A look inside UKG Aspire 2023
Closing out the fall conference season, UKG recently hosted its 2023 Aspire customer conference with a dedicated and robust analyst update where the UKG team reinforced its mission to help every organization become a Great Place to Work by building people-centric HR technology that meets each employee where they are on their journey. In the past few updates we’ve seen from UKG, it is excitingly clear their acquisition of Great Place to Work is not just an acquisition but an honest-to-goodness infused framework and belief system that reaches every part of their strategy, go-to-market, and solution set.
UKG continues to offer two comprehensive HCM suites, each suited to the size of an organization. UKG Pro for the larger enterprises, and UKG Ready for those with a smaller employee population. It’s important to note that most of UKG’s capabilities are global and extend across both the Pro and Ready suites with strength in the workforce management (WFM) functionality, which is no surprise given UKG’s Kronos foundation. (Friendly reminder: The merger of Ultimate Software and Kronos Incorporated was completed in 2020.)
The UKG product team delivered over 1,000 additional features in 2023. Those highlights included:
- Released to leverage GPTW data and intelligence
- An updated UKG Pro Suite mobile app to bring UKG Pro, UKG Pro WFM and UKG Talk into a common app
- New multi-country payroll offering
- Revamped UKG Ready experience for SMBs to make it easier to use
- Reimagined UKG WFM self-service
UKG continues to pride itself on strong customer relationships. This is evident with their roadmap inclusion of 60% of the *top-voted customer ideas for 2024 (*those ideas submitted by customers with 100 or more votes). A clear focus on the employee experience is at the center of their product roadmap, with robust plans to continue enhancing and building Workforce Management and global payroll capabilities. UKG’s acquisition of Immedis earlier this year is propelling the organization’s global multi-country payroll strategy as well as UKG’s audacious goal of straight-through payroll processing without human intervention. UKG OneView connects payroll engines to give a universal experience while the mechanics run in the background. What makes UKG OneView stand apart from the competition is the payment execution on a global scale, taking it from schedule-to-pay to schedule-to-fund.
And it wouldn’t be an HR technology vendor conference without the mention of GenAI. UKG is making significant strides in Artificial Intelligence over the last 12+ years with an impressive 20+ patents filed for their AI solutions in 2023 alone and 2500+ active AI models already in use.
We had the chance to meet UKG Bryte, the virtual assistant now infused in the UKG suite, reinforcing their mission to create a better place to work for all. Bryte will go beyond task automation to really help frontline employees find opportunities, uncover skills, and create learning pathways across the UKG solution suite.
UKG’s Analyst Conference Takeaways:
- UKG hosted a record-breaking event with 3,700 clients and 1,500 others, including 90 partners, making it their largest conference ever.
- Chris Todd, CEO, emphasizes their new vision statement: “Inspire every organization to become a great place to work through technology built for all.”
- A strong focus on GenAI, with over 2,500 AI models in production and the introduction of UKG Bryte, an AI assistant aimed at streamlining processes and creating a Great Place to Work
- Significant investments in product development for 2024, including addressing customer needs and enhancing the user experience.
- Expanding global focus with Immedis acquisition and UKG One View global payroll, promising to take global payroll from schedule-to-pay to schedule-to-fund with extremely quick activation timelines.
- Partnership announcements with PayPal, Microsoft, and Eightfold.ai to enrich their offerings.
- Commitment to Belonging, Equity & Impact (how they refer to DEIB work) with the “Ecosystem of Equity” and a GPTW Hub, driven by 30 years of people data and employee inputs across nine dimensions.
- Addressing competition by expanding internationally and focusing on verticals where they can meet complex needs.
Advice to Customers and Prospects
Whether you’re a lean HR team looking for HR platform that can grow with you or a large multinational organization looking to simplify the complex, UKG is worth considering. Their focus on shifting global payroll from schedule-to-pay to schedule-to-fund shows their dedication to improving the experience for the people who interact with their platform every day. And their launch of the UKG Bryte CoPilot demonstrates their ongoing focus on innovation and technological advancement, which means their customers can expect to be on the cutting edge. However, making complex things simple is hard work, so be sure to take the time to understand how UKG will help make your vision a reality and support you on your journey. It’s also important to understand what’s available now relative to previously available solutions (UKG Dimensions is now branded UKG Pro Workforce Management, for example) and what is part of their long-term vision so you can make sure the platform supports your needs today and allows you to grow with the offering in the future.
Advice to UKG
While continuing to enhance and build the UKG solution while incorporating customer feedback into the product roadmap, legacy Ultimate and Kronos customers should continue to receive the same level of service and support as they did pre-merger. The introduction of the UKG SuccessKrew (a dedicated support team for each customer) will set a solid foundation as the transition continues.
In summary, UKG is making significant strides in GenAI, enhancing its products, expanding globally, and embedding Great Place to Work capabilities, data, and values throughout.
Thanks to the UKG team for hosting us both in person and virtually and for sharing your customer stories and excitement with all of us. We’ll be watching to see what happens next!
Luminate is Mercer’s global vendor services practice, helping workforce technology solution providers bring their solutions and message to life. Our bench of marketing and GTM strategists, product and research specialists, and work tech domain experts help reinforce modern thinking through thought leadership and content development, act as real-time advisors and coaches in the Now of Work, and provide market insights to deliver value to buyers faster.
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