WFM outsourcing is carried out in diverse manners. Certain organizations outsource only sub-functions such as forecasting or scheduling or MIS & analytics or real time monitoring. On the flip side, buyers have given out end-to-end activities. Then, there are buyers who still prefer the vendors to work on existing established tools such as IEX, Aspect, Blue Pumpkin etc. Others do not want to go through the extra burden of purchasing and maintaining these softwares and thus do not restrict the vendors giving them the liberty to work on their own managed tools.
Although every vendor offers his own version with different predictive algorithms, but the prediction is made on the basis of data.
Nucleus research note tilted ‘Technology Value Matrix 1H11: Workforce Management’ states the five market issues that service providers are challenged to keep pace with:
X Different mobile technologies: WFM vendors are required to support multiple, evolving smartphone and tablet technologies that provide manager and employee functionality (for example, time off requests or time card review) for everyday WFM operations.
X Changing usability expectations: Consumer familiarity with iPod ease of use is driving vendors to develop, or partner with third-party vendors, to provide functionality that incorporates device-specific user gestures and interactions across various smartphone and tablet devices.
X Analytics and reporting requirements: Savvy business analysts are looking for elegant ways to work with WFM data sets or cubes and examine them using inhouse analytics tools (and Crystal Reports is just not the answer anymore).
X Cloud computing acceptance: The benefits of cloud computing have become commonplace (thanks to applications like Salesforce.com and its AppExchange marketplace) and IT organizations are outsourcing as much administrative IT work as possible based on demands to focus on strategic initiatives.
X Changing niche, best-of-breed, and ERP based offerings: New acquisitions and third-party partnerships cause the WFM landscape to change on a weekly basis. What was once a niche scheduling application could now be part of a best-of-breed WFM or ERP suite of applications (for example, Kronos’s acquisition of PDSI).
Jill Goldstein, senior manager of HR Outsourcing at Accenture pointed, “Vendors need to continuously review emerging technology and market trends, updating our offerings, to maintain pace with client expectations – selected examples include •Leveraging SaaS/Cloud within the technology blueprint, •Embedding social media/networking within recruitment and learning services, and, •Focusing on emerging markets as key client geo priorities.”
Goldstein added, “That said, where vendors can truly drive value for their clients is in the area of workforce management -- leveraging workforce analytics provides organizations with improved decision making when it comes to workforce issues. It provides the ability to monitor the progress and effectiveness of HR programs to ensure they are optimizing resources and building the right workforce capabilities. It also offers greater visibility for helping control costs, increase employee productivity, manage compensation, improve retention and reduce voluntary turnover.”
“Workforce analytics allows companies to take a more fact-based approach to managing their workforce. It enables them to become more efficient and effective by providing the tools and insights that drive workforce performance, and keep talent and overall corporate strategies in step with the company’s business goals.”