hands shaking over technology Thecombined company will be a major market competitor for other marketleaders such as ADP, Workday, Oracle and Ceridian. (Photo:Shutterstock)

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Big news for human resources departments: Two of the leadingemployee management solutions providers are joining up. Last week,Kronos and Ultimate Software announced a planned merger to create one of theworld's largest cloud providers of workforce management and humancapital management services.

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The deal is expected to close at the end of March, will bringtogether some 12,000 employees worldwide and create an enterprisevalued at $22 billion. In addition, it will bring Ultimate'sUltiPro HCM and Employee Experience products under the sameumbrella as Workforce Dimensions from Kronos, Kronos WorkforceReady and will put them in better position to compete with othermarket leaders, such as ADP, Workday, Oracle or Ceridian.

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Related: 5 trends in workforce management to expect nextyear

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"The combination of Ultimate and Kronos paves the way to deliverthe next generation of employee-facing solutions that will set thestandard for the workforce of the future," said Adam Rogers, chiefexecutive officer of Ultimate Software. "This merger will enableour more than 12,000 inspired people around the world to deliverinnovation in human capital management faster than ever before.Both companies remain fully committed to their core strengths aswell as to the combined benefits that the new company will bring toemployees and customers."

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Speaking to the Society of Human Resource Management about whatthis deal means for HR professionals, industry analyst and founderof Aptitude Research Madeline Laurano recommends putting in a callto your service rep ASAP. "HR customers should be asking, 'Will thepoints of contact change?"Will customer support or sales repschange? If I'm in mid-implementation, does that get interrupted?'There will surely be a transition period where it's business asusual, but it's appropriate for customers to start to have thatdialogue now."

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The companies have announced few other details about the plannedfuture together, such as new products or how the new alignment willaffect relationships and compatibility with competitors' productsand services.

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is director, content analytics for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.