As we predicted in our HfS Blueprint on Workday Services in 2015 access to skilled, certified Workday deployment talent is driving consolidation in the Workday services market. HR expert, Mercer (an HfS Blueprint High Performer), which acquired Workday implementer Jeitosa in 2014, has added US-based Workday specialist CPSG. This acquisition more than doubles Mercer’s Workday certified consultant pool to over 180, comfortably placing it as a top-10 global Workday partner.
Mercer, notably, has prioritized quality over quantity in its hiring and acquisition plans, targeting experts with deep functional HR experience. Mercer’s acquisition strategy has enabled it to increasingly deliver depth and breadth of services across the value chain.
Jeitosa added implementation capabilities to Mercer’s core consulting skills and CPSG now adds post-production support and optimization services skills to the mix. Moreover, CPSG brings Workday Financial Management (FM) expertise to Mercer’s Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) focus, lending credibility to the combined entity delivering the entire suite of Workday services to clients. The ability to support both the Workday HCM and finance solutions will become increasingly important and it is a challenge that the HR pure play partners will need to meet as this market evolves.
A critical component of Mercer’s integration with CPSG will be holding onto key personnel. This includes account managers who work closely with clients, as CPSG’s client satisfaction is among the best in the ecosystem. CPSG encourages client feedback throughout engagements and even the CEO has been known to call unhappy clients and activate a solution to the problem. CPSG clients will need assurances that this collaborative approach will continue and that specific CPSG personnel with whom the clients have built a trust relationship will remain.
CPSG also encourages this feedback internally. Its optimization services for post-production support came from an idea of a CPSG consultant. This culture of innovation not only encourages good ideas, but it also attracts and retains good consultants as they have the opportunity to work somewhere creative and motivational. Again, Mercer will need to ensure that this culture is maintained post-merger, especially to hold onto the best talent.
The acquisition of CPSG aligns with Mercer’s strategic focus throughout 2015 (and into 2016) of growth. In 2015, Mercer invested in an offshore Workday team in India, including more than 10 Workday-certified consultants, with integration service skills. In 2016, Mercer plans to expand its footprint in Europe, in particular in Germany, where it has a healthy pipeline. The new Mercer is a credible provider of Workday HCM and FM services, across enterprise size in the US and Europe. It still has opportunities to strengthen its international brand and market the new capabilities, as well as invest in industry sector approaches and solutions.
The flurry of activity that we reported in The Speed of Change in Workday Services is continuing into 2016. As this market matures, Workday service providers will continue to invest in talent, expand their service capabilities (particularly for FM capabilities), increase geographical scale and invest in industry sector solutions.