The big news around software as a service (SaaS) has always been the claim that it levels the competitive playing field, giving SMBs the same tools and ammunition that previously only a large enterprise could afford.
More evidence of that surfaced today when Workstream, a SaaS provider of human capital management solutions for the Fortune 2000, announced a midmarket, on-demand suite for workforce performance management.
The three new on-demand services include Workstream Recruitment Professional, Performance Professional, and Development Professional. These solutions are targeted for companies comprising between 100 and 2,500 employees.
According to Mark Smith, a senior analyst with Ventana Research, there are only a small number of vendors that offer these services for the enterprise, including Softcape and Taleo, so the opportunity is around taking these capabilities to the midmarket.
"Halogen Software is already in the midmarket, but it doesn't have the recruitment piece," said Smith.
The Workstream talent management on-demand processes give midmarket companies an equal opportunity to deploy the same systems as the big guys without the need of major IT resources.
"They sign up and get these robust capabilities and don't have to go through the traditional implementation cycles," said Smith.
For many smaller companies, the only alternative to an enterprise license for a full suite of workforce management applications was either using spreadsheets and Word to manage staff or managing multiple solutions from multiple vendors.
"A small company ends up with a patchwork of stuck-together small applications. They don't have the IT staff and money to make it work together," says Josh Bersin, principal at Bersin and Associates.
What works for 20 employees becomes a nightmare when a company grows to 100, according to Deepak Gupta, Workstation CEO.
According to Gupta, midsized companies face the same complex talent management challenges as Workstream's largest enterprise customers, such as American Express, Chevron, the Gap, and Kaiser Permanente.
"We are not offering a different low-end system. It is the same application configured differently. It has the same code," said Gupta. "And there is only one neck to choke," he added.
Later this year, Workstream will also announce the following additional services: Workstream Compensation Professional, Pay-for-Performance Professional, 360-Assessment Professional, Succession Planning, Professional, and Rewards Professional.