Our client is a multinational asset management company that operates several different business units across the United States and around the world.


Our client is global asset management company that has a sophisticated total compensation approach that includes several programs offered by their insurance and benefits providers in the US and globally. Enrollment in these programs is offered to employees across their group companies based on group company policy, role, position, employment type, and other criteria.

Each benefit provider is sent files on a scheduled basis with employee enrolment, contribution, and other key information. These files have unique structures and are scheduled based on provider requirements and client payroll cycles.

While much of this data orchestration can be managed directly from the client’s primary HRIS, Workday, there are several group companies that use other HRIS systems. Historically this created challenges as it resulted in multiple individual files from each organization being set to providers, resulting in additional processing costs for our client. Our client frequently acquires new companies that aren’t on Workday, which makes this process increasingly complex and costly.

We were tasked to build a canonical data extraction process that encompasses the needs of all benefits providers and could be implemented across all group companies, regardless of the HR platform in use at each entity. From this canonical format, single consolidated files can be generated automatically for each provider’s requirements and automatically delivered based on predefined schedules.


We began by creating a comprehensive single file format that included the required fields for all benefits providers across all group companies. We worked with the providers to establish their file requirements and created a generalized structure and format. From that broad standard, we could then work with each group company to map fields from each of their HRIS platforms and identify the most automated and error-resistant method to generate and deliver these files to an SFTP site.

We built an automation using Workato to monitor the SFTP sites and pick up files from each company. Once the files from all group companies are received, Workato creates consolidated files structured to the specifications of each benefit provider, and delivers them on a pre-established schedule.

The most significant challenge with this project was the coordination of each vendor and each group company to be sure we understood their requirements and constraints. We also needed a significant amount of testing and validation to be done by each vendor and group company, especially because of the sensitive nature of benefits data. We needed to be mindful of future-proofing the solution so that if new providers were introduced, we wouldn’t be faced with revising the canonical data model. And we needed to be sure there was sufficient error-handling and alerting in place so that the entire population’s file wouldn’t be held up if there was a problem with a single group company’s data.


As a result of this work, the client now has an automated benefits file structure that is agnostic to the HRIS source and can be used to generate vendor-specific benefits files. This solution is scalable to add new group companies or benefits providers with relative ease. It has significantly improved the speed at which employees at newly acquired companies can join group-wide benefits plans. It has reduced manual data handling and manipulation, which saves administrative effort and improves data quality. This approach has also reduced administrative costs levied by the benefits providers by reducing the number of files they need to manage.

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