Ultimate Software Strengths & Weaknesses
Ultimate Software's competitive positioning in the payroll and HR software market can be summarized by highlighting the following strengths and weaknesses.
Ultimate Software Strengths
- Ultimate provides 24/7, multi-tier, SCP-certified product support through named service representatives and delivers services through multiple avenues including a support website and a news page/service.
- The award-winning Ultimate online customer community strongly influences the company’s engagement with its customers. This facet of the company has also received analyst accolades for leveraging particularly effective social and customer technologies.
- Client turnover is low with a 96% customer retention rate. The conclusion is that customer satisfaction with Ultimate’s products and services is extremely high. (A caution: previously agreed on-premises deployments have a multi-year shelf life; as more existing customers are faced with a transition to SaaS, customer turnover could increase).
- With international payroll management in mind, a goal for 2012 is the provision of a direct feed to a single vendor for European payroll.
- IDC and Nucleus Research have both produced research studies that show Ultimate customers consistently achieving high returns on their software investment (many of which exceeded 300%).
Ultimate Software Weaknesses
- A lack of mobile functionality and customer feedback that "server-side configuration is a hassle" and "push notifications" need to be added, suggest that UltiPro requires further development in some areas.
- The potential downside of a straightforward and easy to navigate UI, is that with the rising general levels of competence the portal may be judged too "traditional" or old-fashioned by younger users for whom IT interaction is second nature.
- Reticence to engage analysts and the broader customer community over application questions has created an unnecessary lack of transparency which may be off-putting to potential clients faced with a major organizational purchase decision.
- Ultimate continues to lack presence outside North America. (the 2012 European direct feed may change this).
- A considerable number of customers still utilize on-premises, licensed versions of UltiPro. As such, this transition phase may inevitably equate to a loss in the usual efficiencies associated with a modern SaaS solution are.
- Both analysts and customers have in the past, voiced concern over Ultimate's unwillingness to "unbundle" services. Potential clients looking solely for payroll functionality are faced with purchasing a full HRMS system to go with it.
- Unusual for a company at the forefront of SaaS payroll, when it comes to self-service, Ultimate’s approach is less than up to date. Specifically, Manager Self-Service (MSS) is an optional add-on to Employee Self-Service (ESS) that comes with the standard "core" package.
- The absence of SaaS software customization tools and a third party, pre-integrated online app store leave customers with reduced options for modifying and/or adding features.
Next - Ultimate Software’s Competitors and Best Fit >>