Dave Putt is Executive Vice President at cloud-based VMS provider DCR Workforce. We caught up with Dave at the SIG Summit in Orlando, Florida (get a taste of the action on Twitter via the hashtag #SIGspring16) to learn a bit more about his organisation – and to get his take on the fragmentation of work today…
Outsource: Dave, thanks for joining us today. Some of our readers may not be familiar with your organisation: can you give us a brief introduction to DCR Workforce?
Dave Putt: DCR Workforce has actually been around for about 20 years, primarily providing services to large companies within the business process management and managed services provider space for total talent management. We didn’t find any VMS tools that really suited our needs, so we developed our own… And the company’s owners came to realise that they had something really commercially viable, so over the last three years we’ve commercialised that VMS tool and moved into a true VMS-only provider space globally – which, incidentally, was born in the web: you hear a lot about legacy applications being converted to a SaaS model, but ours has always been “True” SaaS.
Now we’re in a place where we’ve built out infrastructure, we’ve hired SMEs (subject matter experts for various industry verticals): we’ve a good competitive challenge ahead of us because it’s a very robust space, with two major providers of VMS SaaS. Our belief is that our tool and disruptive innovation is a leapfrog-kind of capability with some really advanced features and functions: we’ve built out some really complex statement-of-work capabilities, multi-lingual capabilities, multi-currency, multi-country capabilities on an application that that is device agnostic.
That’s the niche that we’re in now, and we have an exhaustive client base to take us into the next-gen programs that are at play in this market.
O: You’re a relatively new proposition: how has your interaction with buyers evolved over the relatively short period you’ve been in this space?
DP: Well, it’s embryonic at this point: to be frank our way into organisations is to catch them as early as possible when they’re starting to roll out complex statement-of-work issues, or doing complex international roll-outs; that’s where we can come in and really give them really good support in terms of best practice with the applications that are available. We have built SME teams which engage with buyers to provide best practice and a solution which is future proof and is built on the next generation of platforms. And SIG has been very helpful for that – this event here really has plugged us into some people who now can really compare and contrast, and not just think of three main companies.
Part of what we’re trying to do here is not just find customers, but partnerships that will work and we are a “True Vendor Neutral” solution. We think we can enable a lot of other supplier organisations to better serve their customer base. We’re able to work with almost any type of provider in this space, as long as they share our future thinking…
O: Where do your customers typically come from in terms of geographies and functions?
DP: Most of our customers are working in multiple geographies and our program is rolled out globally. If you have a legacy VMS application which is ten years old and built on legacy software tools that’s primarily servicing req to check temp-oriented environment you need to revisit your options. Plus the third generation programs which have extensive next level demands and strategic goals – one example being the nuclear power industry which is fairly complex from a regulatory standpoint and also in terms of the actual work done, so imagine a fairly large statement of work regarding shutting a power plant down and bringing it back up again. We’ve configured our tool for that industry so all of the components around shutting down and ramping up a power plant are repeatable. So you can put a fairly complex statement of work together, roll it out to three or four vendors, get all the spend analytics baked into it, do the gig one time – and then the next plant, and the next plant and the next plant are already put into a repeatable catalogue.
So we’re into nuclear power, we’re into financial services, government contracting, retail, technology, pharma, insurance – but it’s really not specific to any one industry. The global component really attracts a lot of companies – especially if they’re doing a lot of SOW projects, things like that.
O: You asked a question at yesterday’s keynote session about the impact of automation on employment; do you see that as being a challenge to your company, or conversely do you think that with the increased fragmentation of work nowadays there’s more of a role for tools such as yours?
DP: So I have a huge passion for this topic. When I was in college I read Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., and it completely changed my views on this aspect of life. That book portrays a dystopia where automation has cut down so many jobs, and there is strife in society. And here we are… If we cut 100,000 taxi drivers what actually happens to them? But I do think that with work being fragmented – and whether you think it’s a good thing or a bad thing, it’s happening – if there’s not an adequate tool that can actually manage all the complexities around how to engage talent, then we’re going to be caught short. One example for us is a thing we call xCHANGE, which is essentially a talent cloud. What our goal is is to punch that out through APIs to any number of talent sources. And that’s another avenue for companies to get talent, regardless of what modalities the future takes – because nobody knows what the future looks like…
O: Where would you like your organisation to go over the next business cycle?
DP: The seed of DCR is very collaborative, and while we believe that many of the things we have developed are meeting market needs right now we collaborate in exponential fashion with our customers to come up with next-generation programs that we want to do. My goal really from a sales perspective is of course market penetration; but more importantly if we have a tool that has all the capabilities that a customer wishes it had but can’t deploy, then I don’t think market penetration is going to be an issue. We’ll be beating the demands of the future.