Welcome to this month’s update on HR Technology news from Australia, New Zealand and abroad.
We all know new versions of software sometimes contain bugs or features that while work as intended don’t meet the needs of the business process they were designed to support. According to David Williams over on ITWire, users of Sage MicrOpay’s Meridian product have a had rocky start to the financial year. Version 6 of Meridian was released in late May and had a series (three) of quick updates released so that users could pay their employees and ensure that payment summaries were available on time.
Still looking at not so positive news for payroll software vendors, updates on the two “failed” high profile payroll projects in Australia and New Zealand.
The tumultuous New Zealand Ministry of Education payroll project, Novapay, is now estimated to result in a $20 million loss for Talent2 over the life of the contract.
According to The Register The Queensland Health project will result in a $1 billion blow out to the project budget to ensure the issues are resolved. Also reported by The Register, IBM (successful tenderer) and Accenture (unsuccessful tenderer) might be launching legal action against each other over the whole tender process. Like many in the industry I will be watching for the results of the Commission of Inquiry due out in August. On a positive note it is good to see discussions around what are the lessons to be learned following the projects.
Lastly QuickBooks, the popular accounting package for Small to Medium, has recently launched an Application Programming Interface (API) enabling Australian developers to integrate with the cloud based QuickBooks Online product. Several local vendors have already taken advantage of the new API, including payroll vendors Web Payroll and KeyPay.
Stock Market Action
As part of its on going financial restructure Talent Management vendor Saba announced that it “entered into a new $25 million five-year credit facility with an affiliate controlled by Vector Capital”. The funds will be put towards general operating expenses along with growth opportunities.
Australian software supplier ComOps announce requested a trading halt during the month to announce the sale of the Korellus ERP business to Markinson Software Solutions Pty Ltd. The sale will allow ComOps to focus on workforce management solutions. With the entry of two international vendors and the dominate positions held by Kronos and RosterOn, competition in the workforce management software market in Australia looks to be heating up.
Analysts in the US are talking up the prospects of cloud vendor Workday. With Pacific Crest’s Brendan Barnicle giving them an Outperform rating and a $70 price target ahead of the much anticipated launch of their recruitment product in 2014. One of the reasons cited by Brendan for the strong rating was exiting of senior staff at both Taleo and SuccessFactors following the purchases by Oracle and SAP respectively. However I do not believe for a moment that either organisation is standing still and with the recent run of announcements by Oracle and SuccessFactor’s hiring of Thomas Otter both will still be significant players in the HR technology market place.
Finally market giant SAP posted their second quarter results which overall showed continued overall revenue growth at 10% with cloud based revenue increasing by 7%. At the same time the Asia Pacific Japan region saw software and cloud base subscriptions fall by 7%, “due to continued macroeconomic challenges”.
Talent Management vendor SilkRoad is seeing success in the New Zealand market with four new customers being announced – The University of Auckland, Environment Canterbury, TVNZ, and The Radio Network. Both The University of Auckland and The Radio Network have taken SilkRoad’s on boarding platform, RedCarpet.
Closer to home workforce management software vendor Riteq also announced four new customers – Freedom Fuels, Arline Handling Agency, UQ Sports and Sky News Australia.
Finally the investment that TechnologyOne has been making into their HR/Payroll platform seems to be paying off. HR/Payroll Product General Manager Paul MacRae was in the news saying they have picked up 30 new HR/Payroll customers over the last 12 months beating industry heavyweights such as SAP and Oracle. Accord to TechnologyOne Executive Chairman Adrian Di Marco:
HRP solutions represented a significant area of potential growth for the company, both within its existing customer base and with new customers.
With the continued growth of the contingent workforce in Australia, task based provider Airtasker has launched a partnership with CareerOne. Under the agreement tasks from the Airtakser platform will be integrated into the existing CareerOne job search platform.
LinkedIn also rolled out a change to its mobile platform now allowing users more abilities to search and connect while on the move.
PageUp People has formed a partnership with Futurestep who will be providing consulting solutions around the Pageup People Talent Management platform. This partnership should help Pageup People compete against larger organisations who retain HR consulting resources on staff to assist in the transformations that take place in organisations during the implementation of talent management software.
Finally, small can be good
Niche Performance Management vendor Small Improvements is helping many of Australia’s best places to work reinvent their performance management processes. The eight person Small Improvements team has 10% of the Top 50 Best Places to Work in Australia as clients and an impressive 20% of the top 10!
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