Ever since my kids were old enough to understand the concept of sharing, my wife and I have been encouraging them to do it often. With three kids that are very close in age, that is easier said than done, but I am always proud of them when they manage to pull it off. We nearly fell out of our chairs the other day when witnessing our ten-year old son actually offer the last couple of cookies to his older sister. Of course, he’s recently been trying to win us over to buy him some new technology, so we’re wondering just how genuine that “share” really was.
Though sharing may not always come easily for kids, sharing between adults has never been easier. The rise of the social web has made it really simple to share everything from advice on how to fix a leaky faucet to the latest videos of your cat doing something weird. It still amazes me how quickly the technology has gotten us to this point.
As a SaaS provider, sharing is in Ultimate’s DNA. When we made the decision to move to the cloud over ten years ago, we knew that by sharing common infrastructure, we’d lower costs and ease the administrative burden for our customers. What we couldn’t foresee was just how much sharing would eventually take place within our user community because of this shift. There are dozens of UltiPro User Communities on LinkedIn, thousands of participants in our Ideas community, and the content and thoughts that are being shared in these forums are both practical and engaging.
I’m responsible for the Business Intelligence & Analytics products at Ultimate, so I want to highlight some of the sharing taking place between the BI users within our customer community. The author of a recent ZDNet article urges business people to be “BI savvy,” and I couldn’t agree more. However, our users are wearing multiple hats and have limited time to develop their expertise. They know that UltiPro Business Intelligence allows them to tap the vast amounts of information living with their employee records, so they are turning to the communities to help them. At nearly 900 members as of this writing, the Business Intelligence forum on LinkedIn is one of the largest and most active. Collaborating with other users to share tips, tricks, ideas, and even reports is a great example of how the cloud proves its value. Users are sharing reports on a wide range of topics including total compensation, bonus distribution by performance rating, and benefit election comparisons. This is something that we’ve coined “Consume/Author/Share” within UltiPro.
Across the enterprise applications market, there is so much room to innovate and expand upon making data and analytics accessible, understandable, and pervasive throughout solutions, and we’re totally focused on this at Ultimate. The good news is that with the help of collaboration and the cloud, people, i.e., our customers, can work together and benefit from one another today. Because of this, hundreds of report templates have been downloaded thousands of times. This is sharing at its best. And though I may not have quite the same sense of pride as when my son offered my daughter the last cookie, I’m still awfully proud to be a part of this community. Keep on sharing!