Automation as the Next Big Disruptor?

Another Human Resource Consultancy Places Its Bet on Workday

When the human resource consulting giant Mercer announced its planned acquisition of Jeitosa earlier this week, it joined two other HR consulting powerhouses, Aon Hewitt and Towers Watson, in offering Workday deployment services as part of its broader HR technology and transformation offerings. Buck Consulting, and its parent, Xerox, remain “platform agnostic” and are not currently planning to add human capital management (HCM) deployment services to their direct mix but will continue to leverage system integration partners.

According to Mercer, it will fully integrate 40 Jeitosa employees into its existing Workday practice, which is part of its talent business. “This is the next natural step of where our clients have been asking us to go,” said Steven Seykora, Mercer’s Workday practice leader. “We’ve been helping companies define their Workday solution, but we’ve been unable to implement it for them previously. This enables us to provide the end-to-end service our clients are looking for.”

Kim Seals, senior partner at Mercer, said “this acquisition is not a ‘me too’ move” but is about the “unique value Mercer can bring.” Positioned against traditional system integrator competitors, Mercer’s ability to provide deep HR expertise and talent strategy is certainly differentiating. Against its closer competitors, Aon and Towers, the difference may be in the eye of the beholder. All three offer HR strategy and transformation services to complement their Workday deployment and release management offerings. Aon Hewitt also provides administrative services for companies who want to outsource HR delivery services on Workday. Mercer is counting on its broad global footprint and its industry-leading job architecture framework to help win its share of an increasingly competitive market. Mercer also looks to leverage its robust client base to gain an early lead in Asia, where Workday is just beginning to gain favor.

Jeitosa has made a niche for itself as a reputable “lower cost” alternative to the big name system integrators, such as Accenture, Deloitte and IBM. It is unclear whether this advantage will persist as it is integrated into Mercer, but previous concerns around lack of bench strength and deep HR knowledge should be alleviated. Overall, we expect this acquisition to be positive as it brings truly complementary skillsets together.

With the three largest HR consultancies placing their bets on Workday, significant opportunity remains in serving clients who decide to go with SAP Successfactors or Oracle Cloud HCM. Jeitosa has deployment skills and experience beyond Workday, leaving the door open to serve Mercer clients who choose another HCM platform, but with lesser depth and breadth of experience than what it can offer with Workday. While we see many of the broader BPO providers aligning software-as-a-service deployment resources with SAP and Oracle as extensions of their existing enterprise resource planning capabilities, these practices are generally still maturing.

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About the author

Deb leads ISG’s Human Resources Technology practice, drawing upon extensive in shared services, outsourcing and HR management to help clients define and implement their HR technology and service delivery strategies. Deb helps enterprises assess the business case for Human Capital Management software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, understand the capabilities and experience of leading HR SaaS providers and integrators, and formulate and execute effective negotiation strategies for HR SaaS software and implementation. She has authored ISG’s annual survey on HR Technology and Service Delivery Trends since 2014. Deb has 29 years of experience and has been involved in more than 150 HR engagements across HR administration, payroll, benefits, talent acquisition and HR technologies.