UNIT4 Strengths, Domain Expertise, and Key Differentiators
Unit4 is focused on four strategic industry verticals: professional services organizations, higher education, public services, not-for-profit, and offer back office ERP as well as domain specific front office functionality for these verticals.
Unit4 has expanded its reach by acquiring Prevero, which sells Corporate Performance Management and Business Intelligence apps as well as its purchase of 3 Rivers which gave Unit4 additional products for student information systems. Altogether, Unit4 is well-positioned to become the one-stop-shop for customers in these four verticals, which represent more than two-thirds of its revenues and bookings.
What Unit4 seeks to do more is through a combination of business insights and process improvement like financial control, while ensuring project successes especially those within the professional services vertical.
More recently, Unit4 has been beefing up its applications for grants management for government agencies and impact reporting for donors in the nonprofit space. The cloud migration journey of thousands of its customers will give further impetus to increased visibility into every aspect of their operations as Unit4.
The latest releases take advantage of the People Platform, which includes personalized experiences, industry-specific capabilities, smart automation services for self-driving ERP, and the Extension Kit, which through its low-code/no-code approach makes it easier for Unit4 customers to quickly integrate with key information sources and external services.
Customers can basically run the same application in a public cloud, dedicated cloud, managed cloud or on-premise. They can even move between these deployment options.
In addition, Unit4 is emphasizing post-implementation agility, putting the power to react to business change in the hands of line of business executives and regular users. Rather than ceding the control of such systems to a handful of people in the IT shop, Unit4 is making it possible for average business users with diverse backgrounds and requirements to initiate and/or react to different business scenarios by making changes via the GUI of the application, which lowers the cost, increases the speed and eliminates any system disruption.
UNIT4 Recent Developments
After appointing Mike Ettling as Chief Executive Officer, Unit4 strengthened its positioning as an ERP vendor that delivers better “People Experience” to meet today’s changing work environment – particularly for service-oriented organizations. Prior to Unit4, Ettling held a series of executive roles at HCM vendors SAP Successfactors and NGA HR, now part of Alight. Following his appointment, Unit4 named Julie Knight as its Chief Marketing Officer, Brad Everett as VP Corporate Marketing, Beata Wright as EVP/Global Head of Partner Ecosystems, Lisa Dodman as Chief People Officer, Andy Brockhoff as President, North America and Billy O’Riordan as SVP, Professional Services.
UNIT4 Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) Activities
In October 2019, Unit4 unveiled the People Experience Suite delivering an ERP technology stack specifically strong in HCM and FP&A.
In March 2019, Unit4 acquired Intuo, a provider of Talent Enablement solutions, to strengthen the HCM focus. Earlier acquisitions include 3 Rivers (a provider of Student management solutions, known for delivering out-of-the-box solutions designed for higher education industries) and prevero (a provider of Financial Planning & Analysis solutions, known for delivering AI-based forecasting to the office of the CFO).
In May 2019, Unit4 acquired of JSKS Software-development BV. Since mid-2014, the two software suppliers have been working together for the sale of the fiscal cloud solution Fiscaal Gemak. More than 30,000 professionals process no less than 1.7 million tax returns every year with this software, which makes Fiscaal Gemak the market leader. With this acquisition, Unit4 underlines and accelerates its number 1 position in the Dutch accountancy market.
UNIT4 Customers in ARTW Customer Database
Leveraging a rigorous data-centric research methodology, APPS RUN THE WORLD asks the simple question: Who’s buying UNIT4 applications and why? And we provide the answers – supported by decades of research – to our clients around the world. Our Customer database has over 100 data fields that detail company usage of UNIT4 and other enterprise apps by function, customer size, industry, location, implementation status, partner involvement, Line of Business Key Stakeholders and IT decision makers contact details. List of Verified Unit4 Business World, Unit4 Financials, Unit4 Prevero (CPM), Unit4 Student Management, Unit4 PSA Suite, Intuo customers.
Ownership: - Advent International
Number of Employees: 3000
Functional Market: Absence and Leave Management, Task Management, Core HR, Payroll, Benefits Administration, Pension Administration, Compliance, Learning and Development, Succession and Leadership Planning, Compensation Management,
Key Verticals: Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Banking and Financial Services, Communication, Construction and Real Estate, Consumer Packaged Goods, Distribution, Education, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Leisure and Hospitality, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Media, Non Profit, Oil and Gas, Professional Services, Retail, Transportation, Utility,
UNIT4 Key Cloud and HCM Applications
Unit4 Business World, Unit4 Financials, Unit4 Prevero (CPM), Unit4 Student Management, Unit4 PSA Suite, Intuo
UNIT4 HCM and Cloud HCM Applications Revenues, $M:
|Type/Year||2017||2018||YoY Growth, %|
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|HCM Applications Revenues, $M||Subscribe||Subscribe||Subscribe|
|Cloud HCM Applications Revenues, $M||Subscribe||Subscribe||Subscribe|
* HCM Applications Revenues = License + Support & Maintenance + SaaS ( Hardware and Prof. Services are Excluded )
** All revenue figures are estimates based on public records, Cloud and Non-Cloud business models in Apps Run The World's vendor database, and annual survey results including vendor feedback.
UNIT4 Revenue Breakdown by Type:
|Type||License||Services||Hardware||Support & Maintenance||SaaS|
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UNIT4 HCM Applications Revenues By Sub-Functional Markets, $M:
Split by Sub-Functional Markets
2018 HCM Revenues, By Sub-Functional Markets, $M
UNIT4 HCM Applications Revenues By Verticals, $M:
UNIT4 Total and HCM Applications Revenues by Region:
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UNIT4 Direct vs Indirect sales
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UNIT4 Customers - Breakdown by Geo, Size, Vertical and Product
No. of UNIT4 Customers: 1000
No. of UNIT4 HCM Applications Customers: 1000
No. of UNIT4 Cloud HCM Customers: 500
No. of UNIT4 Cloud HCM Subscribers: 3 million
Unit4 has more than 5,000 customers and more than a million users. A majority of its customers are in the professional services organizations and public services verticals.
One of its key wins was Grant Thornton UK LLP, which signed a five year SaaS agreement for its cloud ERP solution, Unit4 Business World to support its finance transformation program. Other recent wins included Alliance Homes Group (Unit4’s Cloud ERP, Unit4 Business World), Manchester Metropolitan University (Unit4 Student Management), Government of Malta (Unit4 Business World), Carglass (Unit4 Prevero -- CPM), William Carey University (Unit4 Student Management), Hotels & More (Unit4 Prevero), The University of London (Unit4 Business World), RCA Royal College of Art (Unit4 Student Management), Bond Dickinson (Unit4 Prevero) and District of Squamish (Unit4 Business World).
In recent quarters, Unit4 posted robust growth in North America with increased bookings and cross-selling and upselling opportunities via its latest acquisitions. Recent wins included Bookit.com, University of Waterloo, Ville de Gatineau, Relay Graduate School of Education, The New York Botanical Garden, the Canadian Diabetes Association.
Unit4 Business World ERP and its solutions for Corporate Consolidation, Property Management, and Travel Expenses are already used by a large group of service-centric Nordic companies in both the private and public sectors.
Nordic customers include Santander, City of Oslo, City of Stockholm, Bravida, Bonnier, City of Gothenburg, HSB GIT, University of Tromso, Deloitte, and The Norwegian Association for the Blind.
UNIT4 Market Opportunities, M&A and Geo Expansions
In October 2019, Unit4 unveiled a new People Planning and Analytics solution for organizations to create detailed people plans, especially for contingency planning in leave and absence management. Business leaders can see when their plan has a shortfall or an overallocation of people and allows them to explore right down to the detail of every person and new starter involved, against available budgets.
Earlier Unit4 started with a new Smart Automation Services for Unit4 Business World ERP customers, representing a major step in the continuous delivery of next-generation automation where people enjoy work more because processes drive themselves.
The same month, Unit4 launched new cloud extensions that deliver extended functionality to Unit4 applications quickly and simply. Developed using Unit4’s Extension Kit, these microservices-based extensions are available on Github, providing customers and partners with the freedom to develop differentiating front-end applications that benefit from the critical data held in their back-office systems.
All these enhancements underscore Unit4’s desire to bridge the process-heavy ERP systems with people-centric attributes to accommodate the shifting requirements of an agile enterprise with a new generation of workers and work habits.
Unit4 has a strong partnership with Microsoft and the Microsoft ecosystem and is aligning itself with the Microsoft platform by adopting products like Azure, SQL Server, Power BI and natural language interfaces to power its Wanda digital assistant. A key growth driver lies in its People Platform, which is based on Unit4’s domain expertise in addressing people skills issues through easy to use and deploy software.
There is plenty of room to grow by improving the skills of services industries through the use of better corporate insights, improved processes from expense management to reporting, as well as digital assistants that can remove frictions involving tasks such as search, discovery and matching and purging redundant business records and transactions.
That's where the acquisition of Prevero and its launch of Wanda digital bot come in handy. Since 1994, Prevero has been selling a full range of CPM apps for planning and budgeting into key accounts such as ABB, Audi, BMW, Endemol, Heidelberg, Konica-Minolta, Mercedes, SwissLife and Swisscom. In professional services, Prevero has done well-helping organizations maximize value from project-based planning initiatives. The Wanda chatbot, built on Unit4's People Platform with help from Microsoft’s Language Understanding Intelligent Service, delivers a conversational user interface that guides Unit4 ERP customers to complete tasks such as making absence requests for employee self-service and generating timesheets based on multiple data streams and GPS and beacon location data to track time.
With these new offerings, Unit4 is extending its easy to run ERP applications by focusing on attributes that make its People Platform indispensable for different roles within the services industries.
UNIT4 Risks and Challenges
After Unit4 went private in 2014 by becoming part of PE firm Advent International’s investment portfolio, the vendor has gone through a series of management changes and product reboots. Its cloud migration is gaining traction, but far from complete. Many of its customers are accustomed to running its applications on-premise and they will stay there for a few more years.
The upside potential is enormous given how diversified its installations have become. What’s holding back Unit4 is its ability to execute at a time when drastic measures are commonplace among its rivals.
Most ERP vendors reckon the time for change is being compressed because the window of opportunity is likely to close over the next five to 10 years.
In April 2019 appointment of Mike Ettling as CEO augurs a fresh start for the company, following a series of CEO departures and management changes in product development and marketing since 2013.
The back-to-back acquisitions of Intuo and JSKS suggested that Unit4’s investors are shoring up its product development and HCM strategies, perhaps as a prelude to bolder steps to reinvent the company.
The good news is that the commitment is firm and clear, but the lingering question is its ability to deliver on its vision.
UNIT4 Ecosystem, Partners, Resellers and SI
With the 2019 appointment of Beata Wright as EVP/Global Head of Partner Ecosystems, Unit4 is expected to boost its partner ecosystem strategy and deliver additional, best of breed cloud solutions and services to companies around the world.
Formerly Head of International Alliances for Ultimate Software, Wright has a deep understanding of the dynamics of a modern cloud business as well as extensive understanding and experience of the importance of building a global systems integrator, technology innovation partner and reseller community.
Unit4 is strengthening ties with a host of partners including BearingPoint and Capgemini for systems integration support.
In addition Unit4 is laying the groundwork for a diversified services portfolio by signing business process outsourcing partners and beefing up domain expertise for shared services engagements.
All these initiatives could result in a comprehensive ecosystem capable of generating more than €1-billion in total revenues over the next three years.
Providing local access to sales, service and support, Unit4 has operations in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, UK, United States.
In May 2018 Unit 4 signed a new partnership with US-based Humanitarian Software LLC (HS), to extend its offering to Not-for-Profit organizations worldwide with specialist supply chain software. Humanitarian Enterprise Logistics Manager is designed to manage both purchased and donated (gift in kind) inventory, it supports the warehousing and distribution needs of non-profit organizations working in humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
UNIT4 Cloud Platform (PaaS) and Infrastructure (IaaS) Details
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Vendor shares and market forecast results are based on a combination of existing databases as well as demand side and supply side research conducted throughout the year with validation from vendors, customers, channel partners and documentations such as earnings releases and 10Q and 10K filings, vertical industry studies, regional and country-level statistics from public and private institutions(i.e. colleges, universities, government agencies and trade associations).
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