Last week, I attended Ultimate Software’s Connections Conference for the first time and to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Mollie and I travel to about 25 conferences a year. These events keep us up-to-date on the HCM technology space and they tend to cover the same stuff…product announcements, customer success stories, and company updates. And, no surprise, some do a better job than others. But Ultimate was impressive on all three fronts. This provider lives by a mantra of putting people first and it does so throughout both its customer engagements and product enhancements. It is a company that takes customer success seriously – listening to what customers want and innovating across its suite of products.

Here’s what I learned:

Product Updates

Product announcements took three forms: standard updates to address general customer needs, more innovative and forward thinking announcements (Ultimate invests 20% of its revenue in innovation), and new products.

  • Standard announcements include branded notifications and customer referral management to its recruitment solution, crossboarding functionality, mobile enhancements, and web-based adjustments to payroll.
  • Innovation that was announced centers around “Xander”- a people-first AI solution that is embedded in the products to empower managers and teams to improve the decisions they make around their workforce. Xander was inspired by Kanjoya, the disruptive workforce analytics solution that Ultimate acquired last year. It combines statistical data with insight into the emotions and attitudes that managers need to better engage and understand their workforce.
  • New products include the announcement of a Learning Management System (LMS) focused on leadership and a more flexible workforce.

Customer Success

I was surprised to learn that 51% of Ultimate’s employees are focused on services. They want their customers to be successful and offer robust programs for building talent pipelines, certifications, and leadership development programs. In addition to customer service, Ultimate offers activation, consulting, and free access to learning. On average, customers achieve a $3.88 return on every dollar they have spent.

Company Updates

Ultimate is a leading HCM provider. They have demonstrated product leadership, a commitment to customer satisfaction, and breadth in their suite of solutions. Company success includes financial growth and recognition:

  • 27% recurring revenue growth
  • #1 Great Places to Work for technology companies
  • #7 Fortune 100 Best Companies
  • #2 CEO on Glassdoor

Ultimate is fulfilling its people-first mantra through its services, technology, and engagement of its own employees. Mollie’s upcoming Payroll Index Report will provide a more in-depth analysis of Ultimate next month.