Alight Solutions, a leading technology-enabled provider of benefits administration and cloud-based HR solutions, which was formerly under Aon has been launched as a standalone business. Earlier this year, Aon sold its benefits administration and HR BPO platform to private equity funds affiliated with Blackstone. Alight has 22,000 people across 14 global centers with a client base of 1,400. The company offers Health & Wealth Solutions, HR & Financial Solutions, and applies customer experience based insights for employees to interact with HR.
People Matters spoke to Alight’s CEO Chris Michalak and Jasjit Singh Kang – EVP and Managing Director- Asia Pacific about the launch of the brand and the business opportunities it presents for the HR industry.
Q: Congratulations on Alight's launch as a standalone company. What does your brand name signify?
Chris: Alight represents three important concepts; boldness, clarity and the ability to thrive. We are bold partners to our clients, offering them clarity on how their organization and their people can thrive.
Q: While Alight is a new brand, it comes with a rich heritage of an expert HR services provider with a focus on domain expertise, leveraging technology. What has this journey been like?
Chris: It’s been an amazing process. Over the course of just a few months, we closed the sale, rigorously evaluated and decided on a new name and brand, and transitioned to a standalone company. Determining the culture of our organization has been one of the most important parts of the process. We have taken the best elements of our 25-year heritage and combined that with who we want to be on our best days.
Q: What are the some of the opportunities this move opens up for you, and to the HR industry?
Chris: We see great opportunities to help people improve work and life through cloud-based solutions and consumer access to individual products and services including advocacy and advice. For example, we are investing heavily in our cloud-based business, as more and more companies move their HR and financial systems to the cloud. We help them implement the solution, optimize it for their organization, and run it for them in the long-term.
Jasjit: Asia continues to present enormous opportunities for our business, especially in the areas of HR transformation and the adoption of cloud technologies. Clients are looking for partners with demonstrable experience and success. With our strong capabilities beyond Asia, we are well positioned to support the needs of our clients wherever they may be.
Q: Compared to your counterparts, you have greater revenue per headcount and are ahead of the market in terms of technology based innovation. Are there any challenges you foresee in taking it to the next level?
Jasjit: We already have a culture of continuous improvement and are driving tremendous innovation across our operations, focused on increased quality and productivity. We’re taking steps in the areas of robotics and automation and will drive efficiency by leveraging new technology. Speed of adoption and retaining key talent will be critical to make this a success.
Chris: More broadly, as a standalone organization, our entire management team, our innovation and our investments are focused on our technology-enabled health, wealth, HR and financial solutions for our clients. This increased focus means we are well-positioned to continue to drive the kind of innovation our clients need to navigate the big trends they face today, including the rise in consumerism and the shift to cloud-based technologies.
Q: What does the new brand bring to the HR APAC marketplace that was not there before?
Jasjit: Asia Pacific has tremendous near- and long-term economic potential, particularly in cloud solutions. Companies in Asia are demanding solutions that provide strong analytics and an exceptional user experience along with mobile capabilities. Alight Solutions is able to help clients succeed with their HR transformation agenda across the design, implementation and operations stages.
Q: There are exciting new developments impacting the HR industry today. What excites you the most about the future?
Chris: Increased regulation, a drive toward consumerism, and the broad shift to cloud-based solutions are changing the way companies think about their benefits, HR and finances. This shift provides a tremendous opportunity for our business to provide solutions that help make work and life easier for our clients and their people.