UKG Pro Expert Review, Pricing, Alternatives - 2022

Rodrigo Vázquez Mellado
HR and B2B software analyst & advisor, tech writer, musician
August 2, 2022
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UKG Versus the competition

UKG is the merger of two leading companies in HR, Ultimate Software and Kronos. As such, their platforms pack 70 years of experience with HCM tech. You can choose between UKG Pro, an HCM suite, or UKG Ready, a workforce management tool geared towards SMBs.

If you're ready to get a UKG demo, we suggest getting in touch for a look at the product and quote. Otherwise, read on!

Pros
  • Super robust product, packing years of experience with HCM and Workforce Management technology 
  • Since they offer UKG Pro for HRMS and UKG Ready for workforce management, you could arrive at a combination of products that suits many of your HR needs from the same set of tools.
Cons
  • Compared to newer tools, UKG Pro and UKG Ready tend to miss a unique selling point or a specific focus on a certain type of business. While they work great for bigger companies in all sorts of industries, very niche operations might have a hard time adapting to the tool. 
  • Similarly, ​​UKG offers many solutions under one umbrella, so it's not the best fit if you're looking for only a handful of specific use cases.

UKG Review

Ultimate Software was mainly known for its core HR tech product, UltiPro. Now that they’ve merged with Kronos, UltiPro has been rebranded as UKG Pro. The new company behind it, the Ultimate Kronos Group, aims to combine HCM capabilities with robust people data and analytics. Further, thanks in part to the merger, the word is that the service delivery of the HR teams that use UKG has improved considerably. 

This combination of features and tools is what makes UKG a noteworthy mention in so many HR tech categories. Arguably, UKG Pro can be an HRIS, HCM suite, and HRMS. It has a payroll tool, which also relates nicely to its workforce management offering, UKG Ready. 

The UKG Ready solution, for instance, allows teams to effectively manage the entire time and attendance process. With UKG Ready, it’s easy to punch in and out, manually edit timestamps or change billing coding for different departments. This is a great solution for full comprehensive workforce management.

It’s also worth mentioning that the platform has an ACA compliance tool within the UKG Pro offering. UKG's ACA manager can help with filing compliance documents on your behalf, like 1095-C forms. This part of their tool includes features like a healthcare eligibility dashboard, automatic generation of forms, and pre-delivered reports for identifying ACA compliance.

UKG also offers payroll services for their Workforce Ready users. Aside from the software tools, you can get expert assistance with tax filing, garnishment processing, and distribution of checks and payroll documentation. 

UKG’s products and expertise have been tested throughout the years and built out to the point where they have modules for just about everything you could imagine: payroll, benefits management, onboarding, time-tracking, and countless other HR functions.

Who shouldn't buy UKG

UKG Pro offers many solutions and modules within its platform. Hence it's not the best fit for companies in need of only a handful of specific use cases. For example, it has no standalone ACA module. Therefore, it is best for large or enterprise companies looking for an entire HR suite plus many other perks.

UKG Customers

Through the years, UKG has been trusted by organizations like Tesla, Marriott, Yamaha, Aramark, Puma, Sony Music, Samsung, Mammoth, Temple University, MGM Grand, The YMCA, The Salvation Army, and Feeding America.

UKG: Full HCM suite

UKG Stats

  • Ranked #6 on Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for list
  • Valued at $22 billion after the merger 
  • Included on Glassdoor’s 2020 Best Places to Work ranking
  • Named as a Magic Quadrant Leader 2021 in Cloud HCM Suites by Garner, for the fifth consecutive year
  • Customers include more than half of the Fortune 1000 listed companies
  • Handling over 51 million People records in the cloud
  • Generating an estimated $3 billion in revenue per year
  • Customers in 165 countries
  • A customer base of more than 50,000 businesses and 3.2 million users
  • UKG Pro customers on average get an ROI of $3.88 on each dollar invested
  • Consistent 96% customer retention
  • 12,000+ employees

UKG Key Features

  • People analytics: Gather intel on everything workforce-related and use it to make strategic, AI-supported decisions. 
  • Compensation management: UKG Ready can automate and streamline the entire compensation management process. This add-on supports annual, nonannual, cycle-based, and off-cycle merit and promotion-based salary increases.
  • People center: With UKG Pro, you get a complete picture of your entire employee population. This instant access to business intelligence can drive decision-making.
  • Benefits administration: Employees can learn about, compare, and enroll in the compensation plans of their choosing. This part of the platform also provides educational tools and personalized recommendations.

UKG Pro has capabilities for:

  • Payroll
  • Benefits administration
  • Open enrollment and life events
  • Tax management
  • Talent management
  • Document manager
  • Onboarding
  • Compensation management
  • Succession planning
  • Mobile app (Android & iOS)

UKG Key Integrations

While their integrations are limited, UKG Pro does have API capabilities. UKG’s products can integrate with tools like LinkedIn, Branch, Workday, Jostle, and many more. There are more integrations for other HR, payroll, ERP, patient information systems, and other back-office applications. If once you look into it you realize that they don’t integrate with a particular part of your tech stack, you should know that they sometimes provide custom solutions on a case-by-case basis.

UKG Pricing

Pricing for UKG Pro is not available on their website. However, it is usually on a per-employee-per-month basis, either billed annually or monthly. You’d need to contact a sales representative for an accurate quote. However, our research has shown that licenses tend to start at $600.00 per year for every 5 users.

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UKG Implementation

Implementing UKG Pro can take up to a few months for large organizations. They also have numerous third-party services out there to assist with the implementation of its software.

Now, although it can vary depending on if you’re implementing UKG Ready or UKG Pro, a typical implementation process can follow these six steps: 

  • Planning: Webinars, learning modules, timeline creation, introduction to the project manager.
  • Assess: Goal setting, provide necessary data, approve solution design, review best practices.
  • Solution Build: Build the system, integrate it with other systems, and administrator training.
  • Test & Clarify: Solution overview, internal training, workshops.
  • Deploy & Support: "Go live" additional training, transition to support team.
  • Additional Modules & Functionality: Implementation of additional solutions, for instance, the ACA module.

UKG Customer Success

Aside from having customer success managers for their clients, UKG has many resources in place for their users. They’ve got a resources & insights page, for instance, where you can browse ROI tools and ebooks or guides for each of their features. They also have a support community page where customers can get their questions answered by experts as well as community members.

About UKG

UKG stands for the Ultimate Kronos Group. As we’ve said, it’s the result of a merger that happened in April 2020 between Ultimate Software and Kronos. UKG is an American company and now they have dual headquarters in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Weston, Florida. Since the merger, the company is effective both in the workforce management and human resource management software and services space. 

After the companies merged, the former Kronos CEO, Aron Ain, became the CEO and chairperson of UKG. He stepped down as CEO on July 1, 2022, in order to become Executive Chairperson. He was succeeded by Chris Todd, who had been president of Kronos in 2018 under Ain. 

Of course, to understand the broader history of UKG one would have to look at that of each former company before the merger. 

Ultimate Software was founded in Weston, Florida in 1990 by Scott Scherr. They released the first version of their HRMS and payroll management suite in 1993. Of course, it was an on-premise tool back then. The company went public in June 1998.

Their main offering, UltiPro, was reintroduced as a cloud-based tool in 2002. This model allowed for even more growth for the company. In Q4 2017, they reported revenues of more than $940 million, they had more than 5,000 employees, and 4,100 customers in 160 countries. They were purchased by Hellman & Friedman Capital partners in 2019

Kronos Incorporated was founded in 1977 by MIT alumnus Mark S. Ain (Aaron’s brother). They were the makers of the world's first microprocessor-based time clock and made their first PC-based time and attendance tracking product in 1985. 

The time-tracking-focused company went public in 1992 and continued a steady record of profitability. They then went private again in March 2007, when it was purchased for US$1.74 billion by Hellman & Friedman as the lead investors and JMI Equity as the secondary one. 

Interestingly, the new company, UKG, has done some acquisitions of its own. The last one of these was in March 2022, when they purchased HR and Workforce Management suite Ascentis.

As a next step you can visit the UKG website or read about alternatives below

As a next step you can visit the UKG website or read about alternatives below

UKG Alternatives

Bob is a global platform that can streamline pretty much everything an HR department needs to do, in a highly customizable manner.
Sapling’s modern and intuitive platform is one of the only remote-focused HRISs out there. It’s particularly great for onboarding and workflow automation.
Paycor is a robust and data-centric HR software for leaders at US-based companies that want their teams to save time with HR transactional tasks.
OnPay is very quick to set up and is quite affordable for a solution that combines payroll, HR, and benefits.
Rippling is an employee management platform for everything between onboarding and offboarding, with a soothing design and great user experience.
As one of the HR software companies with the richest history, ADP has a massive product offering and tons of expertise that could help any kind of business.
Freshteam is an HR suite that’s already used by over 3,000 customers, well-regarded by small, mid-sized, and big companies alike.
The folks at ClearCompany are quick to create and launch new products depending on what their clients need, like COVID-19 resources during the pandemic or a voting incentive feature during the 2020 US election.
Sage People has built an end-to-end cloud solution to manage HR and People for global workforces.
Eddy is an all-in-one HR and payroll platform with a simple and intuitive UI focusing on local businesses with deskless workers.
Namely is an all-in-one HR platform designed to be used by everyone and made for mid-sized companies specifically in mind.
BambooHR has remained one of the top names in HR software for years. They have won numerous awards for customer support, ease of use, and good value. Their numerous features can be flexibly packaged according to your needs.
Zenefits offers comprehensive plans with HR, payroll, and benefits in a one-size-fits-all platform.
Factorial is a solid SaaS that’s devoted to solving the daily challenges of HR teams while placing a strong emphasis on data security.
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