Posted tagged ‘SaaS’

HRO Today Forum Europe 2012 Demonstrates the Value of HRO

November 20, 2012

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

I attended HRO Today Forum Europe in Dublin, Ireland from November 13th to 15th to present my “State of the Learning BPO Marketplace” analysis and to introduce subsequent speakers of the learning track.This conference was different than those I’ve attended in the past as several of the sessions were interactive small group discussions. The small groups allowed us to learn from each other, and created energy and enthusiasm!

Interactive sessions I attended included:

  • The opening recruitment session where we identified top challenges and solutions
  • A leadership development program workshop to identify top challenges and solutions.

There were ~260 registered attendees (the same as in Amsterdam two years ago), of which 87% were in attendance throughout the three days including ~50 HR practitioners. Here are some of the highlights from the forum:

Opening remarks: Elliott Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise, opened the conference by sharing some enlightening data from a recent survey, primarily Europe centric:

  • Twice the percentage of providers think HRO is thriving compared to buyers
  • 77% of vendors think M&A is good for HRO compared to 55% of buyers.

Opening keynote: David Andrews, CEO of AOI and founder of Xchanging, presented “Reshaping the HR Business and Lessons Learned from Across Europe.” David began by talking about the history of HR BPO and how BP was the first company to sign a major HRO contract with Exult in 1998 to obtain 40% cost savings to remain competitive. David’s concluding remarks were that the outsourcing space in the U.K. needs to be bigger since ~$18bn is spent by the U.K. government on back-office processes and only ~$700m is outsourced.

Panel discussion: “State of the Market Debate” was hosted by David Andrews and participants included Accenture, IBM, Logica, NorthgateArinso, and Xchanging. Margaret Spink, Managing Director of HR Services at Xchanging, stated SaaS will be the most important phenomenon in the industry and the mid-market will be the biggest growth area. I agreed with Margaret’s mid-market comment, but spent the next day wondering about SaaS until the Xchanging hosted breakfast when Margaret stated that HRO is not just about technology – I couldn’t agree more! Technology is an enabler and I believe more focus should be on implementation, process, utilization, effectiveness, and achievement of desired outcomes.

General session: The conference concluded with a payroll presentation led by Julie Fernandez of ISG followed by a panel that included SD Worx, Ceridian, and CloudPay. The focus of Julie’s presentation and panel were on multi-country payroll beginning with the benefits that include:

  • Reduced number of payroll providers for better procurement pricing and contract terms
  • Consolidated interfaces to HR
  • Improved visibility and reporting of employee headcount and cost
  • Reduced compliance and financial risk
  • Harmonized payroll processes and improved governance.

Challenges of multi-country payroll include securing buy-in of all the countries and funding. Part of the challenge is the implication that all countries must fit one model using one provider. All three panelists use partners in countries where they are not able to provide service themselves.

Q&As from the multi-country payroll session included:

  • Q: How do you get internal finance to have confidence in the provider to prevent an extra layer of checking on vendor performance?
  • A: CloudPay stated that multi-country payroll reports into the client CFO and that one way to satisfy finance is for the vendor to do more self-audits and disclosure.

An interesting discussion also took place on “cloud” with the panel in agreement that the true meaning is you can do anything from anywhere for anything, but that the industry is not there yet due to the concern of knowing where data resides. The industry will, however, grow into acceptance.

In sum, it was a worthwhile conference for anyone interested in learning, networking, and meeting potential clients. I look forward to HRO Today Forum Europe 2013 in London, November 12th to 14th, expected to be the biggest event yet.

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HRO Yesterday and Today

October 29, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

NelsonHall was pleased to contribute to the HRO Today article Out of the Ashes for the 10th anniversary issue. 

Looking back ten years shows a picture of HR saddled with expensive and paper-heavy manual processes, even after the introduction of the big HR ERPs from PeopleSoft, SAP, and Lawson, providing impetus for an emerging HRO industry.

A New HRO Emerges…

The new HRO industry was full of great ideas and big plans and ready to grow well beyond payroll and benefits administration services. Unfortunately, intentions were a bit ahead of capabilities including the buyers, providers, and technology. Luckily for the industry, most clients and service providers fought through the issues, the losses, the changes in scope, and even changes in providers, to stay with HRO.

One of the biggest changes we have seen is the maturation of the HRO experience and enabling technologies. As the HRO experience has been developed, subject matter expertise has grown, global service delivery networks have been built, processes have become structured and standardized, and technology has advanced with more configuration and less customization.

…Goes Global…

HRO is now global in every sense of the word. Clients are based in every region of the world as are sales and service delivery. The highest revenues are still generated from the established markets like North America and Western Europe; the growth markets in Asia Pacific and Latin America are developing beyond service delivery (supply) for multinationals into internal markets for growing regional businesses (demand). For example, IBM is headquartered in the U.S. and Tata Consulting Services (TCS) is headquartered in India, both have major multi-county multi-process HRO clients in Latin America as well as a growing set of in-region service delivery centers.

… and Gets High Tech

Technology advancement is the great enabler of HRO services. The BPO industry as we know it would not be viable without global low-cost communications and the internet that allows work to be done anywhere at any time. Software advances bring not only better tools to clients, but improved workflow processing to HRO service providers, allowing work distribution to where it can be done most efficiently and effectively. Now an employee in the U.S. may call a service center on or nearshore with a complex issue that creates a tier 2 referral to a center of excellence in a third country using data and analysis derived from the data center in a fourth country.

Web-based services, mobile device access, and social media are all transforming the user experience and bringing more value at affordable prices to HRO. The creation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) services, HRO platform services that add BPO to SaaS, and the Cloud are bringing more options and affordability to all clients, especially to the mid-market.  

The HRO industry has grown in maturity, capability, and has an even greater future ahead. 

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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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Moorepay’s Roadmap to Success is in the Cloud

October 4, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Moorepay is a payroll and employment service provider in the U.K. with over 10,000 clients and it is a part of NorthgateArinso (NGA). Earlier this year I blogged about the launch of its new HR and payroll platform service for the small employer market in the U.K. This week, I spoke with Ann Fitzpatrick, Moorepay managing director, for an update.

In a brief recap, MoorepayHR is a cloud-based SaaS and BPO service built on NGA’s Preceda SaaS platform that is customized for the U.K. market and combined with Moorepay’s payroll and HR services such as employment law and health and safety advisory.

Cloud Opens the Small Employer Market

Most major HRO vendors do not attempt to reach the small employer market, which is just what Moorepay serves. Certainly small employers want professional and modern services, but until the rise of streamlined HRO platforms in the cloud, the costs were unaffordable for both clients and vendors. In the U.S., ADP has had such great success with Workforce Now, it launched a larger version called Vantage HCM. Now, employers in the U.K. can have the same level of service as larger companies at very affordable price points.

The Roadmap to Success

There are three levels of service, each with its own pricing openly displayed right on the company’s website. Payroll is available as an option with each of the service levels.  Approximately 40% of clients are currently adding payroll. In a bit of a nice surprise, ~80% of customers are choosing the highest level that comes with client services, making it a real BPO offering.

A 1Q 2013 launch is planned for the highest level of service, HR Advanced, which will add modules for talent management, recruiting, and remuneration. That will make the service more valuable for employers in the 100-400 range with more complex HR needs.

With its large base of payroll clients, Moorepay will later market the new system and services to its existing clients to allow conversion to the new system and added services.

Finally, Moorepay is receiving good support from the NGA Preceda team and they will work together to ensure the technology development roadmap is completed in the near future, including mobile and tablet access.

The Proof is in the Pudding

The new system has just reached its three-hundredth customer and all of these customers are new to Moorepay. The company now has a solid base of wins and users to move forward with its multi-stage approach to growth.

The small employer market is clearly hungry for such a service. Even before launch, there were hundreds of inquiries, and the number of inbound leads has rapidly increased. You know something is going well when customers are lining up at your door!

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TCS HRO Delivers Certainty

August 30, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

 NelsonHall’s HRO team really enjoys service provider briefings and we recently had one with Tata Consulting Services (TCS).  It was great to have a conversation with the TCS HRO team about their plans and activities. There was a lot to catch up on as they have been very active growing, adding clients, and expanding their global footprint for HRO services and delivery.

TSC offers the following HRO services:

  • Workforce administration
  • Payroll
  • Talent management
  • Resourcing
  • Benefits
  • Employee service center services.

The company is growing its set of global service centers which includes India, China, U.S., U.K., Hungry, Brazil, and Uruguay, its newest center. Supporting a total of ~500,000 employees in 27 languages, it offers options for onshore, nearshore, and offshore service delivery.

TSC HRO clients are spread globally with its largest client base in the U.S., followed by Asia Pacific, EMEA, and Latin America. Currently, the majority of its clients are large market with embedded ERPs to support, and like most MPHRO service providers, TSC supports multiple client ERPs including SAP and PeopleSoft/Oracle. It also supports regional ERPs like Adam and Revolution in Latin America and Chris 21 in Australia. TCS has added its own SAP-based global HR platform for SaaS and SaaS with BPO services.  The SaaS HCM option will support its fastest growing middle market segment, as well as be an option for larger clients ready to consolidate and change outdated systems “lock, stock, and barrel.” For example, for a market research company, TCS consolidated 50+ various HR systems onto its global HR platform across 48 countries in less than a year.  

I frequently comment on the need for buyers to align HRO use with a strategic HR plan that outlines what is needed for what you are doing today, as well what is needed to achieve your long-term objectives. TCS has a client maturity model for its services; it works with potential new clients to assess their current state and helps clients find the “fit and affordability” roadmap that is right for them. The process has been so successful that TCS is retrofitting the tool and assessment for existing clients as well.

A briefing is about the numbers, and it is also an opportunity to learn more about what makes a vendor distinctive and what its approach is to the HRO marketplace. For TCS, a global IT company based in India, one would expect to see an emphasis on technology solutions, IT-support, quality, process standardization, etc. and all that is there. In addition, however, TCS HRO has a focus on “delivering certainty,” not just correct transactions, but improved performance that builds long-term client relationships with the flexibility to meet changing business needs. Having established a solid base of services and customers from which to grow, we look forward to covering the next chapter in TCS’ success.

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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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