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Ultimate Software HR and Payroll Software Analysis

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Ultimate Software Best Fit and Competitors

UltiPro Enterprise Sweet Spot
Not surprisingly, according to company representatives Ultimate Software's solutions are not geared for any specific organizational market. However, Ultimate's two main products do have different "sweet spots" that prospective customers should be aware of. UltiPro Enterprise is most appropriate for multinational enterprises with 1,000+ employees, while UltiPro Workplace (a trimmed down version of the larger offering) looks to be more in line with the needs of businesses in the 300-950 employee range. Together, both offerings hit a wide swath of the market and as such, small, midsized, and even larger enterprises will likely find Ultimate to be a viable option.

Ultimate Software also appeals to a wide range of sectors and industries of which numerous verticals are specifically touted by Ultimate to be well-served; including: Aerospace; Agriculture; Computers; Construction; Finance; Healthcare; Hospitality; Insurance; Manufacturing; Telecommunications; Transportation; Utilities; Warehousing; and Retail. Marquis customers within these vertical markets include Adobe Systems; the Arizona Diamondbacks/Phoenix Suns; Benihana Restaurants; The Container Store; Elizabeth Arden; Omni Hotels; Ruth's Chris Steak House; SkyWest Airlines; and Jockey International.

Short List Ultimate Software's UltiPro solution when:

  • Your business is aggressively seeking a single provider for an end-to-end HCM software solution.
  • Your organization has a high concentration of U.S. workers with little need to expand globally.
  • Your organization is looking for a viable Software-as-a-Service provider that only delivers HR, Payroll and talent management functionality.

Alternative Solutions
HR software buyers may be best advised to seek an alternative to Ultimate Software if:

  • Your organization needs deeper integration into additional ERP functions like financials, CRM, etc.
  • Your company has the preference of owning the software and leveraging an on-premise deployment model.
  • Your company has immediate needs for a robust mobile workforce management solution.
  • Your company has needs for a best-of-breed recruitment function.

Ultimate Software Competitors

Ultimate's HCM software competitors range from Automatic Data Processing (ADP) to Sage Abra (now Sage HRMS)—with Sage being a more direct competitor in terms of target market and HR software functionality. The U.S.-centric nature of Ultimate's solution puts several larger alternatives out of competitive range for the company, but within the North American-market, Ultimate's HR/Payroll solution does compete well against SAP and Oracle for "core" HRMS functionality.

In terms of talent management, Ultimate also competes with Taleo, SuccessFactors and CornerStone OnDemand. Within the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) HCM space, Ultimate (like many competitors) has a hard time competing with Workday's usability and intuitiveness. Indeed, according to IDC's Lisa Rowan, "WorkDay is one of the toughest companies out there when it comes to competition for the Ultimate Software Group…[thanks to the fact that Ultimate has]…had to switch to their current system while supporting clients at the same time on the old system". Similarly, it's difficult for Ultimate to measure up to the robustness of Ceridian's payroll, but nevertheless, the UltiPro solution does provide a unified HR/Payroll/talent management solution that has functionality most organizations will find sufficient.

Concluding Remarks

Ultimate Software's UltiPro solution provides a comprehensive cloud HCM software offering that is capable of delivering a unified "system of record"; no small feat given the fact that the company had to rethink their entire approach to solution delivery when the SaaS boom started. As such, as companies look towards a single solution provider for all their HR/Payroll needs, Ultimate will likely be a company that generally makes the short list—continuing their already impressive growth by offering a basic but capable solution. Ultimate's Talent Management offerings may not be as robust as other software solutions, and the same goes for Ultimate's global capabilities; however, in an age where customers are increasingly willing to sacrifice best-of-breed functionality in lieu of having a solid, single provider, Ultimate could well come out on top.

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