The future of HR: Atlas leaders chart a new course

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The world has truly become flat. Employer of record (EOR) services have simplified launching into new markets for global organisations, allowing these companies to focus on their core business.

However, to provide effective solutions, EOR firms must utilise reliable tools to comprehensively address their clients’ needs. 

Frontier Enterprise spoke with Jim McCoy and Warren Perlman, the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer, respectively, of global EOR solutions provider Atlas, to explore the technology driving their platform and how AI is shaping their long-term business strategy.

Scalability challenges

With 16 regional offices worldwide and support teams in over 160 countries, Atlas faced several challenges, McCoy recalled.

The first was protecting the personal information of mobile employees.

Secondly, real-time access to data must always be enabled. Issues such as pay disputes or discrepancies with benefits need immediate action.

Jim McCoy, Chief Executive Officer, Atlas. Image courtesy of Atlas.

Lastly, and most critically, ensuring payments to all employees are timely and accurate is vital.

“There’s nothing worse in our business than incorrect payroll or failing to pay the appropriate taxes to local authorities,” he remarked.

Perlman explained how they addressed these challenges: “We designed an all-in cloud platform based on true microservice architecture. This architecture allows us to offer a 24/7, fully available solution globally. We distribute data by charging, using database back-end technology that aligns with specific country requirements.”

Moreover, the company uses Kubernetes as its containerisation platform and Microsoft Azure SQL on the back end. According to Perlman, these technologies provide benefits like site redundancy, automation, and end-to-end visibility.

“In terms of application architecture, it’s crucial to select the right technologies, building the capacity not only to scale up but also to scale down. I’ve seen many cases where organisations will enable autoscale but lack the capability to scale back down,” the Atlas CTO noted.

Perlman detailed their adoption of a microservices architecture, which he regards as closely aligned with the ideal model. This architecture ensures that each service has its own metadata, connecting back to the database. It allows them to enhance the database by adding metadata, data, and columns, thus expanding its capacity without significantly affecting the application’s overall performance.

AI push

Like many enterprises, Atlas has also discovered how AI can further improve its services and simplify payroll processes for its customers.

“Imagine moving data from our platform to another platform, and getting that information back and trying to manage it without overburdening the administrative staff, particularly when people make mistakes, because humans are humans,” Perlman said.

To address this, Atlas has partnered with datascalehr, an AI-native payroll data platform.

“Datascalehr eliminates the need for data connectors in the payroll process, which allows us to decrease implementation times while boosting the efficiency of daily payroll automations. It reduces manual work and nearly all data inaccuracies. The datascalehr technology also provides end-to-end integration tooling, enabling quick data mapping and automation to any endpoint, identifying any discrepancies and mapping them based on its knowledge to the most appropriate match through AI,” he continued.

As an example, Perlman illustrated how datascalehr corrects inaccuracies in date formats. If the date format in one country differs slightly from the one Atlas uses for payments and processing, datascalehr will automatically align it and ask the administrator to confirm.

“In the old days, you’d have to modify the data, translate it, transform it, and try to make the data come together for it to work. Every time there was a system change, whether ours or the partner’s, there would be a huge effort involved in mitigating, adjusting, deploying, making sure there are no errors, and doing regression testing. Datascalehr removes all those steps for us and does it automatically through AI,” he explained.

McCoy likewise affirmed the transformative impact of AI on their business.

“AI has played a critical role in automating processes in the field of human capital management for many years, freeing people from manual and routine tasks, improving efficiency, and enabling more powerful analytics that help us make informed decisions. By harnessing AI-driven analytics, we can analyse vast amounts of workforce data to identify patterns, forecast trends, and optimise resource allocation,” said the Chief Executive.

According to McCoy, this led to significant improvements in decision-making, payroll accuracy, compliance monitoring, and talent management, ultimately enhancing their service delivery and client satisfaction.

Safeguarding data

To identify insights, trends, and opportunities for enhancing its EOR services, Atlas analyses vast amounts of workforce data from around the globe. McCoy notes that the company’s data management approach adheres to privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA and has seen significant investment in data security and protection measures.

Perlman adds that Atlas implements stringent data security measures, including encryption and access controls, to safeguard workforce data throughout its lifecycle. He also mentions the role of AI in streamlining operations and optimising data handling processes.

“By employing AI-driven analytics, we extract valuable insights from our EOR services while minimising the risk of accumulating unnecessary data. This strategy helps us maintain a lean and efficient data infrastructure, maximising the value derived from the information we collect,” Perlman shared.

Ultimately, Atlas aims to set new standards of technological excellence in human capital management by prioritising security, privacy, and efficiency in all its operations, the CTO said.

Elevating the industry

Acknowledging the rapidly evolving business needs, McCoy emphasises that continuous innovation is crucial to meet global demands.

Warren Perlman, Chief Technology Officer, Atlas. Image courtesy of Atlas.

“We aim to enhance user experience and streamline processes by leveraging cutting-edge technology. Our key initiatives include developing mobile-first applications for better employee engagement, exploring advanced payroll solutions, and integrating new features such as our recently launched expense management and e-learning modules,” he revealed.

Meanwhile, Atlas’s tech roadmap, according to Perlman, is anchored on a strategic vision to enhance its human capital management capabilities, empower clients with actionable insights, and optimise internal processes for greater efficiency and effectiveness.

“The Atlas HXM platform, developed in-house by our team of product and technology experts, exemplifies our focus on continuous technological improvement. This platform serves as a centralised hub for our clients and their overseas employees, providing a single point of entry to manage expansion, onboard talent, ensure compliance, and pay global teams through one scalable platform,” he said.

To boost efficiency and enhance client experiences, the EOR company is streamlining its processes, including accelerating the onboarding of workforce solutions entities through optimised processes and workflows.

“By refining our internal operations, we ensure a smoother and more efficient experience for both our clients and our teams, ultimately driving greater value and satisfaction,” Perlman asserted.

Additionally, Atlas has revamped its Visa and mobility programs to provide clients with greater transparency and insight into the sponsorship process.

“These enhancements are designed to simplify the visa application process and offer our clients the support they need to effectively navigate complex immigration requirements,” Perlman concluded.