An Independent HCM Software Review and Analysis
Founded in 1991, and headquartered in Madrid, Spain, Meta4 is a privately held corporation that offers on-premise and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions for human and intellectual capital management (termed HICM) and payroll. Although primarily focused on deploying global HRMS software (and consequently what the company is best known for), the company has also been gaining increasing traction in the broader talent management arena; adding recruitment, compensation, performance management, succession management, and learning/development offerings to the mix for a clientele of 1300+ customers in 100+ countries.
Led by founder Emile Hamou (of Groupe Adonix), the company began with a focus on how to make the function of payroll management better; a heritage that has been carried with the company throughout its many software iterations and releases. Indeed, as can be seen in the product review section, Meta4's payroll functionality is incredibly robust and a testament to the work that has gone into its creation. Similar efforts have also been put behind the development of the rest of Meta4's HR offerings and in particular the PeopleNet HR suite, a Hamou creation that came onto the scene in 1999.
Registering barely a blip on the radar of larger companies when the solution was first unveiled in 1999, PeopleNet has since grown into a sophisticated global HCM software suite capable of delivering some of the most innovative advancements in the industry, as well as landing some of the largest contracts outside of the big 3 (Oracle, SAP, Infor). Today, Meta4 has branches in 11 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States), a strong presence in both Spanish and Portuguese-speaking locales, and an ever-expanding reach into France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and the U.S. Only the second Spanish software vendor on the 2009 Truffle 100 index, Meta4 is gradually building up an HCM software solution that could rival the innovation of Workday, the global reach of Kronos, and the breadth of solution of SAP to name a few.
In large part Meta4's success as an HR and payroll software company is due to the intense personal efforts that are poured into each of the company's offerings, but the success also comes from a veteran understanding of the market and where energies are best expended. By focusing on expanding globally from the start, Meta4 was able to secure contracts in countries that weren't being catered to by its larger competitors (today 60+% of revenues come from international sources). Further, by focusing on cutting-edge technologies and staying in front of the technology curve, Meta4 was able to create a solution in PeopleNet that is pushing the envelope on what an HR software suite can provide for the entire industry. Indeed, even prior Gartner research on the company reads like a veritable "best of" list for HR software features; citing, "Meta4 has very versatile solutions, which are also easy to use and integrate, and its technological platform requires a significantly lower investment than others which enables a short-term ROI".
Aside from those above mentioned elements, the company has also forged global collaborative alliances with 80+ partners that include consultancies, technology firms, and global integrators such as Atos, Accenture, Deloitte, Fujitsu, Indra, Humantech, and Matchmind. Further, Meta4 has continued to strengthen its market position by offering 3rd-party software products as partner applications that either directly integrate with Meta4 solutions or with local partners that simply complement the Meta4 product line. These partners include: Argentina's Nevum (workforce management suite) and Digicard (time/attendance); France's Equitime (time management) and Lingway (talent acquisition); Spain's IIC (competency modeling/assessments); Mexico's InfoBlock (report writing); and Kronos.
Yet, for many countries (the U.S. included), the name Meta4 doesn't carry much weight thanks to the fact that very few organizations have even heard of them; let alone reviewed their HR product offerings. The lack of marketing effort and subsequent brand recognition has made it all but impossible to break into certain markets and at best very difficult in others. Here we take an in-depth look at Meta4's PeopleNet software solution, to see what works and what doesn't for various customer situations—in hopes that after reading, prospective buyers will be able to make a more informed decision about this HR and payroll solution.
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