Move to remote 'blessing in disguise' for HR software firm

Avanti keeps pace with change, focuses on cloud-based approach

Move to remote 'blessing in disguise' for HR software firm

While many companies experienced hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, one Calgary-based human capital management (HCM) software firm used the opportunity to fast-track plans that were already in place.

“You could call it a blessing in disguise because we fully embraced and adopted the [remote] model; we’ve been able to hire people from across the country, all the way from Victoria to Halifax, and everywhere in between, and so our organization has grown significantly more distributed as a result, and we now have employees in virtually every province,” says Lalani.

“What started as a challenge turned into a very robust opportunity, which has been really exciting.”

The early days of the pandemic caused a noticeable drop in revenue — in addition to the upheaval of its 110 employees — but the cloud-based service provider recently completed a $25-million equity and debt financing round, and has tapped the money for an increase in staffing, in addition to other investments. It hopes to reach 130 employees by the end of this year, and as many as 180 within three years.

“We really want to continue to expand both our world-class product and engineering team, as we continue to invest behind our product and release new features that that add value to Canadian businesses and keep pace with the change that they’re experiencing, particularly as a result of COVID-19, and the changes that has catalyzed in the Canadian workplace,” says Lalani.

Eliminating ‘busywork’

The company also plans to move its business to become 100 per cent cloud-based by the end of 2022, he says.

But what are the main benefits of an integrated, cloud-based HCM?

“In some ways, it takes the busywork out of the role,” says David Owen Cord, co-CEO. “When you’re an HR professional, there can be times where you’re updating forms, where you’re monitoring those forms, where you’re trying to remember when someone’s certification expires, and when you use a sophisticated system, you take a lot of that manual tracking and intervention out of the equation [and] that allows you to start to be more of a strategic actor in your organization.”

Repetitive tasks are one of the biggest time wasters and pain points for more than two-thirds of employees, according to another survey.

As well, HCM tools are a big boon when it comes to monitoring compliance matters, says Lalani.

“We have a document sign-up feature that tracks and monitors employees signing off on key policies and information that are required from an employment legislation, to reporting in your workforce that is incredibly important, particularly in relating data from HR to scheduling to payroll; the consequence of that data, and being able to see it all in one place, really empowers a different level of data-driven decision-making around your people, while also automating critical workflows and processes within your organization.”

All this power benefits HR professionals, according to Owen Cord.

“One of our favourite things about a system like this is it makes you, internally, an HR professional or a payroll professional, a bit of a superhero because you can spend a little bit less time doing some of the more routine but important work and start to focus a little more on how you can add value to your organization as a strategic business partner.”

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