Blog Post

“Observations from Align 2018” – Apex HCM CEO Robert Digby


Guest Author Robert Digby, Chief Executive Officer for Apex HCM

Earlier this month, Apex HCM headed to the Big Easy and celebrated our 10th anniversary with our customers at the Apex Align 2018 Conference in New Orleans. Much has changed over the past decade since a dedicated group of industry veterans set out to disrupt the payroll software industry and founded Apex HCM. I am tremendously proud of what the Apex team has accomplished and the business world has taken notice.

At Align 2018 we announced that Apex ranked among the Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies for the fifth consecutive year. Only two percent of honorees can boast a five-year consecutive run on the Inc list. But to rest on one’s laurels is to court trouble. That’s precisely why we host our annual conference; to learn and listen from our customers while sharing our future product direction and technology innovation.

While at Align 2018 with hundreds of payroll service professionals I observed the following:

  1. Competitiveness is king: Like most industries, payroll service bureaus report an ever-growing need to sharpen their competitive edge. A recent report by Transparency Market Research estimated the global payroll and human resources market size at $17.2 billion in 2016 with expected growth to reach a whopping $41.6 billion by 2026. During this period, 80 percent of enterprises plan to purchase or upgrade their talent management solutions, including payroll software. While these figures reflect a wealth of opportunity for America’s payroll service bureaus, make no mistake, successfully landing and keeping business isn’t getting any easier. Better and easier to use technology and enhanced client engagement always must be top-of-mind for growth minded payroll professionals.


  1. Top talent is essential: While we all celebrate a growing economy, it also comes with challenges.  Such as top talent becoming more selective in choosing job opportunities which therefore leaves less competitive companies to settle for less qualified workers. I heard service bureaus both large and small discussing their challenges in finding and hiring good staff. Fortunately, our solutions help both payroll service bureaus and their clients better manage applicant tracking and recruiting.


  1. Expanded Revenue Opportunities: I also heard much discussion and excitement from payroll service bureaus focused on delivering a broader range of HCM services to increase their revenue per customer. Our payroll and HCM software platform creates opportunity to provide a more streamlined integrated solution for clients  HR-related needs while increasing revenue streams for the service bureau. HCM ancillary services, such as applicant tracking, employee onboarding, benefits enrollment, and talent development and management, as well as time and attendance solutions all are opportunities to both generate new revenue and improve customer retention.


Align 2018 speakers covered a range of technical, legal, regulatory and instructional topics in sessions designed to help payroll service bureaus of all sizes bring their A games. We also unveiled at the conference new technology prototypes that truly resonated with our clients. As the leader of a payroll software company, and a decades old veteran of the payroll industry, I found tremendous satisfaction in seeing payroll service bureaus today excited about new technology and their business growth.

This blog post is guest authored by Robert Digby, CEO at Apex HCM.   Apex HCM leads the payroll and HCM technology industry and is based in Roswell, GA.  You can reach Robert at