Fairsail: The 2014 story so far

Following a whirlwind start to the year, Colin Cooper founder and CTO takes a moment to reflect on Sage People’s year so far and how innovative thinking is evolving the HR technology industry as a whole.    


The first six months of 2014 have been fantastic for Sage People, with employee growth of 190 percent. As predicted, and as research has told us, we’re working with many customers looking to overhaul their HR systems to support agile growth, and quickly. Many of these companies have been in the technology sector, though the common thread is dynamic growth and global ambition, rather than vertical sector.

In our 2014 ‘Let’s Get IT Started’ research report, we spoke to 40 leading SMBs in the UK and it is full steam ahead for the 75 percent of them who plan to change their primary HR systems in the next 18 months. This is a significant time for HR technology innovation, with a lack of technology integration being cited as a key restraint to working practices by the same 40 companies.

We presented the research results at an exclusive breakfast briefing at the Gherkin in London and we were delighted to be joined by Roddy Temperley, Group HR Director at SDL, who discussed the company’s ongoing global HR transformation. It was also the first of our Sage People Regatta events for business and HR leaders. You can join the group here where the report is also available for download.

Computer Weekly used the research to report how technology companies are lagging in talent management technology with many still relying on spreadsheets, word processors and legacy ERP systems – rather than dedicated talent management systems – as well as covering SDL’s implementation of our global HRIS system.

Further recognition of our support for customers came through our shortlisting in the Cloud Innovation category at the 2014 Computer Weekly User Awards. We also featured in Gartner’s research report ‘Magic Quadrant for Talent Management Suites’.

Additionally, Betfair – who went ‘live’ in just three months – stated how they were striving for a joined-up process and stressed the importance for quick and straightforward implementation. Following the successful implementation Michael Bischoff, CIO, stated “We are delighted with the Sage People implementation which was straightforward and painless. The speed at which the solution was delivered, and the ease of the rollout, once again illustrates the benefits of our strategic move to using software-as-a-service platforms.”

Beyond our events, we’ve also been attending and participating in quite a few industry forums. At the recent EY Global Digital Leadership Forum in London, Adam Hale, CEO, discussed the technology boom and how even agile companies are struggling to be disruptive in the competitive market – because of antiquated systems. “Innovative thinking not only grows brands, but also changes and evolves an existing market. We are trying to achieve, in our own humble way, an equivalent effect with cloud-based HR. Huge corporations employ systems by Oracle, SAP, at great expense that can take a long time to implement – we offer equivalent systems in a fraction of the time at a lower cost.”

Adam recently contributed on how technology can help fight the war for talent in Real Business on the missing link in talent management strategy. In addition, he reviewed the news that 3.5 million Britons face tax bill after PAYE errors for HR Magazine and discussed how integration between HR and payroll systems can help reduce errors.

The success we’ve seen since Sage People was founded in 2007 and so far this year looks set to continue for the second half of 2014 – making it another record year for us. Half way through the year we would like to thank everyone – our staff, customer and suppliers for all their fabulous support – we couldn’t do this without the great relationships we have.   

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