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A Closer Look at the Modern Approach to Multi-Process HR Services

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This is the second of two articles on the multi-process HR BPS market. NelsonHall’s latest market analysis report on the multi-process HR BPS market recognizes two types of strategies adopted by vendors taking a modern approach to multi-process HR services: intelligent technologies and cloud-based HR services. Here, I take a quick look at both strategies.

Intelligent technologies

The intelligent technologies approach to multi-process HR services emphasizes the use of automation tools, AI, and advanced analytics to enhance multi-process HR BPS services. Services in scope within these deals tend to include workforce administration, payroll, and often administrative functions around talent management processes, as well as analytics, leveraging on-premise or hybrid technology arrangements.

The top drivers for buyers under the intelligent technologies approach include:

  • Improving process controls and driving efficiency
  • Streamlining HR processes through automation to reduce process duplication
  • Obtaining greater transparency and visibility through advanced analytics.

The biggest inhibitors and challenges with this approach include the following:

  • Often, organizations are looking to address larger transformational issues first, including moving to a cloud-based HCM platform, or at least consolidating the number of systems used
  • The challenge of demonstrating how intelligent technologies will generate cost savings over the life of the contract; this includes introducing continuous technological improvements that reduce costs beyond the initial year.

To succeed, suppliers must look to continuously develop intelligent technologies, especially machine learning, for different HR processes, and be able to deploy intelligent technologies for on-premise systems (since there will be a certain proportion of organizations that will delay the adoption of cloud platforms).

Cloud-based HR services

The cloud-based approach to multi-process HR services, on the other hand, emphasizes support around broader offerings, such as HR SaaS implementation and ongoing AMS services, in addition to multi-process HR BPS services. The service scope of these deals includes workforce administration and payroll, with an increasing focus on managed benefits, and can include deployment and/or ongoing release management support. The key distinction here is that the underlying technology is 100% cloud-based, including for core HR and payroll.  

Buyers of this approach are adopting it because they are seeking a technology transformation to a more manageable model and also lack the time, skills, or expertise to operate internally in a HR cloud environment.

Impediments to adopting this approach include a desire to ride out previous technology investments, and also the impression that cloud HR software is so intuitive that organizations can operate it internally as the ‘be-all and end-all’ solution. Other issues with the cloud-based HR services approach include ensuring integration with other HR systems.  

Under this approach, it is imperative for vendors to create fast and secure data sharing capabilities with third party applications for seamless integration, with an eye on incorporating intelligent technologies, particularly chatbots, in the near future.

While many providers tend to hone capability in one of these areas, ancillary developments are often made in the other due to competing market demands for cloud HR technology adoption and improved service quality.


Click here for the first article in this two part series: State of the Multi-Process HR Services Market

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