Ultimate Software

A few weeks back I shared my schedule for the next few months. It is full of amazing events and conferences. First up was Ultimate Software’s annual user conference, Connections. This event took place last week in Las Vegas.

I have to say, and I’m not just blowing smoke here, I was really impressed. I’m a bit ashamed to say that I didn’t know as much about Ultimate as I should have prior to going. I knew what they did of course, but didn’t really understand the history or the mission of the company. Now that I do, and have seen how their “People First” mantra is not just a nice thing to say, but something they really believe, I really want to learn even more.

If you are unaware, Ultimate’s product is called UltiPro and it is a complete human capital management solution. It offers HRIS, payroll, benefit administration and everything you would expect from an HCM solution. They have been refining this solution for a number of years and one thing I heard from customers last week was that it truly does get better with every new update.

At this conference they rolled out many new solutions including a learning management solution, survey tools and their first foray into artificial intelligence called Xander. The biggest update, at least according to audience applause was from the roll out of the Ultimate app. We all love our apps right?

Before I go on, I know my audience will be asking one question. How small a business can you be to use UltiPro. I’m happy to report that UltiPro extends to all businesses over 100 employees. Considering many software companies look at 250 or above, this is very nice.

Here’s where I think small businesses can benefit from UltiPro. First, much like my services, it is a “grow with you” solution. At 100 employees you may only need, or have the budget for, a payroll solution. Then as you grow you may want to add applicant tracking or benefit administration. Then as your CEO sees how much UltiPro is helping and gives you a greater budget (hey we can all dream right) you can add more and more. From my understanding many of these are select and go features meaning you choose to add the service right on your dashboard and it’s ready to use.

Second, the most common theme from last week was around the relationships customers had with their Executive Relationship Manager (ERM). This is their direct contact for all UltiPro services. One contact. One person to call. One person emailing you. One person. Uno. Eins. Un. You get my point. No calling a customer service line and getting whoever you get so you have to explain your business over and over.

Worth it’s weight in gold am I right?

Especially for small businesses who almost always have unique situations that they get sick of explaining over and over. What’s more, I did not hear one person complaining about their ERM. Now I’m not naive enough to think that doesn’t happen (and I doubt Ultimate is either), but to be at an event of 2900 customers and hear nothing but positive from people I asked directly and those whose conversation I listened in on (read eavesdropping), says something.

Something really positive.

Third, along the same vein, it appears Ultimate really listens to their customers. I think any company who brings their customers to Vegas and treats them the way Ultimate did is proving they care, but from everything I saw, they truly take customer feedback to heart and want to make their product better for you. Not every software company can say this. They even have an onsite code-a-thon where they take customer ideas and code away over the course of 48 hours onsite to make them happen before the conference ends. Pretty cool stuff.

Plus Will Smith (yes, the Will Smith), Tim Urban (hilarious), Carrie Lohrenz (bad ass fighter pilot), real lunches (not boxed) and Maroon 5 (which I missed because mommy duty, but heard it was incredible).

They know how to do it right.

For more specific thoughts about the event you can read fellow bloggers, Tim Sackett and Jeff Waldman’s posts.
What If You Could Predict All Of Your Turnover?
Every Moment Matters
HR Tech Companies Can Also Be Awesome Places to Work
Why Should You Really Care About Technology?

Here’s the deal you guys. I get requests at least once a week from readers asking about software solutions. I refer companies based on a few criteria. They have to have a solution for small businesses, they have to have a solution that fits your needs and can grow with you and I need to know that good people are running the show. Ultimate fits all three of these criteria.

And who knows, maybe one day we’ll convince them to offer something to even the smallest of you.

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