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Meta4 Software & Company Review


Meta4 Company Viability Review

As mentioned earlier, with 1,300+ clients in 100+ countries, Meta4 manages a global cadre of 18M+ employees, which (according to company collaterals) makes it one of the top three worldwide providers of Human Resources software. We're not exactly sure of the parameters that the company uses to defend that statement, but it's likely that any number of companies could also exert the same claim if framed properly. That said, the relatively small size of the company paired with the relatively large size of its customer base is enough to make them a significant player nevertheless.

Though started independently by Emile Hamou, Meta4 was brought under the umbrella of the founder's France-based firm, Groupe Adonix, in 2003; and distinctly left out of a 2005 Sage acquisition in no large part because of the existing HRMS solution that Sage already possessed. While this acquisition greatly impacted the ability of Meta4 to integrate into Groupe Adonix's larger ERP solution, company representatives seem pleased that the purchase took place—citing the fact that questions surrounding Meta4's long-term viability are largely unfounded. Indeed, according to Meta4's Xavier Daguzan, "The focus of our group is clearly given to HR solutions and [now] we have significant resources to develop ourselves".

And develop the company has; remaining solid and posting impressive growth figures even in the face of an economic downturn. For example, 2009 figures for the company hit 13% over 2008 (and annual revenues of 47.3M euros). In large part, these results were due to increased efforts in Meta4's BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) strategy—a strategy that posted an incredible 103% growth (11% of the company's total revenue) in the same period. This growth was fueled by several large-scale transactions including the highly sought after dollars of the massive NGO World Vision International (an organization with 70K staff in 100+ countries).

Yet as a company, the story hasn't always been so rosy. In fact, as a company, Meta4 has had significant periods of both growth and stagnation. Specifically, after emerging onto the scene with the only global HR software solution in the 1990s, Meta4 was considered by many (including several top analysts) as a market leader in innovation and a visionary example of where the HR software industry was headed. At the time, Meta4 had built its solution on the then-novel concept of an OOA (object-oriented architecture) and had solid integration into the industry's trends such as competency management. However, a bad bet in the early 2000s against the importance of talent management pushed the company off the radar of a host of potential customers. The latest offerings from the HR software vendor however show promise and a distinct harkening back to the days of innovation that the company started with. Architectural offerings that set Meta4 apart before are allowing for innovative solutions at a time that global capabilities are getting more and more press—a trend that is extremely positive for the company.

Meta4's current roadmap includes strategies to enhance the company's BPO offerings (which the company projects will represent 25% of total fiscal revenues) and continued investment in Research and Development (R&D) in order to stay in front of the technology curve. Further, the company plans on continuing investments in geographic and sector-specific acquisitions to drive growth in under-utilized areas. Previous Gartner research indicates that these investments are fueled by Meta4's solid financial core and that the company "is profitable, has good liquidity and is cash flow positive".

Next - Meta4 Strengths and Weaknesses >>

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