Posted tagged ‘Ceridian’

Is Your HRO Brand Aligned with Your Communications?

December 16, 2010

For HRO providers, brand positioning is important in gaining new clients. It is also important in building and reinforcing client loyalty. One element in brand reinforcement is consistently aligned communications. Beyond the interface points of service management, service delivery and executive relationship management, you must remember the HR practitioners, as HR folks can be one of the hardest groups to win over as an outsourcer.

In past blogs I touched on the importance of thought leadership through research and webinars. Today, my focus is on an old standby – the newsletter. Newsletters that fit within an overall communications strategy can be a good vehicle to reach the broader HR client community.

Examples of good ones produced by a variety of providers include: Ceridian Connections, a monthly e-newsletter, Aon Hewitt’s Hewitt Edge, In Focus and Emerging Trends (which cover topics ranging from benefits to retirement to workforce issues), and ADP’s quarterly ADP Advisor and a number of specialty newsletters with a top topic (as one would expect) being payroll tax issues.

How do you make your newsletter worthwhile for the e-age, and one more outstanding touch point for brand reinforcement?

  • Talk about what you know and your clients care about.  Ensure audience interests are aligned with provider sources of service impacting knowledge development.
  • Say it with style.  Have a clear purpose and voice suited for the e-world and desired audience.
  • Make it count. Be relevant, concise and authoritative on a few subjects per newsletter. Insight is more important than quantity – showcase your quotable subject matter experts.
  • Do not pitch. But do offer topical news that happens to now and then align with new services.
  • Make it fun and interactive when subject matter allows. Perhaps have a home page for the newsletter(s) with short instant answer polls, quizzes and links to HR-specific content.
  • Link it. Newsletters should lead readers into a deep relationship with you  – every click through is a reinforcement. Naturally, link to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, your corporate site, sponsored research, partner sites and well known (and HRO neutral) sources of topical subject matter.
  • Time it. Consider frequency of publication in light of the newsletter’s purpose, audience and available resources. We are awash in communications, so you must make yours a welcome arrival.
  • Track it! For example, as a part of a year-end wrap-up, Ceridian lists its most accessed articles. Know which topics are a hit, not only to cover more in the future, but to pass along internally as areas of broad client interest.

Larger service providers like IBM and Accenture have a great variety of professional publications and major studies. (IBM’s Global CHRO Study, Working Beyond Borders, surveyed more than 700 CHROs worldwide!) That may not be the best path for all, but your voice and connection with clients is just as important. A newsletter focused on tools and tactics for getting more out of your services can be just as valuable as one that explores the future of human capital management.

Know a good example of a HRO service provider newsletter? Please share!

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

HRO Can Help Stem Absence Management Cost Hits – But There’s More

October 21, 2010

A recent CyberShift survey found that one third of the 1,088 respondents cited absence management as a continuing top priority. Yet 53 percent of the survey participants stated they did not have an automated system in place for absence, leave, vacation and FMLA tracking. This is a pretty scary statistic, especially when, per CyberShift, unscheduled absenteeism can cost businesses more than $760,000 per year in direct payroll costs alone.

At the same time, forward-thinking buy-side companies over the past couple of years have awarded absence management contracts to HRO providers, and the vendors are beefing up their absence management offerings. Let’s take a look.

Absence Management Contracts

  • MidlandHR was awarded 10 contracts in the last two years for its iTrent HR and payroll software, including its absence management modules, by the University of Exeter, Capel Manor College, Oxford City Council, NetworkersMSB, Pentagon Investments, Preston College, Which? (yes, this is an actual company name), Manchester Fire and Rescue, Kent County Council and Farnborough College
  • Wipro implemented Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise HCM 9.0 for Jammu & Kashmir Bank in India. Modules implemented include absence management and approval workflow
  • NorthgateArinso won a five-year contract with Hastings College for its ResourceLink HR platform, which supports absence management
  • Convergys entered into a five-year contract renewal for multi-process HRO services with a leading business services company; components of the contract include absence management and leave administration
  • Hewitt was awarded several unnamed contracts that include absence management
  • Raet won a 10-year contract with OSG for its online HR portal, which includes absence management

Providers’ Enhanced Absence Management Offerings

Just a couple of weeks ago, Capita acquired FirstAssist Services Holdings Ltd. to strengthen its capabilities in health and workforce management, including absence management. In January, Hewitt added participant advocacy services to its absence management offering. In August, Ceridian added Presagia’s employee leave management software to support its leave management services. And Xchanging announced an alliance with absence management specialist FirstCare through which the two parties will jointly go to market with FirstCare’s absence management and occupational health pre-employment screening services and Xchanging’s portfolio of HRO services.  

Here’s my take. Leveraging software and services for absence management tracking is a great step in the right direction when it comes to stemming costs. But equally, if not more, important is drilling down into the why’s of non-authorized and non-sick absences. This maps to blogs I’ve written over the past year that focus on rampant employee dissatisfaction. Unhappy employees are more inclined to call in sick simply because they don’t want to go to their jobs. Get to the heart of employee dissatisfaction, fix what is truly broken across the enterprise, and absenteeism will decrease. Strong leadership and performance management training is invaluable in helping determine the root of employee discontent. Corporations lacking internal training programs of this type can leverage offerings from both full-scope and pure-play learning services HRO providers.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

HRO is Never Static or Still

October 12, 2010

During every stage of the economic lifecycle, HRO service providers are doing something to either anticipate or react to changes in the marketplace and client needs while simultaneously striving to achieve strategic goals. This week I wrap-up NelsonHall’s review of 3Q 2010 HRO activity with a look at what’s new in offerings, partnerships and acquisitions.

One way to quickly expand a service line or fill-in gaps is to partner with a provider that is already offering the service or operating in the target geography. Last quarter was most active for RPO. Those announcing new RPO-related partnerships included Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS), Kelly Services, Kenexa, Pinstripe and The RightThing. Notably, two of the partnerships were to continue to expand RPO services internationally in the Asia Pacific region, with AMS adding reach into India and Kelly in Vietnam.

A more committed path to rounding out or adding new services is to buy it. Making small to large acquisitions is another constant in the world of HRO as players define and redefine their portfolios. In addition to the close of the three game changing major acquisitions in the benefits community (ADP/Workscape, ACS/ExcellerateHRO, and Aon/Hewitt), other folks were also making deals. For example, Mercer acquired IPA and ORC, and Xafinity bought PwC’s pension consulting and administration business in the U.K. Further, Randstad continued its acquisitive ways, this time outside of Europe, with its planned acquisition of FujiStaff in Japan.

Health and welfare (H&W) outsourcing used to be limited to the U.S., and that will remain the major market. But no matter how health insurance and care is funded, H&W concerns are growing globally. In the U.S., Fidelity is partnering with RedBrick Health to offer its clients wellness services, and in the U.K., Capita is acquiring FirstAssist Services to add to its health service offerings.

Finally, if you cannot find what you want in the marketplace, you can build or expand it yourself. Ceridian wants to truly offer a new line of BPO services and has announced it is ready to consult, build and manage the health insurance exchanges that some states will need in a couple of years as part of the U.S. health care reform program. 

Most announcements of “new offerings” are incremental additions. For example, Hewitt is adding Micromedex medical reference information to its advocacy service offering. You can also simply package what you have and call it new. Aditro has done that with a standardized set of payroll services that include preset services levels and implementation process to make a lower cost bundled option.

Yet another variation blends supply chain partnerships with building it yourself to make a new service offering. Take a SaaS HR service from Oracle or Sap and wrap in value added enhancements and services additions and, voila, you have a new HRO service platform. Mercer introduced its Human Capital Direct that uses PeopleClick Authoria’s talent management suite as the core, surrounded by Mercer’s consulting, tools and methodologies such as decision support, competency models and analytics.

In HRO, somebody is always doing something. What have you done lately?

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall

Benefits Administration – Not a Lame Duck HRO Process

August 5, 2010

Although we’ve indicated that our most recent HR Outsourcing Confidence Index found benefits administration lagging behind other HR services in terms of revenue and pipeline growth, it’s important to put that into proper context:

• On the NelsonHall HRO Confidence Index scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “strong increase” and 3 being “unchanged,” benefits admin came in at 3.6 relative HRO growth, right behind learning (3.7), and multi-process and payroll (both at 3.8)

• Benefits admin outsourcing contracts are indeed being won in 2010

For example, Mercer announced today that it added 10 new benefits admin clients – a mix of defined contribution, health and benefits, and total benefits/total retirement outsourcing – to its portfolio in 1H10. The new deals include leading brands such as CBS Corporation, Primerica and Global Equity Capital, LLC. In total per these new agreements, Mercer is now servicing nearly 190,000 additional benefits admin participants.  

Additional benefits wins announced in 2010 include:

• Xafinity, for pension administration, by BAE and Loganair

• Workscape, for both its Outsourced Benefits Administration (OBA) web-based benefits administration service and for employee call center support, by Global Imaging Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox

• Workscape, for its OBA solution, by kgb, a multi-country directory assistance and information services company

• Convergys, a contract renewal for COBRA, leave of absence and annual enrollment services, by Office Depot

And benefits is not just being awarded as a standalone service. Rather, it continues to be provided along with multi-process HRO services. For example, Ceridian earlier this year was awarded a contract by Fifth Third Processing Solutions which included payroll, health and welfare administration, HR compliance, time and attendance, leave administration and learning and recruiting technology. And Hewitt and International Paper entered into a five-year contract renewal deal which covers payroll, workforce administration, health and welfare administration, recruiting support activities, SAP application support and help desk services, call center and HR manager support activities, learning administration and flex staffing management services.

As clients continue to seek reduced costs, ensure compliance with health care reform, increase employee satisfaction, better leverage technology, and improve delivery of services to employees – including self-service capabilities – I believe we will see continued growth in benefits admin outsourcing. NelsonHall is currently conducting a Benefits Administation Market Study. When it’s complete we’ll take a deeper-dive look at just how much it’s growing, and in which specific areas.

Gary Bragar, Senior HR Outsourcing Analyst, NelsonHall

HRO Total Contract Value Jumps 38 Percent in 1H10 – Where are the Gains Coming From?

July 15, 2010

During our Quarterly BPO Index webinar last week, NelsonHall CEO John Willmott reported that HRO total contract value (TCV) revenue increased 38 percent in 1H10 in a year-over-year comparison to 1H09. While HRO’s gains weren’t as great billions of dollars-wise as other BPO segments such as multi-process or industry-specific BPO, it is good to see the start of an upturn.

So where are these gains coming from? Forty-five percent of the contracts were signed with North American organizations, 43 percent were awarded to European enterprises (of which two-thirds were based in U.K.), and organizations in Asia Pacific accounted for the remaining 10 percent. And by service type:

• Recruiting – 32 percent of deals – including contract wins by Hays, Manpower, Kenexa, OchreHouse, Pinstripe, CPH Consulting, Alexander Mann Solutions, The RightThing, KellyOCG and PeopleScout

• Payroll – 22 percent of deals – including contract wins by Capita, MidlandHR, Raet, NorthgateArinso, ADP, TDS and Ceridian

• Benefits Administration – 20 percent of deals – including contract wins by Workscape, Aon, Secova, Mercer, Convergys and Xafinity

• Multi-process HRO (MPHRO) – 14 percent of deals – including contract wins by Accenture, Ceridian, ADP, Xchanging and Hewitt

• Learning – Eight percent of deals – including contract wins by Edvantage Group and General Physics

• Other HR – Four percent of deals – including talent management-related contract wins by Kenexa

Overall, I was not surpised with the above breakdowns as they were very consistent with the predictions in our June 2010 quarterly HRO Confidence Index.

Digressing a bit here to add to the buzz about Aon’s acquisition of Hewitt…while much written and water-cooler discussed has been about benefits administration, a sizeable amount of Hewitt’s revenue comes from MPHRO. A good example of this is Hewitt’s five-year contract renewal with International Paper, announced in April 2010.The renewal will support 40,000 International Paper employees with payroll, workforce administration, health and welfare administration, recruiting support, SAP application support and help desk, call center and HR manager support, learning administration and flex staffing management services. Given the amount of revenue coming from Hewitt’s MPHRO client base, I believe Aon will not only happily want to continue to support these existing clients, but also want to continue to grow the MPHRO business.

Although most new MPHRO contacts will likely not be the mega deals of yesteryear, reducing the number of suppliers in the outsourcing portfolio continues to grow in appeal among buyers. If buyers are satisfied with their MPHRO deals, they will continue, albeit in smaller fashion, to benefit both buyers and providers.

Gary Bragar, Senior HR Outsourcing Analyst, NelsonHall

HRO Providers’ Quality Programs – Where’s the Beef?

June 22, 2010

Just last week a NelsonHall client asked me about HRO service providers’ quality programs. A bit surprisingly, my mini-research found a scattershot representation of available information. While I know more complete details would have been available had I done a full research analysis, and that vendors can present their capabilities for RFP responses, I was little taken aback at the limited data available on the providers’ web sites and in many marketing and briefing packages.

There was quite a bit of information on certifications such as SAS70, CMMI levels and various ISO certifications. Some providers, including ACS, Ceridian, IBM, Logica and Wipro, specifically mentioned use of Six Sigma and Lean programs. One vendor listed the vague, “other quality assurance programs and tools.” Yes, technical certifications are valuable, and use of named quality programs like Six Sigma is good, but these may or may not indicate that quality is integrated across the business and reaches well beyond the IT and data centers.

Earlier in my career I was in Quality for many years, doing everything from facilitating quality teams to developing and delivering training and helping design and implement quality programs. I had big fun during the early days of the U.S. Baldrige Awards system for business, becoming an internal examiner for my company’s (AT&T) internal awards program, as well for preparation before official Baldrige Award examiner visits. So I know what an integrated quality system can do for customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and the bottom line business results that please shareholders.

The days of high promoting of quality programs has passed, and while information on quality does not need to lead in marketing materials, it should be available and easy to find. Clients and prospective buyers want to know the provider has a current record of meeting its SLA obligations and cares about customer satisfaction. Since HRO vendor decisions tend to be longer term commitments with substantial barriers to changing, buyers also want assurance the vendor will be able to deliver in the future.

Clients do not pay for vendor quality programs, even when certified and award-winning. Clients pay for business performance achieved through quality programs. Excellence in quality is an indicator that a service provider can reliably deliver on service, operational and compliance promises.

A comprehensive quality program has competitive advantages for both clients and the service provider – ensuring performance for clients and achieving performance objectives for the business – and should be driven by the service provider’s strategy and business objectives.

Today, major HRO providers have distributed service delivery networks, many global and often including a complex array of suppliers. The more the services and workflow is segmented, the more important quality becomes. Quality should have an equal focus on the internal business efficiency needed to achieve profitability and the ability to fuel future growth.

HRO vendors, let’s see more complete, easy to find quality program information. And please support the information with more than a list of programs and certifications; “beef” it up with  at least some lean protein tidbits which provide evidence that your programs are widespread and effective. Even more importantly, make sure your quality system is robust and is serving both your clients and your business as the fight continues to maintain and increase your margins to sustainable levels while retaining and adding satisfied clients.

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall

HRO Confidence Continues to Pick Up (some) Steam

April 22, 2010

Results from NelsonHall’s just-released quarterly HR Outsourcing Confidence Index – which gauges the health of the HRO industry via input from a wide range of HRO service providers – indicate the higher level of confidence we began seeing in Q3 2009 has continued into Q1 2010. 27 percent of providers are much more confident in the growth of their business over the next 12 months as compared to the previous 12 months, 40 percent are slightly more confident, and 33 percent are as confident. That we didn’t see any “less confident” responses is a good sign in and of itself!

Looking at relative revenue and pipeline growth in Q4 2009 as compared to Q4 2008, in ranked order by specific HRO processes on a 1 – 5 scale (with 5 being strong increase), providers stated:

RPO:  4.6 revenue growth; 4.4 pipeline growth

Payroll: 4.0 revenue growth; 4.0 pipeline growth

Multi-Process HRO: 3.8 revenue growth; 4.0 pipeline growth

Benefits administration: 3.5 revenue growth; 3.0 pipeline growth

Learning: 2.8 revenue growth; 3.0 pipeline growth

The providers also stated average HRO revenue growth was 16 percent in Q4 2009 compared to Q4 2008, and pipeline growth was up 40 percent in the same 12 month period. All these numbers – which are consistent with what my colleague Linda and I heard at NY HR Week earlier this month – indicate the HRO industry is picking up a bit of steam after being in a figurative bed-ridden state for the past two years.

Need more evidence of an HRO industry recovery? A resurgence of contracts signed in Q1 2010 – including KellyOCG’s multi-year RPO contract with Novartis Pharma France, NorthgateArinso’s managed payroll and hosted HR software contract with Johnson Service Group, Ochre House’s RPO contract with Agilent Technologies in EMEA, Ceridian’s contract with Fifth Third Processing Solutions for payroll and HR services, and Xafinity’s contract for pension administration services with Loganair – tell part of the story. And up quarterly earnings reports – such as Manpower’s 12.5 percent revenue increase in Q1 2010 as compared to Q1 2009, and SeatonCorp’s 26 percent increase in the same 12 month period – tell us even more.

All of this shows the HRO industry is gaining momentum, and there’s a brighter prospect for HRO in the year ahead. We may not be sprinting by the end of the year, but the cast is off, the walker is gone and we may be off crutches by December 31!

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall