Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Since a couple of weeks, the Meta4 brand no longer exists. Acquired by the cloud HR solutions company, Cegid in 2019, the brand has continued to operate in our country until now. We spoke with its general director to see what the evolution of Cegid in Spain will be.

Interview with Patricia Santoni, CEO of Cegid

He has been in the general management of Cegid for a little over a year. What has been his experience?
I joined Cegid on December 17, 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, two weeks before Filomena, so it has been quite a challenge. In this time we have established the guidelines for the integration of Meta4 in Cegid and the truth is that the results of the company in Spain have been very good: we have had double-digit growth, we have developed new products and solutions that cover the new needs of current human resources in a market in which the way in which the way of working in companies was understood has changed and that is moving towards a more flexible environment. In addition, we have had to integrate companies within our structure, as has been the case with Visualtime by Robotics, specialized in the development of time management solutions. An integration that we did in a record time of six months. So let’s just say this time has been exciting.
Now that you are telling me about VisualTime by Robotics, what does this acquisition mean for Cegid?
Above all, it means expanding our portfolio with a solution that offers numerous advantages to companies. It is a market leading solution for time and attendance management. But in addition, this incorporation allows us to be able to enter a lower segment of the market to which we can offer a time management tool that until now seemed exclusive to large companies. In this way we cover the entire spectrum of the market: from SMEs to large accounts.

What challenges does Cegid have in the short and medium term? Right now, what are the priorities?
In the short term, our most important priority is to accompany our clients towards the migration to the cloud. We want our clients, who still have proprietary environments, to switch to the cloud because in this way they will gain flexibility, they will have access to more modern technologies to manage their employees in these cloud environments and it also allows them to access the entire new portfolio of solutions that we are developing and that cover, for example, the analytics part. Because at Cegid we no longer develop new solutions for the on-premise model.
It will mean a very profound change for those who are reluctant to adopt a cloud model, right?
Depends. Before the pandemic, surely, yes. There were clients who were very used to having their solutions managed in their infrastructures and were very reluctant to go to the cloud due to data privacy issues or to have control of the application. But with the pandemic, that reluctance has disappeared because they saw that those customers who worked in cloud mode had immediate access to security patches or updates. For those who continued in the proprietary model, any update had to be developed and applied individually to each client. And that takes time and therefore the on-premises client did not have that access to the latest news and improvements quickly. The current reluctance is much smaller and large companies, for example, are developing the migration in a very thorough way. But all of them are seeing that the main advantage offered by the cloud model is that they can dedicate themselves to what really is their core-business. I think that the main difficulty of the cloud is to change work habits, but once it has been done, there are all advantages.

How many clients are already in the cloud?
We clearly exceed 90% of our customers. And we are talking about companies that make up half of the Ibex 35 companies. Companies with more than 100,000 employees.
How long do you estimate that all customers will be in the cloud?
Well, now we are over 85 percent. He says that the ones we have left are the very big ones, they are the very big ones then. Now our largest clients are talking about serving half of the Ibex 35. We are talking about clients with more than 100,000 employees, who have a presence in Spain and Latin America. The advantage is that at Cegid we adapt to the needs of each client and we are very agile. For example, for a company with these characteristics that wants to migrate the payroll and talent management part to the cloud, I will have it ready in about nine months.
Now that you mention it, there is constant talk about talent management and retention, what does Cegid propose?
Our talent management solutions are aimed at the entire spectrum of companies. We digitize talent management with a cloud-based solution that allows companies to improve the retention of that talent, improve employee experiences and allows us to know what the strengths of each one are in order to enhance them or improve those capacities in which that does not stand out so much, but thanks to the data, we know that they can be enhanced. It can be said that our HR solutions offer the best in talent management, administrative management and employee payroll management.
But more specifically, how can a technological solution keep someone from leaving the company?
A technological solution can ensure that someone does not leave the company because it guarantees the daily follow-up of the employee. It also offers constant information about the connection between employees and their different managers. Thanks to this monitoring, a feeling of belonging can be created that makes the employee feel valued by the company 24 hours a day. Our platform allows an employee to manage their vacations or declare their retirement expenses, but they can also see the objectives that have been set for them by their manager and establish a direct conversation with them. Let’s say that our platform offers a more personalized and less bureaucratic relationship than before, when an employee, for example, had to go to the human resources department to request his vacation and ask his superior to authorize it. Our platform also allows employees to be valued among themselves continuously and gives us the ability to have evolution plans, succession plans, growth plans and career monitoring that we did not have before. In other words, the tool gives us the ability to be objective, to be analyzing because we have data of certain data that we did not have before when we did the personal monitoring of those of the employees. All this data available on the platform in our solutions, because then they allow data analysis and that’s why.
Why is analytics so important?
Last March we launched our Cegid HR Insights solution that allows us to collect aggregated and totally anonymous data. There is talk of extracting the value of the data and this is also very important for the HR department and our solution allows us to compare and evaluate our employees, but also to know what their needs are and what they consider to be doing wrong in a company, to know if they are happy with the salaries or with the way of working,… all this is achieved thanks to that analytics.

By Alvaro Rivers

Award-winning student. Incurable social media fanatic. Music scholar. Beer maven. Writer.