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USi Integrates Payroll Service With Enterprise Apps

Enterprise ASP USi today announced that it now offers outsourced payroll and payroll taxes processing services.

According to Chris Walker, vice president of communications at USi, the new services come as a result of USi's merger with Interpath. Walker told ASPnews that integration with Interpath "has been completed on schedule and on budget."

Annapolis, Md.-based USi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January of 2002, but emerged in May thanks to an $81.25 million investment from Bain Capital. Under the terms of that agreement, USi merged its operations with Interpath, which Bain Capital also owned a controlling interest in.

More than 30 enterprise customers have been moved from Interpath's North Carolina data center to USi facilities in Maryland and California, Walker said.

According to USi, the payroll and payroll tax services have already been adopted by several of its Global 2000 enterprise customers and complement the benefits and cost savings of outsourcing human resources applications. Walker said customers are now looking to outsource more non-core functions. "It's not just applications but also business process outsourcing."

The payroll services are designed to reduce the complexity of exporting data to external providers and the costs of supporting additional systems. "Previously payroll was shipped off to a company like ADP and you were given a static report. It was not integrated with Peoplesoft [ HR application]. Walker said.

USi reports that its team of certified payroll personnel can access information directly from the client's existing human resources systems. In addition to eliminating duplicate infrastructure, the service allows payroll managers to implement changes in employee status, produce other time-sensitive reports and track from their desktop their ongoing payroll processes.

Integrating HR and payroll services into one turnkey system offers the double benefit or being more efficient and more accurate. For example, a salary or benefits change, new hire, or termination needs to be entered only once and is then reflected in the payroll system.

"Clients ultimately receive the best of both worlds — the control and flexibility available by processing payroll and tax filings through their own internal applications, along with the additional domain expertise and efficiency that we can deliver on an outsourced basis," Bret Hunter, ERP and CRM product executive at USi, said.

With its financial woes apparently behind it, USi appears to be on track to reap the benefits of increasing adoption of hosted applications. USi's Walker said that 80 percent of the company's customers have either upgraded their contract or been cross-sold new services.

Industry watchers agree that the ASP market finally seems to be on solid ground. "The market for ASP services continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the IT services landscape," said Amy Mizoras, program manager at market research firm IDC. "IDC preliminary estimates show spending on ASP services grew 49 percent from 2001-2002."

Mizoras said that IDC anticipates continued growth in demand for ASP services and and predicts U.S. spending will grow 42 percent in 2003.

Walker said that old concerns about the ASP model don't come up any longer. "There are no longer questions about security, up time or date integrity. We're just are not hearing that anymore."

USi is listed by ASPnews as a Top 20 Service Provider.


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