Posted tagged ‘mobile access’

WorkForce Software Fits with HRO

July 27, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

“Let’s elevate the discussion on workforce management.” That’s how Kevin Choksi, CEO of WorkForce Software, kicked off the company’s first analyst day. Workforce management, with time, attendance, and scheduling at its heart, is not the most exciting topic, even when it is designed on open systems, is fully configurable, addresses all employee types, and can be deployed globally. But when you have passion for your products, the heart can beat with the energy and excitement that keeps the three founders on board after 13 years and attracts top talent to take the company to the next level of growth.

The inflection point for the company was late 2010 when the SaaS version of the core product, EmpCenter, was introduced. New clients selecting the SaaS option quickly grew to 80% compared to the licensed on-premise or hosted system options. Revenue growth has also accelerated dramatically and Workforce Software has increased the average size of its clients, total users, and services in 30 countries.

The live demo showed how clients can use the flexible rules engine to self-define and update calculations for workforce policies, labor/union requirements, etc. The flexible Advanced Scheduler can create schedules based on a wide range of customer defined requirements and can even directly contact employees to fill in empty shift positions according to availability, skills, seniority rules, etc.  

Two additional modules, Absence Compliance Tracker and Fatigue Management, are available as standalone services or can be integrated with EmpCenter, adding to the differentiation of the workforce management up-and-comer that is in a market currently dominated by the much larger Kronos.

Absence Compliance Tracker supports leave intake, leave determination, and case management. The system provides a recommended leave determination and supporting rationale based on the employee’s eligibility; company policies; and for the U.S., the more than 300 state and federal leave laws and regulations, improving consistency of policy application and providing evidence of compliance.

Fatigue Management helps prevent scheduling fatigued employees, something that is already a requirement in industries such as nuclear power, transportation, oil and gas, pipelines, etc. It will also accommodate industry, labor/union, or company best practices, all of which can address compliance and safety needs.

Making money does cost money. The good news is that WorkForce Software has secured its first infusion of external capital to ensure it can keep up with growth and its development roadmap. Look for it to add staff, geographies, and service locations over the next couple of years as well as adding more BYOD (bring your own device) mobile access and enhanced services.

Expanding is always easier when you have friends, so the company is working to enlarge its partner network. Recent additions include SuccessFactors, Oracle Fusion, and Patersons. WorkForce Software would do well to increase its connections to the HRO vendor community too, as even major HRO vendors sometimes integrate or refer clients to best-of-breed preferred partners.

It was refreshing to spend time with a company not only succeeding, but accelerating in this economic environment. It made even my HRO analyst heart beat just a bit faster.

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The Rise of Smartphone Apps in Benefits Administration

November 16, 2011

Over the past year, HRO service providers have launched various smartphone apps. One of the first apps I became aware of was ADP’s RUN app for small business owners. It’s been interesting monitoring the progress of this app since its launch in October 2010. Within six months, it reached 100,000 users while only available for Apple devices. It has since been made available to the Android and RIM platforms, adding even more users.

Payroll seemed like an ideal place for HRO service providers to develop apps. ADP then took it one step further and launched the ADP Mobile Solutions app, which provides users with HR, payroll, and benefits information including retirement savings information such as current 401(k) allocations, distribution percentages, account balances, and rates of return.

Towers Watson also has an app, TWGlobal50. It provides HR and benefits professionals with various information including planned pay increases, changes in employee engagement levels, talent mobility interest rates, and changes in healthcare benefit costs.

Unlike payroll, apps within benefits administration can cover a broad range of topics such as Morneau Shepell’s My EAP app, which provides the following:

  • Health and wellness articles (from its workhealthlife.com website)
  • Access to confidential e-counseling
  • LifeSpeak On Demand video clips on a range of personal and work-related topics.

Other apps available from benefits administration providers allow users to access more personalized data. For example, Buck Consultants’ Benefits Genie Lite and Benefits Genie apps enable users to track a wide variety of health and insurance information for themselves or other family members including:

  • Allergy information
  • Prescription medications
  • Vaccinations
  • Operations
  • Family history
  • Physician contact information
  • Benefits co-payments and deductibles, etc.

Although not an app per se, Aon Hewitt is also enabling its client employees to access their personal health and retirement information from smartphones via secure websites, allowing users to make changes to their retirement plans and even enroll for benefits.

These more interactive personalized apps make it easy for employees to stay connected and engaged as more responsibility is being shifted on individuals to manage their own retirement savings and health. Also, with healthcare reform, we are likely to see apps expanding to new areas such as healthcare exchanges.

Mobile access from any device will quickly move from a differentiator to a requirement, including for HRO. The difficulty is the development time, costs, and security challenges for services that will not likely generate new revenues as much as protect revenues and support continued growth. Technology investment decisions will be critical in staying current and still managing needed margins.

Stay tuned.

Amy L. Gurchensky, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

 

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