Ventana Research recently awarded Workday a 2016 Technology Innovation Award for its newly released application, Workday Planning, because it simplifies and streamlines the budgeting and planning processes while facilitating collaboration, deepening visibility into spending and enabling tight fiscal control. These capabilities can help a variety of user organizations in several ways.
Topics: Big Data, Marketing, Office of Finance, Budgeting, Controller, In-memory, CFO, Workday, demand management, Financial Performance Management, financial reporting, FPM, Integrated Business Planning
Infor recently held its annual Inforum user group meeting, along with a series of sessions with analysts. The $2 billion business software company has products in the major categories of ERP (including enterprise financial management), human capital management, customer relationship management and performance management among others.
Topics: Microsoft, Mobile, SaaS, Sales, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Supply Chain Performance, ERP, HCM, Human Capital, Office of Finance, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, Kenandy, PSA, Sage Software, Unit4, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, CFO, FinancialForce, HR, Infor, Workday, HANA, Plex, Professional Services Automation
Like most vendors of on-premises ERP and financial management software, in moving to the cloud Oracle has focused on developing for existing and potential customers the option of multitenant software as a service (SaaS). (I’m using the term “ERP” in its most expansive sense, to include such systems employed by all types of companies for accounting and financial management rather than only systems that are used by manufacturing and distribution companies.) Oracle’s ERP Cloud Service includes Fusion Financials as well as planning and budgeting, risk and controls management, procurement and sourcing, inventory and cost management, product master data management, and project portfolio management. Although to date our benchmark research has consistently found that a large majority of finance departments do not prefer to deploy software in the cloud, we also observe the balance shifting in this direction. SaaS vendors that address finance department requirements have demonstrated faster revenue growth than those that offer products only on-premises. Like other vendors Oracle must establish itself as a credible vendor of cloud ERP and financial management services to be well positioned as market demand shifts further in that direction. The company made sizable investments in acquiring ERP and financial management software in the 2000s (notably PeopleSoft – which included JD Edwards – and Hyperion), and the investments have paid off as many companies have opted to keep their existing systems (and continue to pay maintenance) rather than replace them. Our Office of Finance benchmark research finds that over the past decade the average age of ERP systems in use has increased to 6.4 years from 5.1 years. The longevity of these systems is partly the result of the slow pace of innovation in underlying technologies used for business computing. Even so, modest year-by-year changes are adding up to make replacement a more attractive option while negative attitudes toward the cloud are dissipating. To retain its installed base, it’s important for any established vendor to have solid customer references and the ability to make sales of cloud products as demand for ERP and financial management software in the cloud increases.
Topics: Microsoft, Mobile, SaaS, Sales, Salesforce.com, ERP, HCM, Human Capital, Office of Finance, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, Kenandy, PSA, Sage Software, Unit4, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, CFO, FinancialForce, HR, Infor, Workday, HANA, Plex, Professional Services Automation
In the past year Workday has been making efforts to improve its human capital management (HCM) suite focused directly on the core human resources management systems and talent management software. In my previous analyst perspective about Workday I looked at its mobile capabilities for HCM. These additions, in concert with the enhancements discussed here, offer useful improvements. I have also noticed changes in the HCM market that impact all large competitors in it, including Workday. Before discussing these changes, it might help to summarize the company’s past three major releases.
Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Social Media, HCM, Recruiting, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Workforce Performance, Workday, HR/Payroll
The keynote theme at this year’s Sapphire conference in Orlando was Simple. Top executives from SAP, a software company associated with complexity, stated and restated that its future direction is to simplify all aspects of its products and the ways customers interact with them and the company itself. SAP’s longstanding and commendable aspiration to thoroughness in its software will be giving way to an emphasis on elegance in its engineering. This objective is more than admirable – SAP’s future competitiveness depends on it. Changing the fundamental architecture of SAP’s offerings – already well under way with HANA – is absolutely necessary. The design underpinnings in SAP’s ERP applications, for example, have been shaped by technology limitations that have disappeared, as Dr. Hasso Plattner, one of the company’s founders, pointed out in his keynote. However, the relevant issue facing SAP and the software market is how far the company can progress toward this goal and how fast.
Topics: Microsoft, Mobile, SaaS, Sales, Salesforce.com, Supply Chain Performance, ERP, HCM, Human Capital, Office of Finance, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, Kenandy, PSA, Sage Software, Unit4, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Financial Performance, CFO, FinancialForce, HR, Infor, Workday, HANA, Plex, Professional Services Automation
Epicor used its recent user group conference to explain its strategic direction and product roadmap. The company is the result of multiple mergers of business software corporations over the past 15 years; its target customers are midsize companies and midsize divisions of larger organizations. Its most significant products are Epicor (ERP software aimed mainly at manufacturing and distribution companies) and Activant Solutions (software for small and midsize retailers, including a point-of-sale system). The company also has software that manages CRM, HR and human capital and supply chains, and provides financial performance management (FPM) and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) capabilities. These components of the software suites are adequate for the needs of many of the company’s target customers and are not intended as stand-alone applications.
Topics: Microsoft, Mobile, SaaS, Sales, Supply Chain Performance, Customer Experience, ERP, HCM, Human Capital, Office of Finance, communications, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, Epicor, Sage Software, UI, Unit4, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, CFO, FinancialForce, HR, Infor, Workday, Social, Financial Performance Management, FPM, Plex
From my perspective, Infor’s strategy to accelerate revenue growth is to offer companies more innovation and a lower and more predictable cost of ownership than its rivals in the business software market; its products include the major categories of ERP, human resources and financial performance management. It aims to innovate by focusing on improving the user experience and to lower costs by redesigning its software architecture. The innovation stems from a fresh approach to designing interactions between users and business software: simplifying it and providing a more modern user experience that people have grown accustomed to in their personal software. The better cost-effectiveness rests on designing its software to reduce the expense of integrating and customizing it. One element of this is creating richer functionality for narrowly segmented micro-verticals. Another is offering cloud-based versions built on less expensive open source infrastructure and third-party commodity services. The software markets that Infor serves are mature and offer limited growth. So to be successful the company must increase both its market share and its share of a company’s IT spend (capturing internal IT spending and outlays to third-party consultants and systems integrators). To prove that the company’s strategy is working will require sustained organic growth (excluding new acquisitions) in revenues.
Topics: Microsoft, Mobile, SaaS, Sales, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Customer Experience, ERP, HCM, Human Capital, Office of Finance, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, Sage Software, UI, Unit4, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Workforce Performance, CFO, FinancialForce, HR, Infor, Workday, Financial Performance Management, FPM, Plex
There’s a growing realization that the multitenant approach to the cloud isn’t the only option that companies should weigh in deciding between deploying software on-premises and in the cloud. That some people describe the multitenancy approach as “the real cloud” reflects the contentious nature of some technical debates, especially those that occur early in the evolution of a new technology. Multitenancy does have advantages that confer cost savings, and these have been important in the first stages of cloud adoption. However, we predict that single-tenant structures will rapidly gain in importance as corporations mature in their use of cloud computing, especially with respect to how they manage their ERP systems, as I have written. Corporations are increasingly adopting Web-based applications and moving their computing environments to a hybrid model that combines a combination of on-premises and cloud deployment options (private, community and public; single- and multitenant; or managed cloud). The right choice depends on the needs of the company and the ability of vendors to provide services that match their requirements.
Topics: Microsoft, Mobile, SaaS, Sales, Salesforce.com, ERP, HCM, Human Capital, Office of Finance, Planview, Concur, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, PSA, Sage Software, Unit4, Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, CFO, FinancialForce, HR, Infor, Tagetik, Workday, Plex
Information technologists are fond of predictions in which the next big thing quickly and entirely renders the existing thing so completely obsolete that only troglodytes would cling to such outmoded technology. While this vision of IT progress may satisfy the egos of technologists, it rarely reflects reality. Mainframes didn’t disappear, for example. Although they long ago lost their dominant position, many remain key parts of corporate computing infrastructures. The IT landscape is a hybrid because technology users have varying requirements and constraints that can lengthen replacement cycles. Most business users of IT pay little attention to the religious wars of technologists because they take a pragmatic approach: They use technology to achieve business ends. This scenario is repeating itself in clamor about another corporate mainstay, the ERP system, which advocates claim will soon be redeployed en masse to cloud computing. That, too, won’t happen. I believe that ERP will increasingly become cloud-based, but it will be in hybrid cloud environments.
Topics: Microsoft, SaaS, Sales, Salesforce.com, ERP, HCM, Human Capital, Office of Finance, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, PSA, Sage Software, Unit4, Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, CFO, FinancialForce, HR, Infor, Workday, Plex, Professional Services Automation
Convergence is the Microsoft Dynamics business software user group’s meeting. Dynamics’ core applications are mainly in the accounting and ERP category, descendants of products Microsoft acquired: Great Plains (now GP), Solomon (SL), Navision (NAV) and Damgaard’s Axapta (AX), to which Microsoft has added its own CRM application. It has been more than a decade since the acquisitions of Great Plains (which itself had already purchased Solomon Software), and Navision, Damgaard and the software applications family has evolved steadily if slowly since then. More recently, Microsoft has added cloud services that simplify and improve the connection between remote users and the on-premises core systems, as well as integration with Office365.
Topics: Microsoft, SaaS, Sales, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, ERP, HCM, Human Capital, Office of Finance, Consulting, distribution, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, PSA, Sage Software, Unit4, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, CFO, FinancialForce, HR, Infor, Workday, Plex, Professional Services Automation
One strong sign of the economic recovery as manifested in the human capital management market is the recent spate of announcements of new recruiting applications from software companies that are not always considered for recruiting. Here are some of them. Ultimate Software announced the launch of UltiPro Recruiting. Saba Recently announced the release of Recruiting@Work. Workday announced the upcoming release of Workday Recruiting. And Ceridian announced release a recruiting application on its Dayforce platform scheduled for the first quarter of this year, which I covered. These recent investments by vendors in recruiting applications, as well as others I discussed after the most recent HR Technology Conference, demonstrate the increased emphasis on recruiting to support talent and workforce management processes in human capital management (HCM).
Topics: Mobile, Social Media, HCM, Recruiting, Operational Performance, Ultimate, Business Collaboration, Collaboration, Workforce Performance, Ceridian, Saba, Workday
In the wake of the past year’s usual crop of failed ERP implementations, I’ve read a couple of blogs that bemoan the fact that ERP systems are not nearly as user-friendly or intuitive as the mobile apps that everyone loves. I’ve complained about this aspect of ERP, and our research confirms that ERP systems are viewed as cumbersome: Just one in five companies (21%) said it is easy to make changes to ERP systems while one-third (33%) said making changes is difficult or very difficult. Yet as with many such technology topics, addressing the difficulty in working with ERP systems is not as straightforward as one might hope. ERP software vendors must make it easier, less expensive and less risky for customers to adapt the systems they buy to their changing business needs. To do this, vendors must design products to be more configurable. The goal should be that organizations can make changes and add new capabilities to their ERP system in far less time than it takes today and without having to engage outside consultants.
Topics: Mobile, SAP, ERP, Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Oracle, CFO, Infor, Workday, Social, business process, FPM, Intacct
2013 was a big year for the annual HR Technology conference, as its well-known co-founder and leader for the past 16 years, Bill Kutik, stepped down, passing leadership of the event to Steve Boese, another familiar name in the community. Beyond the change in leadership, at this year’s show were a large number of vendors that have invested in new technology to advance human capital management (HCM). Overall I noted several interesting trends, some that were similar to those I written about earlier in the year and others that reflect the evolution of innovations seen at last year’s show, specifically expanding the use of mobile access within applications and further extending business collaboration into HCM platforms. In addition, there were other advances driven by market factors such as growth in new recruiting technologies.
Topics: Mobile, Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Peoplefluent, Recruiting, Social Collaboration, SuccessFactors, Jibe, Operational Performance, Ultimate Software, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Location Intelligence, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Cornerstone OnDemand, Infor, Talemetry, TribeHR, Workday, HR technology, Hunite, SumTotal, Zao
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems emerged in the 1990s. Even though they don’t do much in the way of planning, the systems provide companies a means of centralizing and consolidating transaction data collection (such as purchase orders, inventory movements and depreciation), automating the management of processes, and handling the bookkeeping and financial record keeping for these transactions and related processes. ERP systems are an indispensable piece of IT infrastructure in today’s enterprises. Alas, they also are inherently flawed. But perhaps not for much longer.
Topics: Mobile, SAP, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, ERP, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Oracle, CFO, Infor, Workday, Social, FPM, Intacct
Organizations succeed through continuous planning to achieve high levels of performance. For most organizations planning is not an easy process to conduct. Planning software is typically designed for only a few people in the process, such as analysts, or organizations might use spreadsheets, which are not designed for business planning across an organization. Most technologies only allow you to examine the past and not plan for the future. For decades organizations have tried to focus planning on driving better results through higher participation, but they have usually failed, as technology has not advanced enough to support this business need.
Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, Operations, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Workforce Performance, Business Planning, CFO, finance, Tidemark, Workday
There weren’t any headlines (or even many tweets) about Oracle Fusion Financials emanating from this year’s Oracle OpenWorld (#OOW12) conference. Maybe that’s by design, because it’s not in Oracle’s best interest to kick up a lot of dust about ERP migration. The financial applications software market is mature, and market share leaders such as Oracle have less interest in getting customers to upgrade than they did a decade ago. For a software vendor with a large installed base, cashing rich maintenance checks is more profitable than selling new software, and arguably is as dependable a source of revenue as software-as-a-service (SaaS) contracts. Companies, and especially CFOs and controllers, see replacing ERP systems akin to a root canal procedure: expensive and painful and best put off as long as possible. In North America (and to a much more limited extent in Europe) a major upgrade of a company’s current ERP software usually means it’s time to evaluate alternatives. For the incumbent, any time there’s a major upgrade there’s the potential to lose a customer.
Topics: Performance Management, ERP, Office of Finance, financial, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Oracle, Workday, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft
I attended Oracle’s annual OpenWorld conference this week. The company claims it holds the world’s largest technology conference, with 50,000 attendees and a million people viewing sessions online. It was a great opportunity to get close to the Oracle Fusion Applications, which the company presented as proven and ready, with customers using them on-premises and in private and public cloud computing usage methods. In keynotes from executives Larry Ellison, Mark Hurd and Thomas Kurian and application-focused sessions with executives Steve Miranda and Chris Leone, Oracle repeated the message that Fusion Applications are not just for cloud computing and web services but are also accessible through mobile technology called Oracle Fusion Tap that operates natively on the Apple iPad. The company left no confusion about its applications’ readiness for cloud and mobile computing, and provided insight into future advancements.
Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, SAP, Social Media, Mobile Technology, Social Collaboration, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Management, Oracle, Workforce Performance, CRM, SFA, Workday, Workforce Analytics
Competition in the human capital management market rages on, with application suppliers racing to provide sophisticated applications that operate in the cloud. Cloud computing is a key factor in advancing human capital management, included in our research agenda for this area, along with analytics, collaboration, mobility and social media.
Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, LMS, Performance, Recruiting, Research, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Mobility, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Compensation, HR, HRMS, Talent Management, Workday, Workforce Analytics
The acquisition frenzy in the enterprise software market continues. The announced acquisition of Taleo by Oracle will remove the independence of another successful cloud-based software company. Publicly traded Taleo (NASDAQ: TLEO) provides talent management applications on a rental cloud computing basis. Acquiring Taleo, which by all accounts has done a good job of growing the recruiting and applicant sourcing software business in a scalable cloud environment, was too good for Oracle to pass up. SAP’s much costlier acquisition of SuccessFactors, which I assessed clearly placed more pressure on Oracle to do something rather than nothing.
Topics: SAP, Human Capital Management, LMS, Oracle Fusion HCM, Peoplefluent, Recruiting, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Mobility, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Compensation, HRMS, SumTotal Systems, Talent Management, Taleo, Workday, Workforce Analytics
I recently got an update from Workday that focused mostly on its Financials software. This part of the company’s business management suite has received less development attention than the HR aspects since the company’s founding in 2005. The bulk of Workday’s development investment has aimed at making its human capital management applications an industry leader and adding related capabilities such as payroll. It’s hard to argue against this strategy, if only because Workday is the spiritual offshoot of PeopleSoft; founded the company after Oracle’s hostile takeover of PeopleSoft, which he also founded. This pedigree gave the new company an advantage with workforce management software buyers. Moreover, adoption of cloud-based ERP has lagged far behind that of other cloud-based applications such as sales or workforce management, especially in the larger companies that have been Workday’s target market.
Topics: ERP, Office of Finance, expense management, financial, PSA, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Infor, Tidemark, Workday, Professional Services, Project Management
My colleague Mark Smith and I recently chatted with executives of Tidemark, a company in the early stages of providing business analytics for decision-makers. It has a roster of experienced executive talent and solid financial backing. There’s a strategic link with Workday that reflects a common background at the operational and investor levels. As it gets rolling, Tidemark is targeting large and very companies as customers for its cloud-based system for analyzing data. It can automate alerts and enhance operating visibility, collaboratively assess the potential impacts of decisions and support the process of implementing those decisions.
Topics: Big Data, Data Warehousing, Master Data Management, Performance Management, Planning, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, GRC, Budgeting, Risk Analytics, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Governance, Data Integration, Financial Performance, In-Memory Computing, Information Management, Mobility, Workforce Performance, Risk, Workday, Financial Performance Management, Integrated Business Planning, Strata+Hadoop
In a move to invigorate adoption of its cloud computing and talent management applications, SAP has announced its intent to acquire SuccessFactors – a deal valued at US$3.4 billion . SAP’s years of development and business efforts have produced only mediocre results in customer growth and revenue in cloud computing for human capital management comparably to its expectations and others in the market. In a teleconference SAP and SuccessFactors executives hyped the potential of the combined organizations. SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott said that it will become a “Cloud Powerhouse” and a “Unbeatable Force” and “will become the number-one cloud computing HCM solution in the cloud – period.” This may overstate the case: SuccessFactors is unproven as a power in cloud computing beyond the appeal of its own applications for human capital and HR. It can’t compare, for example, to the reach of Salesforce.com and its Force.com and application ecosystems like that in sales, marketing and other people-related application areas nor provide a platform and tools supporting collaboration and mobility.
Topics: SAP, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Financial Performance, Mobility, Oracle, Workforce Performance, HRMS, Infor, SumTotal Systems, Talent Management, Taleo, Workday, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management
I just attended the first-ever analyst summit (Twitter #SumAS11) of SumTotal Systems to learn more about the company’s people and products since my in-depth analysis from earlier in the year. This key player in the business applications market offers a portfolio of applications in HRMS, workforce management and talent management, pieced together over several years with financing from its owner, Vista Equity Partners. This has been a busy year, asSumTotal acquired GeoLearning, Accero and CyberShift to gain entry into the expense and workforce management application markets.
Topics: SAP, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Oracle, Workforce Performance, HRMS, Infor, SumTotal Systems, Talent Management, Workday, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management
As Workday held its annual Workday Rising conference this week, it’s a good time to note the accomplishments of the company and to provide a fair and balanced coverage that has yet to be spoken by my industry peers for some reason. Co-founder and co-CEO David Duffield, who founded PeopleSoft, champions a set of core values in its culture and leads a workforce that has built a new generation of ERP applications for deployment in the cloud computing environment. The suite brings together human capital management (HCM) applications to manage absence, benefits, compensation, goals, performance, succession and career planning, along with payroll; accounting applications for general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable and cash management; and spend management applications for procurement and expenses including labor. Workday prides itself on the innovative design of its application technology, compared to the on-premises approach of PeopleSoft (now part of Oracle). It has received significant financial investment to support development, including $85 million in recent Series F financing, which indicates support for its approach.
Topics: SAP, Human Capital Management, Kronos, NetSuite, Recruiting, Zuora, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Cornerstone OnDemand, Digital Interviewing, Hiring, HRMS, Saba, SumTotal Systems, Talent Management, Taleo, Tidemark, Workday, Workforce Analytics
Most HR vendors have focused on cloud-based, end-to-end integrated talent management suites that include recruiting, onboarding, performance, succession, learning, planning and analytics, and employee and manager self-service. But Workday and some others are expanding their products and services to process payroll directly for organizations as well as deliver payroll management (providing third-party payroll integrations between the core HRMS and other payroll providers) and business process outsourcing (managing multiple financial, payroll and benefits-related processes on behalf of customers).
Human capital management suppliers are rolling out multiple, scalable products and services to convince customers that working with fewer companies can drive workforce management efficiencies, increase return on investment and lower overall total cost of ownership in talent management. Toward this end they offer financial and payroll management products and services that go beyond straight integrations with third-party payroll providers and the basic core HRMS offerings of payroll and benefits, time and attendance and scheduling. This includes direct payroll processing on behalf of the organization. And while many enterprises are still comfortable with traditional HRMS and talent management on-premises software, significant costs and resources are necessary for businesses to install, upgrade and maintain those applications. This burden has influenced HR departments in recent years to shift their focus and investment to applications that can be rented and readily deployed across organizations.
Labor is most companies’ biggest capital expenditure, and the increased complexity of global payroll and benefits administration for a large, worldwide contingent and virtual workforce can be challenging due, for example, to the variety of in-country tax codes alone. The U.S. in particular presents a diverse range of workplace cultures and regulatory environments. As a result, many customers are looking for more help from their HCM suppliers. Just as HR strives to become an integral business partner in the enterprise, HR providers striving to become strategic business partners for the next generation of human capital management. Another vendor I recently reviewed, ADP who has been the major player in payroll outsourcing has new HCM software products while enhancing and integrating its existing products with those acquired like Workscape. Conversely, Workday is expanding to become an all-encompassing HCM global business software and services organization.
Increasingly, providing comprehensive and integrated payroll products and services is critical to HR management. During a recent briefing, Workday executives walked me through the entire expanded set of payroll offerings they claim will simplify the historically burdensome task of paying workers around the world. Today, Workday Payroll is structured to help companies manage their payroll for all U.S. workers, and it is slated to be offered in Canada with a release later in 2011. (The company currently supports Canada with Cloud Connect for third-party payroll services, which includes packaged integration and Workday’s payroll connector.) Workday Payroll provides employee self-service access to online pay slips, year-end tax statements (U.S. W-2 and Canadian T4), tax elections and payment elections, all delivered via software as a service (SaaS). The software also automates state and federal tax updates, which are critical to managing payroll complexity. For those responsible for keeping up with the tax codes, this decreases the need for regular upgrades and patches that on-premises payroll systems demand.
Workday also plans to release a bidirectional payroll connector adjunct to its Workday Integration Cloud. That enables customers and partners to integrate with the Workday Cloud without the need for on-premises middleware. The bidirectional payroll connector service will allow companies to import data from a third-party payroll provider back into an HCM solution, thus gaining a broader view of payroll data across the global workforce. End users can garner more insights into processes such as cash forecasting, comparing actuals to budget, optimizing pay ranges, managing allowance and overtime policies, and the true costs of workforces around the world.
In addition to an expanded Workday Payroll for Canada release, Workday also recently announced payroll partnerships with OneSource VHR, Patersons and SafeGuard World International . OneSource VHR provides payroll “co-sourcing” services, including payroll settlement, tax administration and garnishments administration. (Workday says it coined the term “co-sourcing,” which just means outsourcing partnership as far as I can tell.) The idea is to give customers visibility into and control of their data along with the flexibility to “insource” or bring their payroll in-house in the future. Companies that prefer to partner with payroll vendors in their local markets can then have packaged integration with SafeGuard World International or Patersons to provide support for payroll processing in almost 100 countries.
I expect these expanded payroll solutions will help Workday grow its payroll market share, which the company claims to be more than half of its core HCM customers. However, customers and prospects have to wait until November for Workday 15 (Workday 13 was released in April). HCM SaaS vendors often have two or three major releases a year in addition to updated features every month or two.) Workday’s multitenant architecture allows its customers to receive new updates regularly at no additional cost as part of their subscription fees, as opposed to waiting months or even years for on-premises software upgrades. The speed at which multitenant, cloud-based software solutions are updated is a key marketing advantage over on-premises competitors. And the fact that many of the on-premises software vendors that my colleague has assessed like Oracle and SAP, are beginning to get cloud-based software to market is telling. Our own research confirms a shift of interest from on-premises to SaaS deployments.
Most major SaaS HCM players offer various levels of payroll integration. Workday-like offerings are available from NuView Systems, SuccessFactors and Ultimate Software with larger suppliers like ADP who have dominated payroll. However, Workday is aggressively aiming to take the lead in global HR and financial management and meet the next generation of applications in human capital management.
Kevin W. Grossman – VP & Research Director
Topics: Performance Management, SAP, HCM, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, SuccessFactors, business process outsourcing, NuView Systems, Patersons, Ultimate Software, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Oracle, Workforce Performance, Compensation, Talent Management, Workday