John Bax – OneSource Virtual
- Written by: Jim Cavan
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Est. reading time: 5 mins
A foreman in a solar panel manufacturing plant opens his banking app. This week’s paycheck is in there, right on time. After months of uncertainty, a single mom shuffles the day’s mail to find a desperately needed child-support payment. A laid-off flight attendant rests a little easier knowing tomorrow’s appointment with the doctor will be covered by COBRA.
Each year, OneSource Virtual handles more than 1 percent of the total U.S. payroll, north of $100 billion. Three million people depend on it for paychecks, tax filings, unemployment benefits and more.
Even if you’ve never heard of OneSource Virtual (OSV), chances are someone you know has felt its efficiency first hand.
“The fact that most people don’t know our name—in a weird way it proves we’re doing something right,” says John Bax, chief financial officer for the Dallas, Texas-based OSV. “It’s our job to make sure you’re not worrying about that paycheck being there, and we’re proud to provide that peace of mind.”
Doing so, however, requires more than just shuffling cash between accounts.
Founded in 2008, OSV works exclusively with Workday, the business management platform used by companies the world over. Unlike its competitors, many of which still use outdated “on-premises” hardware, Bax says OSV’s Workday-based cloud solutions offer a more efficient, cost-effective alternative.
But it’s Workday’s flexibility that truly sets it apart. Whereas many companies take a “my way or the highway” approach to HR outsourcing, where additional integrations mean constantly updating data—social security numbers, routing numbers, 401K withholdings—OSV uses Workday to reconcile the data for you.
For larger companies—Hulu, Groupon, TripAdvisor, Custom Ink, Land O’Lakes, all of which are clients of OSV—there’s a time-saving boon in being able to process payroll, with updated information across hundreds or even thousands of accounts, simultaneously.
“The beauty of Workday is that it doesn’t require a one-size-fits-all approach,” Bax explains. “We can scale your HCM or financial system to meet the business’ unique needs.”
Imagine a medium-sized company with 1,500 employees—say, a financial services firm. Like every other expenditure, payroll outsourcing isn’t cheap, though it does cut down on some paperwork. When it comes time to adjust the company policy for overtime pay or workers’ comp, phone calls and confirmations with the company’s payroll provider are bound to follow—many hours’ worth, potentially.
Using OSV’s Workday expertise, changes to things like tax withholding and direct deposit information can be done in seconds. What’s more, OSV works with you to help you master the system’s nuances: organization, new project implementation and so on.
“If you were going to design a 21st century HR company from the ground up, without any legacy applications dragging it down, this is what you’d build,” says Bax, who joined OSV in 2016. “We’ve gone from being relatively unknown to one of the top five payroll providers in the U.S. Clearly we’re doing something right.”
Having spent decades helping companies of all sizes scale and grow, Bax knows a good idea when he sees one, and OSV more than fit the bill. Now, following double-digit growth for ten out of ten years, Bax and his colleagues are preparing to put the company even further on the cutting edge.
On October 1, OSV announced a partnership with Blue Prism to launch a new line of digital workers. This initiative targets medium-sized companies with 1,000 employees or more—a market that has been underserved by robotic process automation (RPA) due to high costs and strict certification requirements.
Using a digital workforce comprised of virtual robots, each company can choose HR and finance processes from a library of functions—bank reconciliations, job postings, interview scheduling, and so on—that can in turn be adjusted and updated with a few simple commands.
The more input the robots receive, the better they’ll be at automating things like file-generation and employee record management, creating massive efficiencies. With this RPA solution, OSV becomes the first company to offer its customers robotic process as a service (RPaaS).
“The goal is to reduce or remove the mundane or repetitive tasks your employees have to do,” Bax explains. “Having a digital workforce frees people up to pursue more value-added services: better marketing, better product development, whatever it might be.”
Moreover, Bax says OSV will soon join a group of global partners to actively migrate legacy, on-premise financial systems into the cloud and over to financial management as a service products.
All while keeping the company’s mission fully intact.
“Whatever we do, we need to ensure we have the best knowledge and deepest expertise possible,” Bax says. “Outsourcing has become something of a dirty word, but from our perspective, onshore managed services like ours help you find the time to create and innovate.”
A platform of people
According to Bax, technological innovation isn’t the only thing that sets OSV apart. While most HR service providers rely on overseas labor for things like IT troubleshooting and customer service, OSV’s cloud-based model allows it to keep the vast majority of its jobs within the U.S.
“There’s an age-old adage that you spend more time with your coworkers than with your family. So you should treat your coworkers like family,” Bax says. “When you don’t know what to do to solve an issue or come up with an answer, having our core values to guide you—that’s a hallmark of our culture.”
From the angular modernist furniture to spacious sun-soaked offices and conference rooms, OSV’s Dallas headquarters oozes openness and collaboration.
But while he’s quick to praise the company’s young, effervescent atmosphere, Bax says the burden OSV carries—ensuring a single mom can use her benefit card at the grocery store, or the tens of billions of dollars of tax remittances that help towns keep police on the streets and firemen at the ready—isn’t lost on anyone.
“People count on us, and that’s an enormous responsibility that all of us here share,” Bax says. “But we’re proud to have it, because we go home knowing we helped those people breathe a little easier.”
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