WorkForce Software is unleashing a slew of enhancements that reinforce its laser focus on workforce management, while strengthening its presence in key verticals like healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.
The Livonia, MI-based vendor, which is in the midst of a multi-year makeover, unveiled enhancements including UI improvement, easy access to workforce data, as well as dynamic scheduling capabilities at its recent user conference in Denver with more than 300 customers and prospects.
Since 2016, Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce, has been rebuilding the company by investing heavily in customer successes in the Cloud through an enlarged partner ecosystem and support infrastructure. Last year saw continuous improvement in support reduction time, while nearly 1,000 consultants have been trained on WorkForce products, compared with 200 in 2016. Morini said a few years ago there were a handful of documented customer successes. Today, there are more than 135 including some that cite hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings after running WorkForce.
Following the 2016 acquisition of Workplace Systems for its scheduling applications, WorkForce continued with a stream of new products and platform enhancements (six in 2018), while laying the groundwork for global expansion now reaching more than 1,100 customers and 3.4 million users in over 60 countries. That has resulted in a steady increase in its annual recurring revenues to reach $70 million in 2018. ARR now account for 70% of its revenues, more than doubling its contributions over the past few years.
After adding scores of developers and new data centers, WorkForce has honed in on product enhancements that amplify its key differentiators in such areas as rules engine for employee time off calculation for different countries, scheduling and forecasting for target industries, as well as open integration and device independent user experience that incorporates the latest advances from proactive notifications to conversational UI.
These improvements are critical for WorkForce to not just sustain its momentum (24% sales growth in the first quarter of 2019), but also to ensure lasting impact on its current installed base and future pipeline by increasing its wallet share among key accounts. Morini said WorkForce won 155 new logos in 2018, tripling that of what it secured in 2015.
Denise Broady, chief operating officer of WorkForce, said big accounts – including retail pharmacies, manufacturing, and healthcare – have been buying more licenses from the vendor because of their need to standardize on a modern workforce management platform to replace legacy systems that have seen diminishing returns.
Making its products ubiquitous and easily accessible will be equally important as WorkForce battles intense competition from heavyweights such as Kronos, which in January 2019 entered into a reseller agreement with SAP. WorkForce has also maintained SAP as a reseller for a number of years. That pits WorkForce against a rival 10 times its size as both try to win mind and market shares among SAP’s 35,000+ ERP and HCM customers.
Among WorkForce’s 1,100 customers, about 20% are indirect accounts including some that have been won through its reseller agreement with SAP.
Over the past few years, WorkForce has been working in overdrive to keep these SAP customers engaged, a task that has been complicated by SAP’s shifting HCM priorities, as well as the involvement of different implementation partners – at times impacting WorkForce’s ability to stay close to these customers during the partner implementation process to guarantee the best outcome. Morini added that he expects these relationships to improve along with a burgeoning ecosystem consisting of partners like Accenture, Deloitte, IBM and others.
David Pereles, managing director of Accenture, is bullish about its new reseller agreement with WorkForce as it ramps up additional resources to help the integrator better support joint customers such as Fieldcore, a GE division that employs 12,000 mostly field service technicians for repair and maintenance of GE power equipment. Fieldcore now runs SAP SuccessFactors for Core HR and WorkForce for workforce management.
The 20-year-old WorkForce has been transitioning from a software provider dependent on a number of on-premise applications to one that excels in Cloud-first and mobile-based solutions. Since 2017, 60% of its R&D spend has been spent on re-platforming its products for a new generation of users by incorporating into the WorkForce Suite dynamic scheduling, intuitive data access (Tableau for better reporting, for example) as well as innovative technologies like machine learning, voice interface and social media-infused team collaboration, said John Williams, chief technology officer of WorkForce.
In a tight labor market, Williams said the imperative is to make workforce management relevant and engaging. For instance, long-time customer Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has embarked on a pilot program working with Workforce and Workplace by Facebook to boost employee engagement. Leveraging the apps from the social media giant, MLSE aims to make pre-shift meetings more collaborative and engaging as in the use of chatbot for making shift changes by line managers in a crowded and noisy stadium, for example.
All these enhancements will go a long way for a vendor that has made a concerted effort to simplify workforce management (making work easy has been its tagline since 2016) for many organizations that are still hamstrung by spreadsheets, whiteboards in break rooms, punch-in time cards and other manual processes for managing time, attendance and scheduling of their most valuable assets.
A HR executive at investment firm Edward Jones, which has 45,000 employees and is rolling out WorkForce nationwide, said the biggest benefit of running WorkForce is not just automating the time-keeping function for its far-flung workers, but also meeting myriads of attendance, absence-related and scheduling rules and regulations across the 50 states in which it operates.