Celebrating Twenty Years of HR Tech in France

Last month, NGA Human Resources launched a book celebrating 20 years of NGA Human Resources delivering HR technology and services in France. 

Having worked within the HR tech space for much of this time, I was honored to take the role of commissioning editor, with a mission to invite experts from the fields of HR, payroll, people, and workforce management to contribute their own experiences and opinions.


digital workplace in Europe

Leading the digital HR revolution

France was chosen as the focus for the book, not just because we are celebrating 20 years of great HR partnerships with organizations in France, but also due to the fact that in a recent report into the Digital Workplace in Europe, by Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC, a CXP Group Company) and published in association with NGA HR, France came out as the most advanced European country in terms of readying its workforce for the future of work.

Challenging the Ulrich Model

Following 20 years of HR systems and services, what’s now clear is that the Ulrich Model (1997), which has stood the test of time for the past 2 decades, is now being challenged, and hard by the steady growth in the migration of HR processes to the cloud.

Twenty years on…

Digital HR is taking this (r)evolution to the next level. In many ways, it is rehumanizing HR. It’s putting people center to the processes.

  • Self-service and access from any device at any time is making HR work for us, the employees and not the other way around.
  • HR bots and machine learning are now taking this personalization to the next level.

Some visual examples of automation in HR can be found here.

All these new technologies have one thing in common…

…they put the employee in control, by applying digital technologies. Where Digital HR made its first impact though was by unifying and standardizing global HR processes.


Digital HR in practice

At its core, digital HR triages and, with the right tools, analyzes, workforce related data.

From this, the most highly targeted HR analytics can be produced. It provides all that an organization needs to understand: performance, current, retrospective and predicted; points of success and failure; opportunities for expansion or rationalization; impact of workforce on cashflow, and so many more vital touchpoints.

Most recently Corbion, a client of NGA HR’s in The Netherlands, was able to transform its HR processes in 21 countries in less than six months.

This was only possible because of the work that my colleagues at NGA HR, and our partner, SAP SuccessFactors have done to make Digital HR a standard business practice.

Three challenges for the 4th generation of HR tech

During the editing process of the book, I interviewed my colleague, Michael Custers who works very closely with industry analysts, partners and clients during his daily work. Michael has a unique perspective on the impact of Digital on HR.

“Today we’re in the 4th generation of HR systems and HR is really the driver and leveraging a lot of the new technologies around cloud, around social, around analytics, and everything is coming together around HR cloud,” said Michael Custers.

  1. The first challenge is around integration. Bringing the multiple information islands into a single strategy
  2. The second is around analytics. Analytics will reinforce the HR function. HR will talk the language of the CFO, the CEO and of the board
  3. Next comes compliance. This will only become greater and more complex. Already, new legislation is coming with GDPR kicking in in 2018

Compliance is likely to be a primary driver for HR strategy going forward.

The complete interview with Michael can be viewed here: English French –,

“The HR technologies that NGA HR has been developing over the past 20 years (and during the 20 years before that) with the leading HR technology companies including SAP SuccessFactors and Workday open new horizons. They extend the value of on premise and cloud HR Apps and services to make them fast to deploy and immediately effective,” said Michael Custers.

The last two decades have seen enormous changes in the workplace and how we engage with our managers and colleagues. Trust me, having seen the development pipeline in the NGA HR R&D labs, the next stage in the evolution of HR and payroll technology is quite something else!

Order your copy of our book celebrating 20 years of HR systems and services in France her (in French):paper format  and e-book