Mike I thought we'd, begin with adp automatic data processing your company. Can you talk just briefly about what the company does and it's, -- role in the organization sure? So if you know about ATP, which many people do - you probably know us as a world's largest payroll company, just to give you some size and scale, we pay one in six people in the US and it's.
About 33 million people, but we also pay one in ten people worldwide. So clearly from a payroll perspective, we're it. However, most people don't know. Is we're? Actually, the largest human capital management company in the world, we have a broad suite of offerings.
Everything from HR, payroll time and labor benefits all the way to some smaller areas, such as screening selection services, so background checks, for example, retirement services or 401k plans. So really think about everything from that has to do with employment from cradle to grave ADP handles and then one other division.
We also have that many people are unaware of is a dealer services business. So if you bring your car in to auto dealer to be serviced, chances are the system behind that dealership is an ADP system. I wanted to get into your story specifically Mike.
What what is so interesting is you've, taken kind of a not so typical path to the CIO role? You do have a technology background in terms of your education, you have a computer science degree. You also have an MBA.
You spend time in the early stages of your career and IT, but you actually grew up so to speak at adp on the quote-unquote business side and ran orgy. Was you were the GM of a business with an ADP right and then became the first-ever corporate global CIO for the company? Can you talk a little bit about that journey and the advantages of the non-traditional path that you took to the CIO role? I started as a programmer and gotten broke my way into employment that way, but I quickly realized that corporate life was there was much more corporate life than being a programmer and ATP's been very fortunate to me and not typecasting me as an It person, so I was able to span out moving from kind of product development coding all the way through erp implementations, where I got interested in financial systems and sort of you know.
Business applications so started doing some year p work and then realize that i needed to expand my horizons. If I really wanted to move ahead to point, went back got my ba at night. Campeon me day for it, which was great and then that opened up a lot more doors for me.
So I rotated in through finance, then moved actually into human resources and did some hrs work. Then my big break came when I was asked to run a business so about 10 years ago. Our CEO approached me and asked me if I would be willing to take on a business role which is really a business that was heavy technology-focused.
So we thought it would be a good opportunity to get somebody with some technology in their background to be a general manager took on that business, which was our global HR, payroll outsourcing business, and then that led to five years ago, with the CEO coming back to Me and saying: okay: now, would you like to come, be the CIO and what was it about the cio cio role other than the fact that you had it in your blood and had the stories from somebody very close to you about the power of that role? What was there about the specifics of being the first ever of occupant of that role within the company? What and leaving the GM position? What was the traffic yeah? It's interesting, i was, i was sort of done with IT right.
So i was. I was around your P & amp L, which is you know, sort of the destination job for a lot of people who think okay, i'm in operations. Now I've made it right now. Just work your way up the operation, it seems the bigger and bigger pls.
The appeal for me was what you said, which is we never had a CIO before, so we were highly decentralized product development and IT was really spread out among our operating units and our last hour prior CEO really had some vision for sites understand that the world Was changing rapidly, you know, with the advent of you, know more sass, more cloud.
Things were changing fast and we needed more leverage across the business. So when he approached me and said, hey Mike thinking about naming a CIO and I want to put together the rd organization, some of the product development work, traditional IT, which includes everything from kind of IT, operations, data, centers networks etc.
As well as back-office, I tu. No ERP etc. That was a that was a role that was impossible to say no to at a company like ATP mm-hmm makes sense, and I know that one of the early steps that you had to had to lead was in fact centralizing.
More of the organization's clearly than had never been centralized before, since I roll not been in place. How did you go about that? I know that's, often a tough sell for organizations as you need to exert influence from the center in a way that hadn't been the case in the past sure sure.
So. First, we avoid the c-word we don't, like the word centralizing. We use aligning. We like the word aligning. I think it is more business-friendly connotation. I think two things really help first was, I think, absolutely coming from an operating job like credibility with the business.
You know presidents, who, in the end, had decided that they were willing to part with their R & amp D functions and the end the IT functions into kind of a shared organization right. That was not a trivial decision for them, but the real, the real way to add that I want about.
It was just proving success right. So the good news is it wasn't a fight. There was no big debate. It was a series of small wins where we actually showed that we were getting leverage that we could drive innovation, that we could remain close to the business units and the markets, but still have one common organization.
Where the view presidents eventually said, you know what I think you can actually do this better than I can. I want to focus on running my day-to-day operations in my strategy. You can go ahead and take this under your wing.
Just please promise me. You'll, stay close to the markets and, as you know, we & # 39. Ve done a lot of work to make sure we keep that alignment intact. I'm, like, as you went about the exercise of aligning the organization a little bit differently.
What kind of org structure implications were there to that? I think Peter, that's. One of the big changes that we made, which has probably had proportionately the biggest impact on the organization you know when I took a look at the organization as it existed when we kind of pulled everything together, we had a lot of layers and that happens nit.
We got very often we caught alike t people as we as we move them into management positions right, like always a good engineer, but we don't know if he's going to manage people, so we'll. Give him one or two direct reports: co-ed and well, you know he or she does them well add more and they would you end up with is sort of the I formation and the organization a lot of layers.
So what we quickly realizes. They were just that's, just too many layers between kind of me as the CEO and had a product development and the first layer which is really touching. You know the code in the clients 11.
There was layers, an organization which was too much so you know through. We went through an exercise, kinda layering exercise which really wasn't as much about downsizing, as was about right sizing, the organization, and we really push that down.
So by the time we were done, we went from 11 down to 6. I've, also been intrigued to learn more about the way in which you think about social mom and how you monitor social networks and leverage them to for insight.
Leverage them to as communications vehicles can talk a lot about how you get sort of your vision for social media as replies to ADP sure. So I break that up into three categories and you know, sort of internal and client-facing internal.
First and foremost, it's, all about collaboration, which is how do you create an environment, particularly in today's world, where you & # 39, ve got people are telecommuting or home short, as we call them people in multiple locations.
So, building that foundation is really important and with the technology today around social, you know being able to collaborate. You know blogs wiki's, etc. You can really create a highly collaborative environment without necessarily having to put everybody in one place when you can't really.
One place is great, but the reality is sometimes they have to try and send that so that's, that's one in this funny. I was talking another sky, Oh recently, and he asked me how to do the business case on on collaboration.
I'm struggling and I said well how'd. You do the business case on the phone you put on somebody's desk right, i mean it's. I think that conversation is over right. You, don't need to do that. I think collaboration is the same thing.
I think the tools are just the ANA to play these days and you know and the environment you try to drive innovation really. The the second part is really your brand, and this is where you know: marketing and sales and service come in.
So we have a highly evolved ecosystem around using social to keep track of how we're doing in the marketplace today. So we monitor everything we have tools in place that we use to track customer sentiment to look for issues they're out in the marketplace, but also to drive sales leads to look for perspective, businesses, etc.
It plays a huge role in aligning with marketing and sales to make sure we've got that in place, and then integration back to your ecosystem. So when you're doing service monitoring, for example, if a client has an issue, you want to be able to route that directly back to your service organizations, integration to CRM and things like that are really important, so it's.
The second layer, the last layer, which is the most exciting to me, is really on the product side. So when you think about human capital management, you think about HR and you think about the possibilities of social and how it & # 39.
S really pervasive in today's. World building social into HR transactions is really critical, so think about the onboarding process. Right, you know, before you show up for work, you know you can start getting plugged into the social networks of work.
You can actually start interacting with people before you even show up day one when you get there right. How do you learn about the company? Well, social channels are a great way to do that and then embedded in transactions.
You know benefits is a good example right. What's, the sentiment around a benefits provider when you're? Making elections around you know who you're, going to use for benefits, wouldn't, it be great if you could tap into a social network.
What's? Your experience been so we're, laying that into our products that we produce for our clients to make allow social to provide a better outcome. You are part of a rising trend of what I & # 39. Ve refer to as CIO plusses you not long ago were asked to take over product responsibility in addition to your responsibilities as CIO.
Can you talk about the logic of that union and the value in having a single person responsible for both areas? Sure, I think you know at the end of the day it's really about delivering outcomes and accountability, and I think the first big step we took at adp was really erasing the scenes between you know kind of IT internal and IT external right.
So you know client, with a big c incline with a small C. At the end of the day, we wanted one organizational that was accountable and no seams within that, and it & # 39. S worked really well, too. You know in the cloud business having IT operations a product development work together, is kind of given you know that it's, something you have to do so, then you know more recently under the same umbrella, which was you know? How do we? How do we flatten the organization? How do we, how do we deliver outcomes, and now we build velocity? We said you know let's.
Let's. Look at product management. Is this group that really helps determine market demand, client requirements and feed them into Rd and say you know what like? Why don't? We just merge those two together get faster.
You know more velocity through the system, eliminate a layer and just get everybody kind of in the same boat working together, and I was fortunate enough. There are CEO at confidence in me to say you know what that might be, something that that you'd, be good at leading.
You know, in addition to your IT responsibilities and it's early in, but already the organization is buzzing about. The sort of the change in pace that we've, been able to achieve by combining the organization's.
So so Mike, in light of your dual responsibilities that you were just referring to, how do you measure success and, to what extent is your involvement now in product influence, the way in which you gauge the success of your IT team, or vice versa? For that matter? Right great question, so you know I think when I first took the job you know we had all the traditional metrics in place right, so you know uptime, you know, etc, etc.
You know they're great and you got to have those, and you know they're the ante to play. Really the trick is to figure out what business metrics. You know that your company has in place at IT influences and then figure out how you measure it's, -- impact on them, so i'll.
Give you a great example: sales productivity right so through lots of good work with our Sales Leader, our sales productivity, which is the amount of dollars we need to spend in order to drive a certain amount of dollars of sales, has really improved over the last few Years to the to the tune of twenty percent, you could say: okay, there's great execution, but if you talk to our sales leader, he would say no, it's because we better products in our in our bag.
Of course it's, good execution as well as salespeople. Let's. Take credit for that, but it's also. You know the products we have the hot products that make it easier for them to sell, and so what we've done is we have a governance process that we have with our sales organization, where we actually measure the impact that the products we Put out are having on sales so that could be.
You know how many appointments it takes to close a deal. You know that could be. You know the the amount of sales we get on a new product in a given launch period, but we really keep track of those things, and that is how I then go course-correct.
Are we hitting the mark or not with product and RD