Kronos Company Viability Review
From a purely financial perspective, Kronos appears steady, both in terms of its own revenue figures ($800M declared for the 2011 fiscal year) and also with regard to its parent company. As stated earlier, Hellman & Friedman LLC acquired Kronos in 2007. Founded in 1984, and with offices in San Francisco, London, and New York, Hellman & Friedman is a private equity investment firm that has developed more than $25B of committed capital and invested in over 75 companies. The primary focus is in the services industry (the firm currently has investments in 25 technology companies including Datatel and IRIS Software Group).
Looking at Kronos’ global presence, the company has offices in North America, Western Europe, Australia, China, India and Brazil. What’s more, the strategic focus on vertical markets has put the company in an enviable position for geographic expansion. Having firmly established itself in the North American, UK and Australian marketplaces, Kronos is now focusing strongly on the emerging markets of India and China, with ample prospects for up-selling and cross-selling into its sizeable customer base. Indeed, Kronos has even been referred to as “bullish” in this respect.
However, on one key issue, Kronos may be out of step with current and future payroll and HR culture. Certainly the company’s flagship solutions place an exaggerated importance on employee control measures at their center, which may not fit well with the move away from worker control (towards worker empowerment) that has been a central feature of the HR world for some years now. If Kronos is to fully capitalize on its potential as a global payroll and HR software provider, it must factor in a more "worker-centric" approach. On a practical level, this would include taking greater account of the rising use of social and mobile technologies (seeing a slow uptick by the company) by increasingly disjointed and globally dispersed workforces.
Hope for the future lies in Kronos’ high level of investment in product development and the fact that industry analysts are beginning to tag Kronos as an innovative outfit. For example, Madeline Laurano of Bersin & Associates is quoted as saying that, "Kronos has become one of the most forward-looking solution providers in the space." Currently this innovation seems restricted to the area of talent acquisition but if the same approach could be transferred to payroll and other core HR functionality, Kronos could carve a place at the center of the payroll and HR technology landscape.
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