How do you get to be world class? How do you achieve maximum efficiency of delivery within allocated budget? How do you deliver superlative service to your employee population? How well do you sleep at night?
Most HR executives are bothered sufficiently by the first three questions that many nights the fourth question has a sad and predictable answer. In the large market, limited capital expenditure available to companies has led to HR outsourcing partnerships when the opportunity has been available, and many of these have provided upgraded technology solutions. In many cases, the recent economic stresses have left shared services and distributed insourced HR groups to rely on outdated technology, forced to soldier on without sufficient tech support from the software supplier. HRIS has to work with internal IT to build a series of patchwork solutions to meet the business needs. But this was all true of the large scale ERP client server-based solutions. HR SaaS or “software as a service” solutions offer new options and even full infrastructures.
In truth, SaaS is nothing new. It is software delivered over the web and accessed through any browser. You do not own the software or maintain it, making the cost of implementation very low. Solutions can even be available on mobile platforms like smart phones. Most talent management software, selection software, and performance software has been delivered in a SaaS model. However, new suite-based systems for talent management, performance management, e-learning or all of the above are being offered by companies such as Taleo, SuccessFactors, Kronos, Saba, Kenexa, and others. Workday and EurekaHR (a collaboration of NorthgateArinso and SAP) are offering a SaaS HRMS system. Oracle has acquired Netsuite, which claims the same offering but more oriented to the mid-market.
Speaking of the mid-market, how did they achieve world-class standards? Without the options of large companies from a budget perspective, they usually could not have the HRMS infrastructures of the large multinationals. HR SaaS has changed that competitive equation as well by making the same solutions available to mid-sized companies.
Technology, as we all expected, has become the great equalizer in the HR Suite.
Every HR executive has a unique perspective on how software will be used within the organization and a need for information about ongoing advances. Our mission is education, so we are taking two steps in this direction. First, we are holding the HR Demo Show in Las Vegas December 8 and 9, to run concurrently with our RPO Summit. It will allow users to actually see and experience software in a demo format, rather than only hear case studies about how software was applied in other companies or industries. This event will be attended by leading analysts and top HRIS and HR leaders from many industries (www.hrdemoshow.com). We are also announcing the formation of the HR SaaS Consortium, an educational community of industry, chaired by leading HR practitioners, providers, and analysts to build a library of knowledge and content for its participants. The inaugural meeting is at the HR Demo Show.
HR Software-as-a-Service has made HR services placeless, thus facilitating outsourcing and shared services. It has made HR more efficient. It has facilitated delivery of HR services to employees in remote locations. It is changing the paradigm and allowing companies of all sizes to achieve world-class operating performance. What is the next wave of innovation and what is the next opportunity? We’ll see you in Las Vegas.