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HCM marketplace spurs choice and eases integration of applications

In moves that grow sales, empower users and expedite implementations, an increasing number of HCM vendors are offering cloud-based stores for a wide variety of HR applications.

Tracy Hannuksela found an HCM marketplace that simplifies product search and selection and helps her find a product that is secure and that can automatically integrate with her core HR system.

Hannuksela, HR director at Landau Associates, said it's easy to download from the ADP Marketplace, a cloud-based application store developed exclusively for the human capital management (HCM) market that offers products by ADP and certified partners.

"It is a lot of work to look for vendors and vet the vendors," she said. "This is simple. It cuts so much time and effort out of it."

The ADP Marketplace, launched in October 2014, includes 173 applications that can be downloaded by employers and comes already securely integrated with a company's ADP system of record. Since the ADP Marketplace launched, there have been around 2,500 app transactions.

Vendors launch HCM marketplaces

But ADP isn't alone, as the popularity of HCM marketplaces increases.

SAP announced the SAP SuccessFactors App Center in August and went live about two weeks ago. The SAP center has 137 applications.

Cornerstone OnDemand announced the launch of the Edge Marketplace in May and FinancialForce recently went live with the Everyday HCM Marketplace.

The Oracle Cloud Marketplace was started in 2013, while Workday says its software partners deliver "seamless integrations" for businesses.

The stores are only for the customers of the vendors that operate them. An HCM marketplace is also a way for vendors to team up with each other to increase sales and give customers more choice and easier access to tools for a variety of functions including onboarding, background screening, recruiting, employee engagement, travel and expense, and talent management.

Users in the driver's seat

Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president of Constellation Research, said the marketplaces speed up implementations of products and put the users in the driver's seat.

"Vendor-built and supported integration is the big advantage," Mueller said, because they provide for transactions with no friction.

Landau Associates, a geotechnical and environmental engineering consulting firm based in Edmonds, Wash., purchased Core ID Services from the ADP Marketplace for its employees and also obtained a free application that integrated PayScale Benchmark, the company's online salary survey tool, with comparable data in its ADP system. Core ID Services offers identity theft and recovery services.

Landau Associates, which has about 100 employees, uses ADP Workforce Now for core HR, payroll and benefits.

Hannuksela says the Core ID integration with ADP is fantastic and she has a lot of faith in companies that ADP chooses for the HCM marketplace.

The application came fully integrated with the ADP HR information system, she said.

"You log into the marketplace. You can see all of your employees on that. You assign them the Core ID product. It sends them out an email. They click on it. It links their information from ADP in a secure manner to Core ID's database. Obviously, employees have to accept that integration. If they don't want their information to be sent directly, then they can choose to go directly to Core ID's website and put in their information there, but they can click to accept that link and then the system takes over."

Big increase in use for ADP

ADP has seen a 500% increase in visits to its HCM marketplace this year and the number of customers who are integrating apps from ADP Marketplace has increased by more than 200% in the last year, according to Don Weinstein, chief strategy officer of ADP.

It is much better to have an open platform where we can leverage the power of many partners versus just relying on our own innovation alone within SuccessFactors to deliver the best solutions to our customers.
David Ragonesgroup vice president of product management, SAP SuccessFactors

The ADP Marketplace has been about shifting the way the HR industry as a whole thinks about workforce management technology, Weinstein added. He said it was the first platform dedicated to HCM applications. "We have made discovering and buying HCM solutions as easy as going to the app store on your personal cellphone and pressing download," he stated.

The marketplace allows customers to securely and automatically connect various applications to their employee data. Data input and management is still a huge part of HR's reality, and the marketplace cuts out much of that hassle and time from inputting data manually and cross-checking it among different systems, for example, according to Weinstein.

The ADP Marketplace offers products by ADP and certified partners such as SAP's Concur, LifeCare, HireVue, Litmos LMS and Cornerstone OnDemand.

An HCM marketplace for everyone

The SAP center, which is tailored for HR, includes applications from Okta, DocuSign and Dell Boomi.

SAP says its new HCM marketplace is designed to improve service to users.

"Our goal with the SAP SuccessFactors App Center is to advance our strategy of delivering the most open platform within the HR market," said David Ragones, group vice president of product management at SAP SuccessFactors. "It is much better to have an open platform where we can leverage the power of many partners versus just relying on our own innovation alone within SuccessFactors to deliver the best solutions to our customers."

By creating the Edge Marketplace, Cornerstone OnDemand was able to easily package integrations with applications from other vendors and allow clients to self-service browse, purchase and configure them, according to Tammy Hahn, director of product management at Cornerstone OnDemand.

The marketplace is comprised of 14 Edge-ready and seven packaged integrations. Edge-ready integrations are self-service -- from the purchase to enablement and configuration. Packaged integrations require a sales representative for the purchase, enablement and configuration through Cornerstone Delivery Services.

In the Workday Community forum, customers can search partners by category and get information on the integration and workflow for those certified partners, according to John Webb, Workday's vice president of industry strategy and alliances. For example, if a Workday Recruiting customer is seeking a background screening provider, it would be introduced to the top three providers in this category, all of whom have built and deployed a Workday certified integration.

Mueller, at Constellation Research, said application marketplaces are "a must have" for successful vendors today and he expects to see more of the HCM app stores in the future.

Next Steps

Workday CEO disparages Oracle and SAP

ADP challenges Workday with predictive analytics

Forrester singles out Oracle for employee engagement

This was last published in December 2016

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What kinds of applications did your company acquire from an HCM marketplace?
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Really nice article Dan, you do a great job highlighting the potential and the promise of marketplaces.

I am wondering if you know the stats behind the stat "Since the ADP Marketplace launched, there have been around 2,500 app transactions."?

Does that mean 2500 companies bought and started using an app or (as an example) 5 companies bought 5 apps and used them, on average, 100 times?
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WardChristman - Thanks for the comment and recognizing my work on this story. The ADP answer "around 2,500 app transactions" was in response to my question, "How many sales have you recorded from the marketplace since it started?" That would be total sales. I don't think the answer has anything to do with use, but it could mean, for example, that one company bought two apps or three apps. I hope that helps.
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