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Ultimate Software Honors Innovation Award Winners, Announces Transformative HCM Technology

Ultimate Software, a leading global provider of human capital management (HCM) and employee experience solutions in the cloud, announced today the winners of the 2020 Innovation Awards. Each year, at Ultimate’s “Connections” customer conference, the company recognizes its customers that have demonstrated outstanding use of Ultimate’s UltiPro HCM solutions over the past year, achieving results that set the standard for qualitative business success with UltiPro.

Ultimate Software announced today the winners of the 2020 Innovation Awards.

The 2020 Connections conference included keynote presentations from Michelle Obama, transformative First Lady, who demonstrated how role models can serve as an inspiration for women, families, and young people, and Mick Ebeling, film and TV producer, philanthropist, author, and technology trailblazer, who related his story of how he founded Not Impossible Labs and how his partnership with Ultimate is contributing to the development of life-changing technology. The Innovation Award winners were acknowledged during the Connections general session for their exceptional work to improve their businesses and the overall employee experience with UltiPro.

“An Innovation Award is Ultimate’s highest honor we can give to our customers,” said Bill Hicks, chief relationship officer at Ultimate. “These customers set the example for other organizations who want to make a difference with UltiPro, and we appreciate their focus, hard work, and commitment to using technology to improve their businesses and the work lives of their employees.”

Six winners across three categories were selected from a record-setting group of 38 nominations for 2020. In the Innovation Evangelist category, this year’s winning companies honored for delivering unparalleled employee experiences with UltiPro included Virgin Galactic, LLC, and National Aquarium.

Virgin Galactic transformed its performance-review process by using UltiPro Perception to analyze its mid- and end-year reviews. The company is using Ultimate’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Xander, to develop measures of how well managers are developing their people, and whether leaders are successful in helping their teammates meet their goals. With these insights, the company has significantly decreased attrition.

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Ultimate’s single suite of applications has empowered National Aquarium to layer data that provide rich insights into the organization and its people. High performers can be identified using a report from UltiPro Business Intelligence and be combined with reporting from UltiPro Learning to view training metrics. Similarly, ratings from UltiPro Performance Management can be cross-referenced with activity in UltiPro Learning to measure the impact that training has on performance. The organization has also used insights from UltiPro Perception to create new development offerings in UltiPro Learning, including a management curriculum.

In the ROI/Measurable Benefits category, this year’s winner demonstrating substantial and impressive quantifiable business benefits with UltiPro was Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC).

Since going live on UltiPro 18 months ago, SMBSC has achieved a return on investment of over $2 million in labor savings. This ROI is attributable to data visibility and transparency from UltiPro Business Intelligence, allowing operations to optimize labor scheduling and reduce overtime. In addition, the company has recorded time savings of more than 3,600 hours due to system efficiencies, including improved processes for payroll, open enrollment, and benefits administration. Electronic data management with UltiPro Recruiting and UltiPro Onboarding now supports efficient seasonal hiring, and the company has found additional time savings by using UltiPro Performance Management to initiate employee reviews and analyze data.

Three winners in the HR Transformation category this year that demonstrated how to use UltiPro to improve HR’s ability to interact strategically with business partners, overcome significant business challenges, and accelerate business growth included Starkey Hearing Technologies, J&J Worldwide Services, and The University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA).

Starkey used UltiPro to elevate HR to a leadership role within the organization. The HR team was able to wrap best practices around Ultimate’s solutions, earning the trust of the executive team and employees, and securing a seat at the leadership table. In addition, the company was able to rapidly expand its retail presence, thanks to the addition of UltiPro Recruiting and UltiPro Onboarding, and the successful, heavy use of UltiPro’s Import Tool to facilitate the company’s acquisition strategy.

As a government contractor, J&J is required to monitor and track fringe benefits in accordance with the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA). J&J configured a fringe expression in UltiPro that had all its SCA and Collective Bargaining Agreement codes, enabling UltiPro to make the complex calculations that consider each employee’s unique situation and automates the calculation of accurate fringe benefits. As a result, UltiPro’s real-time reporting has simplified the company’s external and internal auditing processes. The employee experience has also substantially improved, with detailed paychecks and greater clarity around pay.

The HR team at the UICA developed an integrated employee experience by layering UltiPro’s solutions to serve people throughout their employment lifecycles. The organization’s UltiPro-driven competency model has helped create more meaningful candidate interviews, a tailored onboarding experience, and benchmarks for performance reviews. With UltiPro Learning, the UICA has used well-defined career paths to fill gaps, so employees could be positioned opportunistically in UltiPro Succession Management.

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With Ultimate’s solutions at the center of customer success, the company showcased some of the its latest HCM software innovations at Connections, such as:

  • Perception Action Planning: UltiPro Perception’s Action Planning feature transforms employee feedback into actionable insights by uncovering strengths and opportunities from employee-survey responses. Powered by Ultimate’s AI engine, Xander, the solution provides proven approaches to address areas of improvement that would otherwise require additional, costly expertise. Managers can create clear, targeted action plans and goals that directly address areas of improvement and employee needs.
  • On-Demand Pay: Delivered with Ultimate’s partner, rapid!, UltiPro’s On-Demand Pay feature offers a cash-advance solution that enables employees to access their earned wages prior to their scheduled pay dates. Employees can get instant access to a portion of their earned wages, gain peace of mind knowing they can pay for unexpected expenses, and have flexibility into how their funds are disbursed, including via debit card, cash pickup, and more.
  • UltiPro Giving: UltiPro Giving, which started as an internal tool to help Ultimate’s employees give to charitable causes, is being made available to all Ultimate customers, at no additional cost. With this tool, organizations can increase their levels of corporate social responsibility and easily create, schedule, and distribute charitable campaigns to their employees, who can simply use the UltiPro mobile app to participate. Payroll deductions are automatically processed, making it easier than ever to “Click. Give. Change the World.”
  • Continuous Performance: UltiPro Continuous Performance enhances and modernizes the performance-review process by enabling employees to request and give continuous feedback, define and track objectives and key results, and structure one-on-ones to ensure effectiveness. This new solution also leverages Xander to help managers deliver more effective and meaningful feedback to their teams.
  • Privacy Manager: UltiPro’s Privacy Manager tool helps organizations effectively facilitate the requirements of data-privacy regulations—such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)—and, more specifically, the right to request information and the right to request erasure. This tool orchestrates privacy inquiries across all UltiPro solutions, balancing an organization’s need for data and an employee’s right to data privacy. HR teams can submit a request in UltiPro, which gets automatically routed to chosen approvers, and, once approved, UltiPro handles the rest.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Ultimate is releasing an enhanced user experience (UX) across all UltiPro solutions that embodies the company’s “People First” culture. This streamlined UX will feature a familiar and consistent side-navigation menu and headers, a consolidated list of to-dos in the Smart Inbox, and a UX that allows for personalized and contextual actions. UltiPro’s mobile app will also feature improved screen-reader compatibility for expanded accessibility options.

“We are committed to continuously improving our solutions and services, and our customers play a vital role in that process,” said John Machado, chief technology officer at Ultimate. “Our goal is to help our customers be successful, and their feedback provides valuable insight into how we can continue to innovate. They inspire us and it is great to see how they inspire one another, as well.”

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