Last week I attended one of NGA Human Resources‘s Advisor/Analyst briefings that are being run across Australia. NGA Human Resources are one of a small handful of vendors in Australia who actively work to ensure Advisors, Consultants and Analysts have a clear picture of what they are doing in the marketplace.
The morning opened with ANZ President Marjukka Maki-Hokkonen providing an overview of the global employment market place and NGA’s target segments. Marjukka’s presentation had an impressive amount of content based on internal NGA research.
This research demonstrated the benefit to the Australian arm – incorporating the acquisitions of Neller and TAPS – has as part of a much larger 8,500 global workforce. The end result, NGA has a very good understanding of their target market in Australia.
NGA Human Resources Business
Marjukka also took us through the key focuses of the NGA business. For those who might not remember NGA has grown through mergers/acquisitions both locally and internationally over the years.
The original Neller business was primarily focused around the Preceda product with the NorthgateArinso business focusing on payroll outsourcing. The combined focus is around three pillars – Payroll, Workforce Administration and Talent Administration Outsourcing on a global basis, all supported by technology such as Preceda or euHReka.
Globally NGA have formed strategic partnerships to cover functionality gaps in their product line. Key partners mentioned on the day were SAP/SuccessFactors, Workday, Oracle, WFS A Workforce Software Company and Kronos. Marjukka spoke in depth about their partnership with SAP/SuccessFactors and Workday highlighting several local wins over the last 12 months.
Released last year NGA Human Resources’ Payroll Exchange (PEX) features heavily in their ability to deliver global payroll services.
PEX allows the exchange of payroll data between various local payroll providers and a core HR system of record. Based on HR XML, from HR Open Standards, PEX is a good example of how using open standards vendors can work together to create innovative solutions.
One of the local projects delivered in the last 12 months with Workday featured PEX to transport data from a global Workday instance into Preceda to facilitate Australian payments for the global organisation.
Preceda Product Update
Sam Xydias, Director of Product Engineering, and John Weir, Preceda Product Manager, provided us a good update on the Preceda product offering. Readers may not be aware that the Preceda OnDemand product, in its current form, was introduced as a multi-tenanted SaaS based solution to Australian/New Zealand in 2001.
NGA are continuing to invest significantly more dollars into new features then ongoing support and maintenance. Some of the new features being worked on include enhanced mobile support, additional effective dating and broader talent capabilities. This is really good news for users of Preceda – the same cannot be said for all vendors in the marketplace.
In a move that we are seeing more and more vendors doing Preceda will soon be using JasperSoft to deliver business intelligence functionality. The dashboards currently provided in Preceda will be migrated to the JasperSoft environment.
John mentioned that many of the metrics being used in Preceda have come from research conducted by AHRI. This means the metrics should be based more around what is important to Australian business compared to US/International centric metrics.
I found it surprising there are still a handful of on premise Preceda customers, 23 to be exact. NGA are also seeing this number slowly reduce as the in premise infrastructure, which usually has multiple applications running on it) reaches end of life. In fact for the last few year there have been no new on premise installations with existing customers requesting to move to the OnDemand product. I would guess that in the next few years this number will be zero.
At the end of the session NGA Human Resources had one of their customers, Costa Group, talk about their experiences with NGA Human Resources. Of course it was very positive.
The Costa Group are Australia’s largest private producer, marketer and exporter of fruit and vegetables, with around 4,000 who peak at around 8,000 for the seasonal work. Their issues with HR Technology are fairly typical – they don’t have much and their Payroll system is the critical piece. Supported by NGA Costa have been rapidly deploying Preceda to various parts of their business, great to see agility in payroll deployments.
A large challenge faced by Costa during these deployments was not technical in nature. Instead it was a lack of maturity around data management. Being disciplined in the management of your people data is a critical first step to any successful HRIS program.
Overall it was a very good and informative morning. It would be good for more vendors to open up in the same manner.