“The days are long, but the years are short.” ― Gretchen Rubin, New York Times Best-Selling Author
Many of us have heard some rendition of this saying. Plenty of us have thought the idea with no prompt whatsoever. The version above encapsulates the concept as good as any and is attributable to acclaimed author Gretchen Rubin, whose work I have not read. Surely her books must be profound.
What else is profound? The trajectory of Immedis is.
Sometimes, the people you meet when you’re in the thick of starting something new leave an impression that sticks with you. I stopped short of titling this blog post “A Love Letter to Immedis,” because it’s not quite this. Plus, it would be a little bit weird. But it will soon be past two-and-half years since my team was introduced to Immedis, and from the start we were smitten with their technology for global payroll, the way they wrapped it in necessary, unassailably robust services, and their internal culture. You could say that we became fast fans, and it was at a time rich with hardscrabble pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps grit here at 3Sixty Insights, a firm we had launched not much earlier, in September 2020. The memory is fond.
Over the course of spring and early summer 2021, we had the pleasure of speaking at length with C-suite leadership at Immedis. We moved quickly, inviting Richard Limpkin, their then-chief product and technology officer, to be a guest on #HRTechChat. At Immedis, Richard went on to become chief strategy officer, and he’s now an executive at UKG, which announced its intent to acquire Immedis in June 2023 (and finalized the transaction in just about one month’s time… more about all that in a few paragraphs).
Viewing the episode with Richard conjures feelings of nostalgia for me. Those were earlier times, the days before we added our swanky virtual background to all episodes — and as an option to “blur my background” on private demos and briefings, too. Speaking of briefings and demos, we had several with the team at Immedis. And we subsequently published our thoughts on the steady, indefatigable cadence of their impressive march toward innovation here, here, and here.
It was two years ago this month or so, additionally, that another colleague of mine here at 3Sixty Insights, Craig Himmelberger, collaborated with me on what I still believe to be one of the firm’s very best reports: a research note focusing on the challenges CIOs face as global payroll for their organizations grows exponentially into a complex ecosystem fraught with pitfalls, notably in securing employees’ data and ensuring compliance with related laws.
The challenges therein help to explain why so many organizations eventually elect to outsource their global payroll — as that report posits and all but recommends. If you follow human capital management closely, you have probably heard a memorable story (or two or three) regarding the complexity of this or that global employer’s payroll situation. Here’s one. We’ve heard other stories off the record.
It’s unfortunate that the condition of so many multinational employers’ global payroll is chaotic, a source of significant inefficiencies. When an organization’s global payroll is in order, so many things are possible. The upside transcends the alleviation of administrative burden — welcome as that is. Employees enjoy greater mobility, for example, and the organization achieves greater agility, which underpins competitiveness in the war for talent. We’ve published reports on these ideas, too, here and (to an extent) here.
Let’s return to the idea that global payroll data is incredibly valuable to an organization. In outsourcing global payroll “to the professionals,” one would be hard-pressed to do better than Immedis (now a part of UKG, of course). Consider Immedis’ major announcement this year vis-à-vis its relentless pursuit of market-leading innovation: the unveiling of OneView (now UKG OneView… again, more about all that in just a couple paragraphs). With Immedis’ culminating, capstone innovation prior to becoming a part of UKG, the vendor from Ireland transformed payroll data, once a great liability for global organizations bereft of a modern solution for global payroll, into an asset. Corralling an organization’s global payroll data into one place for easy viewing in real time, Immedis showed that a global payroll provider could indeed produce “one view” of global payroll.
Furthermore, as noted in our Market Alert at the time, we believe Immedis, with the launch of OneView, brought us all a major leap and bound much closer to touchless payroll. This is the highly desirable scenario wherein no human touches any piece of global payroll data before it’s processed. It is difficult to overstate the value of touchless payroll when it comes to compliance and accuracy.
The road to global payroll is long and winding for any given organization. The road to perfecting global payroll solutions is long and winding, too. As for the journey to an entirely new competitive landscape for global payroll solutions, the days were long, but these two-plus years were short. I promised to get to UKG’s acquisition of Immedis. And here we are — and, in a sense, already.
You can read my analysis of this watershed market development. But don’t just take my word for its significance. A hat tip is in serious order for long-time and well-regarded payroll expert Pete Tiliakos, founder of GxT Advisors and member of the 3Sixty Insights Global Executive Advisory Council. Well thought out and informed, Pete’s take is well worth the read.
Put it this way: UKG made an excellent choice and savvy strategic move in acquiring Immedis. And it has been a pleasure and honor to collaborate along the way there with Immedis’ team, from our perch at 3Sixty Insights, as they achieved the dream of many: developing an effective product, creating value, and seeing all that hard work bear the ultimate fruit.