Etcetera


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ALLIANCES

Peopleclick, a provider of workforce management technology, announced a strategic alliance with Bashen Consulting, a leading human resources consulting firm, specializing in Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) investigations for Fortune 500 companies. The agreement strengthens Peopleclick’s EEO and Affirmative Action Program compliance solution portfolio by providing exclusive access to LinkLine™, Bashen Consulting’s unique tool for EEO claims management. LinkLine™ gives both private and public employers an automated EEO claims management system that enables thorough, impartial, and confidential investigations as recommended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Using this webbased application, employers can effectively manage their EEO claims programs by centralizing and streamlining the entire complaint investigation process, while facilitating paperless communication and virtual case management. Discrimination claims pose significant risk to American employers conducting business nationally and internationally In 2002, the EEOC resolved over 95,000 cases and awarded monetary benefits of $310.5 million. LinkLine™ helps to mitigate this risk by providing employers with a cost-effective system that employees may use to submit claims. Thereafter, the claims can be investigated promptly and issues quickly resolved or defused, pursuant to the EEOC’s guidelines and the United States Supreme Court. LinkLine™ also provides a tracking and process reporting component that enables an employer to identify areas of concern within an organization so that preventative measures can be implemented to avert escalation. “We used our many years of EEO investigative experience to develop LinkLine™ as a tool to enhance compliance and reduce the time and expense previously necessary to manage claims effectively,” said Janet Bashen, chief executive officer for Bashen Consulting. “The alliance with Peopleclick provides us the opportunity to market our products and services as a component of Peopleclick’s total workforce management platform, which enables companies to staff strategically, manage risk, demonstrate good faith compliance efforts and control costs.”

DEALS

Ceridian, a provider of managed business solutions for human resource and employee effectiveness services, announced that the Hastings School District, geographically one of the largest school districts in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, has selected the company to provide Webenabled human resource solutions and administrative services that help reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and alleviate IT maintenance burdens. Under the terms of the agreement, Ceridian will provide Hastings School District with a full range of solutions, including Web-enabled HR/payroll and tax filing, time management, self-service and benefits administration (COBRA, FSA, and billing services). "It was really important for us to find solutions that worked well together, and Ceridian offered a suite of unified Webenabled services," said Mike Pieper, director of business affairs, Hastings Public Schools. "Ceridian's cost effective technology and administrative services not only afforded us the ability to stay within our budget while providing us with innovative new services that promise to save us time and manpower, but also provided us with a single-source provider enabling us to reduce the number of vendors from four to one."

SHPS, Inc., announced it has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to administer a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program for 1.8 million eligible federal employees, beginning in summer 2003. As a result of the contract, federal employees will utilize employee-funded accounts to pay for tax-deductible medical expenses that are not reimbursed by an FEHB program, or any other source, as well as dependent care expenses. By utilizing FSAs, federal employees will have more control over their overall health care spending and save money by making pre-tax contributions to an FSA. In awarding the contract to SHPS, OPM, which is responsible for developing new benefit programs for federal employees, is making a significant commitment to enhance the federal benefits and compensation program to make it more attractive to job seekers and to enhance retention of current employees. "Used wisely, FSAs are effective financial management tools that can stretch the disposable incomes of account holders and ensure that funds are available, when needed, to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses or the dependent care costs for a child or parent," said Kay Cole James, OPM agency director. “I am confident that federal employees will benefit from participation in the FSA program, and they, in turn, can be sure their accounts are being professionally managed by a company with long-time experience in administering participant reimbursement accounts." Under the program to be administered by SHPS, federal employees will contribute through payroll deduction to a health care FSA or dependent care FSA, or both. OPM will allow the IRS maximum allowable contributions of $3,000 per year to the health FSA and $5,000 per year to a dependent care FSA. Under current law, funds remaining in an FSA account at the end of a calendar year are forfeited. However, there is legislation currently in Congress that would permit annual rollovers of up to $500 for each established FSA account. SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a provider of e-learning courseware and reference ware for business and IT professionals, announced that Deutsche Post World Net, a world leader in logistics services, has launched the first phase of a multi-phase e-learning initiative that will ultimately encompass the company's 320,000 employees worldwide. The recently launched training focusing on project management and IT skills, is part of a two-year, multi- million dollar agreement recently signed by Deutsche Post World Net to deliver webbased courseware via SkillPort, SkillSoft's e-learning platform, as well as project leadership and worldwide consulting support. Headquartered in Bonn, Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN) is the parent company of DHL, Deutsche Post, Danzas, and Postbank. The company offers worldwide global mail, express delivery and logistics services, as well as comprehensive e-business solutions and a wide-range of financial services. One of the business drivers for the e-learning initiative was the need to provide more than 1,000 DPWN project managers with training required to achieve Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, awarded through the Project Management Institute. SkillSoft's courses are aligned with the Project Management Institute's Project Management Body of Knowledge, called PMBOK(TM). This training, along with courses covering a wide variety of IT skills, was launched in February. "We view e-learning as a corporate imperative and value driver of our business," said Joerg Staff, director of human resources management for DPWN. "It is the most efficient way to offer high-quality, consistent training to employees throughout the world -- a necessary factor for consistent business processes. Because SkillSoft courseware is available in multiple languages, our employees in Germany or France will get the same training as those in the United States. And, we can increase the amount of training made available while decreasing overall costs." Exult, Inc. (Nasdaq:EXLT - News), a provider of integrated Human Resources Business Process Outsourcing to Global 500 companies, announced that it will again expand its original ten-year Human Resource services agreement with International Paper to include Learning Administration services. Exult anticipates this service expansion, which is coterminous with the original agreement, will generate revenue of $85 million over the contract's term. Exult will provide IP with Training Administration, eLearning, call center support for training activities, Learning Management System (LMS) licensing, application and technical support, and third party management operations through the Exult Service Delivery Model(SM). The engagement is expected to increase efficiencies for International Paper by taking advantage of Exult's centralized administration and broad-based buying power. "This expansion reflects IP's continued focus on finding new ways to improve HR administrative processes and reduce costs," said Mark Azzarello, Director, HR Operations for International Paper. Exult's Learning solution will create a single point of contact to meet International Paper's U.S. demand for training services through Exult's established alliance with Docent. Docent provides the Learning Management System and Learning Content Management System.

M&As

RRI and Weichert Relocation announced a merger creating the 3rd Largest Relo Firm. James M. Weichert, founder and president of Weichert, Realtors and the Weichert family of companies, and Walter Hall, chairman and founder of Relocation Resources International (RRI), have jointly announced that RRI has reached an agreement in principle to merge with Weichert Relocation Company. The transaction, is subject to final approvals. The combined company will employ 550 colleagues, managing more than 25,000 relocating employees for approximately 400 clients. Headquartered in Morris Plains, N.J. the company plans to maintain service centers in Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Denver, Houston, London, Philadelphia and Wilton, Conn. A new office is scheduled to open this year in the Asia Pacific region. “There are numerous advantages to be realized by the combination of our two companies,” said Aram Minnetian, president of Weichert Relocation. “First, and foremost, the new company will be the third largest relocation management company, and, as a consequence of its scope of operations and competencies, is ideally positioned to HRO become the 'Preferred Relocation Management Company' to multi-national companies and Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO) firms. We firmly believe that the cultural, customer service, technology and financial synergies that will be achieved will allow us to realize our mission, which is to provide our clients with the best value in the relocation industry.”

ProBusiness and ADP recently announced that the stockholders approve a merger making ProBusiness a wholly owned subsidiary of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (NYSE: ADP). Approximately 70% of the total outstanding shares, or over 95% of the votes cast at the special meeting, were voted in favor of the merger. On January 6, 2003, ProBusiness and ADP announced that they had entered into a merger agreement providing for the acquisition of ProBusiness by ADP for $17.00 per common share in cash. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott- Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. As announced on February 14, 2003, the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (DOJ) requested additional information and documentary material in connection with its review of the proposed merger. The DOJ request resulted in an extension of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. ProBusiness and ADP are responding to the DOJ request.

RANKINGS

ACS (NYSE: ACS - News), a provider of business process and IT outsourcing solutions, announced that it has entered the ranks of the Fortune 500 for the first time. ACS debuted on the list in position 488, based upon its fiscal year ended June 30, 2002 revenue of $3.1 billion. Last year, ACS was listed in position 685 on the Fortune 1000 list.

PEOPLE

Accurate Background Inc., a privately held company specializing in pre-employment screening and wholesale data services, named Mike Berny as their new director of sales. He is the ninth person to join Accurate Background from other employment screening firms. Berny comes to Accurate Background with six years of professional experience in employment screening and human resources services. In his most recent position, Berny led the sales effort for HireRight Inc. of Irvine, Calif., where he was directly responsible for selling pre-employment screening services to several major corporations last year. "We look forward to Mike contributing his vast industry knowledge and proven success record," says Dave Dickerson, president/CEO of Accurate Background. "He brings an additional element of expertise to our skilled industry veterans and will help to fuel the success of this already fast-growing company." At Accurate Background, Berny will be responsible for overseeing the sales department in the pre-employment screening division, as well as be a key player in overall business development and strategic corporate initiatives and growth. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from California State University Fullerton.

Mellon Financial Corporation today announced that Larry Kurzner has joined Mellon as a director in the Human Resources Services sector, which includes Mellon HR Solutions, Buck Consultants and Mellon Investor Services. Kurzner will be based in Ridgefield Park, N.J., and focus on the enhancement of ongoing and new client relationships, in addition to efforts to gain additional recognition in the overall marketplace. Kurzner brings 12 years of industry expertise in sales and business development to Mellon. He joins the organization from Exult, an HR outsourcing services provider, where he served as the firm’s director of global process and rewards. He also was vice president of business development and strategic alliances at Authoria, overseeing business development, strategic partnering and international expansion efforts. Kurzner also headed outsourcing sales and marketing for Johnson & Higgins/KVI and served as a consultant on new technologies for The Segal Company. “We are delighted that Larry has joined our team,” noted James Aramanda, head of Mellon’s Human Resources Services sector. “Larry combines two critical talents -- a keen understanding of how technology is changing the HR function and a focus on sound customer relationship management.” Kurzner received a bachelor’s degree in international relations and political science from Clark University and a master’s degree in business administration from Northeastern University. Active in industry affairs, Kurzner is currently a Steering Committee member for the International Association for Human Resource Information Management’s Global Special Interest Group, which strives to facilitate the creation and exchange of information relating to global human resource information systems.

Peopleclick, the global provider of workforce management technology, today announced the appointment of Stephen A. Sasser to the role of president and chief executive officer. Sasser brings to Peopleclick more than 25 years of experience successfully leading high-performance, customer-centric technology organizations. With increased priority on customer success and market penetration, the appointment signals a new stage in Peopleclick’s evolution. “Steve Sasser will leverage his proven track record to execute Peopleclick’s vision, accelerate growth and unlock tremendous value for our customers, employees, strategic partners and investors,” said Ron Kupferman, chairman of the board of directors for Peopleclick. Sasser joins Peopleclick after serving as president and chief executive officer of Frontstep, Inc., which was recently acquired by manufacturing solutions provider Mapics. Prior to the acquisition, he guided the NASDAQ-listed Frontstep to $120 million in revenue and a leadership position within the ERP, CRM, and SCM and software space for the manufacturing industry. Sasser’s experience includes more than 25 years in management positions with four global software companies. Before joining Frontstep, he served as vice president of international operations for Trilogy Software. In addition, Sasser has held various executive management positions at Legent Corporation, Goal Systems International and UCCEL Corporation. EDS recently hired two new presidents in its Business Process Outsourcing organization. Matt Apple joins as new president of Finance and Accounting Services and Steve Bohannon appointed Service Line President of Human Resources Services

WEB SITE OF THE MONTH

ADP.com

It’s midnight on Sunday and your controller calls and says he needs an Oregon Form 150-211-055, the local school tax rate for Summit School District in Akron, Ohio, and an estimate on the cost of an unemployment claim for that VP who got fired Friday. Where do the pros go? American Payroll Association website? Akron’s home page? Nope. They get it all for free at ADP.com. Of course, ADP is the big dog of employer transaction service outsourcing, cutting over 30 million employees’ paychecks annually. HRO Today says check it out. ADP's site, quite simply, features more actionable resource data, tables, and regulatory compliance information for HRO professionals than any web address other than www.irs.gov. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if the IRS recently upgraded just to better compete with ADP.