OSV - when bots meet Workday

Profile picture for user brianssommer By Brian Sommer July 4, 2019
Summary:
Workday partner OneSource Virtual provided an analyst update meeting last week with a number of updates regarding their new robotics technology, the company’s growth rate of late and other factors.

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OneSource Virtual (OSV) is approximately 11 years old now and was founded shortly after ERP vendor Workday was created. To date, the company has approximately 700 customers, all of which, are Workday users. OneSource Virtual now adds approximately 11 new customers per month

OSV began as an implementation partner for Workday in the midmarket. One of its early value-added services was to pretest customer integrations with the Workday product line. Over time, the company has expanded its capabilities, its geographic reach, and has seen its attach rate extend into even larger customers.

OSV Today

This briefing was primarily focused on OSV’s new robotic automation and other related technologies which are marketed collectively under its RPaaS (robotic process as a service) name.

OSV’s new capabilities include:

  • OSV Atmosphere – OSV used a Salesforce product, force.com, to create an action-oriented dashboard for HR professionals. Specifically, this dashboard lets users know which Workday transactions are ready for processing.
  • TaxEx - an alternative to ADP Master Tax
  • W2Ex – for W-2 processing
  • INspect and INable – to cleanup customer data

These new capabilities complement OSV’s other solution components. The company has, through alliances and its own efforts, developed several capabilities that plug some gaps within the Workday HR product line. These include a very complete tax filing service, a global payroll network and other capabilities. (OSV goes to market with five service lines: HR services, financial services, application management services, consulting services and its new robotic process as a service.)

RPaaS

OSV’s RPaaS is new and undergoing testing at the moment. The company does have aggressive plans for expanding this capability for the near-term. Essentially, OSV will use robotic process automation technology (e.g., like that from its partner Automation Anywhere) to create bots to deal with common HR time sinks/productivity killers.

For example, OSV’s newest bots can help payroll managers mechanically validate the completeness and accuracy of timeslip data pre-payroll. These bots can spot missing or anomalous time data and even trigger automated follow-ups with the appropriate managers or workers. The goal of this type of bot technology is to dramatically reduce the time spent identifying errors, preparing emails and other follow-up actions.

Other bots can be developed to facilitate better benefits enrollment or benefits change actions. Compliance, continuing education reimbursement and other activities can also be candidates for this technology.

The reason OSV covered this with us is that many mid-market companies (OSV’s sweet spot) cannot afford to develop robotic process automation tools on their own. Pre-built, out-of-the-box solutions are very attractive to mid-market firms.

OSV is also developing something called a “digital worker”. A digital worker represents a combination of one or more bots with workflow and other technologies that can accomplish many of the tedious or repetitive tasks that a human would otherwise do. Digital workers may well become common in HR (and other) departments as companies expect their top line revenues to grow substantially while holding back-office headcount growth to flat or near flat levels. Digital workers will have to make up the slack for the most repetitive, unimaginative aspects of HR work.

What didn’t get covered...

This briefing was predominantly a technical briefing. And, for an analyst group, that can be sufficient sometimes. However, what we didn’t hear was anything along the lines of how OSV’s messaging is resonating and evolving with Workday’s customer base.

Workday, like Smashfly and Pymetrics (to name a few), appeals to software buyers in the innovative, early adopter and early majority market segments. These buyers have specific demographic and psychographic profiles that differ from their stodgy or low-cost oriented peers. I would have liked to have heard more as to what OSV sees its ideal customer profile (ICP) to be and how it intends to tap into the experiential aspect of this as part of its overall branding and messaging efforts. Moreover, I want to know how their branding aligns with Workday’s. The current branding feels like they’re selling things or services to cost conscious outsourcing buyers. As OSV moves into more value-added capabilities, like its RPaaS solutions, its branding must evolve, too.

My take

You can’t cover everything in an analyst meeting: we ask too many questions and they try to cover too many slides. That said, I did want to hear about their market uptake re: Workday Financials. All we got was a one liner about OSV now starting to use Workday’s Adaptive Insights product.

OSV’s move into robotics is a correct one and the use cases they shared with us are quite viable.

OSV is still very committed to Workday but someday I expect to hear them articulate a strategy to diversify some of that one vendor focus.  I’m not suggesting anything is amiss from either side; however, it’s often a good business policy to not put all of one’s eggs in the same basket.

I sense that in the 11-years OSV has been evolving, they’ve gone from an implementer to an outsourcer and are now in a new development stage. Today, OSV is in a new space that involves a newer kind of services firm. It’s now capable of serving larger, more global customers and can offer them more than a managed service at a low price. With this different set of solutions and value propositions, I believe OSV could adjust its market positioning to better match where they are today (not where they came from).

I’ll be looking for more insights from OSV at the HR Technology show in the Fall.