NetSuite and Ultimate Software Partner Up for HR Plus ERP






Numbers matter. And in HR numbers are beginning to matter more and more. 

The ability for HR professionals to easily access financial data has become a more pronounced need, recently. True analytics (not just “reporting”) requires access to cost data such as that traditionally found only in the financial applications.

The ERPS of the ‘90s provided both “personnel” and financial data, but as new SaaS HR solutions and talent management applications hit the market, often the financial data was left behind. (One exception is Workday, which added financial applications to its HRIS to answer just such questions).

Without integration to financials, it is difficult for HR and staffing organizations to answer questions such as:

  • Will it be a better financial decision to hire a salaried employee to fill a current skill gap or a shorter term contingent worker?

  • Will it cost us more in the long term to hire a data scientist than to upskill our current HR staff on analytics and statistics?

  • At what point will our external spend on recruiting be better spend on in-house efforts?


It is access – easy access—to financial data that can help HR answer these questions.  In this light, last week Cloud HR and talent provider Ultimate Software announced a strategic alliance with Cloud ERP provider NetSuite. Primarily targeted at companies looking for integrated ERP and HR/talent solutions, the partnership will provide NetSuite’s financials, supply chain, customer relationship management (CRM) and Ultimate Software’s payroll, HR, benefits, time and labor management, performance, compensation, and succession management.

While this clearly goes beyond the need for access to financial data that HR professionals need for decision making, it can solve that requirement and help manage the entire business cycle.   Areas such as integration of point of sale information from NetSuite into HR or performance management data may be anticipated.

The two vendors report dozens of joint deployments of Ultimate Software’s UltiPro and NetSuite today, integrated with solutions from Informatica.  While Informatica will continue to be marketed for integration, the two companies plan on creating and providing out-of-the-box packaged integration.


Neither company is a newcomer to Cloud  delivery of its solutions: 25 year old Ultimate Software made the move from on-premise to software-as-a-service and now has 19 million people "systems of record”  in the cloud.  NetSuite, a Cloud company since its inception in 1998 (as NetLedger) has to approximately 24,000 companies and subsidiaries using its business solutions such as  finance, sales, marketing, services, supply chain, fulfillment, ecommerce, inventory and order management, and more.

NetSuite acquired TribeHR, a solution it positions for SMB companies; the Ultimate Software solution is targeted at middle market and larger organizations.

Alliances are only as strong as the ongoing commitment of both partners in making them work; this alliance, however, provides both companies with solid solutions that they do not have today.  Adding the ERP – especially the financial — component to UltiPro’s HCM solution will potentially allow HR professionals to make sounder business decisions. After all, numbers do matter.


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Christa Degnan Manning

Christa Degnan Manning leads Bersin by Deloitte’s solution provider research. In this role, she collaborates with Bersin and Deloitte colleagues across practices to identify and analyze software and service providers that support and sustain success in human resources, workforce enablement, and organizational effectiveness. Christa’s research and advisory work helps businesses align their workforce support strategies with the right third-party partners and governance models to deliver functional capabilities and employee experiences that support productivity, engagement, and workforce efficiency. She also helps solution providers map their capabilities and go-to-market activities with solution buyers’ and users’ critical needs. Christa draws on more than two decades of business-to-business market research, operational leadership, and global workforce experience. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College, Columbia University, including studies at University College, University of London.

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