
  • People and communication
  • Team management and leadership
  • Organization.

Hard Skills

  • Financial and budgetary
  • IT
  • Green skills
  • Procurement and negotiation
  • Research and development
  • Healthcare.

Beyond being good for job candidates and employees to know the skills they need to focus on; employers need to do a better job of investing in their workforce to develop and retain the talent that they already have. In fact, employees are looking for that. Mercer’s newly released eBook, “What’s Working Around the World”, points to the fact that career advancement and training opportunities are among the top priorities of the employee value proposition in many countries and are needed to address low levels of employee engagement.

As I get ready to publish my next global learning BPO report, I am optimistic to hear that talent management focus is no longer just a desired priority but is now a business imperative. Clients are increasingly focused on learning linked to talent management, including the linkage of learning to performance management and developmental plans. To meet client needs to attract, develop, and retain talent, vendors have been developing their talent management capability. This includes MPHRO vendors such as Xerox, Aon Hewitt, Talent2, IBM, and Accenture, whose talent management offering includes workforce forecasting and analytics, recruitment, performance management, succession planning, and learning.

In the report, I also wrote about the advent of social learning. For now, I’ll just say that speed to competence, followed by how the new generation of employees that are entering the workforce wants to learn, as well as the need for improved talent management, are what’s driving the acceleration of social learning.

If you are not already following me on Twitter, please do so at @GaryB_NH as I will tweet when the LBPO report is published. I’m targeting the 30th of April, in time for my presentation at the HRO Today Forum on May 1st titled State of the Learning BPO Marketplace and the Emergence of Social Learning.

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, 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.

Does HRO Help or Hurt in Achieving Human Capital Leadership?

February 24, 2012

Can employers be recognized as leadership development advocates and a great place to work and still take advantage of HRO services? Yes—and recent “best companies” announcements provide plenty of examples.

Fortune’s annual 100 Best Companies to Work For list includes a number of companies known to use HRO services. RPO examples include: American Express (Hays RPO), Edward Jones and Intuit (Manpower Group), Microsoft and Novartis (Alexander Mann Solutions), and SAS and Telefonica (Ochre House). Accenture, which provides HRO services, is on the list as an employer.

HRO clients are also among the recognized companies in the 2011 Top Companies for Leaders, another recent Fortune study in association with Aon Hewitt. PepsiCo (Aon Hewitt) and Unilever (Accenture, IBM) are among the multinationals taking the lead in developing leaders. Again we see RPO as a common talent management service selection; Eli Lily and Novartis AG (The Right Thing, An ADP Company), GE and Siemens AG (KellyOCG), and Whirlpool (Kenexa). IBM, another major HRO player, is recognized, as is Wipro. Accenture is noted on the U.S. list and Infosys is on the Asia Pacific list. ADP is included in the 2012 list of 10 Best  Companies for Leaders rankings by the Chief Executive.

Business Today has just released its 11th annual “Best Companies to Work for” in India and top companies include HRO providers such as Accenture, IBM, Infosys, Wipro, and TCS. Honeywell International (SourceRight Solutions) also made the list and is on the U.S. list for Leaders as well.

The lists go on and on and you will find companies that use HRO as well as HRO providers among the best of the best. You can be a pioneer in leadership development and use HRO in critical talent management areas. You can achieve greatness in any region of the world. You can even look to some of the HRO providers to share their own expertise as a “best company” in the human capital leadership arena.

Will HRO automatically make you the best company? No. However, HRO will not slow you down and may even provide a committed partner in accelerating your success.

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.