We had the opportunity to attend ADP’s Meeting of the Mind (MOTM) conference in San Diego, held March 19th till 22nd 2017, and the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The conference was well attended with over 1000 attendees, good partner representation and influencer selection.

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? Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

ADP has Momentum – For a long time it seemed as if ADP was stuck and not moving beyond payroll. 4-5 years ago it became clear this would be changing and we reported on the changes from different MOTM (2014, 2015, 2016). By now it is clear that the investments done into innovation centers, new platforms, a new user experience, big data etc. are now paying off. 10 million users of ADP’s mobile app are telling a good adoption story, adding 300k per month is impressive growth. The number of Vantage clients is now North of 550. And the big data investments around the ADP DataCloud are paying off as ADP can now launch products on top of the platform, like at this MOTM the ADP Pay Equity Explorer (see next).
ADP Meeting of the Minds MOTM Holger Mueller Constellation Research
Rodriguez shares ADP response to today's Workforce Challenges
New Apps powered by ADP Data Cloud – Two years ago, ADP launched its big data offering, the ADP DataCloud. The first focus was on not so flashy, but essential reporting needs for ADP customers. But by now ADP is using its in depth knowledge of payroll and salary data to build new applications. The newly launched Pay Equity Explorer allows the ad hoc analysis of payment disparity between e.g. gender and ethnicity. But not only the gap is identified, ADP can pull in performance data (when using ADP Talent Management products, but my assumption here) and market data. So HR professionals don’t have to spend nights and weekends to put a highlight and analysis on the issue of pay disparity, they can also correct the issue in a competent and efficient matter. A good example of the benefits vendors can create for their customers once they have moved to a big data platform. 
ADP Meeting of the Minds MOTM Holger Mueller Constellation Research
Camby announces Pay Equity Explorer
More Services Focus – ADP has always been about services, but comparing to the last 3 MOTMs there was more services messaging at MOTM this year – starting with CEO Rodriguez, President Flynn – all the way to product presentation with Ghauri. I asked all if something has changed, and all reiterated that not really – customers care about the services. We learnt that ADP is opening three more services centers, so certainly the vendor is doubling down in the direction. 
ADP Meeting of the Minds MOTM Holger Mueller Constellation Research
Demo of ADP Pay Equity Explorer
The TMBC Opportunity – ADP (surprisingly) acquired The Markus Buckingham Company in January (see here for my commentary). Buckingham was at hand with a passionate keynote on addressing the performance management malaise in the overall client base with empowering the team leaders (no surprise – TMBC Standout was built for that). With TMBC Standout ADP has a unique talent management creature (from a product stand point perspective) – that it needs to position right in the crowded engagement, survey, performance management etc. market. It’s only two months, but a key area to watch, stay tuned. 
ADP Meeting of the Minds MOTM Holger Mueller Constellation Research
Buckingham on Performance


A good MOTM for ADP, moving in the right direction on many fronts. Customers are adopting new and old solutions quickly, an encouraging sign. No surprise the high ground for ADP remains around payroll – and related offerings – like the mobile application and pay disparity analysts which are / are going to be of high interest in the customer base. At the same time the adoption of these products propels customers to the new ADP platforms, so behind the scenes there is some heavy lifting happening, The fact that there is no noise and reports on any issues around these behind the scenes migrations, is a major accomplishment by ADP as a vendor, and of course of substantial value for its customers. The TMBC acquisition is a new opportunity for ADP for differentiation, but we have to stay tuned on how ADP will position Standout.

On the concern side, ADP may not be moving fast enough. Payroll is super sticky, the average attendance at MOTM was 14 years, few vendors can show that. But ADP should move aggressively into domains like Machine Learning (it certainly can, given it has a big data Cloud), it needs to innovate on user experienced (e.g. speech as the new UI) and sell more Talent Management to customers. To be fair I left MOTM on Monday, so stay tuned for more messages, announcements that may address these areas.

But for now, life is good for ADP customers, what a difference 5 years can make. Stay tuned for what’s ahead.

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.

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