SBRI Case Study | SaaS

Seattle Biomedical Research Institute

Key Benefits

  • Faster, more streamlined software upgrades
  • Enhanced HR functionality and additional feature sets
  • Better data protection and recovery for business continuity when disruptions occur

Number of Employees

  • 300

Company Profile

Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (SBRI) is dedicated to the advancement of global health. The organization’s infectious disease research is the foundation for new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics that benefit those who need our help most: 14 million people who will otherwise die each year from infectious diseases. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1976, SBRI has hundreds of staff members working in research labs in Seattle, WA and field labs in Tanzania.

The Challenges

After deploying Ultimate’s on-premise human capital management (HCM) solution for HR, payroll, benefits, and recruitment management in 2007, SBRI’s HR and payroll teams experienced increased efficiencies and business value. However, the company believed that both the HR and IT departments could achieve even greater benefits by elevating its HRMS to Ultimate Software's cloud technology.

The Solutions

As a research company, Seattle Biomedical relies on the latest technologies to accomplish its goals and employs a lean, sophisticated IT team to manage its systems. Evan Brown, systems programmer analyst at SBRI, believed his group could better serve the organization by relying on Ultimate Software to run the IT-related responsibilities for its UltiPro solution.

“Ultimate’s cloud services are a great opportunity for a company to essentially gain a database administrator because Ultimate takes over the management of UltiPro. Ultimate Software installs upgrades and manages the solution more efficiently than we can because UltiPro is its sole focus,” said Brown. “My team manages many applications at the institute, and now we can really focus on our core responsibilities. Also, without the burden of hosting and maintaining UltiPro on our own servers, we have more time to research and implement new IT projects that add value to Seattle Biomedical’s operations.”

Besides the manpower required when supporting on-premise business applications, hardware can be an issue for many companies because of the high costs to upgrade. By moving to a cloud platform, SBRI experiences all of the advantages of the latest hardware for its HCM solution without incurring additional expense.

“Part of my team’s job is to take care of existing systems, and one of our responsibilities is to plan for emerging technologies,” said Brown. “When we considered the move to cloud technology, we compared costs—including those related to purchasing new equipment and the resources needed for implementing upgrades. With Ultimate Software’s cloud services, we found we would recoup our investment in about 18 months.”

In addition to savings related to software maintenance and hardware, Brown also factored in the value of benefiting from Ultimate Software’s hardened data center, backup procedures, redundancies, and state-of-the-art security—technology advantages that many companies are not able to afford and sustain on their own.

“With an on-premise solution, many things can go wrong that could impact our systems—facility shutdown from a natural disaster, network or telecom failure, power loss, or even the sudden loss of critical staff. Significant disruption to our business could occur if proper plans are not in place,” said Brown.

Ultimate’s cloud services feature a system uptime of 99%, so customers like Seattle Biomedical have a solid plan for business continuity if a system failure interrupts its HR-related processes.

“We are confident that our data is more secure and protected, and we are now better prepared if something unexpected occurs,” said Brown.

UltiPro also provides a company with a range of benefits beyond what is available with an on-premise system. Ultimate Software offers an affordable, per-employee-per-month subscription model with its cloud platform—minimal up-front cash is necessary, which then frees capital for other investments.

Unlike an on-premise system, there are no extra costs for expensive in-house technical equipment or the personnel to maintain it. By eliminating expenses for hardware and application upgrades, companies can reduce the operating costs that typically come with an on-premise system.