Transforming HR via Effective Delivery of HR Services—A Unisys Case Study

Mike Lapetina

This is a transcript of an interactive case study conducted with Mike Lapetina, Senior Vice President of HR Client Delivery Operations, Unisys.

Unisys designs, builds, and manages mission-critical environments for businesses and governments who have no room for error. Because Unisys has a deep understanding of high-volume, transaction-intensive, and secure computing, it can partner with clients to deliver operational efficiencies, reduced complexity, increased productivity, and peace of mind.
Unisys has a similar mission for its HR organization, and has been focusing on HR transformation to help achieve those goals. Unisys HR is responsible for 27,000 employees in 43 countries.

Q. Tell us about Unisys’s HR Transformation and HR Service Delivery efforts.

A: Our HR transformation goals included:

  • Achieving operational efficiencies
  • Managing the talent supply
  • Improving the delivery of HR services
  • Developing leadership
  • All while significantly reducing G+A costs.

In the past, we had been addressing these challenges with many outside HR Business Partners and outsourced HR services, including Benefits administration.

Q: So what made you move from large-scale HR outsourcing to considering a co-sourced HR Service Delivery model?

A: Number one was Cost: We needed better profitability, and lower G+A. When we evaluated what we were spending with outside partners, we then tallied our in-house resources and determined the value we were getting for that "all-in" HR spend. That led us to evaluating what we could bring back in-house, either onshore or near shore, and be more efficient at delivering. Of course, we didn’t want it all back! It made sense to look at each piece for cost-effectiveness. We also looked at what was strategic vs. transactional – we wanted to focus on where could add value. And, where possible, we wanted to take retained HR staff out of the transactional equation.


Q: When you did this evaluation of your outsourcing, what did you find you could do better, or more strategically, or more cost-effectively in-house?

A: By taking a Managed Services approach to HR service delivery, leveraging affordable technology investments and Unisys global sourcing capabilities to deliver business intelligence and HR services, we could:

  • Reduce the number of high-cost HR "BP"s doing low-end work
  • Reduce HR purchased services spend
  • Drive more HR work to Tier 0 and Tier 1 off-shore/near shore Shared Service Centers
  • Eliminate "caddying" of non-HR stuff
  • Automate and push HR Reporting and Analytics into Tier 0 & 1
  • Attack work fragmentation wherever possible
  • Significantly reduce HR headcount
  • Make minor reinvestments
  • Minimize disruption to non-HR business operations

This managed services approach includes the deployment of HR Shared Services Centers to help standardize our practices, policies and procedures.

Q: How important was the technology in this decision to bring HR service delivery back in-house, and what requirements did that technology need to meet?

A: Technology was absolutely critical. The emergence of SaaS-based HR technology that extends existing investments – like PeopleSoft and SharePoint portal – was not only vital but it meant:

  • Fast to implement
  • Fast ROI
  • Low cost
  • Maintenance was incumbent on provider – because we can’t add or dedicate IT resources here.

But because we’re Unisys, we had a tall order to fill:

We required:

  • An integrated suite, with a Knowledgebase, case management tools, unification/integration of HRIS, self-service and onboarding
  • A portal platform that complements our SharePoint strategy & provides more relevant, effective search
  • Single sign-on
  • High degree of personalization to support Tier 0
  • A Cost-effective highly-responsive vendor with excellent customer service and satisfied, referencable customers

Q: How has the experience changed for your workforce in dealing with HR? What have your results to date been?

A: We’re quickly meeting our goals of:

  • Improved response times and resolution of issues
  • Ability to track SLAs
  • More Tier 0 access – personalized, searchable, SSO-integrated
  • Better business alignment and flexibility as business changes
  • HR Professionals now dedicated to managing client engagements vs. routine transactions
  • More cost-effective, efficient service delivery

Specific results include:

  • More than 80 percent of inquiries that come through the Enwisen AnswerSource AskHR Case Management are resolved at Tier 1
  • Approximately a 3:1 labor arbitrage HR professional to HR SSC rep
  • Reduction of inquiries misdirected to HR from 25 percent to 6 percent in four months
  • An affordable solution - we are leveraging a fractional reinvestment of first generation HRO spend with no increase in capitalized software costs

And our bright line goals have been achieved:

  • Maintaining 90 percent + same day/next day inquiry resolution
  • Enhancing our Tier 0 to minimize our Shared Services Center staffing with an approximate 1:1500 ratio
  • Growing off-shoring of retained HR work

This just goes to show that HR is a capability, not a place or person – and we’re now proving that by servicing US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India.