SDL turns to Sage Business Cloud People for global HR needs

Sage People provides SDL unity across geographically diverse workforce

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Business services



United Kingdom


Founded in 1992, SDL is a leader in global customer experience. Through its web content management, analytics, social intelligence, campaign management and translation services, SDL helps global businesses create a seamless customer experience across all devices, geographies, channels and languages.

With SDL experiencing rapid global expansion, including significant growth through merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, its HR team was tasked with managing a number of offices operating in different countries.

Aiming for a consistent experience

Its HR team wanted to provide a consistent experience for all 3,000 employees via a single, global HR solution. It had also inherited several incumbent HR systems, which offered no integration and meant teams had no single set of HR processes.

“SDL is a company that has acquired lots of other businesses throughout its history. We have done a lot of M&A work, and until the middle of last year we ran as highly autonomous divisions,” says Roddy Temperley, Group HR Director, SDL. “It could take up to three days to work out the headcount in just one division,” he says.

“Sage People will become the backbone of our HR strategy.”
Roddy Temperley, Group HR Director, SDL

The right solution to support the business

Paul Harris is the global business applications director at SDL. “An HR system was an immediate and high priority,” he comments. “HR was paper-based in some offices and there were a few HR systems in different countries, largely linked to payroll.

”As a result, SDL selected Sage People global HR solution due to its international capacity and ability to implement a cost-efficient HR platform across an array of languages and currencies. Along with this, SDL opted to use Payflow, a data aggregator, across all the regions it operates in to gain automatic access to critical HR information such as salaries or headcounts, with no manual intervention.

The company looked at 12 potential suppliers and drew up a shortlist of 4 before selecting Sage People. “We chose Sage People over other leading SaaS vendors due to its depth of functionality and Sage’s ability to support a rapid global deployment,” says Harris.

Temperley commented, “Compared to some of the other suppliers on the market, Sage People was very good value, and a very attractive offering,” he said. “Other suppliers offered SaaS tools, but were quoting timescales of 18 to 24 months for delivery, while Sage said it could switch on in a week.”

Sage People benefits

With Sage People now in place, SDL’s HR teams can now focus on strategy and productivity, rather than struggling with manual processes. The project has given SDL’s employees a clear picture of the overall company and created a sense of unity in its geographically diverse workforce.

SDL prides itself on providing international capability and we needed a HR system to reflect this,” says Temperley. “The response from our HR managers has been great, they love being able to see a neat cross section of information about their teams in one place. I’m confident that Sage People will become the backbone of our HR strategy and we’re very much looking forward to working together to develop an efficient HR system that allows visibility of our global workforce,” he adds.

The new system has also freed up SDL’s HR team from administrative tasks, allowing them to spend more time consulting with employees and managers. For example, reports for the board can now be produced every day at the touch of a button. “It has been noticeable how HR has changed,” says Harris. “It was very much an admin function previously. Now you get HR people reaching out to you, asking how they can help.”

The system has also freed up IT staff for more productive work. Previously, 12 developers spent 30% of their time just keeping the HR databases running; Sage People requires just one.

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