Monday, April 04, 2005

Does Kronos own Kronos HR?

I'm posting this because I'm fairly ticked off about a "conversation" I had with someone on another bulletin board. During this conversation (with many other people) I expressed some opinions about HR software and particular vendors. I also stated that Kronos Workforce Central (the HR and PR modules) are in fact still owned by Best! Software. My debate partner summarily dismissed me and stated that I should not post anything unless I could base my opinions on fact rather than blind assumptions.

So, here is a Kronos press release stating that they have a license agreement with Best! and do not actually own any software:

This all just brings up a question... when you purchase a software solution, what can you infer about future service levels if you can't be absolutely sure that the vendor is the original source of the application code? Or in cases of partnerships or acquisitions, what's going to happen to your software in 3 years? Here are a few examples:

1) With Kronos Workforce Central, you're really pretty safe. They have full control over the application development, service and marketing. It's probably a good idea to inquire regarding the contract limitations, and whether Kronos will be giving up the above rights in the future.
2) With ADP Enterprise, ADP fully purchased the source code from PeopleSoft. They fully own development, service and marketing. It's a good idea to understand where PeopleSoft stopped developing the application and when ADP took over. This way, ADP can't just tell you "it's PeopleSoft."
3) With JDE or PeopleSoft, you don't want to make any software aquisitions without understanding what Oracle's direction will be regarding future releases, enhancements, and support. You don't want to get stuck with dead code that cost you $2M to implement.

HR technology is a rapidly consolidating space. Even if you cover all your bases, there's nothing that says the software you purchased last year will not be acquired by someone in the future, and support discontinued. Make sure service level agreements are part of all your vendor interactions.