Posted tagged ‘GP’

Highlights and Trends in the HRO Market for H1 2013: Part 1

August 7, 2013
Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

It’s hard to believe that H1 2013 is complete, which makes it an ideal time to recap highlights and trends from the HRO world this year.

Overall Activity

There was a healthy number of new contracts awarded across all HRO service lines in H1 2013. In addition, renewals and contract extensions signed were consistent with H1 2012. There was, however, an increase in activity with organizations changing their existing service provider, particularly within benefits administration and RPO.

For the last few years, attention has been on the mid-market (500-10k employees), among other things, as an area for growth within HRO. Quarter-over-quarter, mid-market activity has made strides relative to the large market. In fact, in H1 2013, the majority of activity reported was from the mid-market.

Beyond HRO, the number of HR software contracts signed globally was up substantially compared to H1 2012. For example, in the U.S., ADP was awarded a contract for its Vantage HCM platform, including HR, payroll, benefits and onboarding modules, by The Paradies Shops covering 4k employees. In the U.K., Ceridian gained traction with its automatic enrollment module with Asda for 175k employees and WH Smith for 16k employees.

Payroll

Despite being a mature service line, payroll outsourcing does not disappoint. The biggest news reported in H1 2013 would have to be ADP’s acquisition of Payroll S.A., which will expand its LATAM payroll capabilities to Chile, Argentina and Peru. ADP already had in-country services in Brazil, and had capabilities through GlobalView and Streamline to serve multinationals in other LATAM countries.

Other news within payroll includes Acrede opening an office in Singapore to expand its global payroll reach into Asia-Pacific. Growth opportunities in the region include Japan and South Asia-Pacific.

RPO

The RPO market continues to be a hot one to watch. Contracts were awarded in various countries, including the U.S., U.K. and China, and ~20% of contract activity in H1 2013 was from multi-country deals.

The level of M&A activity was consistent with H1 2012, but the level of RPO partnerships has dwindled. Nevertheless, RPO vendors were busy expanding service offerings and delivery capabilities, and launching new websites. Some examples include:

  • Randstad Sourceright launching an RPO integrated assessment program
  • Manpower U.S. launching a multi-channel delivery model
  • Ochre House launching a COE to drive innovation
  • Randstad Sourceright opening a shared services center in Budapest
  • Hays launching a new mobile website
  • AMN Healthcare launching a redesigned website.

Although technically within H2, it is timely to mention the Pinstripe and Ochre House merger.

Learning

After a rather long lull, the learning BPO market has shown many signs of improvement. New contracts include Raytheon and GM Korea for content development and training administration services, and delivery of sales and non-technical training.

GP continued its acquisition frenzy focused on strengthening and expanding its geographic footprint with Prospero Learning Solutions (Canada) and Lorien Engineering Solutions (U.K. and Poland). Not to mention Capita’s acquisition of KnowledgePool.

Stay tuned next week for more highlights and trends from H1 2013 that are specific to benefits administration and MPHRO. I’ll also share some insights on what to expect in H2 2013 based on NelsonHall’s recent HRO Confidence Index survey.

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Asia Pacific, Talent2, and HRO

June 15, 2012

Asia Pacific is the emerging market of the most interest to HRO service providers, especially RPO vendors. Most of the big names in HRO/RPO are building or expanding scale there to take advantage of the higher than average growth rates. ADP and NorthgateArinso are well-established in the region, and Futurestep, GP, Kenexa, ManpowerGroup, Mercer, and Towers Watson have all made recent acquisitions in China, Hong Kong, India, and Australia as the fastest way to get more feet on the ground in this expanding market.

Still considered an emerging market, some Asia Pacific countries are already mature including Australia and Japan, while others are truly experiencing the first rush of growth. Each country has different needs and challenges and HRO service providers need to bring a lot of service line experience and local knowledge to the table. While one industry needs a high volume of entry-level employees to meet demand, another, a bit further on the maturity scale, needs management-level employees with the experience to manage and continue growth of a more complex enterprise.

Newer entrants should not forget that there are regional providers already on the ground; one of the largest is Talent2, which covers the entire area and a bit beyond. Talent2 has continued its solid pace of contract wins across the Asia Pacific region. An example from the public sector is contractor procurement and management for 13 agencies of the Queensland government. In the private sector, contract wins included payroll, RPO, and learning, and cover Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and even the Middle East.

With ~1,700 employees, Talent2 supports 30 countries in 30 languages from its 46 offices and service centers located across 19 countries. With its scale and services it should be no surprise to find that Talent2 is, according to NelsonHall, the HRO leader in Asia Pacific.

Perhaps it is reasonable then that Talent2 has attracted interest from investors wanting to take it private. Morgan & Banks Investments (MBI) and Allegis Group have entered into an agreement to acquire the company, which will remain operationally as Talent2 if the deal is successful. MBI represents current major stakeholders and Allegis is already a Talent2 RPO partner. It will be interesting to see if privatization allows Talent2 to fuel even more growth in and outside of the Asia Pacific region.

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

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HRO – How the Garden Grows

April 29, 2011

Everything seems pretty moderate and modest in the garden of HRO so far this year. After the abundance in 2010, perhaps that is not so bad. Reasonably steady business gives service providers a breather and a chance to attend to growth opportunities by leveraging current capacities while cultivating new capabilities selectively.

In benefits outsourcing, the contract levels were good with some key wins and renewals. Fidelity continues its blossoming growth with major 5 year renewals for total retirement outsourcing contracts with HP and BP, and a new defined contributions contract with the University of Oklahoma. In the U.K., Mercer was awarded a 7 year defined benefits renewal by Saint-Gobain and it won a new pensions administration client, Loomis UK.

RPO saw a smaller crop of new awards, but is still growing, especially in North America and the U.K.  My colleague, Gary Bragar, will be heading off soon to the RPO Summit as a presenter and I look forward to hearing the latest views.

Smaller M&A and partnership activity remains perennial, continuing the pattern of growing footprints in terms of geography and specialized services. GP was the most active with the acquisitions of Ultra Training in the U.K.; RWD Technologies with offices in the U.S., U.K., and Colombia; and Communications Consulting in China. Manpower Group acquired Web Development Company in India to add to its IT recruiting in Asia Pacific. Finally, Raytheon Professional Services partnered with Baptist Health to increase training in healthcare systems.

With the blooming of HRO platform managed services, we have two trends. First is the belief that the time for HRO mid-market is finally here. Vendors are confident enough to invest in and launch new platform service offerings specifically for the mid-market. The second is growth into new fields beyond the base of payroll and HR administration systems. Examples of both trends:

  • Payroll – NorthgateArinso launched agoHRa for companies with up to 500 ee’s per country
  • Learning – IBM launched the mid-market Smart Business Learning Services and has launched Smart Business Learning Content Services
  • RPO – Mid-market grew from c. 20% of total revenue in 2008 to c. 33% in 2010
  • RPO – SourceRight Solutions launched RPO One for organizations with 100 – 5,000 employees, providing a dedicated service team, pre-configured ATS, and reporting and analytics.

Contract activity adds evidence that customers agree these services are desirable options. NorthgateArinso was awarded a 5 year managed payroll services and HR software contract by Historic Scotland utilizing ResourceLink Aurora. Historic Scotland is responsible for data entry, while NorthgateArinso will handle processing, pay runs, and produce electronic payslips. Edvantage Group won a 3 year managed learning services contract with Rieber & Son in Norway, which included Learning Gateway, Edvantage Group’s SaaS LMS, and e-learning courses. Edvantage Group also recently announced two contacts for its SaaS LMS. 

Learning has been slower to recover. Hopefully, 2011 will be the year for its bountiful harvest.

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall

Learning Services Acquisition Frenzy

March 17, 2011

Last year, we wrote quite a bit about all of the M&A activity in benefits administration including:

  • Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt completing its merger to become Towers Watson
  • ACS, a Xerox Company acquiring ExcellerateHRO
  • ADP acquiring Workscape
  • Aon acquiring Hewitt to become Aon Hewitt
  • Other acquisitions made by vendors including Mercer, Xafinity, and Capita.

Will learning be the next HR service area abundant in acquisitions?  Although we have seen learning services acquisitions in the past, including ACS acquiring Intellinex in 2006, and will likely continue to see more in the future, I don’t believe we will see any in learning that are equivalent in scale to the large benefits acquisitions.  However, if there was an award for the number of acquisitions in a short period of time, it would have to go to General Physics Corporation (GP). On March 10th, GP acquired RWD Technologies for $28m, its 8th acquisition in the past 18 months.  RWD is based in the U.S. near GP in Baltimore and has three additional U.S. locations as well as offices in the U.K. and Colombia.

GP got RWD at a bargain since RWD’s consulting revenues were $65m in 2010.  RWD was hit hard by the recession and GP came along at the right time with cash on hand.  As a result of the acquisition, GP inherits RWD’s IT learning expertise, where it had little prior experience.  The acquisition also strengthens GP in the petroleum, manufacturing, and automotive sectors.

Last month, GP acquired Communication Consulting to expand delivery of its training services in China.  GP’s other acquisitions were made in the U.S. and U.K. between September 2009 and December 2010.

GP’s 2010 revenues were $259.9m, an increase of 18.6% compared to 2009.  Growth was attributed to increased volumes from existing clients, new contract awards, and its acquisitions, which had the greatest impact.

Moving forward, what will happen?  Well for one thing, don’t count GP out from making future acquisitions.  GP still has ~$35m in revolving credit after the RWD deal and has stated that they will continue to seek acquisitions to grow globally.  However, with so many acquisitions, GP now faces the challenge of creating an integrated client experience and cross-selling into the strengths of these acquired companies to continue its rapid pace of growth.

It will be interesting to watch as things unfold this year.  In the meantime, we can finally put to rest the question “what’s happening with RWD”.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall