HRchitect Celebrates Six Months of Success with Groundbreaking HR Technology Happy Hour WebMingle(TM)

July 7, 2009

WebMingle-Logo

 

 

 

 

 

HRchitect, the leader in HR systems strategic consulting and the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) and Talent Management systems consulting firm, has produced twenty-six successful HR Technology Happy Hour WebMingles™ since the live web radio program made its debut in December 2008.

The weekly WebMingle is designed to give HR professionals insight into the puzzling world of HR technology, talk about upcoming events in the HR industry and provide insightful interviews with people of the HR industry – who they are, what they do and why HR professionals should care. The WebMingle has become the most popular live weekly Internet show in the HR technology industry with thousands of listeners worldwide.

“A WebMingle is essentially a meeting over the web where we do some business, socialize and yes, we mingle over the web,” commented Matt Lafata, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for HRchitect and the WebMingle host. “The show has been tremendously successful due to the format and the guests. These aren’t boring, stuff interviews but insightful discussions with the people in our industry who make a difference through their innovative companies, products, and services. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know more about these guests who are making an impact on the lives of HR professionals.”

The HRchitect HR Technology Happy Hour WebMingle takes placed every Friday afternoon at 1pm Central Time. It is live where guests are encouraged to call in with questions or post questions via Twitter at #HRWebMingle. Past shows are archived on the HRchitect website and past guests have included:

Upcoming guests are listed on the website at HRWebMingle.com and include representatives from industry leading companies such as Emerald Software Group, AIRS, OutStart, Indeed, nowHIRE, Saba, Verifications Inc., ExponentHR, Avature, Jobs2Web, HodesIQ, Enwisen, MyStaffingPro, and more.

“Anyone who has an active interest in the HR technology industry should tune into the WebMingle,” added Tiffany Appleby, Director of Marketing for HRchitect and Production Manager for the WebMingle. “At HRchitect, we pride ourselves in producing innovative educational programs for the HR industry while adding some fun at the same time.  The WebMingles certainly tackle the serious issues facing HR professionals and organizations today while adding that ‘human’ element that is sometimes missing from HR.”

 HR professionals and industry experts who would like to be a guest on the WebMingle should contact Tiffany Appleby at tappleby@HRchitect.com for consideration.


The Suite Life of Integrated Talent Management Report – Available FREE for a Limited Time!

March 7, 2009

 

This report was released in May 2008 and was the first in HRchitect’s ongoing HCM Technology Reality Check series.  The main focus of The Suite Life is to provide readers with the real world perspective that has been gained through hundreds of software evaluation, selection, and implementation projects conducted by HRchitect consultants over the past decade. Also contained within the report are insightful summaries of the top ITM suite vendors in the industry.

 

While we have sold this report for $495, it can be yours for FREE simply by sending an email to info@HRchitect.com with your name, company and contact information and let us know what kind of HR technology related topic you would like to see covered in a future blog or webinar. It’s that easy! As we are in the early stages of the 2nd annual report, we wanted you to be able to reap the benefits of our hard work that culminated in the original report.
 
Each of the 21 vendors summarized in The Suite Life were asked to complete a detailed survey outlining their products’ capabilities, technology platform, global coverage, customer implementation, and major areas of differentiation.  These surveys, combined with reviews of each company’s website and collateral and insights from HRchitect resulted in the vendor summary section of the report.

The report delivers a concise overview of the ITM software market, including dynamics, enterprise and mid-market segment characteristics, fundamentals of the vendor landscape, and critical ITM decision drivers. The report concludes with recommendations to help firms negotiate the complicated ITM landscape, and provides specific summaries of the major ITM software vendors that will give prospective buyers a head start in evaluating “best fit” solutions for their organization.

 

Executive Summary

Integrated Talent Management (ITM) is a major focus for many organizations today, and one of the hottest development issues facing HCM software vendors. Organizations across the globe are concerned with finding enough skilled labor to accomplish their business objectives, given the potential of continuing talent shortages in critical skilled positions. Upcoming retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, changing demographics, and skills gaps due to education shortfalls all have the potential to dramatically impact an organization’s ability to attract, develop, and retain the right talent. In response, many firms are attempting to weave disparate HR processes and technologies into a comprehensive approach to maximizing workforce performance. For most firms this is a challenging, multi-year project that involves strategy development, process redesign, change management, and implementation of supporting technologies. Organizations face a bewildering array of technology solution providers who claim to deliver comprehensive ITM suites, and it is often difficult to separate vendor hype from the realities that customers experience as they try to implement these systems.

 

Market Dynamics

HRchitect defines Integrated Talent Management (ITM) as a comprehensive approach to maximizing the engagement, performance and effectiveness of the workforce by deploying integrated processes and enabling technologies. ITM technologies are a subset of HCM, and includes recruiting, onboarding, performance, learning, compensation, succession, career development, competency management, assessments, and workforce planning. The power of the ITM approach principally resides in how firms can design processes and supporting technologies to leverage the natural linkages between these functions to enhance overall workforce efficiency and effectiveness.

 

As market interest in ITM solutions has grown, technology providers have responded by attempting to broaden their functional footprint to encompass more discrete ITM functions. Vendors have also substantially increased their ITM marketing, sometimes in advance of the delivery of actual capabilities. There has been a great deal of merger and acquisition activity that has further confused customers and prospects. HRchitect believes that assessing two fundamental factors will help prospective buyers properly segment the ITM vendor community:

 

  • The vendor’s entry point into the ITM market (e.g., niche provider from one of the ITM functions, core HRMS platform vendor,  HR outsourcer)
  • The vendor’s approach to expanding their ITM footprint – organic development, acquisition, or some combination of the two

 

In addition, participants in the ITM market would do well to consider the following trends over the next few years (explained in detail in the full report):

 

·         The overall human capital management software market will continue to consolidate – driven by multiple vendor types (e.g., core HCM platform providers, ITM vendors, “aggregator” HCM firms, niche vendors) either seeking to expand their ITM coverage, or ceasing operations.

·         Marketing and development efforts around ITM suites will continue full force, as vendors seek to differentiate their functionality and approach to ITM. There is not yet a mature ITM vendor that has competitive offerings for each component, and this will not change for several years. HRchitect continues to see that the outcome of evaluation/selection projects depends heavily on the requirements of the functional area ranked as most critical (from either a timing or business-impact perspective) by the organization.

·         Niche and ITM suite vendors have generally increased their feature/function lead –  ERPs (e.g., Oracle, SAP, Lawson) and core HRMS platforms (e.g., Ultimate Software, NuView, Spectrum) will continue to invest in ITM, but will not close the gap with the ITM niche providers or ITM suite vendors – with one possible exception (see the full report to find out who).

·         Firms will continue to try to rationalize their application portfolio by implementing ITM suites and reduce integration issues – however, because the depth of functionality is rarely at the same level within the ITM suites, customers often are not yet willing to settle for the level of missing feature/function in critical ITM areas in exchange for integration.

·         The linkage between Performance, Learning and Succession is emerging as the most critical for ITM — the emergence of this cluster has some implications for the ITM market; those vendors that began with learning capabilities and have expanded into performance and succession will have a longer-term advantage due to the depth of integrated functionality.

·         Organizations are increasingly trying to satisfy multiple types of recruiting with a single solution, attempting to address professional, hourly and contingent requirements on a single platform.

·         The use of competency data to link ITM components will continue to grow.

·         Despite the marketing emphasis on feature/function, vendor service and support are key to long-term customer satisfaction – HRchitect believes that  the vendor community would do well to up the ante in their customer-support functions, and take the view that a satisfied customer base will ultimately increase profitability and viability over the long term.

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


Congratulations to our Mid-Market HRIS Beauty Pageant Winner – Spectrum!

February 21, 2009

 

On Friday, February 20, HRchitect held the seventh installation in our Beauty Pageant webinar series, this time focusing on mid-market HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems). Participants included leading vendors in the HRIS world – NuView Systems, PDS, Salary.com HRMS & Payroll, and Spectrum.

 

At the end of the webinar, which featured a short overview of the marketplace and definitions of what an HRIS and HRMS actually is, Spectrum was crowned the winner with Salary.com HRMS and Payroll the runner-up. HRchitect would like to thank the vendors for participating and the attendees for judging the contestants.

 

The HRchitect Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Tiffany Appleby, does an absolutely amazing job in helping to ensure these pageants run smoothly. It’s not an easy task coordinating every vendor’s presentation, setting up practice runs, and then running the program the day of the event. I know that I say this all the time but Tiffany is a tremendous asset and I couldn’t do all this without her.

 

The HRchitect beauty pageant series of webinars has quickly become the buzz of the industry since its debut in November 2008. This series of webinars covers a different area of HR technology with each event and is presented two times a month. The concept allows attendees to see presentations from up to six leading vendors in a fun and informative format where the audience votes on the winner at the conclusion.

 

Past Winners:

In November, iCIMS won the Talent Acquisitions Systems pageant and Cornerstone OnDemand won the Talent Management Systems pageant. Then in December, GeoLearning won the Learning Management Systems pageant. In January we had our Mid-Market Talent Acquisitions Systems pageant and iCIMS was crowned the winner and then our Onboarding pageant was held where SilkRoad was the winner. In addition to today’s HRIS webinar where Spectrum was crowned the winner, SumTotal Systems won the Performance Management pageant earlier this week.

 

The Beauty Pageants schedule continues in March as follows:

 

March 13 – 11am CST – Time & Attendance 
March 27 – 11am CST – Workforce Planning
April 10 – 11am CST – Compensation Management
April 17 – 11am CST – Succession Planning

 

In case you have missed any of our Beauty Pageants, you can view them here. The Beauty Pageants have become the buzz of the industry because of the way they provide exposure to a handful of leading vendors in a 90-minute fun and informative format. Watch this blog and our web site for updates on all of our upcoming Beauty Pageants and register today so you won’t be left puzzled by HR Technology!

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


Integrated Talent Management (ITM) Market Factors – Part 3, Niche and ITM Vendors vs. ERP Vendors

August 11, 2008

In the first two parts of this ITM Market Factors series, we covered the market factors of “Consolidation” and “Marketing”.

 

HRchitect believes that a number of other factors will impact the evaluation, selection and implementation of ITM applications over the next 12-36 months. In this blog we will cover Niche and ITM Vendors vs. ERP Vendors. We also reveal the one ERP vendor with the best shot at closing the talent management gap the fastest that we alluded to in our July 16, 2008 blog about Market Trend Predictions.

 

 

Niche and ITM suite vendors have generally increased their feature / function lead – ERPs (e.g., Oracle, SAP, Lawson, Workday) and core HRMS platforms (e.g., Ultimate Software, NuView, Spectrum) will continue to invest in integrated talent management, but will not close the gap with the integrated talent management niche providers or talent-management-system suites – with one possible exception (see below). To put this observation in context, it’s necessary to understand some basic market dynamics:

 

For the niche provider, ongoing innovation is key to survival – maintaining a 12-18 month feature/function lead over the ERP vendors is necessary to continue market momentum and get enough new deals to guarantee continued solvency. For each Human Capital Management functional area there are generally two to three ‘thriving’ niche vendors and another three to five ‘surviving’ providers that are nimble and agile enough to stay ahead of the ERPs.

 

The emergence of the ITM suite vendors has further confused prospective customersas these providers have generally achieved sufficient revenues and customer base to thrive, and have built a partner ‘ecosystem’ that rivals (in miniature) the ERPs. However, due to their niche heritage, most of these vendors have maintained the more agile development environments that enable them to maintain an innovation advantage.

 

The innovation gap varies by functional area, as the pace of innovation has slowed in more mature areas such as Recruiting and Learning Management, while Workforce Planning, Succession Management, and Career Planning remain quite volatile.

 

ERP vendors have much larger development organizations than either the niche vendors or full-suite providers; however, that resource is spread across a vast application portfolio. In addition, satisfying the broader customer bases of these providers makes it a real challenge to respond quickly to changes in market conditions.  ERP product managers are faced with the daunting task of determining just how much functionality (combined with the advantage of built-in integration) is enough to “tip the scales” for a representative slice of the market.

 

The historical “balance of innovation” was dramatically affected by Oracle’s purchase of PeopleSoft in early 2005. The development focus for Oracle’s HCM applications (not only PeopleSoft, but E-Business Suite as well) was fragmented for almost 18 months as Oracle tried to determine sales, marketing, and development strategies in the aftermath of Larry Ellison’s infamous “Fusion” announcement. Oracle’s internal thrashing provided an unprecedented opportunity for niche ITM vendors to extend their innovation lead, and also gave the larger players in the space the breathing room to consider expanding their own application footprint via organic development and/or acquisition.

 

It is clear that both Oracle and SAP continue to invest substantially in expanding their

ITM footprint, and both deliver some strong capabilities in a tightly integrated environment. However, their development organizations will not be able to close the existing 18-to-24 month lead the niche providers have in feature/function. The midmarket core HRMS platforms will continue to try to build enough ITM capabilities into market core HRMS platforms will continue to try to build enough ITM capabilities into their product line to meet the needs of less complex firms in that space; this functionality is generally not robust enough to compete with the ITM suites.

 

The one possible exception to this trend is Lawson Software, a longtime ERP vendor that focused on US healthcare, retail and professional services organizations in the late 1990s, but has now broadened into global and manufacturing firms with the Intentia merger in 2005. Over the past two years Lawson has substantially increased overall HCM development efforts, including significant improvements in recruiting, performance management, and compensation capabilities. This functionality has been packaged into a Strategic HR product line (announced with four charter customers in March 2008), along with an updated user experience that incorporates many “Web 2.0” collaboration and communication features. Although the product is new and has a limited number of customers, Lawson seems to be the lone ERP vendor that has made some headway against the ITM suite providers. 


Solving a piece of the puzzle… 
Matt Lafata, HRchitect


Prediction of Integrated Talent Management (ITM) Market Trends Over the Next Few Years

July 16, 2008


Of course nobody can predict the future (although many have tried) and so many factors in our industry and our economy can affect even the best of predictions. It’s always fun to look back at predictions from years ago and see how close, or how off the mark those predictions actually were. As a history buff, I love to look back on those kinds of things but I won’t bore you with all of that…  at least not at this point.

However, as leader in HR Systems Strategic Consulting and Talent Management Systems consulting, HRchitect feels like it has a pretty good grasp on where this marketplace is going. Below are eight predictions for the ITM Market…  

  • The overall human capital management software market will continue to consolidate – driven by multiple vendor types (e.g., core HCM platform providers, ITM vendors, “aggregator” HCM firms, niche vendors) either seeking to expand their ITM coverage, or ceasing operations.
  • Marketing and development efforts around ITM suites will continue full force, as vendors seek to differentiate their functionality and approach to ITM. There is not yet a mature ITM vendor that has competitive offerings for each component, and this will not change for several years. HRchitect continues to see the outcome of evaluation/selection projects depend heavily on the requirements of the functional area ranked as most critical (from either a timing or business-impact perspective) to the organization.
  • Niche and ITM suite vendors have increased their feature/function lead – ERPs (e.g., Oracle, SAP, Lawson) and core HRMS platforms (e.g., Ultimate Software, NuView, Spectrum) will continue to invest in ITM, but will not close the gap with the ITM niche providers or ITM suite vendors, with one possible exception. Can you guess who? It’s certainly not obvious, and probably not who you may be thinking it is. HRchitect explains more in its report, “The Suite Life of Integrated Talent Management” and will reveal the answer in a future blog.
  • Firms will continue to try to rationalize their application portfolio and reduce integration issues by implementing ITM suites – however, because the depth of functionality is rarely at the same level within the ITM suites, customers often are not yet willing to settle for the level of missing feature/function in critical ITM areas in exchange for integration.
  • The linkage between Performance, Learning, and Succession is increasing in importance for ITM – the emergence of this process ‘cluster’ has some implications for the ITM market, as those vendors that began with learning capabilities and have expanded into performance and succession may have a longer-term advantage due to the depth of integrated functionality.
  • Organizations are increasingly trying to satisfy multiple types of recruiting with a single solution, attempting to address professional, hourly and contingent requirements on a single platform.
  • Use of competency data to link ITM components will continue to grow.
  • Despite the marketing emphasis on features/functionality, vendor service and support are key to long-term customer satisfaction – HRchitect believes that the vendor community would do well to up the ante in their customer-support functions and take the view that a satisfied customer base will ultimately increase profitability and viability over the long term.

Solving a piece of the puzzle… 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect

 

 

 


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