France-based PeopleSpheres announced a $10 million round of venture capital for its Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions focused on integrating existing HR tech into a flexible and extendable platform.

PaaS is an architecture in cloud computing that provides a platform allowing vendors and customers to develop, run, and manage web applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an application. This means that when you invest in a PaaS platform, you have the room to build out the next targeted application and fit it seamlessly into your workflows. It also is inherently a more open architecture that normally allows for more seamless API integrations between systems. It’s an approach that started getting traction across B2B tech around 2016. A great example of this is Consider their “force” platform and the almost incomprehensible number of applications that have been built on it. Other than large employers taking advantage of, the approach hasn’t really taken off in HR. A few vendors have built out platforms on salesforce: Sage, Financial Force, gr8People, CornerstoneOnDemand, and Bullhorn (via jobscience acquisition). These providers all offer non-PaaS solutions as well. The solutions in HR tend to be more focused on exploiting the infrastructure and integration into the SFDC infrastructure than supporting clients’ app development.

PeopleSpheres seems to be offering a true PaaS for HR.

The ambition PeopleSpheres’s PaaS solution is to offer employees, managers, and HR executives an easy-to-use and unified interface to orchestrate the HR ecosystem of companies with 250 to 20,000 employees. PeopleSpheres also has a marketplace of the best HR SaaS software connected to its PaaS and covering the entire HR sphere.

From the PeopleSphere’s Press Release

Too late?

We haven’t seen PeopleSphere’s interface, but to the extent that it’s easy for users to tie together the data and features they need, the offer could be compelling. This usability question is key because while PaaS offers a powerful solution for HR teams with ample IT support, the market has now moved onto low-code no-code (LCNC) solutions that would integrate across the HR stack and automate workflows. Low-code solutions are for individuals with coding skills to develop applications used across the enterprise’s existing tech stack. Low-code solutions have been shown to increase developer productivity from 4x to 6x.  No-code solutions are put in the business user’s hands and promise to render automating workflows as easy as dragging a file across an interface or selecting it from a list. If users understand the action that should trigger automation and what other systems and data are needed to complete it, they can quickly implement automation.

One thing is clear, the platform vs. point solution battle is over and the informed HR technology customer wins.

$2.7 billion was invested globally in work technology during Q1 2021 alone. Get the free WorkTech Q1 2021 report and analysis here.

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