IQN rides the surging wave of contingent labor
y 2016, economists predict that fully one-third of the nation’s workforce will consist of independent and freelance workers. That’s old news to IQNavigator: the Centennial-based company has been steadily crafting software tools to manage the new contingent workforce since 1999.
In recent months though, the firm has stepped up its game, building a new executive team and buying out a competitor. Following the recent appointment of a new chief technology officer and a new executive vice president of sales and marketing, the company last week announced the acquisition of ProcureStaff Technologies, a New York City firm offering competing software.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to a press release, IQNavigator is basically buying the company’s VMS (vendor management system) software and its customer base. The deal is sure to fortify IQN’s already strong market position.
IQNavigator’s own VMS platform currently ranks second in total temp/contract spend, at $11.2 billion, among VMS systems measured in a 2013 report by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), a group that monitors the contingent workforce market. (Total temp/contract spend is the total amount of spending on temporary and contract workers by companies that are using a particular VMS.) IQN also ranks second in statement-of-work services and third in outsourced services.
As the business world rapidly turns to the new freelance workforce, the VMS market has experienced extraordinary growth. SIA reports that a third of global temporary staffing labor is now managed either by MSPs (managed service providers) or run through a vendor management system.
With nearly 400 employees, IQNavigator has emerged as an industry leader in an exploding market. But the company is not resting on its laurels. In fact, 2013 has been a year of significant change.
Last July, Joseph Juliano, a veteran of several software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, replaced Lou Andreozzi as President and CEO. Andreozzi, who saw the company through several years of growth since his appointment in 2009, went on to become chairman of Bloomberg Law, the legal research system spawned by the giant financial information firm.
Juliano had served as president of RedPrairie, a supply chain SaaS and software firm specializing in retail operations, workforce, inventory and transportation management. He also served as president and CEO of PrimeRevenue Inc., another SaaS firm. And before that, he was senior vice president of sales for Ariba Inc., a cloud-based collaborative business solutions company that was later sold to SAP.
Juliano is the latest of only three chief executives in the company’s history. The first was John Raeder, who founded the firm in 1999 and presided over it for the next 10 years.
Last December the company plucked Sherri Hammons from Gov. Hickenlooper's Office of Information Technology to be IQNavigator’s new chief technology officer. As the state’s CTO, Hammons led a number of groundbreaking initiatives, including the launch of the Colorado Information Marketplace, development of a business intelligence center and an overhaul of the Colorado Benefits Management System. Several of her projects led to CIO magazine’s "CIO 100 Awards" in both 2012 and 2013.
Juliano was clearly pleased with what many saw as something of a hiring coup.
"Sherri is one of the most respected technology executives in the market today," he beamed. "She has a remarkable track record and had numerous opportunities but shared our vision. We could not be happier about her decision to join IQNavigator. As our CTO, Sherri will play a critical role in transforming our technical organization, taking it to the next level."
The newest IQN executive is Eric Riddle, who was named executive vice president of sales and marketing just this week. Riddle had been responsible for the European Operations at PrimeRevenue, the company Juliano headed before joining IQNavigator. In his new role at IQN, Riddle will be responsible for driving global sales efforts in existing markets and evaluating opportunities in new markets.
Just days after Riddle’s appointment, the company announced the acquisition of ProcureStaff.
According to business intelligence website InsideView, ProcureStaff, a subsidiary of Volt Information Sciences, Inc., is a firm with 140 employees and annual revenues of about $30 million. Established in 1996, the company offers Consol, a VMS software platform similar to that of IQNavigator. The product is no slouch; the SIA group named it as the "Top VMS Performer" in its 2013 VMS and MSP Customer Experience survey of staffing suppliers.
In a press release, Juliano was quick to stifle any fears of abandonment among current ProcureStaff customers.
"ProcureStaff customers and partners can expect a business-as-usual environment post-acquisition," he said. "The same knowledgeable team of ProcureStaff associates will be available to support them while serving as a trusted resource in exploring the expanded VMS functionality offered by IQNavigator."
But between the lines, it seemed clear that a migration from the Consol platform to IQNavigator was inevitable. ProcureStaff COO Carolyn Nolan, who will be joining the IQNavigator team, hinted that migration was a matter of when, not if.
"When the time comes for our customers and partners to take advantage of the world-class IQNavigator functionality," said Nolan, "... we will be here to lead them through a seamless migration methodology that best fits their requirements, resources and timelines."
The trend toward what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calls the "non-traditional workforce" has been driven largely by the globalization of the labor market. As businesses economize, outsourcing of labor to offshore workforces continues to drive the cost of labor down in a worldwide marketplace. Outsourcing is now an estimated $6 trillion global industry and is expected to keep growing.
With its cloud-based system for managing contingent workers, IQNavigator is well-positioned to ride the growing wave of the non-traditional workforce.
There is no doubt that contingent labor is big business. The BLS estimates nearly four out of five employers, in establishments of all sizes and industries, currently use some form of non-traditional staffing. Various studies estimate that 20 to 33 percent of today’s U.S. workforce is composed of freelancers, contractors and temps. And the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals reports that worldwide, companies now spend an estimated $300 billion dollars per year on contingent labor.