Posted tagged ‘bpo’

HRO SaaS for the Small Business Employer

May 3, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

SaaS systems for HR administration and payroll have opened up the small business market to the benefits of web-based HR systems with self-service and easier implementations. The rapid uptake by clients is testimony that a ‘sweet spot’ has been reached in cost, ease and value.

MoorepayHR

I followed up with Anne Fitzpatrick, Moorepay managing director, for an update on how MoorepayHR, a cloud-based SaaS payroll and HR administration platform with BPO services, is doing one year after its launch in the U.K. small business market.

Moorepay, a NorthgateArinso (NGA) subsidiary, is already “large” in the U.K. small business market with >10,000 clients. However, past success does not guarantee future success. The company saw the need for an integrated HR and payroll platform and wanted to achieve this in its own way by combining new technology with its existing BPO managed payroll and HR services, including on-hand subject-matter experts for guidance on employee issues, into a business process as a service (BPaaS) service.

At first there was some concern if the market was ready for a SaaS multitenant cloud service. Moorepay quickly found that buyers understand the cloud based on their own experiences as consumers and were actually eager for the new service. By the end of April, MoorepayHR had signed its 1,000th customer, and this week the entire company is holding a company-wide celebration!

The client base is 80% new and 20% from existing clients.57% of clients add on payroll, and even more select one or more of the BPO options, led by compliance support for employment law and health and safety advisory.

Moorepay will be adding more offerings to the system, including a newly-released ‘lite’ version. Next for the company is the rolling-out of an advanced version that adds functionality for recruiting, performance management and learning. Targeted at businesses with up to 500 employees, MoorepayHR will be expanded to up to 1,000 employees in the near future.

RUN Powered by ADP

ADP first introduced its RUN system nationally in the U.S. in 2010 for the very small market (1-49 employees). More HR features and payroll functionality have been added to the SaaS cloud-based mobile platform on a regular basis. In addition to ease-of-use, RUN offers a 24×7 help desk with certified HR professionals and an online HR library. RUN added its 200,000th customer in April 2013.

Two Vendors, One Success Story

Both Moorepay and ADP understands that clients of any size have similar needs. As Anish Rajparia, president of ADP’s small business services division, commented: “Small business owners demand flexible tools and resources tailored for them to help manage the risks associated with running their business.”

There are already a variety of options in the market for the small business owner and I am sure we will see many more. One size never fits all, and I am pleased to see that this class of buyer now has HRO choice.

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Targeting Payroll BPO, Part II

April 26, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

There is so much in my colleague Gary Bragar’s NelsonHall Targeting Payroll BPO market analysis that I will cover a few more items this week. The payroll market is divided into three parts: payroll software services; service bureau payroll (also called managed payroll, where the vendor manages payroll production and the client manages data input and employee help desk services); and payroll business process outsourcing (where the end-to-end payroll process is outsourced, including tier 1 and tier 2 employee help desk support).

Payroll BPO market share is growing

Payroll BPO is what NelsonHall follows most of all, and it is a growing part of the overall payroll market. Even as SaaS payroll products become more ubiquitous, many clients will still want support for the whole process. We can see some of the reasons why in the changing pattern of client requirements. As I covered in the first Targeting Payroll blog, cost remains the number one priority. However, other needs have increased in importance over time:

  • Standardization of centralization of processes and technology: Instead of defending customization, now buyers are demanding standardization to increase efficiency and reduce costs from maintaining disparate systems
  • Compliance/risk management: Compliance with ever-more complex and changing regulations and work rules needs the time and attention of fulltime experts. For example, in Europe the complexity of regulations combined with employee populations spread over multiple countries adds to the challenges of compliance
  • Better employee experience: Users want access that is easier and simpler, including 24×7 access to data, self-service, and mobile. Payroll self-service is widely available and has become table stakes. The vendors that deliver the most useful mobile applications, the fastest and with the greatest security, will create valuable market differentiation.
  • Payroll subject matter expertise: Clients expect improved quality of payroll with augmented accuracy, which can lower overpayment and off-cycle payroll runs.

Payroll Cost #1 with a new spin

While cost remains the number-one client requirement, there is a new aspect and it is the same one NelsonHall is seeing in other HRO areas; balancing cost with value. Value for price is especially understood by second- and third-generation buyers who indicate their willingness to change vendors to get it!

Payroll Analytics

It has been my view for some time that the focus on improved payroll processes and systems is driven by more than the need to pay employees timely and accurately. It is also driven by the need to manage the total cost of labor with real-time access to data and analytics for decision-making that leads to improved business performance. Payroll is increasingly being seen as a valuable management strategic tool, and clients will be looking to payroll BPO providers to help them access and develop workforce analytics expertise.

It great to see how dynamic the payroll outsourcing industry has become!

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Targeting Payroll BPO, Part I

April 18, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

The NelsonHall Targeting Payroll BPO report has recently been released by my colleague, Gary Bragar. Payroll is such a well-accepted mainstay of HR outsourcing that it’s nice to see it still showing steady growth year after year.

Gary regularly produces the payroll market analysis, and profiles leading vendors in this space. Over time you can see how what seems like a basic service has grown, evolved and increased in strategic importance. What has not changed is that buyers are looking for savings by outsourcing payroll. The good news is that payroll BPO delivers: first-time payroll outsourcing can save from 15% to +40% depending on the degree of complexity and variables (like the number of locations, with everything from a single location to more than 100 countries).

The full report includes more on what buyers want from payroll outsourcing and what’s key in vendor selection; including where data needs vary between the mid-market and large market. Here are a few highlights of the report:

Why Outsource Payroll?

Cost saving remains the number-one reason to outsource payroll, and several nuances have been added including:

  • Clients want a more variable cost structure and less fixed costs
  • Savings now often include not having to refresh client technology (cost avoidance)
  • Simplifying payroll after a series of M&As or restructurings reduces cost
  • Reduction in payroll losses from ineligible and overpayments.

Centralization and standardization of process and technology has increased in importance, similar to what has been seen in other HRO areas. Where clients used to want customization, many are now seeing the benefits of standardization to improve efficiency, reduce cost, and to increase timely access to accurate payroll data across the enterprise.

With constantly-changing regulations and taxation across multiple jurisdictions, accuracy, compliance and risk management remain core payroll benefits.

Multi-Country Payroll

For MNCs, multi-country payroll remains a sought-after capability. MNCs want one vendor, one contract, and one payroll platform. Also wanted is visibility to aggregated costs and data reporting, in addition to the flexibility and scalability to add or change geographies.

Payroll BPO vendors have responded to the blended needs of clients for cost savings and global coverage by:

  • Increasing nearshore and offshore service centers
  • Partnering for coverage in some countries
  • Offering multiple technology platforms from SaaS to ERPs.

Pricing Pressure

Given the focus on cost reduction, pricing pressure should be no surprise. This is a market with many mature and capable suppliers, which in itself adds competitive pricing pressure and the need for differentiation to focus on value as well as cost.

As an indicator of payroll service provider capabilities to compete, I earlier mentioned the steady year-over-year revenue growth. That growth has been achieved at the same time as the average price per-payslip has fallen significantly over the last three years!

There is so much more in the Targeting Payroll BPO market analysis, look for more highlights in a future blog.

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Moorepay’s Roadmap to Success is in the Cloud

October 4, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Moorepay is a payroll and employment service provider in the U.K. with over 10,000 clients and it is a part of NorthgateArinso (NGA). Earlier this year I blogged about the launch of its new HR and payroll platform service for the small employer market in the U.K. This week, I spoke with Ann Fitzpatrick, Moorepay managing director, for an update.

In a brief recap, MoorepayHR is a cloud-based SaaS and BPO service built on NGA’s Preceda SaaS platform that is customized for the U.K. market and combined with Moorepay’s payroll and HR services such as employment law and health and safety advisory.

Cloud Opens the Small Employer Market

Most major HRO vendors do not attempt to reach the small employer market, which is just what Moorepay serves. Certainly small employers want professional and modern services, but until the rise of streamlined HRO platforms in the cloud, the costs were unaffordable for both clients and vendors. In the U.S., ADP has had such great success with Workforce Now, it launched a larger version called Vantage HCM. Now, employers in the U.K. can have the same level of service as larger companies at very affordable price points.

The Roadmap to Success

There are three levels of service, each with its own pricing openly displayed right on the company’s website. Payroll is available as an option with each of the service levels.  Approximately 40% of clients are currently adding payroll. In a bit of a nice surprise, ~80% of customers are choosing the highest level that comes with client services, making it a real BPO offering.

A 1Q 2013 launch is planned for the highest level of service, HR Advanced, which will add modules for talent management, recruiting, and remuneration. That will make the service more valuable for employers in the 100-400 range with more complex HR needs.

With its large base of payroll clients, Moorepay will later market the new system and services to its existing clients to allow conversion to the new system and added services.

Finally, Moorepay is receiving good support from the NGA Preceda team and they will work together to ensure the technology development roadmap is completed in the near future, including mobile and tablet access.

The Proof is in the Pudding

The new system has just reached its three-hundredth customer and all of these customers are new to Moorepay. The company now has a solid base of wins and users to move forward with its multi-stage approach to growth.

The small employer market is clearly hungry for such a service. Even before launch, there were hundreds of inquiries, and the number of inbound leads has rapidly increased. You know something is going well when customers are lining up at your door!

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The Parable of IBM and Kenexa: Part I

September 13, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

I have not seen such a range of varied opinions from members of the HRO and HR tech communities as those about IBM’s acquisition of Kenexa. The commentary showed that many were taken a bit by surprise and weren’t sure how to analyze the news that IBM was acquiring Kenexa for $1.3bn.

IBM Bought Kenexa?

The surprise was not the purchase of Kenexa, which was foreshadowed by the acquisition of Taleo by Oracle and SuccessFactors by SAP. It was more about the fact that IBM was doing the purchasing.

A few  thought that ADP might make such an acquisition since it had already expanded its benefits capabilities with Workscape and SHPS and its RPO capabilities with The RightThing, so wouldn’t talent management make sense? Speculation continued, perhaps Mercer, Ceridian, or even ADP would be the target of an acquisition or merger.

IBM itself was considered likely to continue its acquisitive ways with something more in the talent management / HCM space. Likely targets mentioned included Cornerstone OnDemand, SilkRoad, SumTotal, Saba, with a few suggesting Halogen, Peoplefluent, and others. In short, someone is going to buy something else.

The Meaning of the Deal?

What does this mean we all asked, much like the tale of the Blind Men and the Elephant as was suggested by the leading light Naomi Bloom. Early viewpoints on the acquisition included:

  • Continuing IBM’s move into social media and analytics
  • Continuing IBM’s move into professional services including strengthening RPO
  • Disrupting the HCM market and becoming a talent management player
  • Delivering value to the HR executive
  • Delivering value to the C-suite and bypassing HR
  • Primarily being a HRO deal with some software attached
  • Primarily being a software deal with some HRO attached
  • Upping competition with SAP, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and even Workday
  • Selling into Kenexa’s IBM-like customer base of Fortune 500 clients.

IBM’s news crossed many markets including HRO, HCM, HR tech (software, platform, cloud, etc.), BPO, social media, talent management, and financial and market analysts. Each commenter viewed the same information through the lens of their personal perspective and professional interest, much like the blind men touching different parts of the elephant.

With so many options before it, including IBM’s own announced intentions for the addition of Kenexa, the opportunities are new and exciting. Given the inherent complexities, IBM will face many risks as well. Look for more on The Parable of IBM and Kenexa coming in Part II.

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NorthgateArinso Sets a Cadence for Growth

April 25, 2012

NorthgateArinso (NGA) recently held its annual analyst day in Boston. Chief Executive Mike Ettling reported that NGA’s revenues have increased 6-7% every quarter for the last six quarters and it had brought in over £500m in revenues for 2011. With very good growth under its belt and its built-out set of services, updated core technologies, and global delivery network, NGA is setting new goals to reach its target of $1bn in revenues by 2014.

The company is defining itself as “an HR BPaaS business enabled by technology, process, and domain expertise.” Business-platform-as-a-service is what many are calling business platforms, and since we are talking about HRO, I call it HRO platforms. From that perspective, NGA is already in the BPaaS business of providing bundled business process services and technology solutions.

NGA has ~8,500 personnel in 35 countries with HR technology, outsourcing, and consulting services in over 100 countries. That will not change. It will continue to offer unbundled technology and software services for payroll and HR. It will also continue to offer consulting services for HR systems and implementation of sand integrations, as both are good revenue streams. What is new is that the company is staking out its direction for future growth as an HRO services company, not a technology company.

How does an already good, solid HRO performer accelerate to outpace its competitors? For NGA, the answer is in structure and cadence.

Structure

Management structure is seen in the cascading goals, upcoming changes in organizational structure and alignment of compensation, the use of metrics, and the top-down involvement in selecting and managing key initiatives, investments, and projects. NGA is continuing to standardize its services into a catalog of selections, standardize implementation, and even standardize the offer to delivery process. It is developing an internal system called ScopeHR, which will standardize and automate the production of all key BPO/BPaaS information and documents to make solution selection, selling, pricing, and contracting easier, faster, and more efficient for both the client and NGA.

Cadence

Timing and pacing are also NGA keys in achieving profitable long-term growth. This includes an understanding of how to migrate and grow client scale and scope over time, to step-by-step refine its robust system for services delivery that includes moving to “mega centers of scale” and plans for workforce development to avoid capability gaps. Components of the service delivery value chain are addressed, cross-checked, and backed up. Continuous improvement is also seen in the use of Lean Six Sigma teams, CCMI standards, and an operational excellence framework to increase capability maturity while growing the business and retaining satisfied customers.

There is still a lot of uncertainty in the economy, which may impact NGA’s plans and timing. Given NorthgateArinso’s track record so far, clear goals, and achievement plans, if it adds in a bit of flexibility, the odds are good that it will hit its target.

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

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