Q&A: GetApp Researcher on Collaboration, Coopetition, Suite vs. Point Solutions, Integrations & More

Coopetition-Collaboration-#HRTech-GetAppEvery day we advise HR Tech companies on the importance of collaboration and coopetition in our industry, but with 3,700+ apps listed on GetApp, how is an HR Tech vendor going to be found when buyers have to sort through all those choices?

One great way is to include all the integrations you have with your partners on GetApp, a place that connects workforce management software vendors with buyers. Also make sure your partners are listed on the site and show the integration they have with your solution. Include both your HR Tech partners and others like Gmail, Salesforce, Zapier, Twitter, etc. The more integrations you list the more points you get towards your GetApp rating.

The number one rated HR app on their site is BambooHR, which has ready-made integrations with applicant tracking systems like CATS and HiringThing, NetSuite’s ERP system, performance review solutions like… you get the idea – valuable data for buyers, system integrators, or even the vendors themselves when looking for new partners.

It’s fortunate for the buyers that GetApp offers a good search engine and an easy to browse directory which makes it a breeze to cut through the 447 vendor applications & tools within the HR & Employee Management Software category. Users can filter by the 14 categories, vendor integrations, geographies served, average user reviews (segmented by company size and industry), pricing model, etc. I like that it pre-filters for you based on your LinkedIn profile, a time saver paid for by identifying yourself to them… and their paying customers (the vendors). Of course signing in with LinkedIn also helps them ensure you are a bona fide buyer/user should you choose to conduct a review of one of your HR Tech systems. This is a common method by sites like TrustRadius and G2Crowd, who could learn a thing or two from GetApp.


Zuzanna Blaszkiewicz, HR market researcher for GetApp

We recently had a Q&A session with Suzie Blaszkiewicz, HR market researcher at GetApp. Suzie studies our industry and recently updated her published report “HR In The Cloud – Key Trends for 2016“, a fascinating read which inspired me to ask a number of pointed questions, which inspired Suzie to provide some insightful responses:

There are literally hundreds of HR software and app vendors in the marketplace. What advantages could you see if they had more collaboration or knowledge sharing between them?

“In general, when companies work together, consumers benefit. Look at Tesla. They decided to make their patents on electric car technology public a few years ago, and in doing so, have greatly advanced innovation in that area. I don’t think we’re going to see anything on that grand of a scale in HR software, but it does point to the benefits when vendors collaborate. It leads to software makers finding better and more innovative solutions for common HR woes faster.

Even if vendors decide not to share technology knowledge with each other, it’s still beneficial for everyone to work together to promote HR best practices: how to engage your employees, how to recruit properly, how to stay compliant. Businesses, especially small businesses, look to software vendors to be experts in their industry. If multiple sources corroborate the same information, it becomes a rising tide that raises all ships.”

What do you think best-of-breed HR vendors could learn from the vendors who offer a full suite? Why would that be important for the overall HR Tech industry?

“Integration and communication between the many functions of HR is becoming more and more important. Functional and helpful integrations between software vendors eliminates tedious double-entry while increasing automation and accuracy. I think the big thing that best-of-breed vendors could learn from their suite counterparts is how their functionality fits in the bigger scale of the full employee lifecycle. Nothing in HR, whether it be payroll, performance management or recruiting, is an island. It all blends together and overlaps. In fact, in our recent ranking of the Top 25 workforce management software products, we made sure to include ‘integrations’ as one of the ranking factors.

Given the importance of integrations, it’s crucial that vendors who isolate themselves or only think about their small part in the employee lifecycle understand that over time they are going to become obsolete. Suites aren’t necessarily better than their best-of-breed counterparts in all situations, but every vendor needs to be thinking in that way.”

Integrations-Collaboration-Coopetition-#HRTechSince HR is a horizontal market, do you think there are things that HR software vendors could learn from vendors in different verticals? Particularly related to the integration of their systems?

“We’re already seeing this crossover now. How is the candidate experience when recruiting different from the customer experience when selling? Both involve motivating an individual outside of the organization to take a desired action, whether it be applying for a job or buying a product. Many applicant tracking systems (ATSs) are taking inspiration from lead generation systems in customer relationship management (CRM).

More than integration though, I think HR is similar to a lot of other markets in that everyone is pursuing a better user experience and a better experience on mobile devices in particular. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are more attuned to integrating HR functions within the business cycle.”

Do you think it’s possible for some of the top HR tech vendors to collaborate and still retain what makes them special and not risk losing any market share?

“Vendors form partnerships all the time when they think the relationship is beneficial to both of their customer bases. They make their solutions more easily integrable—a core HR vendor and an ATS vendor might partner, for example. These partnerships have shown that it’s possible for vendors to collaborate without losing what makes them unique in the marketplace. And if the end result helps both customer bases, then there’s really nothing to lose. In fact, customers might even reward each vendor with their loyalty, since anytime tasks are made easier for them, they’re happy. If the customer’s happy, then a software vendor can know that they’re doing what they set out to do.”

Any predictions for where the HR software market will be at this time next year?

“More than anything, people can’t stop talking about employee engagement and how technology is leading the charge. We’re seeing HR software platforms adding employee-facing functionality and portals all the time, but that’s going to be an even bigger focus as companies look to retain their workers. We’re going to see more feedback tools and more technology to empower employees in the workplace.

We’re also going to see workforce analytics and business intelligence-like functionality trickle down to the SMB space. Every business, regardless of their size, has tons and tons of data that they’re looking to gain insight from, and these tools will help with that. As the year progresses, expect small businesses to be taking a granular look into things just like any enterprise-level company would.”

GetApp runs on and is part of Nubera, a Gartner company with headquarters in Barcelona Spain. Nubera serves as an ecosystem of user-generated and editorial reviews of software and apps for businesses.


About Ward Christman (HR Tech Advisor)

Ward Christman has 25+ years experience in HR technology and services with special expertise in employee referral, ATS solutions and job marketing (via job boards and social media). Ward has helped create dozens of successful partnerships between HR Tech companies. Career Summary: - Launched one of the first online job boards in 1992 (9 years) - Key member of HRsmart (ATS and TM) growth team (8 years) - Contributor to Lawson’s new HCM team (1 year) - First hire for Bullhorn’s corporate social recruiting platform (1 year) - Turnaround artist (Product Owner) for Kenexa’s 2xRecruit ATS (1 year) - Launchpad boosters for RolePoint’s entry into the Social Referral market - Founder, Chief Advisor and Publisher for HR Tech Advisor (2014) - Co-Founder of HRTechAlliances.com (2015) More details at http://www.linkedin.com/in/WardChristman