Navigo Blog

HR Technology Solution Architectures – Part 2 – Dual Platforms

Written by Peter

Peter is Navigo's founder and Managing Director. Peter is passionate about building and running businesses, finding solutions to business process problems and new trends in HR Technology.

November 24, 2014

A four part series looking at common solution architectures for an organisations HR Technology landscape.  

In part 1 we looked at “all in one” platforms”. Now in part 2 we explore a a dual platform layout.

A dual platform architecture is where there exists two HR solutions (typically Core HR/Payroll and a Talent Management solution) providing the majority of HR functionality.

Where functionality within these two solutions does not meet the needs of the organisation, best of breed applications fill the gaps.


Dual platforms usually evolve over time

Dual platform architectures often evolve and are not specifically designed – as HR shores up ageing HRIS platforms.

For example an organisation with a HRIS bought years ago for transactional HR (payroll and master data record keeping) then introduces a Talent Management Solution for performance management and recruiting.

In the Australian market, examples of this dual platform approach include Chris21 and Pageup, Alesco and Cornerstone, Empower and Silk Road.

The battle of the banjos

Challenges with dual platforms include integration and source of truth issues.

We’ve seen more then one organisation battle over which system is the master data source for position/establishment information as it resides both in the HRIS and TMS.

This can get further complicated when responsibility for payroll resides in finance.

Having disciplined HR Information Management policies (a blog post for another time) is essential so it’s clear which system is acting as master/slave for different pieces of information.

Should you keep your dual platforms?

Many organisations running dual platforms are not in a position to rip and replace (or perform open heart surgery as Jason Averbook describes it) their 5 year old HRIS and 2 year old TMS, so you need to make the most of your situation.

Evaluate the strengths of both vendor solutions to determine where you should invest in rolling out more functionality.  To keep data consistent between the two, clearly defined data ownership rules need to be established which then drives how integration works.

When two becomes one

We are seeing more organisations reviewing their legacy dual platform approach moving towards a single HR platform for the majority of their functionality.  Best of breed solutions are used to fill gaps in the unified platform.

Interestingly, the payroll function is starting to be considered a best of breed solution and being treated separately to core TMS/HRIS.

A dual platform approach may not look like the best solution, but at the beginning of our series we said there is no absolute right HR solution architecture – and we’ll cover factors to consider in our last post.

In our next post we’ll cover a best of breed approach to your HR Solutions architecture.


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