Aon Hewitt has acquired Kloud, one of Europe’s largest specialised Workday consultancy firms. More than 65 Workday-certified professionals based in London, Paris and Amsterdam join the global HR consultancy giant. Terms and conditions of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Kloud, a dedicated Workday consultancy, was founded in 2010 by Matt Lawrence, Ian Maslin, and John Barratt. All three advisors had previously built an established track record in the area of HR and Workday software, having gained experience both in the consulting industry (e.g. Oracle, Solidnet, PwC) as well as in the industry. Over the past roughly five years Kloud has flourished, growing to its current size of 60+ employees, and recognised by leading (international) rankings for both its functional expertise and good employership. From its base in London*, the firm expanded to Paris and more recently to Amsterdam, making it one of the largest consultancies in Europe specialised in Workday.
For Aon Hewitt, the purchase of Kloud is in line with its global strategy to boost its footprint in the fast growing Workday market. Launched in 2006, Workday has grown to become one of the largest financial management and human capital management software vendors, and is used by more than 500 customers globally. The cloud-based solution is building its market share rapidly, on the back of an efficient, user friendly and cost-effective solution vis a vis other well-known ERP players in the market. With client demand on the rise, so too is the need for Workday consulting, deployment and application management, and as a result the Workday advisory space is buoyant. To capitalise on the potential, market leaders such as Aon Hewitt, Mercer, Towers Watson, but also the Big Four, are scrambling to win the battle through capability building of their HR tech practices.
On top of organic growth, M&A activity resembles the heightened interest in Workday consulting. In 2012 Aon Hewitt for instance bought OmniPoint, one of the largest Workday services companies in the US, with 120 certified professionals transferring to the firm. Deloitte purchased Aggressor in the same year, with Big 4 rival KPMG following suit last year with the acquisition of the Workday unit of US-based AXIA Consulting. More recently, Mercer picked up Jeitosa Group, which saw nearly 80 professionals join its North American ranks.
This time round, it is again Aon Hewitt that strikes a Workday deal, and with the acquisition of European-based Kloud it positions itself in the driving seat on the continent. “With this transaction, Aon Hewitt will become the largest provider of Workday services in Europe,” says the consulting firm, basing its statement on a combined team of more than 200 Workday experts, with client service experience in 100+ countries. “Software-as-a-Service models like Workday are quickly emerging as attractive platforms for companies because they provide the latest technology, access to upgrades and a flexible pricing model with minimal investment in technology infrastructure,” says Jonathan Schembor, President at Aon Hewitt. “This acquisition positions Aon Hewitt to rapidly scale our resources to serve multinational clients. No other provider has the combination of global presence, Workday experience and operational expertise to design, build and operate Workday worldwide.”
Kloud’s founders – Lawrence, Maslin and Barratt – will continue to lead Kloud as a business within Aon Hewitt’s Global Workday Deployment practice. The employees of Kloud will be integrated into Aon Hewitt, with the majority bolstering the London team, with transfers occurring also in Paris and Amsterdam. Lawrence looks forward to the new chapter in Kloud’s history, stating that the decision to merge was based on the possibility to “broaden capabilities by gaining access to Aon Hewitt’s international scale and resources.”
* In the summer of 2014 Kloud moved into London’s fourth tallest building (540 feet high), Broadgate Tower, famous for being featured in the James Bond film ‘Skyfall’.