We had the opportunity to attend ADP's ReThink 2018 conference in Monaco from January 29th till February 1st, 2018. The conference targets ADP customers who use its Global View product, most of them large international enterprises. The enterprises who made it to Monaco represented 6T US$ in global revenue… 





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Here is the 1 slide condensation (if the slide doesn't show up, check here):









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An event that stands out
There is pretty much no event that can compete with ADP ReThink from a quality of speaker and location perspective. Last year in Barcelona the headline speaker was Amal Clooney, this year there was former UK Prime Minister Right Honorable David Cameron and the youngest Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafazi, interviewed by magazine editor legend Tina Brown… who also shared her life story and view on women topics. It’s great to see ADP going for speakers that can tackle common, but also controversial topics (e.g. Brexit) and let speakers share their views freely. Customers certainly appreciated the caliber of speakers… and few events happen in a hotel, where you sleep over a Formula 1 GP track, exiting to the most famous hairpin curve in the world… very well done.


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Malala Yousafzai in a conversation with Tina Brown

Global Cloud Connect makes progress - ADP’s key new product for global customers, Global Cloud Connect (GCC) is making satisfactory progress.  For the first time with GCC, ADP had one of their client design partner’s join them on stage. The global nuclear energy company shared their experience mapping and transforming data with GCC, which the client’s payroll expert even referred to as ‘fun’. An emotional status seldom associated with global payroll setup… the customer shared that they had moved from 80 to 3 relevant interfaces. That is a substantial reduction in complexity for a global company, in any automation area, particularly payroll. ADP is currently working to begin GCC pilot clients, beginning the first wave of pilot implementations in February with an expected GA in June 2018. The scope of GCC is massive, but the prize is well worth it. ADP progresses with usual ADP caution, but that is probably warranted given the scope and importance of the task. Getting payroll 99.9% right is not good enough…
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Jimenez and what ADP does with GCC

ADP gears up for Gig Economy ADP acquired WorkMarket a few weeks ago, becoming the first large HCM vendor to get into automating the Gig Economy (see my Market Move blog post here). If only half of the optimistic forecasts on the gig economy come true, all HCM vendors need to provide the relevant capabilities for the new best practices a contingent workforce requires. WorkMarket was present in Monaco, showing their product to great interest of attendees. With WorkMarket ADP has acquired one of the leading vendors powering the Gig Economy, now the new area on how to keep operating and integrating a Gig Economy platform with a traditional HCM platform looms. Few weeks in and certainly too early to ask and address, but something ADP will have to tackle in the coming quarters.

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Weinstein on how is doing the work

Strategy and Technology on appealing track – Both Don Weinstein for overall ADP strategy and Roberto Masiero for the technology vision presented in Monaco, and both are on track in regards of direction. Weinstein described the Future of Work (always like when keynotes are named identically to the research area at Constellation Research….) and how ADP plays a role in this. Masiero always has some interesting nuggets out of the innovation labs to share. If ADP delivers on half on the strategy shared by Weinstein and half of Masiero’s technology plans soon, ADP will be sitting well in regards of the demands and hopes of people leaders making system decisions in the next year.

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Masiero with the "1st Spreadsheet"


ADP is quickly moving on expanding its core competence of (global) payroll to overall HCM vendor for global enterprises. Mentioned only on passing, but asking attendees to take a look, ADP mentioned its new HCM system, Lifion. Good to see that ADP wants its international customers to take a look at the product. ADP did not mention its new payroll – PI – understandable as most customers are GlobalView customers at the conference, but it will have to get less shy about talking more software going forward. The event had close to a dozen customer testimonials, which are always interesting for attendees, as all grapple with the challenges of global HCM systems, learning about the challenges, opportunities and best practices is always a great topic for any conference. The key product for the audience is GCC, that appears to be on track and customers took note.

On the concern side, ADP will have to switch the format of the event from vision heavy to more product centric. It would almost be a crime in the positioning category not showing and sharing with its global customers what is happening with Lifion and Pi. That changes the character of the conference a bit, but in my view for the better… at the end enterprises send their representatives to a great conference like ADP ReThink to get their arms around products, understand their ability, maturity and roadmap ahead. On the flip side ADP has its hands full with Lifion, Pi and GCC, so the traditional steady pace of rolling out innovation is a good, quality minded approach. But ADP needs to get all of its innovations in front of its global customers. An ‘always on’ payroll matters for international companies, too.

But for now, congrats to ADP to one of the top events in the industry. Hard to top in 2019, but that’s a good problem to have. And the need to morph the event to more hands-on product mix is a good opportunity to open new categories of automation for customers.

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