Disclaimer: Navigo Research works with many different vendors across the Australian marketplace – we also provide our own frank opinions. This is NOT a paid advertorial nor should it be seen as an endorsement of a particular vendor.
Over the last few weeks I have been talking with Wajira Wanigasekera, Manager – PeoplesHR and Dinesh Saparamadu, CEO, to discuss their product and its recent entry into the Australian market.
The PeoplesHR story
PeoplesHR is the HR/Payroll offering from hSenid Business Solutions. With operations in the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, India they also have three R&D centers in Colombo and Sri Lanka.
hSenid Business Solutions was established in 1997 and has grown to over 350 employees and 600 clients across 30 countries, one of the most recent countries being Australia. Like many of the vendors servicing Australia, PeoplesHR is privately owned and still run by founder Dinesh Saparamadu.
PeoplesHR – their primary product – launched in Australia in 2011 and currently has 3 customers and 6 partners making them one of the newest players in the Australian marketplace. Given their relative newness in the market place we are yet to see them in our research.
PeoplesHR have 30% of their staff dedicated to R&D with approximately 60% in support and professional services and the remainder in sales and administration. While based in Sri Lanka they run a 7/24 hr customer help desk for support and utilise partners to undertake local implementations.
On-premise and SaaS versions
The product has been evolving over the last few years with biannual updates and a major product release annually. They released a SaaS/cloud based version of PeoplesHR just over a year ago, now being used by 30% of their customers.
PeoplesHR offers typical HRIS functionality such as employee master data management, organisation management, absence management, performance management, training and development, recruitment and core payroll.
The product is modular and future development is based on feedback from existing customers. With a development team of almost 100 people, PeoplesHR’s product development focuses on 3 core areas:
- Operational HR: payroll and master data
- Strategic HR: Performance management and Talent management
- Business Intelligence: Through dashboards and reporting
The current PeoplesHR platform has been built with cloud/SaaS delivery in mind and are using Amazon’s EC2 Web Services and hosted in Amazon’s newly opened Sydney data centre. From an architectural perspective while PeoplesHR has a single instance of the application running in EC2 each customer has their own database. According to Wajira they feel this provides customers with additional security and allows for easier restoration of a customer database in the event of a issue.
A key feature highlighted by Wajira was their recently launched Dashboard product offering pre-built metrics and KPI’s available for deployment to HR and managers. PeoplesHR has a comprehensive listing of common metrics across all functional areas.
Customers also have the ability to create their own dashboards using a Wizard based interface. General reporting is delivered through SAP Crystal Reports and customers can extend these in-house if they have suitable skills.
What’s coming for PeoplesHR
An aggressive product roadmap over the next 12 months will see the following modules released or upgraded:
|Organisation Hierarchy – Version 2||June 2013|
|Self Service – Version 2||June 2013|
|Android Mobile App||June 2013|
|Talent Management – Version 2||November 2013|
|On-boarding – Version 2||November 2013|
|Off-Boarding – Version 2||November 2013|
|Workflow Web Interface||November 2013|
|Travel & Itinerary Management||November 2013|
|Document & Content Management||November 2013|
|Data Integration via Excel – Version 2||November 2013|
It is great for the Australian marketplace to see the entry of a new vendor, especially one like PeoplesHR who are offering a multi-tenant SaaS product.
The comprehensive HR feature set provided by PeoplesHR means they are suitable for mid-sized organisations of up to 1 – 2,000 employees.
A core strength of the PeoplesHR product is the native support of multi-country configurations in a single database. Making them a great option for Australian organisations with international offices requiring a single source of HR and Payroll information.
At this stage PeoplesHR are still managing two different code-bases, On Premise and SaaS, this introduces architectural complexity to ensure features are across both platforms. They are currently working to reduce this complexity by moving to a single code base.
The architecture challenges faced by PeoplesHR are not uncommon for vendors moving their products into the cloud. Like a majority of their Australian peers, they will need to manage this transition while ensuring a high level of service and reliability for their customers.
It is positive to see all three of their Australian customers focusing on the implementation of payroll. As we all know Australian payroll is not the simplest of payroll environments. To assist with this PeoplesHR have partnered with several organisations for local payroll expertise, such as BusinessHub and i3Group.
PeoplesHR is a welcome entrant into the Australian market and is worth putting on your list if you’re looking for a cloud based HR system. With any new entrant we’d recommend organisations conduct local reference checks focusing on payroll completeness and satisfaction with the delivery of professional services.