Posted tagged ‘learning’

HRO Déjà Vu

April 11, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Each quarter, we publish the NelsonHall HR Outsourcing Confidence Index (HROCI) for our clients and the participating service providers. I like to share some of the highlights in my blog, but it can be hard to make fresh insights during times when the results are stable from quarter to quarter. When the confidence ratings are generally strong, as they are, then stability is pretty good news for HRO service providers.

Overall Confidence Remains Stable

The most recent HROCI shows a vendor confidence level of 157 for Q1 2013, where 100 represents unchanged confidence and higher scores indicate increased confidence. That is in line with the 156 from Q4 2012 and a bit up from the 153 one year ago. Confidence dipped mid-2012 with Q2 at 138 and Q3 at 140, which was not too surprising given the political and economic uncertainty we saw last year:

  • While the overall confidence score at 157 remains stable, those suppliers reporting slightly more or much more confidence increased 13% quarter over quarter
  • Increased confidence is reflective of solid pipelines of potential new sales and expectations for growth.

Growth Expectations Vary

Service lines: HR business process outsourcing service lines do not grow at the same rate. Some services like RPO and payroll remain steady performers, followed closely by benefits administration. The pipeline for benefits administration is looking especially strong. Expectations for multi-process HRO and learning remain about the same, which indicates continued slow growth.

Geography: Location matters in HRO and the patterns of growth also vary by region. The economic recovery is uneven in pace, readiness for HRO is uneven, and multi-country deals are a smaller part of the mix than in the recent past.

Overall, vendor confidence by geography has weakened with many regions showing some decline in confidence. North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America show the strongest numbers, but there can be significant variation country by country. As we have seen for some time, growth expectations for Europe and the Middle East remain dampened.

Industry: High-tech and retail look to be the optimistic growth industries with most sectors remaining within prior modest expectations for growth. Expectations remain low for federal government and defense.

Mostly Steady and Stable Ahead

It is good to see the balancing of demand for cost savings and process standardization continuing. Client pricing expectations may still be unrealistic as there are always those who want a quick 50% off along with some freebies thrown in at the same time.

One area to watch is the growing client interest in and adoption of platform-based services. Some buyers are specifying SaaS and cloud-based services in proposals. We need to help educate buyers on leaving some room for discovering the best solution fit for each client situation.

To end on a positive note, 79% of HRO suppliers believe that a net up-turn in decision-making is taking place. Let’s get out there and get those deals signed!

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Can HRO be Social, Smart, Quick, and Effective?

February 1, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Smarter Workforce and Smarter Commerce are the two major themes of this year’s conference for customers and business partners at IBM Connect 2013.

IBM is Messaging, Managing, and Delivering

First, I want to complement IBM on the clarity and alignment of its strategy with action. I have not seen this level of aligned organization and action across such a large and complex corporation before.

Building out under the Smarter Planet umbrella, IBM is bundling its many products and services, coordinating internal research and development, making targeted acquisitions, working across product and organization lines, and communicating clearly in its go-to-market campaigns. Given the great number of successful Smarter Workforce client case studies being presented, the proof points are already building to show business value can be delivered.

Smarter Workforce Supports Smarter Commerce

Smarter Workforce and Smarter Commerce are each separate service lines that can be coordinated to achieve greater business impact. Each is a combination of the IBM Platform for Social Business (social networking, social analytics, and social content) bundled with other new and existing products and services. Under the hood is a myriad of product lines making it work operationally, all tied together by messaging:

  • Smarter Workforce: Activate the workforce to improve productivity and unleash innovation
  • Smarter Commerce: Delight customers to increase loyalty, advocacy, and revenue.

Balance Individual Focus with Collective Value

Jonathon Ferrar, IBM vice president of Smarter Workforce, talked about the need to be social, smart, quick, and effective. Other words that were used a lot included community and relationships. Connecting communities of practice and building relationships, not for social intimacy, but for learning, leveraging, and leading to delighted customers and achieve business success.

Embedded throughout the social aspects of the services is a focus on the individual user that takes into account ease of use, mobile device access, points of need, and other behavioral aspects that are built in to increase collective business value creation.

Kenexa is Key to Smarter Workforce

The Kenexa acquisition closed in December 2012 and it is already being integrated into current offerings and it will be a key to plans for enhanced Smarter Workforce services as early as the second half of 2013:

  • Kenexa’s software platforms for recruiting and learning will be used for RPO and learning BPO services as well as integrated with the social business platform
  • Kenexa’s behavioral science expertise will be used to inform leadership, organizational, and talent management services and add to the analytics component.

IBM’s HRO services will be impacted by the changes. New options will be available to existing and new clients as talent management, learning, and RPO are brought together.

A lot of complexity remains to be managed, but it would be great to see IBM set a new high bar for making its services, client workforces, and HRO social, smart, quick, and effective!

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

Update on Shared Services and HRO

November 29, 2012

I am on the Human Resources Outsourcing Association (HROA) Publications and Practices Committee and for the November meeting our hot topic was an update on shared services and HRO.

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Value Delivered

All three guest speakers agreed that HR shared services organizations (SSO) remain one of the core transformation trends in HR. Colin Brennan, Aon Hewitt product management and strategy VP, sees that the movement to SSOs and HRO is focusing more on value delivered and less on pure cost.  Clients want to improve both the cost and quality of services like talent management, recruiting, and learning. Clients also want to measure and manage HR issues across the enterprise, whether it is various operating divisions or regions of the world.

Tech Talks

Maribeth Sivak, a principal consultant with ISG, also sees an uptick in interest in SSOs and HRO, but as a follow on to HR technology decisions.  Many companies are facing major and costly upgrades in core HR technology systems, which create the opportunity to consider consolidation into shared services including HRO. Cost is a key driver, of course, but so is a desire to improve the employee experience with mobile and social capabilities as well as improve HR with access to more HR analytics.

Major technology costs also open the door for considering new vendor-provided systems and even SaaS. As SaaS offerings move “up stack” there is and will be a call for BPO service support.

The Chicken or the Egg

What comes first, shared services or HRO? Some start with HRO and others create SSOs first. Either way, clients usually want to get their arms around what they can do first and then look to optimize and increase velocity, often ending up with a blend of both.

At KellyOCG, Kathleen Bienkowski, global shared services VP, sees some organizations that start with shared services continue to evolve into multi-functional general business services as they mature. KellyOCG has its own showcase that demonstrates many of the aspects of a mature SSO: delivery centers, transaction processing, recruitment sourcing, and a knowledge center for global mobility. The contact center is outsourced to another division, Kelly Connect.

What Doesn’t Change

Each of our speakers commented on the continued need to manage major change including:

  • A strong internal sponsor / champion to drive the change
  • A clear vision that articulates the benefits and defines the future state delivery model
  • Change management  in transition and implementation plans
  • A governance structure for performance and issues management.

As both shared services and HRO reach a level of maturity, they are reaching a level of acceptance with less perceived risk in the decision, value is balancing the focus on cost, and pent up technology needs will be opening the door to opportunity. All in all, a great update with plenty of good news!

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HR Tech Another Success: Part 2

October 17, 2012

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

In my blog earlier this week, I wrote about highlights from the new Outsourcing Track at HR Tech as well as the RPO meetings I attended. In related news, my fourth global RPO market analysis report was published on Monday.

In addition to walking through the exhibit hall and attending technology demonstrations, my additional meetings at HR Tech included:

  • Patersons: Its 2012 revenue growth is 70% YTD, driven by multi-country payroll. Safeguard World International has also reported similar success due to high growth for multi-country payroll services according to a business update two weeks ago.
  • IBM: The company is experiencing increased demand for its RPO and learning services and many of its key learning clients have renewed in 2012. New learning contracts include one in South Africa and pipeline activity includes a large global bank. The Kenexa acquisition will bring in new RPO and talent management opportunities that IBM will enhance with its social and analytics capabilities.
  • Hogan Assessments and SHL Assessments: Both companies provide personality assessments to predict work performance. SHL has also issued a talent management report with key findings showing that Eastern Europe ranks 1st in supplying IT and essential business skills; the U.S. ranks 23rd.
  • Secova: The benefits administration provider offers online enrollment, a 24/7 call center, eligibility verification, billing management, and leave management services that are delivered from their ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certified platforms. Services are provided from California, New Jersey, and Chennai.
  • Equifax Workforce Solutions: This was formerly operating as TALX, which rebranded as a result of its increased emphasis on the provision of workforce analytics and business intelligence to help clients improve their company’s performance.
  • HireVue: Offers a Digital Interview Platform that saves time, travel, and costs by allowing clients to create online interview guides with scientifically proven questions. Candidates then record answers via a webcam, which recruiting and hiring managers then view on demand, including from smart phones, to build digital talent pools.
  • JobVite: Provides a modular SaaS-based recruiting platform for applicant tracking, recruiter CRM, and sourcing talent.

Highlights from ADP include having ~30,000 clients for its cloud-based HCM platforms including:

  • ADP Workforce Now: Launched in October 2009, it supports clients with 50 – 1,000 employees. The majority of its 20k+ clients purchase the broader HCM suite.
  • ADP Vantage HCM:Piloted in October 2011 with general availability launched in June 2012, this platform, which targets employers with >1,000 employees, already has >30 clients. ADP has been adding ~5 – 6 new clients a month with a high percentage buying talent management, benefits (H&W), and time & attendance in addition to payroll. New wins include:
    • A national restaurant chain with ~24,000 employees
    • An employee healthcare staffing company with 15,000 employees
    • A retail chain with 4,500 employees.
  • ADP GlobalView: It now includes ADP Talent Management globally and has won several major clients including an electronics manufacturer with 85,000 employees in 29 countries including the Americas, EMEA, and APAC, which recently added the compensation module.
  • ADP Talent Management: It provides recruiting, performance, learning, compensation, and succession in 14 languages and 80 currencies for ~4,000 clients.
  • ADP Mobile Solutions: Deployed globally and offered in 12 languages, the app has ~30,000 clients and ~450,000 users.

See you all next year at HR Tech in Las Vegas October 7 – 9, 2013.

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IBM Accentuates its RPO and Talent Management Offering by Acquiring Kenexa

August 28, 2012

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

Although a bit smaller than the $1.9bn Oracle paid for Taleo (coincidentally at $46 per share as well) and the $3.4bn SAP paid for SuccessFactors, I believe that IBM’s acquisition of Kenexa, a cash transaction at $46 per share or ~$1.3bn and closing in Q4 2012, will have a much more immediate and larger impact than the aforementioned acquisitions.

Both Taleo and SuccessFactors were specifically acquired for their talent management (TM) technology. Beyond the strength of Kenexa’s technology, however, is the provision of TM services including:

  • Consulting
  • RPO
  • Employee engagement
  • Leadership development.

According to an IBM study conducted earlier this year, 71% of respondents cited “human capital” as the leading source of sustained economic value, above products and services innovation and significantly higher than technology. Kenexa, as a HCM and TM provider, will compliment IBM’s TM offering, which focuses on the full TM life cycle of attracting, developing, rewarding, and retaining talent. Specifically, IBM’s TM offering includes:

  • Recruiting
  • Learning
  • Performance management
  • Compensation
  • Succession management.

In addition to its multi-process HRO (MPHRO) offering, which includes TM, IBM also specializes in providing workforce strategy transformation, social technology, and analytics to predict and measure performance.

While RPO is part of IBM’s MPHRO offering, it also provides RPO on a standalone basis to GM. Kenexa’s RPO capabilities, however, will accelerate IBM’s RPO market share, making it one of the largest RPO providers globally with clients headquartered in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Kenexa also delivers RPO services in Latin America including South America in ~25% of its contracts.

Kenexa’s BrassRing technology is one of the two most widely used applicant tracking systems in RPO contracts. Kenexa also brings its Kenexa 2x Recruit platform, which in addition to recruiting and learning contains the following performance management modules:

  • Goal setting
  • Competencies
  • Performance appraisals
  • Compensation
  • Career development and pathing
  • Succession planning.

NelsonHall estimates that Kenexa has more than tripled the size of its RPO business since 2006 with brand name clients including Ford and multi-regional contracts with Baker Hughes and Eli Lilly.

IBM’s price of $46 per share is a 42% premium over Kenexa’s August 24th close, but it will be well worth it. IBM is getting much more than software technology; it is getting assets, including human talent that can make a HCM difference. IBM’s plan is to combine its approach to social business, analytics, and TM to transform business processes to create smarter workforces with measureable business results. Given Kenexa’s record of growth and IBM’s experience with integrating acquisitions, this sounds like a good plan and a great business opportunity for both companies.

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Spotlight on Infosys BPO and HRO: Growing, Growing, and Growing

August 16, 2012

Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Since its inception 10 years ago, Infosys has experienced great growth and success. Its fiscal 2012 BPO revenues were $495m, more than tripling since the $147m it reported in 2007. To support its growing client list over this period, Infosys has nearly doubled its headcount to more than 21k employees and has added 16 international centers to the two centers it had in 2007.

 The company provides a balanced mix of horizontals from finance and accounting to sourcing and procurement to customer service, and of course HR.

In addition to its multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO) offering, Infosys’ standalone HR BPO offerings include:

  • Payroll
  • RPO
  • Learning.

The company has a very strong HRO client base in North America, which accounts for 45%. The remainder of its HRO clients are fairly distributed between Asia Pacific (30%) and Europe (25%).

While Infosys’ HR technology offering is very strong, its HR BPO business has been steadily growing, and the company is aggressive with its target revenues for HRO over the next few years. With its planned growth initiatives, I believe it has a very good chance of meeting its targets due to its:

  • High client retention rate
  • Ability to expand existing contracts to grow with its clients
  • Healthy pipeline with the possibility of a multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO) win in the near future.

My overall impression of Infosys at their recent analyst day was that they are genuinely nice warm people who really listen and are transparent. All qualities which I highly admire, and apparently qualities that are valued by two of its existing clients that came to speak during the analyst day:

  • A North American headquartered banking and financial services company
  • A U.S. headquartered media company.

Other reasons why these clients selected Infosys for BPO services included:

  • Executive attention
  • Trust to do the right thing
  • A broad offering for future growth opportunities
  • Flexibility
  • Technology capabilities.

The lesson reinforced by these clients is that organizations are looking for service providers who listen and genuinely understand them so together, they can create a strong, lasting partnership where both companies prosper in their respective area of expertise.

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