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Thomas Otter

Thanks for this. It seems I have kicked off a definition fest. I'd like to argue these through a bit more but I'm still recovering from the CARR crash.

A question. what do you think of the ADP globalview offering. SAP HR, single instance, running nearly a million records and 60+ companies. It is rocking here in old europe.

Jim Holincheck

Thanks, Thomas. I am sure that it is true that others would do the same thing about definitions. One of the hard things about using ADP as an example is that it is not one homogenous organization. It has four main business units along with a variety of other services that may be used across business units. That is why I was very explicit about the National Accounts (companies with more than 1,000 employees) example. GlobalView is offered for the Global Accounts BU. It is more like a BPU, than a BPO for the reasons you indicate in how it is using SAP to support BPO (though there is not a single back-end payroll engine that is used across all geographies). Another example would be the Employease acquisition for Major Accounts (customers with between 50 and 999 employees). It is also a SaaS solution that is a front-end for AutoPay. Finally, for ADP's Pre-Employment Services, it has recently acquired VirtualEdge which is also a SaaS solution. So, depending on the BU and the service, ADP uses a variety of application delivery models.

Jerome Gouvernel

Hi Jim

You are no quite accurate with your description of the SAP/GlobalView payroll code base.
Although it is structured by country, each country payroll program re-uses the same code for equivalent processes. Only country-specific processes (taxes, social insurances etc..) are managed at a country level. The common code is roughly 70% of the total.
In other words it is using a single backend payroll engine for all countries. As you stated, this same payroll engine is also used for all customers.
I obviously agree with the "BPU" slot for GlobalView.
Another point worth mentioning is that the overal code base of our application is still (after 6 years of operations!) virtually identical to the original SAP code.

(Product Manager for GlobalView)


In my view the BPU is only commoditization of BPO .

There are similer discussion on the topic going on http://www.unstructure.org .

Lets check it there .

John Robb


Thanks for putting together the definition of SaaS. It is great to have something in writing.

I had a follow up question for you. Does a central IT department that provides a multi-tentant application to dozens of departments fit into your definition of a SaaS provider? I would assume yes put I wanted to get your view.


(VMware product team)



Thanks for the comment on an oldie, but a goodie. If you look at the official Gartner definition, we say that SaaS requires a single line of code and data definition to be used across multiple customers. So, I guess it depends on how you define customers. You could certainly define it to be internal customers. I have also seen as an example in public sector, a single solution being managed by a central agency with agencies or departments running on the same instance of the application. So, there is definitely precedent.

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