Pat Pickren – Ultimate Software's Blog http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Tue, 23 May 2017 19:20:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Ideation http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ideation/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ideation/#respond Mon, 23 Jul 2012 13:10:27 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=126 Do you remember Schoolhouse Rock? One of my favorites was the story of the U.S. bill on an arduous journey to become a law. Maybe it was the combination of music and animation or that my future political science ambitions were already present that made this specific Schoolhouse Rock episode stay in my memory. As […]

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Do you remember Schoolhouse Rock? One of my favorites was the story of the U.S. bill on an arduous journey to become a law. Maybe it was the combination of music and animation or that my future political science ambitions were already present that made this specific Schoolhouse Rock episode stay in my memory. As we create products at Ultimate, how does this process work? How does product get from an idea all the way into a release? Is it as complicated as the bill “sitting on Capitol Hill,” then to committee, and then a long wait or veto at the President’s desk?

Fortunately, we don’t need a song to help explain the ideation process at Ultimate. The reason is that the process  is very simple and involves actively listening to our community of customers. It is no surprise that we have a fantastic group of partners. One of the highlights of the year is getting the chance to interact and hear from our customers at Connections, our annual customer conference. Do we have to wait 12 months until the next meeting in Las Vegas to listen? Absolutely not!

One of the ways that we listen is through our Ideas Community. One of the benefits of delivering in the cloud, is also joining a larger community. This is evidenced in our Ideas Community where customers are able to share ideas with each other, comment on those ideas, and voice their preference by voting an idea up or down. Here’s the great thing: Ultimate’s product team knows right away what things our collective partners want to see in our solution. In a sense we are crowdsourcing by tapping into the collective wisdom of our “crowd” of customers.

And our product managers are listening and pulling in ideas. In fact our community is so active that we’re working very hard to keep up with the ideas that they are creating. In many meetings with our product managers and development teams, I hear comments, “this is our customer’s #1 idea in this area.” I know that is music to the ears of our customers, who are looking forward to their suggestions coming to life in the product. Their ideas will not have to follow the same path of that bill waiting on a committee and then a President to sign.

 

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The Promise of Spring: New Growth, New Opportunities http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/the-promise-of-spring-new-growth-new-opportunities/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/the-promise-of-spring-new-growth-new-opportunities/#respond Tue, 17 Apr 2012 12:22:52 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=114 Whether it is consumers empowered to interact directly with businesses on a platform like Twitter or citizens bringing their collective voices and stories to the world on social and political issues, technology has empowered people to connect and communicate in ways never imagined. And this is real power – not the technology – but unleashing […]

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Whether it is consumers empowered to interact directly with businesses on a platform like Twitter or citizens bringing their collective voices and stories to the world on social and political issues, technology has empowered people to connect and communicate in ways never imagined.

And this is real power – not the technology – but unleashing people to be able to connect and create.

What does that mean for HR & IT? More than you may think. Consumerization has become one of the most popular made-up buzzwords of 2012, as new information technology that emerges with consumers – Twitter and Facebook are great examples – begins to change the way we do business.

Cloud computing and freemium (try it for free, pay later) models mean IT has seen employees and business leaders bring new applications and devices directly into the workplace to help get work done – once significant barriers to entry for new solutions are not just reduced, they’re completely gone. IT organizations that are staying relevant are embracing this and helping lead the charge to empower people – helping their teams make good decisions, integrating systems in the Cloud, and adapting constantly. Is this limited to IT? Definitely not! This same trend is happening within HR.

And as with technology, the consumerization of HR is all about people. Not people as records, not people as employees, but the real people who make “work” happen. HR and the HCM applications that have been at the core must adjust to this new reality by being connected and reaching out, not just looking in. Instead of thinking about terms like ‘enterprise adoption’ we need to think in terms of ‘what tools do my people use right now’ and ‘where does the data I need already exist’. As I’ve talked to many of our customers, I’ve talked about Ultimate’s capabilities to help connect and empower whether that is through collaboration systems or other standard connectors. The point is serving people where they work and collecting information where it exists in order to inform both the individual and the business.

These are exciting times to connect, collaborate and create. We need HCM systems and HCM leaders that will look outward and embrace these changes.

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