We had the opportunity to attend the ADP Analyst Day, held on September 15th on Pasadena, at the ADP innovation center. Always good to be at a location where ‘work and innovation happen’, after having the event twice at the New York Innovation center it was great to see a new location (and not to see TSA on the travels to get there). The event was well attended, with all firms, colleagues pretty much in attendance. 

So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)
No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):

Want to read on? 

Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

Vantage is alive and growing – A few years ago ADP’s in house efforts on its Talent Management Suite where at a decision point – partner or keep investing. ADP decided for the latter and it is good to see that this decision pays off, ADP was able to grow the customers for Vantage HCM from low 200s to almost 500, almost a doubling in 12 months. Considering that the potential market is approx. 3000 customers, very good progress and it is clear that ADP customers now know that there is a native ADP Talent Management offering for them. And ADP keeps investing into Vantage HCM, new Onboarding has come live, more efficient ways to Recruit and already a while ago, the new ADP UI has found its way to Vantage. ADP will have to keep pushing the gas pedal, here as pretty much every Vantage HCM sales is a competitive replacement, and enterprises already have a Talent Management solution in place, even if they are ADP Payroll customers.

ADP Data Cloud is a DaaS enabler – ADP has been and keeps investing into its Data Cloud, which powers not only the insights into the overall labor market, that usually beats the government forecast, but into individual salary decisions. As such it has the potential to replace the traditionally outdated and inaccurate salary surveys that still are the tool of choice for compensation planners today- but these days maybe counted. The value proposition lies in the fact that what ADP can provide, is an actual (and not a historic) paycheck. But the ADP Data Cloud is also the platform for the mundane task of Reporting, which ADP has rebuilt. Some innovative features like drag and drop of OLTP fields into the report writer and a compelling user interface make it an appealing Reporting solution. Finally, the Data Cloud powers all the (really) interesting advanced / predictive analytics scenarios, e.g. predicting flight risk, giving insight in pay levels considering diversity levels and more. Good progress on the product, now ADP is pushing it beyond the US market. Data Cloud can / could be the enabler of new revenue streams for ADP, enabling advanced Data as a Service (DaaS) scenarios, a not to be underestimated future revenue stream for software companies that hold real, relevant data, like e.g. paychecks. At one point I counted a dozen benchmarks in the product already (see the Storify).

Focus on Global – ADP also delivered on its promise to bring the new ADP UI to the MNC solutions, that now feature the same compelling UI. Some features, e.g. the interactive paycheck, are even more value able in international settings, given no direct local and small time window phone support for any paycheck related questions of an international worker. ADP also shared a new ambition on the integration side, where ADP wants to create an integration platform / product (named Global Cloud Connect), that will integrate various HR Core systems with the ADP products, on the Payroll, Talent Management, Time and Attendance as well as Benefits. Interface Technology has progressed and ADP has been establishing REST based interfaces with Workday and SAP, and more partner integrations are to come. It is a good time for ADP to re-establish integration strategies and platform, given the changes and innovations that have recently happened in the integration space. Even more valuable in the more heterogeneous environment, so good to see the new ambition, way too early to predict the execution and state of the offering.

Marketplace grows – SAP launched its marketplace quite a while ago and it is growing well. The most remarkable characteristic remains that ADP allows anyone to submit their complimentary and competitive (with the exception of Payroll) product to the ADP products. This ‘sink or swim’ approach towards uptake of its own products is unique in the enterprise software space, but makes the ADP marketplace truly valuable for ADP customers. And certainly more attractive to ISVs and future / existing partners.



We already have written plenty about the new ADP, good to see the further execution, and good to see that innovation has more than a New York pocket. Scaling innovation is always a problem for software vendors, and tapping into diverse talent in different markets as well. It looks like ADP has mastered this challenge at the moment. And ADP does well what matters most for customers: Deliver what it has previously put on the roadmap, and then grow from there, as we saw e.g. with Onboarding.

ADP’s role in the market is also changing, it is becoming more of a formal partner than ever before, with recent partnerships with Workday (read here) and SAP in place, and there are more to come. It almost looks like REST technology and the ease of plugging e.g. a Payroll ‘under the hood’ of another HR Core system have accelerated these efforts by ADP. And for all payroll vendors nothing is more interesting than getting more scale on their platform, as it reduces the cost of R&D and maintenance for it with every additional paycheck run through it. It’s a win / win / win across ADP, partner and joint customer. ADP gets more utilization of assets it has built and needs to maintain anyway, the partner avoids having to build and maintain a payroll and customers get more scale, a trusted provider and proven offering, at lower prices (hopefully). Certainly a flywheel in the payroll business.

On the concern side ADP cannot afford to rest. While the current UI is still appealing, it is no longer as fresh and in tune with the latest innovations in UI that are happening these days. Likewise its Data Cloud is on the right architecture and platform, given these decisions were taken 2+ years ago, but a fresh start today may consider other platforms, designs and architectures. But it is good to for ADP to have ‘Innovator Dilemma’ now, something many observers not too long ago would not have been a challenge for ADP due to lack of innovation and market success. These days are history now, good news for ADP customers and new innovative offerings may come out of the labs sooner than later. E.g. we saw a conversation UI prototype, that nicely tied together a different user interface with deep insights that ADP can provide.

So few things not to like at the moment at ADP, the vendor needs to keep executing, revisit some recent innovations in regards of staling and maybe some platform decisions as the pace of innovation on analytics and BigData is not slowing, but accelerating.

Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here).

Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here.