Simplify Workforce is a privately held technology company that operates in the contingent workforce and services procurement market. Its solutions enable HR, procurement and talent sourcing professionals to optimize their nonemployee labor programs and gain visibility into their workforces — contingent and traditional.
With offices in the US and India and headquartered in New Jersey, Simplify Workforce’s flagship product is SimplifyVMS, which entered the market three years ago. Neha Goel, senior vice president of marketing and strategy, talks about SimplifyVMS, where its headed and how it fits into today’s complex evolving contingent workforce market.
How did SimplifyVMS get started?
SimplifyVMS is our cloud-based, vendor-neutral vendor management system (VMS) platform. It was officially launched in 2016 and is built with the newest and most agile tech, backed with an open API. We believe it’s redefining the concept of a VMS platform.
SimplifyVMS offers a standalone solution for sourcing and managing CW and service procurement spend.
It was built by industry veterans and tech-enthusiasts, people who had worked with many of the incumbent tools, MSPs, as well as suppliers to support client programs. The team designed and developed SimplifyVMS to address inefficiencies they had experienced in the market, such as complex functionality, lengthy implementations and integration challenges.
Describe SimplifyVMS, its mission and what you hope it achieves in the short and long term?
SimplifyVMS provides contingent workforce solutions for both midmarket and enterprise clients. Our elevator pitch: SimplifyVMS allows customers to optimize their entire contingent talent supply chain, all the way from supplier to the end user.
Additionally, we work with internally managed programs or with MSPs as channel partners.
We collaborate with each of our clients from implementation to production. For example, we offer unlimited integrations to support our clients’ use cases, and also offer our MSP partners numerous hours of configuration hours at no charge to individualize the tool based on their business requirements. This has helped us to develop a creative VMS strategy while establishing customer confidence and generating positive business outcomes for our clients.
Our short-term goal is to address the long-underserved middle market by offering a solution that is rapidly deployable and highly intuitive. In the long term, we plan to continue to evolve our product to become the VMS of choice for customers of all sizes and to continue forging strategic partnerships and building relationships with many of the other providers in the industry, including MSPs, FMSs and sometimes other VMSs as well.
What that does is offer the best of the market to our customers making digital transformation easier and changing the landscape of total workforce solutions. We are even exploring tangential technologies that we can add to our own. Some don’t even exist as a solution in the CW market today.
Why are companies looking to either partner with or directly engage Simplify Workforce to optimize their contingent workforce?
It boils down to our technology stack and our approach. We offer one of the newest and most flexible technology stacks in the VMS space. Not only can we integrate with any other system, but our out-of-the-box implementation takes only three to four weeks, which makes us more agile to meet the changing demands of this complex space.
And because of our ecosystem approach, we collaborate with our customers and channel partners to solve challenges. It’s a win-win.
What is SimplifyVMS’s competitive differentiator?
We don’t have just one. Five key things differentiate SimplifyVMS in the market. First is our “no walls, configure everything” approach. Our infrastructure design allows for easy configurability, flexibility and scalability.
Second, we take the entire stakeholder base into account, including the supplier. We’re very aware and sensitive to the needs of the suppliers when it comes to innovation and user interface/experience.
As a result, the UI for the suppliers is the same as it is for customers and there’s functionality that specifically addresses their needs. Especially in service procurement, our approach eases the typical resistance seen from suppliers. In the case of SOW, we want to enable suppliers to work with the buyers who mold the SOW agreements, as opposed to making them feel that the contract is just unrealistic or inflexible. This is also a huge help when it comes to program adoption.
Third is our robust analytics. Our native analytic tool enables us to own our analytics roadmap and configure based on our customer’s requirements, offering our users ease in pulling data to building all manners of custom reports in real time.
Our fourth differentiator is our focus on alliances and partnerships as a strategic initiative.
We are well aware that there are multiple intermediaries that facilitate and influence CW processes, especially MSPs. We align with our MSP channel partners, all the way from RFP to deal close, implementation and steady state.
Finally, our company culture plays a part as well. As a start-up, we have the flexibility to work differently from our competitors, so we are able to structure deals and align resources in a flexible and a novel way. Add to this our vast industry expertise. We understand the frustrations and pain points that are being faced both by the end customer and the providers in the market. This enables Simplify to pivot with the market.
What is the role of integration in our industry, and why has it become increasingly important? How does SimplifyVMS’ positioning fit into this?
Integration is a central focus of a platform strategy and toward building a workforce solutions ecosystem.
Simplify has a very configurable and savvy integration module. The ability to efficiently deliver integrations is vital to our positioning as the most usable and configurable VMS platform in the market.
For our team of product architects, integration with any API that accepts structured data is absolutely no issue and that’s why we include an unlimited number of integrations as part of our solution set.
How is SimplifyVMS addressing clients’ need for total talent management?
Companies are having some serious conversations about total talent management, but in practice, it’s still pretty abstract. I don’t think that most organizations have really been able to comprehend their entire umbrella of nonemployee labor spend.
For customers with a more mature total workforce strategy, they will need an integrated technology stack or ecosystem.
VMS technology is a particularly good fit for integrating the various point solutions that are out there — your freelancer management system, applicant tracking system, e-procurement system, HR system, etc. — because it’s typically less a legacy burden than most HRIS systems, yet more mature than some of the up-and-coming FMS tools.
Also, a VMS by nature is accustomed to playing in that space between the siloed solutions that are offered by HCM tools and procurement systems. So, it’s really an ideal choice to function as a platform to power an integrated total talent sourcing and management strategy.
At SimplifyVMS, it goes back to architecture and approach. Because we have a flexible and new technology architecture, a team that is truly brilliant when it comes to integrations, and a strategic mindset towards building external relationships, Simplify is well-positioned to support and deliver a TTM solution.
Where is the VMS headed? Describe your plan for how SimplifyVMS will evolve to stay competitive and in tune with the market?
We need to create this holistic ecosystem that can measure and optimize nonemployee spend. Technology providers like a VMS or an FMS, and MSPs, staffing suppliers, and end buyers need to collectively work together across the entire talent supply chain. For a VMS to be successful in a dynamic market it must evolve. That means not operating or innovating in a silo. That’s the reason behind our ecosystem approach.
We empower our clients and partners to be a driving force; we allow them to influence our product roadmap and innovation. We invest time and resources speaking with analyst groups [like SIA] and industry experts who are trying to take this ecosystem forward. We want to be a part of those conversations and help make that change happen.