You have decided to make your HRIS platform free. For what reasons?
At Hoggo, our core business is to simplify the internal workings of companies, striving to enable them to consistently save money. We started by optimizing our clients’ group insurance contracts to offer them better coverage at the best price. The next step? Create a platform that simplifies the daily management of paperwork and contracts.
Last year we went even further, with a somewhat crazy project: to create a 100% free HRIS that is easy to implement in any company. We have in fact realized that many small structures do not have the reflex of relying on this type of instrument.
Today, just 20% of companies with fewer than 100 employees therefore use an HRIS, while this type of platform can have a significant impact internally, in particular for the collection of the various variable components of the payroll (absences, expense reports, transport, insurance health insurance, social security insurance, etc.).
Our first goal, by making our HRIS free, is to truly democratize the use of this type of product, even in small businesses where administrative functions are often seen as a chore.
Our second goal is marketing: by equipping these companies with a simple and easy to use HRIS, we have an entry point into their HR processes and we can offer them the opportunity to optimize all their insurance contracts.groups if they wish. HRIS is therefore a real acquisition channel for us.
The third reason is perhaps even more strategic. The last decade has seen the emergence of SaaS, or solutions in the cloud, paid by subscription per month.
In 2022, it has become much easier to program these types of applications. At Hoggo, we are convinced that in the coming years we will see a deflation of SaaS costs, especially in applications with simple architecture and limited technology.
This phenomenon will accelerate with overhead cost inflation, which has been observed for several months already. For me, the only products that will survive will be those that provide enough added value to their users. This is exactly what our HRIS does. It is also part of our constant desire to provide maximum services to companies, with a minimum of expense.
How to create a Is a project like this different in 2022 than it was 10 years ago?
The HRIS market, and software in general, has evolved enormously in 10 years. I see 3 main trends that have influenced him and whose effects continue to be felt:
1. Ease of development
One major change is that IT development productivity has increased dramatically today. Even using a real programming language, it has become much easier to organize developer work and build applications from the beginning. This means that developing the same platform in 2022 requires much less time and investment than 10 years ago.
This is due to the enormous efficiency gains, linked to new organizational methods, new tools to support product development and design, but also to the numerous open source libraries available to developers. Code-free solutions play a very important role here, enabling the rapid development of simple tools at low and stable costs.
2. Corporate maturity for digital and the importance of the employer brand
The second big key difference is that potential customers are much more mature today than they were 10 years ago – they are less resistant to this type of digital solution. Result? There are more potential customers for the same product today than in 2012. More and more companies are reassured by digital, cloud and IT service subscriptions. This significantly reduces distribution costs.
Another phenomenon? We are much more aware than before that some digital tools can help us improve daily life in companies and the Covid emergency has further strengthened this belief.
3. More competition and SaaS offerings
At the same time, we have seen the emergence of many players and platforms that are adopting the SaaS model and constantly offering new services, especially HR. Compared to 2012, the number of platforms offering digital HR services has exploded. Most of these actors are SASS actors. To stand out in this market, you need to bring revolutionary innovation.
At Hoggo we try to do it first by making all the opaque and complicated processes that mark the administrative management of companies much more transparent, and then on the basis of price, precisely to make these services accessible to all.
Has your observation on the greater ease of creating this type of platform changed the way you approach HRIS development?
From the very beginning of the HRIS project, we set out to develop the essential modules that would meet the needs of 90% of companies in France, no more, no less. No frills, just efficiency.
Fortunately, it turns out that in practice, although the range of actions and possibilities is broad, the IT complexity of the project is relatively limited. It was predictable because today thousands of companies still work with Excel spreadsheets on this topic.
Another phenomenon that plays an important role? Our HRIS tool is conceived as a succession of independent modules, nested around the concept of employees and companies. This feature allows you to parallelize developments to gain speed.
We have therefore managed to maximize the work of the developers by making them responsible for a particular module. We therefore had an optimal project organization to deliver our ten modules in 3 months.
What impact does low code have on the market for SaaS tools and solutions? Does it allow younger players to compete with established players?
First, it allows new players to compete with historical SaaS players. Low-code solutions therefore allow you to create pages, data models (databases, relationships between models), rules (conditions, etc.) and events. When you think about it, most web applications are actually an overlay of all of these elements.
Today, the main impact of low-code applications is on showcase sites and simple applications. No code will gradually replace the role of some development agencies in the segment of showcase sites or simple applications that require only a few data models. In my opinion it will slowly spread to more and more complicated applications, but the transition will be long.
But curiously, the real impact of low code is rather on the side of existing SaaS solutions, where it is widely used. When you are on Sendinblue, you can create email and SMS follow-up workflows with conditions on user segments, you are not using code solutions.
CRMs now include all of these types of tools. These features have become essential to offer customization for all specific needs on a common level. This solves (in part) the problem of developing generic solutions for specific needs.
In your opinion, will this observation be even more intense in the years to come? Will low code / no code software gradually establish itself on the market?
Don’t see low-code programming software as a revolution. For me, this is the latest extension of a process that started in the beginning of computer science. 30 years ago, most of the software was programmed in Java and C ++. We have therefore seen the emergence of high-level programming languages, which are actually an overlap of low-level programming languages, which should save developers time by not reinventing important parts of their program. Then, we have seen the emergence of web frameworks (Rails, Django, Symphony, Laravel etc…) which greatly improve productivity in web application development.
The premises of the low code are found in the platforms that allow you to customize the recorded data and the actions to be performed. The question is whether there will be a massive transition of web applications to this new paradigm today?
Codeless software is very interesting for programming very specific action sequences. In marketing, for example, it has become the norm to create automatic follow-ups of customers and prospects, and this is similar to no code. The no code will also be essential for the creation of showcase sites (Wix, WordPress, Webflow) and for the simple processes of information collection. This is already largely possible with current solutions.
However, low code will reach its limits very quickly because in reality a considerable degree of understanding of the system is required to perform the most complex operations, which is actually equivalent to having in-house developers. The developer’s work will therefore not stop, it will tend to focus on activities with high added value.
Also, for larger applications, the number of complex interfaces and operations is significant, so the gain in simplicity from low-code platforms tends to decrease as project complexity increases and even becomes a factor by a certain threshold. Furthermore, it is interesting to note the emergence of machine learning tools to help developers code bits of code on high-level software. This could be the parade of classic development software against low-code tools. These include GitHub Copilot – your AI couple programmer.
On the other hand, it is necessary to note an important evolution in recent years, the barrier with the entry to learn to program has become increasingly weak. It is much easier to become a developer today than it was 20 years ago.
As a SaaS tool, how can you adapt your business model to address this problem?
In my opinion, it is necessary to concentrate and invoice only the activities with high added value, and to use the development of the application as a means of acquisition or native integration with paid functionality. This is what we do at Hoggo and it is what allows us today to have more than 2,200 customers throughout France.
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