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Dave Foxall OrcaEyes SonarVision Workforce Planning Software Review

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 By Dave Foxall

OrcaEyes Workforce Planning Software—A Vendor Solution Brief

Mentioned in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for recruitment as a niche player in workforce planning, OrcaEyes is a Texas-based company specializing in strategic human capital management, planning and HR decision support. Founded in 2007, the company's SonarVision workforce software has so far won a number of awards, including that of the Gartner 2009 Cool Vendor List; HR Technology Conference – Best New Technology for 2009; and the Top Workforce Planning Vendor and Software – Texas A&M University 2010.

OrcaEyes SonarVision Workforce Planning Application Purpose

SonarVision Enterprise is a workforce planning and intelligence software solution that allows organizations to scientifically and proactively measure the financial, productivity and social impacts of mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, downsizing and rightsizing from the macro or micro-levels. A single dashboard provides insight into talent impacts on profits, assets, risks and productivity. OrcaEyes SonarVision Enterprise is an on-premise software system* that includes a combination of modules with the following key features:

  • Risk Management – which includes analysis for high-level workforce risk identification based on diagnosis of turnover, time-to-fill, aging demographics, employee engagement, etc.
  • Workforce Planning – which includes a comprehensive workforce planning software system including demand forecasting, supply forecasting, modeling, simulation, correlation, scenario planning, solution planning, action planning (which can be assigned to individual specialists), action plan tracking, ROI analysis, ROI tracker, real-time monitoring, diagnostics and reporting. The benefits of this software module include the ability to optimize human capital investments through intelligent planning; manage business risks with proactive alerts of potential workforce-related issues; position human capital as a major competitive advantage in successfully carrying out strategic business plans; and increase the performance of all talent related programs with actionable insight. These benefits are achieved through workforce forecasts that are based on selected metrics (e.g. attrition, retirement, historical information and current demographics); graphical representations of workforce health; drill-down functionality for metrics at organization, business unit, and individual levels; benchmarking applications; and action plans that integrate with existing talent management strategies.
  • Talent Supply Insights – proclaimed as unique within the industry, the SonarVision Insights feature is a browser-accessed worker availability reporting tool that includes the ability to analyze external occupation, compensation, geographic, financial, industry, employment and demographic data to accurately identify and profile tailored talent pools matching organizational culture and requirements. The benefits of this HR software module include the capabilities to ensure EEO compliance; plan for strategic growth in new markets; compare salaries and settings; and assess cost of living impacts.
  • Workforce Reduction – for organizations needing to leverage the last resort of workforce reduction, this module offers the capabilities of a system for testing various outcomes related to a reduction or resizing of the workforce. Including the functionality to incorporate financial, talent, and business objectives, as well as legal liabilities, organizations can view the anticipated effects of targeting specific workgroups or individuals.
  • Reporting & Analytics – including the capabilities to compile internal and external data, this module provides both standard and customizable reporting and predictive analytics, through analyses such as: Talent Financial Impact; Operational Talent Impact Analysis; Proactive Business Risk Alerts; Strategic Plan linking to Talent; Workforce Monitoring; Human Capital MRI Diagnostics; and Talent Supply Resource Forecasting.

* Using the key metrics and analytics from SonarVision Enterprise, OrcaEyes began offering SonarVision On Demand in 2011, allowing clients to subscribe to the main reporting elements of the enterprise solution.

OrcaEyes SonarVision Customer Target Market

OrcaEyes has specialized software but does not target any particular industry, providing services to organizations of various sizes in various sectors. With the launch of the flagship SonarVision software product in October 2009, the following year saw a 508% revenue growth and a variety of new clients, including Dallas-Fort Worth Hospitals (with a combined total of over 50K employees), the Tampa Electric Company, Zurich, and 21st Century Insurance.

OrcaEyes SonarVision Perfect Prospect Profile (PPP)

For organizations looking for a better and data-driven understanding of their current in-house talent and the wider talent availability with their sector by means of predictive human capital analytics, SonarVision offers detailed data-crunching capabilities. Ideally, the organization will have a broad talent management strategy already either in place or in development which can be enhanced by the wide functionality of OrcaEyes' system. Organizations without the proper planning, processes or infrastructure in place will likely find this workforce planning software challenging.

OrcaEyes SonarVision Primary Competitors

Other HR software providers that focus on the strategic workforce planning software niche include: Vemo, Visier, Aruspex's CAPTure, and SuccessFactors (although SuccessFactors' solution is positioned as part of a wider talent management suite including recruitment, performance management and the mobile app BisX). Further, with SAP's recent acquisition of SuccessFactors (SFSF), it is difficult to project whether the workforce planning capabilities of SuccessFactors will remain intact, or whether SAP will roll this functionality into their already-existing analytics systems.

Strengths of OrcaEyes SonarVision Workforce Planning System

  • Strong multi-dimensional analysis and predictive analytics capabilities.
  • The combination of internal organizational data with information from the external employment landscape.
  • The SonarVision workforce planning software has robust integration functionality and as such, can be integrated with most HRIS, Financial or Accounting systems.

Weaknesses of OrcaEyes SonarVision Workforce Planning System

  • Mobile functionality for the suite is lacking, and in fact no mobile application is even available as of yet for SonarVision access.
  • Brand awareness outside of the North American market is low; a fact that could well impact future strategic directions for the company as well as revenues if not shored up.

Bottom-line for OrcaEyes SonarVision Workforce Planning Software

Leveraging the workforce planning model of optimization, SonarVision's enterprise-class workforce intelligence capabilities appear initially well received within North America and with on-going rapid revenue and client growth, OrcaEyes is set to remain a key player in this specialized niche. Their key challenge may be to catch the on-going mobile trend, and future social trends, in the HR software market and build their profile outside of the U.S. market. End

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For organizations looking for a better understanding of their current in-house talent and the wider talent availability with their sector by means of predictive human capital analytics, SonarVision offers detailed data-crunching capabilities.


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