Sep 06 2021

Creating exceptional People Experience!

“If you can automate even 30 - 50% (of the manual work), that's a lot of time given back to people. You can reinvest that time into more strategic high value activities that do bring in return on the time spent. ”

by  Sriram Iyer, CEO, hrtech.sg

hrtech.sg's Tech Talks focuses on engaging with HR & HRTech Subject Matter Experts to unearth trends & insights in the realm of HR Technology.

In this edition, we talk to Amit Patel, General Manager, Unit4 Prosoft.


Amit is a seasoned Sales & General Management leader with a progressive career in the fields of SaaS enterprise software solutions and business applications sales, honed by working for global companies and software firms. He has a proven track record of success in strategy, sales transformation management and process enhancements, while establishing a culture and environment of high performance. At Unit4 Prosoft, he ensures the delivery of a high-quality customer experience with a focus on growth and revenue lines.


Here are some excerpts from the discussion with Amit:

  • Impact of the pandemic on tech adoption: In the start of 2018, we had probably 20% of our customers that were on SaaS (model), and the remaining were on-premise. We started this year with 60% SaaS and 40% on-premise. And our global strategy is to become a cloud-only vendor. So, by the by the start of 2022, we should only have about 5 or 10% of our customers remaining on-premise.


  • Role of HR in Digital Transformation: HR were (or had been) in the past overlooked in some of these large transformation projects. Now, given what we're seeing in our own customer base, HR is starting to become a lot more critical in the decision making…HR should certainly have a seat at the table to make sure that these decisions are aligned with the people strategy of the organization as well.


  • Technology to augment the HR function: I don't think organizations are even calculating the true cost of attrition of their people. They could redeploy some of the staff that are doing a lot of administrative work in HR by automating tasks through digitalization; and redeploying those people to think about (aspects such as) learning, development, succession planning, how do we keep people happy and engaged, and how do we keep them employed in our organization without the need for them to look elsewhere and leave the organization.


  • Why do organizations hesitate to invest in HR? There’s a younger generation of HR leaders that are coming through that have a lot of ideas but then can't get the buy-in from senior leadership because it (technology investment in HR) is not seen as a critical part of part of the organizational strategy…


  • Key steps for HRTech Implementation:
    • Organizations should look at small wins first. So, things like appraisal can be rolled out very quickly, and they can bring value back to the organization very quickly as well.
    • Fundamentally start with your data; don't try to do too much all at once; have an overall plan and a to-be state, and then work on building blocks to do that.
    • Gone are the days when organizations just want one solution that fits all. Now we see quite a lot of best-of-breed solutions in the market, and then integration to key systems becomes very important as well.
    • So, it's worth really doing research; talk to as many people as you can; talk to multiple vendors and talk to your peers in other HR departments in different organizations… that way you can build a solid business case around the whole strategy.


    • About Unit4 Prosoft V9: At the core of Unit4 Prosoft V9 is “employee experience”. V9 is cloud native and is built on the cloud, and the new user interface is geared more towards the employee. Having said that, the backend, which Prosoft is actually known for, will remain, just as powerful. We're, of course tidying up the UI for the administrative side as well, but the power of the backend (the configurability) will be there…. And a lot of the focus on what we're doing now is to really modernize the interface, while still maintaining the extremely strong backend that we have with Prosoft as well.


    • USP of Prosoft V9: I would say the intuitiveness (of the user interface); security and also the ability for us to make rapid changes that keep the keep the solution relevant and obviously future proofs the application as well.


    • How do you encourage HR teams to be more data driven and tech-savvy? They want to buy a new system from us, but they still want to do the same things that the old system does and do things manually. That is a big problem and a red flag for me… if you can automate even 30 - 50% (of the manual work), that's a lot of time given back to people. You can reinvest that time into more strategic high value activities that do bring in return on the time spent. So, you must change the way people think.


    • We obviously have a manpower planning part of our system. We’ve had more inquiries in the last 18 months than at any time previously. And that tells us that organizations are starting to take data or people analytics very, very seriously.


    • Advice for enterprises looking to embark on their Digital HR Journey:
      • One size doesn't fit. Always have that have that in your mind…. The key is that you don't go in thinking that one thing can solve all your problems.
      • Have a realistic plan in terms of the timeline…
      • Work with people who have done these types of integrations or digital transformations previously, as well, and have got (relevant) experience.
      • Planning is the absolute key. And you can't plan alone, right? It needs multiple people in the plans…

    Sriram Iyer is a Human Resources practitioner with around two decades of experience in the areas of HR Technology, Workforce Planning & Strategy, Talent Supply Chain, Employee Engagement, Talent Branding and Acquisition & Client Management. Based in Singapore since Jan 2012, he has strong exposure to the JAPAC region and has a knowledge of the cultural nuances of the region. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, he has also played leadership roles with NCS (Singtel Group Enterprise) and Nasdaq-listed Cognizant Technology Solutions in Singapore, running large scale talent initiatives across regions. He is a proud alumnus of National University of Singapore (Singapore) and Symbiosis Institute of International Business (India).

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