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Jon Wilcox

Sift Media

Technology Correspondent, Sift Media

Read more about Jon Wilcox

Patersons adds HR module for free, but at what cost?


Technology correspondent Jon Wilcox speaks to Patersons’ CEO about its new strategy, the increasing acceptance of ‘the cloud’, and news of an upcoming solution for SMEs.

Global payroll provider Patersons has confirmed it’s giving away one free HR module with every purchase of its payroll solution. The announcement comes just weeks before the CIPD HR Software Show, which takes place on 17 & 18 June at the Olympia Conference Centre in London. Patersons is due to showcase Logon2 at the event.

Whilst the announcement of a free module will interest potential clients – especially during the current economic climate – Patersons remains adamant the strategy has been implemented to "shake up the market", and that it’s already proved very successful over the past three weeks. 

Patersons’ CEO, Karen Paterson explained to why the strategy doesn’t imply a dilution of the module’s capabilities and value: "We’re getting a huge take up by the market with this; we’ve closed four very significant contracts in the last three weeks, all of whom made the decision because they had that dataset thrown in with the international payroll."
Paterson added: "Just to be clear, it’s not watering down the product. Our HR module is as big as SAP, Oracle, or PeopleSoft. It’s a big enterprise HCM application…and it’s all on-demand as well."
The popularity of online Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions has increased across business IT through the course of the recession, benefiting Patersons:
"We find that because we’re the only provider that has a true and proper SaaS model, and the ability to scale down as well as up, we’re finding that in the international market we’re winning just about everything we bid for."
Paterson went further, revealing the extent of the current demand for the SaaS solution: "In March it was like somebody igniting touch paper; we had 23 RFPs [requests for proposals] in just three weeks. It’s absolutely amazing. We’re seeing that multi-national companies are looking at out-sourcing as a way to cut costs, but they also need to solve their master data problems so they have visibility and control over their data."
Despite an increased amount of demand for her company’s SaaS solutions, one of the primary issues for the sector has been the reticence of businesses in having company data hosted off site by another firm. According to Paterson, however, attitudes are changing: "We’ve seen a huge change with that [attitude to the Software as a Service model]…HR and IT professionals are becoming happier with SaaS, and it’s a big thankyou to some of the very successful SaaS companies like that show this model really does work [and] is best for everybody."
2009 is proving to be an innovative year for Patersons, as the company prepares to launch a new solution targeted at the smaller business market. Called Click4HR, the new product is set to hit Asia in mid-June, but is pencilled in for a European launch within months. "It’s the same data set, but it’s designed for the smaller business market," explained Paterson. "We didn’t want to dilute in Europe where we feel our message is important with the enterprise and global payroll market, which is why we’re launching in Asia first."
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Jon Wilcox

Technology Correspondent, Sift Media

Read more from Jon Wilcox

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