Blog Post

Grow Your Payroll Business Through Integration


Guest author Wes Muschara, Vice President of Product Management for Apex HCM

Last week, Apex HCM announced the integration of our payroll software platform with Employee Navigator. If you didn’t catch the press release or the blog post from Lindsay Edgerley, Employee Navigator, I encourage to follow the clicks. Employee Navigator is the leading benefits administration platform. While this partnership certainly marks another expansion of the Apex HCM platform, it actually highlights something much more significant; a significant tidal change across the payroll industry.

If you suggested, say 10 years ago, integrating an HR benefits administration platform with a payroll platform, people would say, “Why?” Of course, that response probably followed their initial reaction, “What’s a benefits administration platform?” “Payroll is payroll, it’s not HR!”

But today, that line separating payroll services from HR services is quickly disappearing. Today, forward thinking payroll service bureaus embrace this industry change as not just a requirement to remain relevant but an opportunity for a new channel of growth.

Look around your daily life, integration is occurring in every industry. Remember not long ago when cable companies provided just television service. ISPs provided just internet access. Phone companies provided just phone service and cellular companies provided just cell service. Today, most Americans purchase their monthly TV, Internet, phone and cellular service in one bundled integrated packaged and often from one single company. While a few Internet Service Providers remain standalone, they unfortunately are fighting against a strong current.

Similarly, the singularly minded payroll service bureau, focused on just cutting checks, may also be headed to a difficult future. For this exact reason, payroll service bureaus are adopting more and more HCM services and demanding that their payroll platform integrate with many popular HR systems. Our integration with Employee Navigator is in response to customer demand and serves as a real life example of how payroll service bureaus are expanding their footprint, their services offering, and the audiences they service.

In the case of Employee Navigator, Apex HCM developed a direct integration of the two platforms.  But, you can actually create system integrations on your own via APIs, Application Protocol Interfaces.  Last year, Steve Feinberg, President, Appletree Business Services, authored an Apex blog post entitled, “Integrate Everything.” Feinberg stated, “Integration is more affordable than you think.  Easily accessible APIs enable even small firms to possess powerful integrations.”  In short, by leveraging a platform like Apex HCM, with a library of available APIs, small payroll service bureaus can provide a wider range of services and compete with larger firms possessing vast technology resources.

While the business world continues to change, integrating services becomes an even more effective strategy to offer new products, penetrate new markets and grow your revenue. John F. Kennedy was known to say, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” which certainly applies to the payroll industry today. The incoming tide of HCM and HR services integration will rise the boats of payroll service bureaus that get onboard.

Wes Muschara serves as Vice President of Product Management for Apex HCM and guides the company product strategy and roadmap.  You can contact Wes at