Life @ ADP

Season 3 Episode 4: In the Eyes of the Client

Episode Summary

Join us as we sit down with Malvika T., Lead Product Manager, and Justo P., Senior Director of Application Development, as they share how ADP’s tech teams develop innovative solutions with our clients in mind, including their work on the Voice of the Employee product.

Episode Transcription

Kate: [00:00:06] All right, Ingrid. We are back at it with another episode of Life at ADP, the podcast. And this is an awesome episode if I do say so ourselves, because this is super tech-heavy for. So for any of you who are technologists considering a career in tech, you know, definitely keep on listening.

Ingrid: [00:00:27] Yeah, super, super excited, as always. You know, I think that's, that's kind of like how I always introduce the podcast, and it is true. I'm always excited to, you know, just to get to sit down with you and with our associates to learn a little bit more about what they do at ADP, who they are, and to your point, yeah, for this episode, we're having two amazing technologists here at ADP, and yeah, we're excited to have this conversation with them, and so let's have them introduce themselves. So I'll start with Malvika, and then we could go to Justo.

Malvika: [00:01:02] Thank you, Ingrid. Hi everybody, my name is Malvika Tiwari. I am a lead product manager here at ADP Datacloud. I've been with Datacloud for about three and a half years at this point, and I work with fantastic group of people who make me look good. My job is to work on a product and create a roadmap that is robust, which helps our clients solve their needs and make their lives easy. With me is my partner in crime, Justo. Justo, o you want to introduce yourself?

Justo: [00:01:31] Thank you, Malvika. Hi, my name is Justo Pastor. I'm a senior director of application development at ADP. I have the luxury of working with Malvika and an amazing team of folks that deliver amazing results for clients and ADP.

Kate: [00:01:48] Great. Well, thank you both for joining Ingrid and I; I know that this has been something in the works for quite some time, so we're really excited to have you as we said. Now we're going to break this down, first of all, by talking about our favorite question to ask everyone who comes to the pod. Why ADP? Why did you both come to ADP as technologists?

Malvika: [00:02:12] I came to ADP because I wanted to widen my creative perspective. I was curious what is in this industry, specifically in terms of technology. I had been working in retail industry for retail technology industry for a while, and I wanted to look at a different industry because I wanted to learn something new. With ADP, I learned really good things about the company, the culture, the people here, and my current role is very high growth role here. So that is the reason why I love to stay and really why I came here.

Justo: [00:02:48] I've been with ADP about 15 years. I had a friend that worked here at the time. We had both worked in finance and insurance industries, and he kept raving about what a great work-life balance is. Good technology, the amount of data that ADP has, and the number of lives that we touch both as individuals and as a company, and thought it would be a great challenge for me personally to come work here now.

Kate: [00:03:25] Okay, so Ingrid and you know, this is a common theme that we've seen on the podcast, is you know, we have people who have been with the company for a long tenure and people who are also almost starting their own career journey within ADP. So, you know, I think we should maybe ask Justo to share a little bit about his career progression. What do you think, Ingrid? And then and then we can ask Malvika like what her career progression has been within the three years.

Ingrid: [00:03:54] Sure, I love that. I'm curious to hear.

Justo: [00:03:57] Great. So I started at ADP 15 years ago, as I mentioned. Working in the enterprise architecture team I was doing security program management, and believe it or not, I was actually actually created some of the first online security courses here at ADP. Now we have an entire global security organization that handles all of that for us, and I'm very grateful for them. After about a year or so of doing that, an opportunity arose to start working on mobile. So it was about four people out of the enterprise architecture team that were spun off to create ADP's first innovation lab in Roseland. And the first thing we tackled was building out ADP Mobile Solutions, which is been number one on iTunes and Google Play app stores, widely used by 25 million plus people. And it was a great learning experience. There we grew the innovation lab slowly and surely and I got a lot of opportunities to work on different things. Enterprise Search, ADP Marketplace. ADP Marketplace is a unique opportunity where kind of if you look at it and think about it, it's about two different things. One is how do we expose our APIs to clients and partners? So one part there that we built was, and I encourage people to go check it out, see the documentation we have, see the APIs ADP makes public, and then the other side is an app store, right? So clients obviously can use the APIs to consume their own data.

Justo: [00:05:53] But we also have third parties that use those APIs to build applications and sell them to our clients. And that was an amazing revenue opportunity for the company. But it also gave us an ability to create a pool of third-party vendors that we've grown close to, and the list is hundreds, if not more, at this point. And then, after about seven years of working in the innovation lab, which is five years ago or something like that, I decided to expand my horizons and tackle data, and I moved over to the data cloud team. And here I'm working on data and then some. So one of my teams is responsible for producing global and organizational benchmarks. Another team that works very closely with Malvika is responsible for Voice of the Employee. It's a platform that offers research-reviewed and customizable survey templates to collect employee feedback and sentiment throughout the employees' life cycle. And I'm sure Malvika can expand on that as we go along. And in addition to that, another team is responsible for data cloud analytics.

Malvika: [00:07:10] For me, like I mentioned, I've been here for about three years and a couple of months, so I don't have a lot of experience like Lousteau has under my belt. But let me describe what I've been through here. I started three years ago in a senior product manager role and I was working on a product that was allowing my clients to integrate external data into the data platform, which was pretty exciting. Within a couple of months, though, I was, there was a need of a another product which was required for Covid 19. So let me explain that a little bit. Covid 19 happened, and everybody obviously was struggling to understand how this virus works and how we should navigate it from a workplace perspective. So what we did was we created a product to allow our clients to safely get back to work. This included a lot of things like being able to identify sentiment of people, how people are feeling about coming to work and track vaccinations so that the clients are aware about vaccination statuses so that they can provide facilities and resources according to their needs, according to the employee needs, things like that. So this need came in hot and heavy early in, I want to say, July time frame in 2020. And we and our entire team had to pivot and work on this product.

Malvika: [00:08:45] And our team is so fast and so agile that we were able to create this product within a matter of weeks. And it was a fantastic journey because it was not only fast, we were getting a lot of feedback and the clients were enjoying the product and making use of it. Now with that experience, we quickly learned there was a need for other products, a larger survey platform, and that's what I'm working on right now, which is what Justo briefly described. It's called the voice of the employee. And it is really a continuous streaming listening channel where we want to nonstop listen to our employees feedback, their sentiment about how they feel through the entire life cycle of an employee, when they join a company to the time they leave a company. All of the phases in between how they feel about it, what could be done better, what are problem areas, and things like that. It's almost like a way to communicate how engagement could be improved or how how onboarding could be improved and things like that to your employer. So that's what I work on. It is a fantastic product. Very well received, and it's helped me a lot in my career because, again, we not only we started with the user need, it's a product that was created out of a user need and ADP works with clients of all sizes, right? We work with clients that are that have employees of that have 20 employees that we work with, clients that have 20,000 employees.

Malvika: [00:10:30] So the spectrum of the kind of needs varies a lot. But that's the challenge here. And it makes it even interesting in my career journey because I'm working on one product that is solving for the needs of all of these clients. And it's that's that makes it exciting. So like I said, my team is super agile, and we are very fast, which has helped me in my career growth here at ADP. And now I'm in a lead product role, which was a very, very accomplishing journey for me because I can do a lot more in this role, I can talk to many, many clients and firsthand identify how they're feeling about the product. So my career progression has been fantastic. It's been, if anything, accomplishing. And as I continue to move on every day, I'm learning a lot more about how our thousands and hundreds and thousands of clients have so much feedback to provide and so much value that we add to their lives by creating products like these.

Ingrid: [00:11:39] Thank you so much, Malvika and Justo for sharing your amazing, amazing career progression at ADP. You know, like I said before, I'm always glad that we get to sit down with our associates and have these conversations, and to be honest, it's quite impressive. You know, what you both have done with this amazing product, which is Voice of the Employee. It's it's really good. And, you know, Malvika you were mentioning the process of creating the product, You know, how the team came together. You know, I wanted to learn a little bit more about what are those team dynamics that you currently experience within, you know, the rest of your teammates. And I'm pretty sure the listeners would like to find out a little bit more about, you know, what what is it to work with a team full of talented technologists.

Malvika: [00:12:30] My team comprises of software engineers, database engineers, UI developers, and UX designers, and all the other stakeholders that go into creating a product that is successful like this one. We are looking at real user problems on day-to-day things like pay equity, retention, and we are solving these problems right at the core. So while I'm trying to figure out what the problem areas are, how can we make our clients' lives better? How can we make them listen to employee feedback in a more, more efficient, effective way? This development team that we have with Justo, Justoday-to-day leads that team, and this team is working on creating, developing this product. So the way we work is I'm constantly gathering requirements, talking to clients, understanding their needs on a day-to-day basis, and then we prioritize how our feedback comes through. And our team is very agile like I mentioned before. So we are meeting every day. We follow up, we follow Scrum at ADP in our team. So we meet every day, every morning we look at our how, how we how we progress from the day before and how things are moving. We are very communicative. So we talk about problems, we surface them every day, and we make sure we resolve them really quickly. So our team is very fast. We fail fast; we proceed fast, we continue to move. We are obviously it's a it's a software development. We have days where we are experimenting. We have days where we are exploring how things can be made more efficient, how what can be improved in the product, how can we solve the problem that we that our user is trying to solve, what is not working in our in our solution for the user? We are constantly improving. And for that reason, we are always brainstorming in this group, which is fantastic.

Justo: [00:14:27] If I can add on there, right? It's a real forward-thinking, team, right? There are quite a few different disciplines on here and as Malvika mentioned, this was all born out of the return to workplace solution in the pandemic, where we brought a lot of disparate teams together across the company. They're not all under one single leader and everyone came together at the time and has remained together, working very cohesively. The goal is to try to minimize friction for our clients and for our ADP associates at service and implement our products. And that's not easy, right? That means that you have to do a lot of planning and thinking in advance to make sure that the product is easy to use, requires little to no service, and little to no implementation. So the goal is to allow clients to buy this product either through our digital offering where they can buy it in product or through the our normal sales process and get up and running in a matter of minutes. So touching a little bit more on the team and the cohesiveness. Like I mentioned, the team is really spread out across the company, across different leadership tracks, but it's really one team and they work very well together, but they also do other things together, right? They'll go out for dinner, lunch. We volunteer together. It was only last month that we we did some building and volunteered for a day at Habitat for Humanity. It's very rewarding experience, but it's also makes it more rewarding to do it with people that you enjoy being around with.

Kate: [00:16:05] Thank you both for for sharing a little bit more insight in regards to your teams and what's so powerful about the work that you're doing with Voice of the Employee. Is this, the product available will help other teams elsewhere in other organizations feel just as aligned as you both do to the organization as well as to your own individual teams. Because at the end of the day, the Voice of the Employee product and I'm coming at this from a non-technologist, so I'm not going to nail it ow you both did. But you know, the purpose is to ensure that you're hiring the right talent to the right manager, the right organization, understanding what will keep them engaged, aligned to the company's missions and goals, which will then also have a positive impact in retention, which will save bottom line costs to an organization in regards to rehiring and backfilling positions, which will then lead to greater tenure of your, your, your associates or other companies associates. So it's really remarkable that, you know, ADP as being client zero, you could argue, you know, we're seeing this put to the test and it is actually effective.

Kate: [00:17:25] It's working, and other organizations should 100% be leaning into something like this. And again, I say this unbiased as someone who I have not had anything to do with this product from a design, creation perspective, as you both and your extended teams have. So that that was just something that that struck me. The other thing that I want to mention, too, is in the conversation, you both have mentioned data, delivery at scale, being agile. What I love about this is those are just some of our tech credos that we promise future technologists who are considering a career at ADP, and everything that you both just said are amazing proof points. So for those of you who are curious about a tech career at ADP, I'm just going to give a real shameless plug right now. Visit, and you'll be able to see the amazing locations that our technologists are based out of, hear their stories, and also see the different sorts of tech careers that we do have available throughout the world. And you can potentially join and become one of our 10,000 technologists, which is really cool.

Ingrid: [00:18:41] That's right Kate. I mean, you know, this conversation, as always, it's it's always enlightening, and and it's it's really good. It's really amazing, and as you know you were sharing, it came to my mind that, you know, what we do here, it's so important, right. And that we can see how it has real impact out there in the world, right. So we are solving, you know, real problems. It's really good to hear the impact of what we do here at ADP, right. The impact of, you know, the work of of all of our associates and and the products that we create, so.

Justo: [00:19:19] Just piggybacking on what you were saying, um, I know, speaking personally and on behalf of the team, we are very, very excited and motivated about working at ADP. We are very fortunate to work on many new features, products and the latest technology. We look at everything we do through the client's lens, right? We put ourselves in the place of a user and a client and try to focus on what it is that that person is trying to achieve in their day-to-day life and try to make that as easy, simple, and rewarding as possible. We want to deliver the most user-friendly, highest-quality solutions we can that add value to our clients and the company at the same time. So that's what keeps us motivated.

Ingrid: [00:20:11] Thank you, Justo for that. Yeah, I mean, it's it's fantastic. And like I said before, you know that real impact, right? Like what we do here does matter. It's just great.

Malvika: [00:20:22] I agree. Ingrid. I think we're solving real user problems like you said, and specifically for this product. I know I keep going back to the product, but we're looking to solve things like retention. If you look at the market right now, it's so hard to hire talent and keep talent and keep them happy. So retention is a very big problem right now and companies all around are struggling with that. And clients come to us and tell us what can we do better, how can we improve, how can we, first of all, identify what's not working. So here is where we work with ADPRI, which is our research institute, to identify how these things can be done in an improved way. How can we, one, identify problems in an employee's life cycle, um, listen to them and surface it to our clients? So that is what we are trying to solve and there is no better way better time to do this because right now it is really hard, like I said, to hire talent and to retain talent. So with this product, we want to solve this problem right at the core. We want to listen to the voice of the user, the end user, and make our HCM processes better because ADP has this wealth of data, so much data, and we want to use all of this data to simplify all the experiences that our clients get and our their employees get and create a big impact on their not on not just processes, but ultimately their business. So that makes us motivated, that keeps us motivated. And when we see the needle moving, when we see that it's really helping them change business decisions, it is very rewarding.

Justo: [00:22:13] I would add having the opportunity to work with data for 30 million plus people in North America and impacting their lives, impacting the pay equity, for example, it's extremely rewarding. We're in a very unique position here to do a lot of good for not just clients and ADP, but for our fellow humans as well.

Kate: [00:22:38] Really compelling points. I, you know, I really appreciate you both sharing what motivates you, and I think it's things that would really inspire others. And it's so amazing that on a daily basis, you are able to make that sort of impact. So thank you so much for sharing. Um, so we're rounding out our time together on the podcast. We're so sad. But one last question for you both before you leave. What would be your piece of advice for someone who's considering a tech career at ADP? Why should they join? What should they consider? What would your piece of advice be?

Justo: [00:23:22] I would say run, don't walk. Let's go. Come on. Join us. Right. You, have been here 15 years, I have a different perspective from Malvika, and I've seen a lot of people join the company. I've seen the company start a technology program for college students, right. Where we offer opportunities for juniors to join as interns. If they like it and everything works out, they get offers to join full-time. And we have other career fairs and opportunities across the country. But I would say you got a great work-life balance. You get to work with a diverse set of people, very strategic leadership in the company, people who are committed, who have your back, and share your same goals. It's a great place to work. I wouldn't think twice about it.

Malvika: [00:24:11] Yeah, I think that is a great point Justo. I want to add for product management specifically, if you're looking to start your career in product management or make a move into product management from another company to ADP, maybe, Um, I just want to mention that there is no prerequisites or criteria that you need to have from a technology standpoint. Um, it simply takes the courage or curiosity to ask questions like how a product works, why it works like that, how can we make it more efficient? Yeah. And, and go from there. I think I've learned so much more in my role here than before here. So I just want to add that it's not like I came with a lot of experience in my portfolio and came to ADP to solve product problems. I learned on my at my job here, I learned so many things. I still learn every day and it's a continuous process. So all it takes is reaching out, so please feel free to reach out and yeah, join us. We're looking for amazing talent, talented people like everybody out there.

Justo: [00:25:22] So yeah, I would agree. Reach out. A lot of great technologists, latest technology, a great deal of innovation. We're always trying to do things better, faster, smarter, easier. You will learn, Malvika said. I do learn every day here.

Kate: [00:25:38] Ingrid, I think we need to find a way to start hybrid work between tech and talent acquisition. I think we have to bring these two over.

Justo: [00:25:46] Well, it's funny you mentioned that I do go on campus a lot. Um, at the schools in the area, and it's a very rewarding process. I remember being on the other side of that many moons ago and I enjoy it. It's a lot of fun to work with up-and-coming talent to the company and ADP's future, really, if you look at it from that perspective. Well.

Kate: [00:26:10] Well, Ingrid, I think it's time that we say goodbye. What do you think it is?

Ingrid: [00:26:15] It is, yeah, I mean, if I could just say quickly, you know, this conversation has been super interesting. And my takeaway is, well, we have amazing people and amazing innovation happening at ADP, so I don't know what else you could ask for, but I'm just going to leave it at that.

Kate: [00:26:34] Thank you both so much for joining us. This has been an amazing discussion and I have no doubt that our listeners are, you know, just so inspired by your career story progression, the amazing work that you're doing within tech at ADP. So thank you so much for joining us.

Justo: [00:26:52] Thank you for having us. It's a pleasure.

Malvika: [00:26:54] Thank you. Thank you, Kate and Ingrid, this was great.