Posted tagged ‘bpo’

Oracle Buying Taleo: Is It a Good Deal?

February 20, 2012

As Howie Mandel always says to his guests after they’ve pressed the button and say “Deal!” on the TV show Deal or No Deal—”but was it a good deal?” Time will of course tell, but I do believe Oracle has made a very good deal. As the acquisition was announced just last February 9, I’ll briefly recap what had happened.

Oracle announced an agreement to buy Taleo for $46 per share, an 18% premium over Taleo’s stock price the day before the announcement, equating to $1.9 billion. As Taleo’s board has approved the acquisition, it is now subject to normal regulatory approval and is expected to close by summer. This follows SAP’s announcement on December 3, 2011 to acquire SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion. I had blogged about my take on the acquisition last December 13, 2011, stating that SuccessFactors is a provider of talent management software, but software alone does not get at the core of what makes for effective talent management. First, let me state that I also feel that SAP buying SuccessFactors was a good deal, albeit a steep price, as cloud-based software, including talent management is clearly on the rise and expected to continue to grow. NelsonHall has seen a large increase in the number of cloud SaaS HR services contracts and nearly 15% of HRO contracts in 2011 also included talent management software, often performance management, mostly in the mid-market.

Getting back to Oracle, Taleo provides cloud-based talent management software as well, so this is also a good deal, but how does that make this different? Because Taleo adds recruitment capability that Oracle did not have before. And although SuccessFactors provides recruitment software as does Taleo, Taleo also has an applicant tracking system that according to NelsonHall’s 2011 RPO report is the most widely used recruitment technology and applicant tracking system, utilized by approximately 80% of all RPO vendors for their clients, Oracle’s PeopleSoft had been in sixth place. The RPO report also noted that approximately 45% of all recruitment technology was platform-based. Taleo also has a business edition, popular in the mid-market for clients seeking a more standardized solution, used by vendors including Alexander Mann Solutions and Pinstripe. According to NelsonHall’s HRO forecast, RPO will have the highest growth of all HR services through the forecast period of 2015.

In summary, I think both acquisitions by SAP and Oracle are good; especially as clients continue to focus on talent management and recognize the need to have integrated technology and processes, most importantly supported by leadership that understand this. I’m in the final stages of my learning BPO research interviews and I‘m seeing a clear trend that learning vendors are now also providing talent management software and associated consulting services to their clients along with their learning services. I look forward to aggregating this data that I’ll present at the HRO Today Forum in Washington, DC on May 1st, titled State of the Learning BPO Marketplace, including 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.

The Sun is Rising on HRO in Asia Pacific

December 16, 2011

As an “emerging market” the Asia Pacific (A/P) has more and more A/P companies become forces in the global marketplace as buyers and as producers – providing growth opportunities for product and service sales for companies headquartered in other regions (usually the West).

Do be aware that the markets for services like HRO already exist and are served by local and regional providers. Hence, new entrants offering unfamiliar brands to A/P buyers will need to assess their competitive value propositions for this vast, yet very localized market with a wide range of languages, price sensitivity, and HRO needs.

One of the largest A/P regional HRO service providers is Talent2, which offers payroll, RPO, traditional recruiting searches, HR administration, learning, talent management, and HR advisory services. Talent2 has services in 31 Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern countries, and its FY 2011 (ended June 30, 2011) revenues were AU$360m, up 26% from FY 2010. In operations since 2003, the company has ~1,700 personnel with offices and service centers spread across the region.

Talent2’s growth over the years had been organic, until 2008 when it added acquisition as a growth strategy and subsequently bought PCA in Japan, a payroll outsourcing and HR consulting provider. In 2010, it acquired Singapore-based Zapper Services with payroll outsourcing and HR administration in 14 A/P countries, adding ~1,000 clients, including multinational corporations (MNCs).

Having an available range of technologies and services is a benefit, especially when there are clients that are expanding their businesses for the first time and need a foundation of basic HR services with a high degree of subject matter expertise. This is also the case for large clients in mature markets looking for top quality and performance at a lower cost. Talent2 has multiple payroll offerings and other services to mix and match to meet the specific needs of clients of many sizes, verticals, with employees in one country to pan-national or global, using a broad range of languages and onshore and nearshore locations.

ADP and NorthgateArinso are two major global players that have been in the region for many years. As the A/P HRO market expands, more players will be looking to gain a foothold. With growth in many areas and services, Talent2 will need to focus its own value proposition and investments to maximize its regional advantages against what will be an even more competitive market. A sign that the company is ready to do just that is the addition of Mary Sue Rogers, one of the leading lights in the HRO community and previously the global leader of HRO for IBM. Rogers recently joined Talent2 as the Global Managing Director of HR services including payroll, HR advisory, and learning services.

No matter where the sun sets, at the end of the day, succeeding in emerging markets is the same as achieving HRO success anywhere: provide high-quality, high-performance subject matter expert services at the optimum price that solves business problems and delivers business results.

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.

Infosys BPO Analyst Day: A Rounding Success

November 4, 2011

Although a little late, I wanted to give Infosys kudos for hosting a very informative and engaging BPO Analyst Day in late October, which included presentations by two very satisfied North American based clients.

First, I’d like to highlight the progress Infosys has made:

  • From 2006 to 2011, BPO revenue has grown approximately five-fold with the number of clients increasing almost four-fold and global headcount increasing nearly six-fold
  • Although I can’t disclose HRO revenues, they are rapidly growing globally, led by North America and followed by Europe
  • BPO delivery capability is global from centers across North America, Latin America, South America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

What particularly impressed me at the event was the lengthy discussion titled “Our people are our biggest assets,” led by managing director and CEO Swami Swaminathan. The topic may sound cliché, but it was from the heart because Infosys truly wants employees to have a career for life that’s achieved by:

  • Leadership focus
  • Performance-based compensation
  • Recognition and reward
  • Career planning and development
  • Comfort with the working environment
  • Pride in being an Infosys employee.

There’s too much good business information to capture in a short blog, but to summarize, Infosys is helping clients build tomorrow’s enterprise by:

  • Enabling clients to transform their business
  • Moving operations up the value chain, including Centers of Excellence with benchmarking and best practices
  • Deploying new engagement models including business process as a service, technology enabled process automation, and cloud-enabled services
  • Leveraging technology to create value including dashboards and customer portals.

Client presentations were by a large apparel retailer and a large global telecom.  The retailer outsourced both F&A and HR.  HRO services included platform-based BPO with PeopleSoft 9.0 and modules for core HR including self-service; benefits including annual enrollment; time and attendance; payroll; and components of the HR helpdesk. Its reasons for choosing Infosys included:

  • Access to technology and tools to transform
  • Quality of resources to support the account and its ability to work with the client to achieve its goal
  • Cultural fit and reputation.

The telecom client outsourced to transform, leverage best in class processes, people and technology, and augment its sourcing group with new talent. F&A outsourcing included source to pay.

Concluding the day and joined by clients at the larger colloquium were two successful panel discussions.  The first was titled “Sustaining complex change” and included the buy-side from Montreal, Charming Shoppes Inc., and Cisco.  I had the pleasure of facilitating the second discussion that was titled “What is the defining role of HR in shaping tomorrow’s business: Globalization, convergence, social media, and talent management.  This panel included the buy-side from Charming Shoppes and Transfield Services.

In all, it was a very impressive day to round out numerous analyst events I attended in 2011, and this one will be memorable!

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.

Is HRO at the Table – the Investment Table?

February 10, 2011

IT spend on consulting and infrastructure increased in the fourth quarter of 2010, especially in North America and Asia Pacific.  There were even bright spots in Europe like France and Italy.  Accenture saw its strongest quarter in consulting in 2 ½ years and IBM had its strongest quarter of the last decade.  Increases in outsourcing tend to follow.  For example, at Xerox, now including ACS, BPO was up 11.1%.

The bad news is that major HRO investments often trail at the end of the outsourcing pack.  The good news is that HR and its HRO vendors can see trends coming and prepare to present the strongest business case possible for investment.

ADP was up 7% to $1,663m for Employer Services.  Its bright spot was beyond payroll services, which were up 16% and include benefits administration, MPHRO, and various point solutions.  One-time activities, or smaller add-on services, helped hold up results throughout the recession for many HRO vendors as they were smaller, less risky, and easier to fund investments, but it is hard to have significant growth through small increases in incremental spend.

Aon Hewitt’s Q4 2010 numbers were way up with revenues of $1,151m, an increase of 229%.  Stripping away the impact of the merger, organically HRO was $580m, down 2%.  The same was true at Towers Watson.  For FY Q2 2011, it came in at $791m, but in a pro forma comparison it was down 5%.  Towers Watson completed a lot of integration work in the past year and managed operating margins well at 18.7% for the quarter, but underperformed organic growth expectations.  All of the HRO service providers caught up in last years acquisition frenzy need to ensure they do not miss the current and coming window of opportunity for major HRO decisions and investments.

The business development profile for every HRO client, or hot prospect that wants to do business with you should include the timing and approval process for business case decisions.  Also know what can be done through operating expenses and local discretion.  Even the most solid HRO solution will run into trouble if the funding window is missed and all that is left are the scraps on the table.

Even with investment dollars starting to fly, pie-in-the-sky projects will still be grounded.  I really liked a term I heard in relation to an increase in consumer spend, frugal splurges.  Pragmatic investments that are well supported with facts and figures and direct ties to key business initiatives and business results will have the edge.  Don’t forget to add just a little bite of pizzazz!  Add-on modules, basic features and functions, workflow and service center capabilities are important, but a bit boring.  How will new major HRO investments be riding the tech wave of virtualization, cloud, and mobility – adding to the capabilities of an adaptable workforce of the future, ready to compete, and win today?

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall