Points of View

UltiPro Leads the Arms Race for HR Analytics

May 25, 2016

As HfS’s recent HR Operations in the As-a-Service Blueprint highlighted, there is an urgent demand from HR buyers for greater insight and analysis of their HR operations. The need to optimize HR functions, retain and attract talent, and align HR functions with business outcomes are all driving this demand, as organizations look to evolve in the As-a-Service Economy. HfS identifies eight ideals in the journey of this evolution, with Accessible and Actionable Data a key for HR management.


The need for HR data insight and analytics, although critical, is not currently being delivered to an adequate standard by Tier-1 HCM platform providers, and as such HRO service providers are plugging the gaps with bespoke applications. This has made buyers beholden to leading HRO service providers to deliver this level of insight and as such there is a clear opportunity in the captive market.


Cue UltiPro, Ultimate Software’s HCM platform. In its winter 2016 release, the provider announced the release of predictive and prescriptive HR analytics functionality within the platform, based on benchmarked data from users. In its most recent release, Spring 2016, Ultimate has enhanced this functionality with the addition of prescriptive managerial content from author and thought leader Simon Sinek. Through the platforms UltiPro Retention Predictor and UltiPro High Performer Predictor next best actions across 16 categories of engagement for HR managers, are suggested.


During this release Ultimate also announced the acquisition of Vestrics, an HR predictive analytics platform, to further enhance the platforms analytics capability. This acquisition will allow UltiPro to drive insight into how HR operations are affecting an organizations business outcomes. HfS sees this as the gold standard in what can currently be offered in the HR market.


Further announcements made during the release included:


  • A revised organizational chart viewer in the platform, UltiPro Organizational Chart, which allows for a greater transparency of an organizations hierarchy and updated search and planning functionality.
  • Growth in the company’s partner ecosystem with UltiPro, now available through Dell Boomi and OneLogin.


Ultimate Software has nailed its colors to the mast in the HCM market through its extensive investment and development of UltiPro’s predictive and prescriptive analytics functionality. HfS sees this as an intelligent move given that the HR market is desperately seeking ever more in depth insight into operations and more inventive ways to retain staff.


In the arms race for embedded analytics, Ultimate is, at this stage, leaving behind Tier-1 HCM platform providers such as SuccessFactors and Workday. SuccessFactors is closing the gap with its launch of an enhancement to its analytics offering in Q2 this year, as it announced during its recent analyst and advisor summit.


Overall, UltiPro offers an interesting and provocative alternative to the more established HCM platforms available in the market. The UltiPro platform’s analytics capability is its standout function and is a clear differentiator, while competitors play catchup in this regard. UltiPro is gaining traction because of this, although it is still considered a Mid-Tier HCM platform and has a way to go to catch up in scale with SuccessFactors and Workday.