When is software just software?

I had the chance to attend ADP’s Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) event hosted for their National Accounts this week in Orlando. It is an annual event geared toward ADP’s larger clients. At the event ADP made a number of announcements as I...

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I had the chance to attend ADP’s Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) event hosted for their National Accounts this week in Orlando. It is an annual event geared toward ADP’s larger clients. At the event ADP made a number of announcements as I laid out here in a recent IDC link.

The one most pertinent here is the fact they’re working on a new SaaS-based HCM product from the ground up. Dubbed Vantage HCM, it will be out in 2012 but the company is already building up interest among its national accounts with some early adopters coming on later this year.

This begged the question of whether ADP is getting into the SaaS software (without services) market or whether in truth they already are. They have no intention of stepping away from the much larger services market any time soon (services is ten times software in HR) but they could enter the SaaS-only world if they chose to. Word is Ceridian is also rolling out a new HRMS which is also SaaS. NorthgateArinso offers euHReka on SAP technology, also SaaS, with a choice of outsourcing none, some, or much of HR processing. With all of this the lines are becoming very blurry.

The reality is that it is all one big continuum. If you can picture a child’s teeter-totter where the bar shifts from all in-house on one end or all outsourced on the other with the balance swinging back and forth by the weight of opting more of one or the other.

In the end, it’s all good for the HR buyer in that they get more choice but at the same time the buying decisions have become far more complex than they used to be. What are you seeing out there? Weigh in and let me know.

Posted by Lisa Rowan

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