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Quick Takes - OneSource Virtual, Sage, Fairsail, NGAHR

Brian Sommer Profile picture for user brianssommer August 5, 2015
Brian Sommer puts four mid-range vendors through their paces.

Always busy at work
Even though we're in the holiday season, it's a busy time for me and especially in the HR space. Vendors are not standing still and I caught up with four of them in the last couple of weeks.

OneSource Virtual – I’ve written a lot about this Dallas-based implementer of Workday HR solutions. While I call them an implementer, they’re a very successful BPaaS/BPO provider of HR solutions. OneSource has been especially successful in the mid-market (3000-5000 employee equivalents), and I know they’ve attracted the attention of some larger integrators, too.

I had a call this week with a couple of the OneSource executives (President Wesley Bryan and new CMO Brad Everett) to do a quick catch up. Key discussion points:

  • The company recently closed a $150 million round of venture money from Technology Crossover Ventures. My guess is that they are getting close to a liquidity event soon. To get this much of an investment, OneSource must be getting close to a unicorn valuation. These funds are being used to propel growth.
  • Where will the growth occur? You can expect OneSource to push more upmarket (10,000 – 25,000 employee equivalents) to even larger enterprises. The company will need to expand its global footprint to support those larger customers, The firm recently established an Irish office and has hired 300 people to service its operations in England and Ireland.
  • Another growth area will be to move beyond HR and offer Workday Financial application software solutions to customers. This offering represents a great cross-sell opportunity to existing clients as well as an opportunity to drive additional growth via net-new customers and especially those companies that may only be modernizing financial systems and processes but not HR.

Sage had their user conference this week in New Orleans. Derek du Preez did two pieces on the event: a day 1 wrap-up and a CEO interview. The company has a new CEO and a new solution (SageLife) that’s built on the Salesforce1 platform. While the conference was well-attended and more upbeat than some I’ve attended in recent years, the volume of material product announcements and long-term vision statements seemed thin.

In one executive Q&A, I pointed out that the company has had strategic relationships in the last few years with Microsoft, Amazon and, most recently, Salesforce. And then, in a Tuesday morning keynote, there was Microsoft’s CEO on video, talking about a deepening relationship between the two companies. So, will Sage pick one platform and standardize on it? The short answer is no. They’ll pick platforms by major product lines and customer needs.

I also wanted to know if Sage will use more of the new Azure capabilities, notably the cool infrastructure tools, that offer more than Azure SQL and cloud computing. Those new capabilities are being scooped up by 3-4 cloud ERP vendors that I know of include big data support, enhanced analytics, machine learning and more. There were no announcements or even whispers of such at the event. Even when I pressed executives on this, the reaction was more of one where they’re still investigating the new tools and the business case for the use of same.

Fairsail is expanding into North America. The San Francisco office has been established for some time. They've also created a North American headquarters in Orlando, Florida at the University of Central Florida’s Business Incubator in the Central Florida Research Park.

Heading things up for them in North America will be ex-SuccessFactors executive Swinda Salazar-Piquemal. She and I had a fast paced, short meeting at the Sage Summit. Swinda has a lot of experience in Latin America and should be able to help Fairsail expand its footprint across the Americas. I believe a short-term focus will be to ramp up U.S. and Canada sales/deal flow and build out of their direct sales organization. I’m sure I’ll see her again at Dreamforce in a few weeks. I may have more news then.

Fairsail is a cloud HR solution built on the Force1 platform. The company will likely target mid-market and some larger firms in the following verticals: financial services, high-tech and e-commerce.

NGAHR (nee NorthGate Arinso Human Resources) is a BPaaS/BPO provider with deep roots in the HR space. I had a chance to catch up quickly with NGA executive Michael Custers this week, and he brought me up to speed on some recent events.

The company’s managed payroll service is doing well in the market. In contrast to a payroll service bureau, the NGA service can assume the entire function for a client. So, functions like garnishment processing, are handled from start to finish by NGA’s personnel.

NGAHR also offers an HR-BPO solution based on Workday’s Payroll solution. I believe the offering is being targeted for firms in the 3000-15,000 employee equivalent space.

NGAHR also has the Payroll Exchange. This solution provides payroll capabilities in 145 countries. About a third of those countries are natively covered via NGA’s euHReka BPaaS. There are roughly eight key payroll platforms within this.

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