Interview with VP and Head of HCM Strategy and Product Management, Infor – Matthew Bragstad

Matthew Bragstad from Infor puts light on the rising importance of cloud in Human Capital Management and how it is shaping the future of HRTech industry along with AI.


1. Tell us about your role at Infor?
I am the Vice President and Head of Product Management and Strategy for all of Infor’s Human Capital Management products globally.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I began my career as a services consultant, implementing complex ERP systems and creating custom software. I distinctly remember as a 23 year old, walking the catwalks of the giant Cessna aircraft warehouse, watching people scurry around with enormous hand-held devices (this was the early 2000s and hand-held technology was barely a thing) picking and packing totes, and I thought that life couldn’t get any better than this. Turns out I was very wrong. Over the next 20 years I ran large support organizations, built clinical integrations that moved over a billion records a year, created a consumer and patient portal for a Fortune 100 country, and five years ago I joined Infor to transform user experiences.

3. How do you think technology is upgrading the HR sector?
By embracing innovative technologies, HR practitioners are now taking on increasingly strategic roles and making more data-driven decisions than ever before. Whether it is streamlining and automating approval flows, bringing forth predictive and usable data, or enabling new forms of communication with employees, technology is empowering HR practitioners to gain deeper insights and spend more time focusing on their organization’s strategic priorities.

4. How do you define your CloudSuite Workforce Management?
Infor CloudSuite Workforce Management ensures you have the right people in the right place at the right time. It lets you manage complex workforce planning, execution, and analysis, addressing every aspect of labor compliance and performance needs with time and attendance, demand-driven scheduling, workforce scheduling, and absence management software tools. Whether it’s maximizing a nurse’s schedule by using GRASP logarithms or transforming a retail schedule using machine learning to identify patterns derived from weather, promotions or seasonal changes, CloudSuite WFM can increase the productivity of your people. At Infor, we are seeing 70% decreases in required manager intervention, proving that this solution has the flexibility and industry specification to deliver results.

5. What features of your CloudSuite HCM platform differentiates it in the market?
The average company will ask an employee to download a dozen apps in order to communicate with them. How can a HR department create a relationship with its employees through that many channels? Infor tackles this problem head-on. Over the last two years we have transformed the CloudSuite HCM platform to make it very user-friendly. While other platforms can force HR practitioners to jump between separate tools to pull together the information they need on an employee, CloudSuite HCM gives you a holistic view of the employee in one place — from candidate stage through to retirement and beyond. HR practitioners only need to use one system to access our Case Management tool, our state-of-the-art learning tool and our employee records tool to quickly gain insights, meaning their time is freed up to focus on strategic tasks.

6. What are your predictions about the role of cloud solutions in the future of the HRTech Sector?
We are already seeing a mass exodus of organizations leaving the on-premise world, and leaving traditional IT applications behind to get to a place where remote work can be the new standard. We watched our clients transform with ease from an office-based workforce to a completely remote workforce, with the help of Infor’s CloudSuite technology and our multi-tenant partner AWS.

That being said, the cloud will be essential to the future of HR technology. Embracing cloud-based HR technology will make organizations more flexible by eliminating paperwork associated with HR processes and reducing workloads, making them more responsive and agile. The cloud will continue to support innovation in ways that on-premise software can’t. For example, we will see the implementation of software innovation become quicker with cloud in play as changes are adopted automatically. I think we’ll also see an emphasis on gaining and growing top talent. Organizations that adopt cloud-based HCM solutions will be able to exert their energy on strategic activities rather than basic tactical or administrative processes. This will prove to be a great advantage in attracting, developing, and retaining top talent.

7. What advice would you like to give to technology start ups?
Companies in the HR technology space paint with broad brushes that cover the key areas that companies need, but this may present opportunities for startups to identify new areas to add value. Start by figuring out what you are passionate about — maybe it’s employee wellness or augment reality-powered learning — then look for opportunity in the areas where larger software vendors haven’t thought to help people.

8. How do you prepare for an AI-centric world?

Computers are great at analyzing data sets and following instructions. What they are not great at is creative thinking, intuition, and ignoring prescriptive handbooks to break new ground. Humans will always continue to excel in these areas.

In 2017, an algorithm was invited to compete at SourceCon for the first time. AI finally got a seat at the table but, perhaps surprisingly, did not come out on top of its human counterparts. It placed fourth and first prize went to Randy Bailey from Walmart. The difference was that the AI took four seconds to complete the challenge, while Randy took around 40. What Randy said of the competition was extremely wise: Can you imagine how many more people he could source if he had let the computer take the first swath and he only needed to sort through the top tier? That’s the attitude we should all have when working with AI.

9. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
At Infor, we are prioritizing maximizing RFID technology, developing in-house CRM and ML smart approvals on process flows, blockchain credentialing with validation, and AR/VR capabilities in our Learning and Development product.

10. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
I manage a group of the most passionate product managers and strategists I have ever worked with. They come from all industries and bring their love of those industries into their work every day. Many are motivated by the idea of helping the people they used to call colleagues. My team members each focus on different aspects of Infor’s HCM software — Global HR, Absence, Time Entry, Learning and Development — and support our customers and Infor’s development, consulting, and sales organizations to plan the Infor HCM product roadmap.

11. What movie inspires you the most?
Hector and the Search for Happiness. I love how Hector is searching for something, then realizes it was already there all along. No matter what shows up on his doorstep, he willingly embraces it. I think that is very similar to my career in software. There’s a certain serendipity that can occur when you embrace the things that show up and explore what is closer to home. It’s how we are building our software at Infor, and it’s why I wake up every morning.

Matthew Bragstad VP and Head of HCM Strategy and Product Management, Infor

Matthew Bragstad is Head of HCM Strategy and Product Management for Infor, with responsibilities spanning the entire suite of Human Capital Management products. Matthew’s passion is ensuring that every Infor HCM solution hits the mark in seamlessly meeting the needs of every customer. His focus is on providing an engaging and intuitive user experience for both HR professionals and regular employees.


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