This interview with VectorVMS’s Managing Director, Marc Husain, was originally published in December 2019 by Spend Matters. It has been reprinted with permission.
“We’re an established company with the mentality and freedom to work in a startup mode, which is uncommon in our industry,” says Marc Husain, Managing Director of VectorVMS, which has 20 years of experience but recently refocused on one core mission.
After only a year of being fully focused on the VMS marketplace, VectorVMS has made a name for itself. Formerly a division of PeopleFluent, the company boasts more than two decades of know-how establishing VectorVMS as an industry leader. PeopleFluent, established in 1999 as itiliti, was purchased by UK-based Learning Technologies Group (LTG) in 2018.
“When LTG acquired PeopleFluent, we knew that learning and talent management were natural partners,” said Jonathan Satchell, CEO at Learning Technologies Group. “We also knew that PeopleFluent’s division focused on contingent workforce management was strong enough to stand on its own, and we wanted to liberate it. VectorVMS has flourished, exceeding our expectations in its first year.”
VectorVMS technology has evolved over time, boasting a user-friendly dashboard and configurable workflows to automate and streamline processes. But what sets VectorVMS apart is its tailored menu of services, allowing for the creation of customized solutions.
New offerings, including a technology ecosystem, allow VectorVMS’s clients to leverage trusted technology partners to augment any process gaps. And while no company can provide every service, VectorVMS has developed the technology ecosystem that allows clients to set up individualized programs geared toward their needs.
To find out how VectorVMS’s first year went and to get a glimpse into the future, we talked to Managing Director Marc Husain.
Spend Matters: VectorVMS has established itself as a force in the VMS technology space. How was the first year of that journey?
Marc Husain: It’s been incredibly exciting to launch the new brand and watch it become its own entity as part of the new organization — LTG. This change has allowed us to direct our focus and attention to our clients, partners and the market.
When LTG purchased the company in June 2018, they did a deep dive to truly understand what the entirety of the organization was. Upon completion, they understood the market is quite different for full-time and contingent labor, so they decided to spin off the VMS and affirmative action pieces into their own brands. When we were spun off with Affirmity, the new affirmative action brand, in December 2018, we were provided equal footing within the LTG portfolio, giving us a clear voice at the table to drive change, which has been very exciting.
We have been able to establish a great culture at VectorVMS. Even with all of the change, we have had zero turnover since the separation. Our people have decades of experience, and they are extremely passionate about doing the work and delighting our customers and partners.
While becoming VectorVMS, what do you see as an important change? How does the experience and knowledge from two decades lead you into the next chapter?
Marc Husain: I think the biggest change is how we’re now able to position our solution and services in the market, bettering how we support our clients and partners. From a service and support perspective, we really have developed what we believe is white glove service for our customers.
If I have to choose one differentiator, it would definitely be our people. Of course, our technology has to be great, but if you’ve got great people supporting that technology who know it inside and out, that’s what will accelerate the business. Our 20 years of history gives us stability; our entire technology and organization is built for the contingent labor market by people who understand the industry.
In addition to great service, we want to ensure that we have great technology, so we are focusing our attention on modernizing our offering so it meets client needs and is available wherever they need to access their program data. While we haven’t solved all of the contingent labor world’s problems, we’re working diligently to make the user experience simple and straightforward for our clients and partners. We still have work to do, but understanding that is an indicator of a company that’s committed to continually driving client delight!
Over the course of VectorVMS’s lifespan and evolution, VMS technology has seen many changes. What advancements is the company working on now? And how do you see those impacting your clients and partners?
Marc Husain: When we initially launched as VectorVMS, we didn’t have a mobile app, and a company can’t provide optimal service without mobile capabilities. This became our No. 1 goal, along with some other key modernization capabilities for our application. We are proud to say that in October 2019, we launched phase one of our mobile app — mobile time approvals. The remaining phases of the mobile app will be complete in early 2020 and will include expense, requisition and engagement approvals.
As for our other key modernization capabilities, we surveyed our clients and partners to learn which features were most important to them. Last year we delivered 16 product enhancements, including 508 compliance with web accessibility guidelines. We’re working closely with our client advisory board to incorporate and test new features as they are developed.
There is a movement in the contingent labor industry toward internally managed programs, yet some companies still need support for some functions. How is your company navigating this change?
Marc Husain: Many companies have talked about wanting to manage their programs in-house, but find they lack expertise in certain key areas. We can augment their programs in two ways — with our shared managed services (SMS) program and our talent ecosystem.
Our SMS program managers can help tackle operational tasks and implement best practices. Using our list of customizable services, our clients pick and choose which program management initiatives they feel comfortable leading or which items will require assistance. We find this model helps clients maintain control of their program’s strategic objectives while we manage the day-to-day operations.
The talent ecosystem includes vetted technology partners that provide support for additional practices our clients want to undertake. These services include things like freelance management and IC vetting, direct sourcing channels, analytics and background check integrations.
Using the combination of these two service offerings allows for a best-in-breed, internally managed contingent labor program.
Even with significant competition in the VMS marketplace, some of which comes from some of the industry’s largest companies, VectorVMS seems undaunted and to have found its niche. What is it that sets your company apart?
Marc Husain: We have been recognized by Spend Matters for our excellent compliance support, comparison of candidates and interface and platform, which I feel are things that definitely help differentiate us.
Our compliance manager module is top rate and allows us to provide mission-critical resources to our government, banking and healthcare clients for risk mitigation. Our ability to look at candidates side-by-side helps managers and MSPs make hiring decisions quickly. All of these things rely on the user interface, which is easy to use. We’ve also built out some great tools to help from a self-service implementation standpoint that increases efficiency.
Customization is emerging as a top priority, so we provide a complimentary service that allows them to use our a la carte mode, building the total solution that fits their needs. We are also seeing an increased interest in fast implementation. Even though companies want individualized solutions, they still want them in a few weeks, not months. It becomes a balancing act to keep things customized, but not to the point where it slows things down.
With your growth in technology and solutions, has this enabled you to gain market share in new industries? How has the global picture changed for VectorVMS?
Marc Husain: Of course, our service partners are an important part of our ability to expand into new markets. Our existing partnerships with Adecco and Pontoon have broadened to include their sister company, Modis, which provides support in IT, engineering and life sciences. The healthcare arena is providing opportunities, including recent wins with InGenesis and Strategic Staffing Solutions.
As we continue to evaluate where we want to go as an organization, globalization is an area that we will look to for expansion. We have primarily been a U.S. business with a strong UK presence, and we’re expanding to the rest of the Eurozone. We are expanding a South African client that has been highly successful for us. That may create more opportunities there. As part of LTG, we have the opportunity to work with other internal brands in South America.
After a successful first year, what can we expect from VectorVMS in the years to come?
Marc Husain: No matter what we do, it’s very important not to do those things in a silo. We always have our clients in mind, which is why we’re committed to our client advisory board. There is such long-term value in that.
We’re realistic about what we need to become as we evolve — you can’t stand still and just be a VMS company, you know? You have to be able to participate in this ever-changing industry. You have to be able to modernize in ways that work for clients and in the marketplace as a whole. Ultimately, it’s about paying attention to and caring about your clients, treating each one as if it is critical to our business because they are. We plan on being the best in the mid-market, then we’ll see where we go from there.