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Security offers a marketing advantage for ADP

Maria Korolov | Feb. 26, 2015
One of the main topics at this year's CSO50 conference is how security departments could reinvent themselves as business enablers.

One of the main topics at this year's CSO50 conference is how security departments could reinvent themselves as business enablers.

For many security managers, struggling with tight budgets, shadow IT, and a technology landscape changing faster than anyone could keep up, that probably sounds like a pipe dream.

Not so for Trina Ford, the director of global third party assurance for ADP's global security organization.

Ford oversees three global vendor and partner programs. One, the Streamline Compliance and Risk Management program, which works with global payroll processing partners, was recently added to her management portfolio.

Streamline helps ADP serve more international markets and clients than ever before and is, in fact, doing it so well that Ford is routinely asked to sit in on sales meetings with the biggest customers.

ADP had bold expansion plans for its payroll processing service, partnering up with local companies in countries where it did not currently have a presence.

In 2008, ADP's international network of specialist payroll processing partners provided services to multinational companies in a little over 30 countries.

In 2013, ADP launched the Streamline project, adding business governance and payroll process management to its security and compliance oversight process and expanded operations to more than 85 partners — and their subcontractors — in 104 countries.

The security risks associated with this were substantial.

While ADP's partners are responsible for the delivery of local services, it's ADP that has the overall liability as the primary contractor for the payroll service.

The Streamline project helps ADP address these risks, and offer services in some of the world's most remote markets, with a cross-functional approach that brings together teams from not just security but information technology, compliance, payroll process management and business governance.

Partners are assessed when they first come on board, weak areas identified, and then ADP continues to work with the partners to ensure that they implement improvements.

"The payroll process management and business governance came out of the business improvement group," said Ford. "They realized that we could, and should, be doing more."

The expansion push began in 2013 with pilot projects with a select group of partners, and has grown quickly.

Ford oversees more than just the Streamline project, which focuses on the payment processing partnerships. Ford also manages two other programs — ADP Third Party Assurance and Vendor Assurance.

"I will be involved in helping to grow and expand all the programs to ensure a holistic vendor or partner risk assurance approach," she said.

But Streamline's partnerships are particularly sensitive and mission-critical, and have much more stringent security and compliance processes as a result.

Customers appreciate the extra attention.

Clients are becoming more and more interested in security and compliance, Ford said. They want to know about ADP's oversight processes.


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