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Independent Meta4 Software Review

 

Additional Meta4 PeopleNet Capabilities

BI/Analytics

In terms of business intelligence (BI), Meta4 has one of the more impressive solutions on the market. With regards to reporting, a plethora of standard reports organized by category are available (including global compliance – which is supported and updated monthly - and basic metrics for performance management and learning). Meta4 also features a query tool in the PeopleNet solution with "drag-and-drop" capabilities—enhancing the User Experience (UX) significantly when faced with ad hoc reporting for non-technical users.

Aside from the basics of reporting though (which nearly every HR software vendor within the space provides), Meta4's PeopleNet software also includes the Active Dashboard (ADB) module—a view of the organization from the perspective of workforce Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The capabilities of the ADB module make analyzing the main variables linked with managing people (who have a direct impact on the company's business) faster and easier by leveraging the following features:

  • A dynamic interface with intelligent, easy, multidimensional and intuitive navigation;
  • Analytical capabilities with predictive suggestions and possible next actions to pursue;
  • Intelligent filters for fine tuning search criteria;
  • The ability to directly execute decisions from each analysis;
  • Active filters, active searches, and active graphics;
  • The ability to drill down from a global bird's eye view to individual snapshots and supporting detailed data;
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technology (a part of Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5);
  • Rich Internet Application (RIA) (a type of interactive, responsive, and natural web application with the feel of a desktop application); and
  • Integration with Crystal Reports and Business Objects for Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) and report tools connectivity

The above elements contained in PeopleNet's ADB are helpful concepts that according to many analysts are rarely seen outside of performance and succession management applications, and which Meta4 is on the leading edge of. Indeed, according to Bersin & Associates' Josh Bersin, "Some pure-play HRM providers [are] beginning to embed some strong visualization technology inside their core platforms. Examples include Meta4 [and] Workday".

Social Technology

Meta4 has a gateway presence within the social technology and social media space, such as social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other sites. However, this presence seems to be driven from the perspective of a customer relationship management (CRM) model and not HR functionality. Indeed, the company's purpose in leveraging this technology at this point (while laudable) seems to come from the need to stay abreast of users, clients, partners, and employees needs versus building in social capabilities to the application in areas such as recruiting, performance management, and collaborative talent management functions.

Mobile Functionality

Meta4 Employee and Manager Self-Service (ESS/MSS) are accessible from most common browsers. ESS/MSS take a lowest common denominator device approach in order to provide mobile support to platforms such as Windows mobile, iOS, Android and RIM. While ubiquitous, this browser approach doesn't always take advantage of various form factors or mobile operating system capabilities. It's a workable approach, but may not satisfy staff accustomed to their iPhones or mobile device of choice user experience. Also, it should be noted that no data is cached in those devices or available offline.

International Support

Quite surprisingly, given the global reach and Meta4's marketing collaterals, the HR software only supports English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and German languages. While Meta4 does have a sizable customer base in South America and Europe, further language capability build out will be necessary to expand their reach. According to the company other languages can be implemented by client's request, but regardless the language support has a long way to go before it is competitive with other global HR software solutions. That being said, it should be noted that language support is only one facet of international implications for any given vendor, and as mentioned earlier, Meta4 has an actual "feet-on-the-ground" presence in 11 countries thus far—enabling Meta4 to have a tangible offering of sales, service, and support within many of those locales. Further, Meta4 provides multi-currency support and various levels of compliance and other regional localisation. As such, due diligence is needed on the part of any organization considering Meta4 for a given locale.

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