BenefitsEmployee Engagement

Ranking The Top Enterprise HRO Providers

Who do you go to when you need a straight-up opinion about who are the top enterprise providers? HINT: the customer is always right.

by HROT Staff

One of the most important decisions any HR leader has to make in his or her organization’s transformation effort is who will serve as its partner through this journey? Selecting an enterprise HRO provider is never easy; it takes thorough due diligence, months if not years of vetting, and sometimes faith in the vendor to deliver the goods.

In HRO Today’s first ranking of enterprise HRO providers—a select group that has proven its capabilities through a number of global signings over the years—we set out to determine who has the best customer service in the business and the deepest playbook. In past years, we simply listed these providers but stayed away from what seemed to be a very arbitrary exercise on our part to rank them.

Despite the maturity of the enterprise market, many buyers remain unsure about who is a good fit for their culture, and they still look to peers for recommendations and best practices. That got us thinking: Why not ask the buyers themselves? Who knows better than the pioneers who blazed the first trail ?

The indices used to rank the providers are the result of a multi-step process. The editorial staff of HRO Today identified 13 service providers to be surveyed, and they were asked to solicit their customers to participate in the survey. In addition, utilizing our own database, we identified additional buyers to take part in the survey, as well as solicited members of the HR BPO Buyers Group and the HROA. Respondents were asked about services provided, scope and scale of services, and the quality and level of satisfaction with providers.

Buyers provided their e-mail addresses for verification, but their responses have been kept in strictest confidence. The information contained in the surveys was loaded into the HRO Today database and analyzed to determine scores for each provider for whom we had a statistically significant sample. For this survey, we received sufficient information to index the providers based on feedback from 72 verified customers. The individual rankings were determined based on point assignments and weighting of questions and a predetermined algorithm that calculates the overall score based on breadth of service, size of programs offered, and quality of services.

This algorithm varies by HR outsourcing line of business but produces an overall index for each. The rankings and the weighting are determined statistically, and all the feedback is from customers. The ratings system is brought to you by HRO Today but results are not influenced by our opinion. We only provide a methodology and do not claim that it is the only ratings program available.

When the final numbers were tallied, we discovered only 10 vendors could provide enough statistically significant data to be ranked. Three of the original 13 vendors—Wipro, TCS, and Infosys—were excluded as a result. This may be because these relative newcomers are just now getting a foothold in the marketplace and lack the track records that more established providers boast.

What the numbers also revealed is that buyers overall are satisfied with their outsourcing service provider, regardless of which one. Among the top 10, scores were within hairs of each other. This confirms several perceptions about the marketplace. All of the enterprise HRO providers are competently resourced, and in terms of quality of service, they are closely matched. In fact, a glance at the quality ranking showed that only four percentage points separated first-place Accenture from 10th-place ADP.

In the end, however, Accenture received the highest marks from its customers, placing first in the quality and size of program categories. IBM, fresh off its win of Bristol-Myers Squibb, placed at the top in the category of breadth of service.

Even if you’re not shopping for a provider, we hope our survey can offer up some insights into how customers feel about the current crop of vendors. Remember, each vendor has demonstrated proven competency in service delivery, so it might just come down to pricing and cultural fit. As always, we are invite your thoughts. Enjoy the reading.

Figure 1

1 Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. Offering broad capabilities across all industries and business functions, it employs 178,000 in 49 countries. The company generated net revenues of $19.7 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2007. Accenture serves global enterprises, as well as a growing list of mid-market HR organizations through its Accenture BPO Services. It is one of only two HRO service providers that has won a contract worth $1 billion, having secured Unilever as a customer in 2006. Recently, the company lost one of its key HRO leaders when Jeff Bizzack, who had led the fast-growing BPO Services unit, stepped down for personal reasons.
Key Clients in 2007: BT, Best Buy, Caja Madrid, Kimberly Clark, O2, Sandvik, Telecom Italia, Thomas Cook, U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Unilever, and Victorian State Government.
Outsourced Services Provided: Talent management services; recruitment; performance and progression; learning; compensation; employee services; employee life cycle management; benefits; payroll; efficiency-enablement services; vendor and supplier management; multichannel customer service; service wrapper (operations and service management, account management, application/infrastructure management); strategic alignment services; business interlock services; and information management services (reporting and analytics).
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics: Increased visibility and control of total HR cost; improved workforce performance and productivity; improved customer satisfaction; and enhanced business performance.

2 ExcellerateHRO
ExcellerateHRO is a global, full-service provider with a flexible portfolio of services for mid-size and large organizations around the world. As a joint venture between IT giant EDS and consulting firm Towers Perrin, the company has large clients in the U.K. public sector market, as well as household names such as 7-11 and others. It serves 34 million participants from more than 400 client organizations. With the sale of EDS to HP pending, it’s unclear how the transition will affect the HRO business in the near future.
Key Clients in 2007: CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce), SVPA (Service Personnel and Veterans Agency-U.K.), and BP Canada.
Outsourced Services Provided: Absence management, benefits administration, business intelligence, compensation management, payroll, recruiting and staffing, workforce administration, workforce development, and business intelligence.
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics: N/A.

3 NorthgateArinso
NorthgateArinso is a global HR software and services provider catering to employers of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies and many public-sector organizations. With 4,500 employees, the company offers strategic business consulting, best-of-breed software solutions, outsourcing services, and systems integration. It operates offices in 31 countries on five continents. The company was created when Northgate IS acquired ARINSO last year, and the newly formed company was then purchased by private equity KKR.
Key Clients in 2007: Cadbury Schweppes, Solvay, and Scotiabank.
Outsourced Services Provided: System support include application maintenance, systems purchase and upgrade, and systems management and maintenance; HR administration includes data input, entries, and termination, employee contact, and validate master data; time management include absences/ presences, overtime management, and shift maintenance; payroll management covers payroll execution and validation, payments, payroll reports, legal reporting, and remittance payments; talent acquisition and development encompasses recruitment administration, training. and education management. employee development. and performance management.
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics: Efficiency, compliance, staff expertise, economies of scale, and cost savings.

IBM serves more than 1.4 million employees for more than 20 clients worldwide in 100 countries and delivers services in 30-plus languages. Key services include HR administration, talent management such as recruiting, and employee productivity management. IBM signed some of the earliest HRO practitioners, including a landmark contract with Procter & Gamble.
Key Clients in 2007: P&G, Unilever, Cigna, Kodak, CVS, Nestle, Lenovo, Sanyo, Avon, Russell Investment, Kyobo Life, Omron, and American Airlines.
Outsourced Services Provided: HR administration includes payroll, benefits, contact-center management, travel and relocation expenses, and expatriate services; talent management includes recruiting, learning, performance management, compensation, and succession management; employee productivity management includes total absence management (integrated with disability and workers’ compensation) and health/life management (healthcare and disease management).
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics: Number of employees served, number of payroll payments provided timely and accurately, number of calls resolved within the first call to the center, number of calls answered timely, number of cases responded to accurately and timely, number of expense reports processed accurately and timely, accuracy of employee data, complete and timely recruiting, and accurate and timely compensation plans.

5 Fidelity HR Services
Fidelity HR Services is a business unit of Fidelity Investments and offers a complete portfolio of services ranging from recruitment to retirement. Until this year, the business has quietly catered to existing customers but shied away from aggressively pursuing new business. Recent changes, including the addition of industry veteran Pat Goepel as president of the business unit, signal the company’s intention to pursue deals in all three segments: enterprise, mid-market, and small market.
Key Clients in 2007: ABB Inc. and The Hartford.
Outsourced Services Provided: Talent management services include recruiting and staffing, learning and development, and performance and rewards; benefits services include defined contribution, defined benefit, health and wellness, health management, stock plan services, and benefits consulting; workforce administration covers HR administration, payroll administration, and time and attendance.
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics: Annual online interactions (42.6 million), annual assisted service interactions (3.7 million), and individuals serviced annually (2.53 million).

6 Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.
ACS is a global service company that provides fully diversified, end-to-end business process outsourcing (BPO) and ITO solutions. The company has a broad portfolio of outsourcing businesses, including F&A solutions. It boasts a unique approach to serving customers, touting the domain expertise of each team. In addition to a comprehensive HRO offering, it has also developed strong learning and benefits offerings.
Key Clients in 2007: Ameren and GlaxoSmithKline.
Outsourced Services Provided: Outsourcing services include employee development, employee service center, global mobility, HRIS technology deployment and support, payroll, performance management, recruiting and staffing, succession planning, and workforce administration; total benefits outsourcing includes defined benefit, defined contribution, and health and welfare administration; learning services covers content management and development, learning administration, learning design, and supporting technology suite.
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics: HR services for more than four million participants in 80 countries in 20 languages. ACS provides HR solutions to more than 2,000 mid-sized to large, private and public sector companies across the globe.

7 Convergys
As a service provider known for landing the big deals, Convergys is the only vendor with two billion-dollar deals: DuPont and Johnson & Johnson. The Cincinnati-based company was also instrumental in signing some large public sector contracts with the states of Texas and Florida. Recently, the company made a key personnel shift, moving John Gibson to head up its HRO business and naming his predecessor, Karen Bowman, corporate counsel. In addition, it renamed the business from Employee Care to HR Management.
Key clients in 2007: Johnson & Johnson, Whirlpool, and DuPont.
Outsourced Services Provided: Recruiting and resourcing, compensation, HR administration, payroll, benefits, organizational development, learning, workforce intelligence, and enabling services.
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics: N/A

8 Hewitt Associates
With more than 30 enterprise HRO clients, Hewitt is the acknowledged market leader. In addition, it’s also a giant among benefits service providers with both administration capabilities and consulting expertise. The company’s prominence in the HRO segment came about from its acquisition of Exult in 2004, but in recent years it has struggled with profitability in this business. Nevertheless, Hewitt is expected to renew a number of its HRO clients over the next few years, having brought in new leadership and stabilized its service delivery.
Key Clients in 2007: Marriott, Duke Energy, Sun Microsystems, and Rogers Communications.
Outsourced Services Provided: Benefits, payroll, workforce administration, employee/manager self-service, compensation administration, performance management, learning administration, leave administration, global mobility, recruiting, succession planning, and third-party supplier management.
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics:Average speed to answer, first contact resolution, case is resolved within five business days, employee/participant/manager satisfaction, availability of critical applications, timeliness and accuracy of interfaces, payroll accuracy, payroll timeliness, time to fill (recruiting), and call-center escalations.

9 Ceridian
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Ceridian is a global provider offering a broad range of solutions. More than 116,000 clients with 25 million employees worldwide use Ceridian to manage HR services. The company’s clients include some large enterprise organization, but most are considered mid-market companies, and more than 50 percent of its HRO clients are spin-offs.
Key Clients in 2007: PHH, NXP Semiconductors, JohnsonDiversey, Inc., Spectra Energy, The Hanover, and Hercules.
Outsourced Services Provided: HR, payroll and benefits administration, time and attendance, talent acquisition (traditional or RPO), talent management, regulatory compliance/administration, health and productivity (EAP, work-life, leave administration, health and wellness), learning management, knowledge base, and service center.
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics: For performance—payroll accuracy, call-center service level, and quick TAT; for benchmarking—amount of effort reduction for stay-back team, reducing health and medical costs, and reducing recruiting costs.

10 ADP Employer Services
One of the most successful enterprise HRO providers, payroll giant ADP serves enterprise as well as mid-market and small clients. While many of its competitors have struggled with profitability, ADP is generally recognized for its ability to offer a one-to-many service model, which is more standardized than competing solutions on the market. While larger enterprises have generally sought out providers who offer flexible programs, ADP has been able to win contracts with very large employers such as Sodexo and Ikea.
Key Clients in 2007: Philadelphia Media, Broadridge, Acuity, CreditSuisse, Synovus, Carmax, EMC, IHG, Sodexo, Rhodia, and Ikea.
Outsourced Services Provided: Compensation, payroll/tax services/time and attendance, benefits, performance management, HRIT and HRIS, employee/manager self-service, workforce analytics/management reporting, recruiting, scheduling/absence/leave management, policy and governmental compliance, and shared services/call center support.
Regions Served: Global.
Most Important Metrics: Carrier enrollment reporting timeliness, employee service center, average speed of answer, call abandon rate, case management and timeliness, system availability, HRIS system availability, and time and labor management system availability.

Tags: Benefits, Engaged Workforce, HRO Today Global

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