Integrations Will Move Center Stage During 2021

Software Integration

Integrations are a key factor in putting together HR technology solutions. For all the power offered by brand-name suites, the ability to combine core products with third-party offerings has become ubiquitous, to the point where most CHROs and CIOs consider it table stakes.

That’s why even the biggest vendors—companies like Workday, UKG, SAP SuccessFactors, ADP, Oracle and Ceridian—all offer extensive partner networks that include specialized solutions for areas like background checks, payroll, talent acquisition, analytics and employee recognition.

This year seamless integrations are sure to become more common among products, and expected by customers. #HR #HRTech Click To Tweet

Early on, creating these networks was all about increasing a platform’s breadth. More recently, vendors have come to believe that for interconnected approaches to work, user experience has to be given as much attention as technical challenges.

For example, SuccessFactors, with its Human Experience Management (HXM) approach, and Oracle HCM Cloud spotlight their efforts to streamline both the UI and workflows of tools used by both HR teams and employees. Phenom’s TXM platform (for “Talent Experience Management”) is intended to improve the candidate experience while increasing productivity for recruiters through a unified platform.

Today, when so many workers are isolated and working remotely, user experience has become especially important to the wider employee experience. “Digital’s the only game in town because people are not going to be doing high-value, face-to-face interactions,” observed David Wilson, CEO of the Fosway Group, in an interview.

During 2021, Wilson expects that dynamic to be a driver of vendor roadmaps as well as HR tech customer spending. “That’s not a very sexy answer, but I think in reality it’s quite important,” he said.

Good Ol’ Service Delivery

Something else will be important but not sexy this year, Wilson believes: HR service delivery. With service delivery, “you’re trying to deal with employees, particularly remote employees—being able to provide a very effective service to them and engage with them in the moments that matter to them. That will continue to rise in importance,” Wilson said.

Because the need to provide streamlined, engaging and useful multi-platform solutions has become so important, “connecting the user experience layer and making that more seamless is a big deal,” Wilson said.

UX has become a driver of product roadmaps in part because experience has become one of the most important components of employers’ purchasing decisions. At the same time, Wilson suggests vendors also want to the advantage that comes with “being the UX layer.” That’s difficult to achieve. “It’s really difficult to do even if you’re Workday or SuccessFactors or Oracle, let alone if you’re a niche vendor that’s only part of the portfolio.”

As employers expand their ecosystem of HR technology solutions—tackling learning with products from one vendor, talent acquisition with products from another and benefits with solutions from a third—seamless integrations, where users can access multiple capabilities from a common platform, are sure to become more common among products, and expected by customers.

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