ADP extends its lead in human capital management solutions

Revolutionizing the market by embedding analytics technologies into its cloud-based solutions

Published on 11-Nov-2013

"Going forward, we will continue to innovate by helping individual clients gain insights into their own data while providing broader analyses across other HCM data. With IBM as our partner, we are confident that we will be able to continue to innovate and develop new services to meet our clients’ ever-increasing demands." - Marc Rind, Vice President of Product Development, ADP


Professional Services

Deployment country:
United States

Cognos Business Intelligence, BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, Big Data & Analytics, Big Data & Analytics: New business models, Enabling Business Flexibility


ADP's HCM solutions are used by more than 620,000 companies in more than 125 countries, and its leading role as an HCM solutions provider in this space is impressive. Approximately one in six US employees are paid via ADP’s payroll services.

Business need:
When you are already a leader in your field, how do you keep moving forward? ADP decided to develop new solutions that would help clients transform their understanding of human capital management by embedding analytics into the company’s cloud-based solutions.

ADP built a standardized analytics platform based on scalable, extensible IBM technologies that can be easily integrated with a wide range of its products. Users access the new analytics tools via their existing ADP web-based product solutions.

Clients gain a quick view of key metrics that help them understand and better manage their human capital. Ultimately, ADP will be able to harness big data analytics techniques to detect trends and patterns, and offer recommendations as to best practices across its client base.

Case Study

When you are already the leading service provider in your industry, where do you go from there? How do you maintain your advantage over the competition and stay ahead of the game?

This was a challenge facing ADP – a leader in human capital management (HCM) solutions. The company’s HCM solutions are used by more than 620,000 companies in more than 125 countries, and its leading role as an HCM solutions provider in this space is impressive. Approximately one in six US employees are paid via ADP’s payroll services. This market-leading position has contributed to ADP’s seven consecutive years as one of the top five financial data services companies on FORTUNE magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and three top rankings within its category in the last four years.1

Marc Rind, Vice President of Product Development for ADP, comments: “We offer a very robust set of solutions across the spectrum of Human Capital Management, and we have built a very successful business around them. But we have to keep innovating if we want to continue to meet the needs of our clients.”

Continuous innovation
ADP wanted its solutions to offer more than just highly efficient ways to manage HCM transactions. The company wanted to give clients greater insights into their workforces and help them make smarter decisions.

“Take payroll, for example,” says Rind. “To process millions of paychecks each week, we utilize a great deal of data about our clients’ employees, job roles, pay scales, compensation agreements, tenure, and so on.

“Of course, this data is necessary for the transactional side of payroll management. But it’s also potentially very interesting from an analytical point of view. If we can reveal trends and patterns in the data that give our clients new insights, we can be an even more valuable business partner.”

Embedded analytics
The company decided to build an analytics platform that could be embedded into its existing solutions, giving clients the ability to view key metrics in real time whenever they log into the ADP web portal.

Rind comments: “We have a suite of solutions aimed at our mid-size clients, with more than 50 employees to our largest global clients often with more than 100,000 employees. Finding a single analytics platform that was flexible enough to support all these solutions, and scalable enough to support hundreds of thousands of companies with potentially millions of users, was a major challenge.”

“We needed a proven, enterprise-class solution from a major player with a viable long-term roadmap. Once we saw the versatility, extensibility and full feature-set offered by IBM Business Analytics, we realized that IBM was the best fit for this part of our business.”

Single point of access
ADP developed an offering that enables its solutions to access specific metrics from an analytics engine based on IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence 10.2. These metrics are then displayed within the existing customized web portal and applications. Each user can decide which metrics they want to see, which helps them to focus on the most relevant and useful information for their particular role.

Each metric is displayed on a “tile” which initially shows a simple trend line with red or green indicators to indicate whether overall performance is improving or declining. If the user wants more information, they can click on the tile to expand it and reveal more detailed insights.

“The user interface is extremely important because most of our users are HR professionals, not business analysts,” explains Rind. “They need a quick, clear way to get relevant information, so the flexibility of presentation is very important. Cognos 10 gives us a good foundation for presenting data in intuitive ways, and we are working with the IBM Center for Advanced Visualization to develop our capabilities even further.”

The road ahead
Rind sees comprehensive analytics as a powerful tool for helping to answer customers’ key questions: “What are the characteristics of companies that keep their employees for a long time, compared to those where turnover is high? What salary and benefits should you offer a new employee in a particular role? What effect does overtime have on total productivity? How can organizations retain staff while adhering to compensation policies?”

ADP’s volume of clients gives them an extra advantage, according to Rind. “Our clients are very excited about ADP providing them with growing capabilities in our analytics platform. The breadth of data to which ADP has access enables us to provide an amazing opportunity for our clients to see how they compare to other organizations.”

“We have already taken a significant first step by embedding analytics into our solutions,” says Rind. “Going forward, we will continue to innovate by helping individual clients gain insights into their own data while providing broader analyses across other HCM data. With IBM as our partner, we are confident that we will be able to continue to innovate and develop new services to meet our clients’ ever-increasing demands.”

About ADP
With more than $11 billion in revenues and more than 60 years of experience, ADP (NASDAQ: ADP) serves approximately 620,000 clients in more than 125 countries. As one of the world’s largest providers of business outsourcing and human capital management solutions, ADP offers a wide range of human resource, payroll, talent management, tax and benefits administration solutions from a single source, and helps clients comply with regulatory and legislative changes, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). ADP’s easy-to-use solutions for employers provide superior value to companies of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle, marine, recreational vehicle, and heavy equipment dealers throughout the world.

For more information about ADP or to contact a local ADP sales office, call 1.800.225.5237 or visit the company’s website at

About IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics software delivers data-driven insights that help organizations work smarter and outperform their peers. This comprehensive portfolio includes solutions for business intelligence, predictive analytics and decision management, performance management, and risk management.

Business Analytics solutions enable companies to identify and visualize trends and patterns in areas, such as customer analytics, that can have a profound effect on business performance. They can compare scenarios, anticipate potential threats and opportunities, better plan, budget and forecast resources, balance risks against expected returns and work to meet regulatory requirements. By making analytics widely available, organizations can align tactical and strategic decision-making to achieve business goals.

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Cognos Business Intelligence

Footnotes and legal information

1. See

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Corporation, Software Group, Route 100, Somers, NY 10589. Produced in the United States. October 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, and Cognos are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. ADP Analytics is not an IBM product or offering. ADP Analytics is sold or licensed, as the case may be, to users under ADP’s terms and conditions, which are provided with the product or offering. Availability, and any and all warranties, services and support for ADP Analytics is the direct responsibility of, and is provided directly to users by, ADP. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation. Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.