Event Report: One Year Later, Ceridian Dayforce HCM Delivering on its Vision

Last year’s acquisition of Dayforce heralded Ceridian’s pivot from a payroll service bureau to an HCM vendor focused on technology and innovation. One year later, Ceridian demonstrates strong customer adoption of its new platform and continued HCM process transformation to enable HR organizations to create a more effective workforce.


Last month I attended Ceridian’s annual analyst forum, where members of the executive team shared their vision and strategies for the future. Ceridian HCM CEO David Ossip put an interesting spin on the role of HR in the future when he stated,

The value of HR isn’t in becoming a strategic partner. The goal of HR should be to help the company create the most effective workforce.”

This sentiment reflects the pragmatism of a team committed to innovation with tangible value; a focus on the processes, tools and information needed to create and maximize the value of the workforce.  Below are the highlights I took away from this most recent analyst briefing.

  • Ceridian continues its pivot from an HRO service provider to SaaS technology provider. With the advent of cloud services and the ability to centralize the skills and knowledge needed for optimized compliance and support, it only makes sense that businesses would look to the cloud for specialized support of processes such as Payroll and global HR. With Dayforce HCM, Ceridian is helping its customers move from former “lift and shift’” HR Outsourcing (HRO) deals to the advanced benefits of software in the cloud coupled with centralized specialization and compliance support. The platform itself includes capabilities for messaging, analytics, workforce activities, mobile access via native iOS and Android support, and other foundational items necessary for comprehensive HCM support, with collaboration advances underway as described further below.
  • Accelerating customer momentum validates the data-fueled platform. Available in the US and Canada, momentum is strong, with over 700 clients live on the Dayforce platform (of more than 1000 total clients), with roughly 30-50 clients going live each month. Approximately 15% of the live Dayforce HCM clients are those that have migrated from core Ceridian applications. One of the key benefits touted by the Dayforce clients is their ability to view and act on data BEFORE the time is worked, before payroll is processed, tackling potential problems before they happen. Other benefits include the ability to see fully burdened costs before the time is actually worked, and soon, to manage the rolling eligibility requirements of the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), all through a real-time engine designed to support compliance and information needs proactively, not reactively. Batch processes or after-the-fact alerts will eventually become the purview of “legacy” vendors unable to keep pace with the demands for instant data analysis and decision support.
  • The unified, end-to-end HCM platform is emerging, but still a year or more away. Today the Dayforce HCM platform delivers core HR, Payroll, Workforce Management (Time & Labor, Absence, Leave Management) and Benefits functionality, targeted primarily to North American operations. Expanded global HR support is on the roadmap, but for global payroll, clients can immediately tap into payroll services across almost 60 countries via Ceridian’s international payroll solutions (IPS). Through this managed services offering, consolidated payroll results across global and local payroll providers can be fed back from the IPS aggregator to Dayforce payroll for global reporting.Support for more strategic talent management processes will begin with the launch of Dayforce Recruiting, targeted for Fall 2013. Ceridian today has a standalone recruiting offering, but that solution will be sunsetted as the next generation recruiting offering from Dayforce becomes available. The initial Dayforce recruiting solution will support managing the candidate’s status and progression through the recruiting lifecycle. (However, I also expect to see some innovations in scheduling and onboarding from this development team that demonstrates at every opportunity the advantages of a unified platform and real-time rules processing.) In 2012, the analyst community was advised that advanced compensation and performance management was slated for 2013, but recruiting has now taken top priority for the Dayforce HCM team. As a result, these and other investments in strategic talent management will be pushed out to 2014. There are no current plans for delivery of a learning offering (LMS) and we can expect partner solutions to fill this gap for the next few years.
  • The experiential platform takes center stage over transactional systems. The Dayforce HCM team introduced Engage, its new social platform due later this year that will become the new front-end User Interface (UI) for its applications. Ceridian clearly understands that social enablement is more than just conversations, it’s about getting real work done. In fact, collaboration is viewed as such a fundamental component to today’s workforce processes that Engage will be included in all Dayforce HCM offerings at no additional cost. Clients not yet ready for such collaboration in their core workforce can simply turn it off, accessing it in the future as desired.Continued investment will be needed before it achieves competitor status in this space, as the current focus is largely engagement via activity streams, but the initial offering of Engage will be a good first step toward both augmenting and transforming traditional work processes through social collaboration. While I agree with David Ossip that the “mobile” hype is giving way to broader considerations of “accessibility,” I do not agree that “social” is giving way to “activity streams.” The term “social” often has a conversational, non-work-related connotation; however the idea of purposeful social – social collaboration that is contextual and event-support driven – is an entirely intuitive and evolutionary approach to getting work done. Activity stream integration is important (and the initial Engage offering will include single sign-on (SSO) to facilitate this with Salesforce Chatter and Microsoft Yammer), but collaboration should also happen at the transaction itself; at the point of need.  It’s too early to know the depth of social support planned by the Dayforce team or how it will integrate more deeply with broader social enterprise networking tools.
  • Contextual content will increase in prominence. This is a continuing and interesting play for Ceridian: their EAP (employee assistance program) services via LifeWorks, acquired by Ceridian 1998. Usually we think about EAP services as a pool of resources available for employees to call when needed, or as a repository of research and information available through onsite and internet access. This market is transitioning, however, from SaaS-based solutions to a focus on more contextual content delivered to the end users (a push rather than a pull model). Ceridian has a vision to evolve its LifeWorks offering by embedding EAP content into talent-related events in the Dayforce platform, ensuring context-relevant information at the time of need. Such a move will begin to move Ceridian into the knowledge enablement space of vendors like Infor Enwisen and Peoplefluent (formerly Authoria), but they’ll have a network of EAP counselors driving much of that content development behind their offering. Ceridian’s social platform and context engine requires additional development to achieve its full potential. Regardless, it is good to hear that team thinking about enabling transactions with contextual content as they build out the future Dayforce HCM talent management offerings.
  • Continuing core investments demonstrate customer commitment. Mindful of not disenfranchising its core customer base, Ceridian continues to invest in its current applications and other service lines including international payroll, pay cards, tax filing and others. It should also be noted that Ceridian not requiring a forced migration to the Dayforce platform, allowing clients to move as appropriate for their needs.

The Bottom Line

As I indicated in my write-up last year, Dayforce HCM is positioned to perform well in a market ready for process transformation.  It has delivered a large amount of functionality in the single year since the acquisition, and net-new customer uptake validates its market readiness. Strong leadership, an unwavering commitment to customer success for new and install base clients, and innovative approaches to traditional processes make Ceridian a viable and disruptive force to watch in the HCM market.


News Analysis: Infor Adds SaaS LMS with Acquisition of CERTPOINT

Proving it has not lost its appetite for acquisitions, on March 4th, 2013, Infor announced its planned acquisition of New York based CERTPOINT Systems, Inc., a SaaS provider of global learning management software (LMS) and learning content management software (LCMS).

CERTPOINT backgroundinforcertpoint

Founded in 1996, CERTPOINT (formerly Vuepoint) offers comprehensive learning solutions including LMS, LCMS, content authoring, competency management, integrated web conferencing, mobile access and social learning to more than 1300 clients across more than 80 countries.  Marquis customers include Toyota, Honda, Motorola, Ralph Lauren, LANCOME and Weightwatchers. Like Infor, it boasts a hybrid offering, delivering on-premises, hosted and SaaS-based offerings; the majority of its clients, however, utilize the SaaS applications, consistent with adoption trends in the human capital management (HCM) market.  CERTPOINT also provides consulting services including content development, implementation and strategic consulting.  It currently employs approximately 50 staff, most based in New York.

The acquisition expands two key areas for Infor:

  • With the CERTPOINT acquisition, the Infor Human Capital Management (HCM) suite delivers a comprehensive end-to-end offering. Tarik Taman, the GM of Infor HCM, noted that, “The acquisition of CERTPOINT will enable Infor to offer customers an end-to-end HCM solution, delivered to help maximize access and business insight and achieve breakthrough performance. In addition to complementary functionality, the acquisition of CERTPOINT sends the signal that Infor intends to be atop the leaderboard of SaaS Enterprise Human Capital Management solution providers.”
  • Point of View (POV): As Infor continues to move its HCM suite of products fully to the cloud (watch for their announcements in this area in the Summer of 2013), the acquisition of SaaS-based CERTPOINT completes the suite with solid LMS capabilities. And in today’s global, virtual and mobile work environments, CERTPOINT’s delivery of personalized electronic content to mobile devices is precisely the type of capability required for business performance.  Integration via Infor’s technology framework, Infor ION, will focus on the HCM products (Lawson HRM, Talent Management and Service Delivery), but will also extend to other Infor solutions to meet strategic opportunities. WebEx Communications is the current partner to CERTPOINT for delivering integrated web training and conferencing; Infor does not currently have a competing offering but I expect this to be an area of development for the Infor ION team in the future. From an end-to-end perspective, Infor is one of the few providers of HR Service Delivery (having acquired this from Lawson/Enwisen in 2011).  The Infor Enwisen platform has served as a unifying solution across all Infor Lawson HCM products, delivering portal, knowledgebase and multi-tiered support across the suite. Integration with Enwisen will bring rapid value-add to CERTPOINT customers.

  • CERTPOINT fortifies Infor Healthcare solutions with critical learning capabilities. Certification and compliance training are mission critical activities in the healthcare industry.  Combined with the verticalized solution for Healthcare from Infor HCM, clients will be able to move beyond certification and compliance to the creation of high performing healthcare organizations.
  • Point of View (POV):  Infor gained a major presence in Healthcare with the acquisition of Lawson software in 2011, and so CERTPOINT’s Healthcare industry solution is a natural launch point for showcasing the combined offering. Infor has, in fact has already begun this push, as it positions richer capabilities for the Healthcare industry as well as increased thought leadership with the hiring of a Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) to oversee the Infor Healthcare suite. Other industries such as Automotive, Food & Hospitality and Manufacturing  will be early solution targets as well. One of Infor’s points of differentiation is its micro-vertical strategy: beyond the standard 21 or so industry vertical classifications, Infor recognizes the unique needs coming from more than 2000 micro-verticals within these broader industries. CERTPOINT clients will benefit over time from Infor’s micro-vertical focus as this specialized knowledge infuses and expands the capabilities of its nine current vertical offerings.

Bottom Line:  Infor Advances its Move to the Cloud

Today,  Infor is the third largest provider of enterprise applications and services, with a valuation of $16B and five consecutive quarters of double-digit license revenue growth. It doesn’t just compete with Oracle and SAP, however; it increasingly competes with the likes of Workday and Ultimate as clients look to the cloud for Enterprise HCM.  The acquisition of CERTPOINT not only completes the Infor HCM suite, it does so through a SaaS offering that enables rapid, low cost deployment and frequent innovations in a business-critical area.  Additionally, CERTPOINT provides support for the extended enterprise – training for partners, suppliers and customers – including eCommerce capabilities for companies that deliver training for profit. With Infor Ming.le, Infor’s social platform still in development, CERTPOINT’s social learning will also be a welcome and timely addition to the Infor HCM suite.

As always, the devil is in the details, but given that CERTPOINT today integrates with many HCM solutions (including its strategic partner, Ultimate Software), the initial phase of the Infor/CERTPOINT integration should come to market quickly, with more strategic points of leverage following in subsequent iterations.  Infor clients will benefit from this acquisition through the additional depth of learning capabilities; CERTPOINT clients will have a new, integrated path to consider as they evaluate the upgrade or replacement of their current HCM infrastructures.

Related posts:

Event Report: #InforSummit Reveals More Than a Redesigned Infor

Seven Ways Infor is Advancing HCM (Hint: Lawson is but One)

Ceridian Claims its Seat at the SaaS HCM Table

With its acquisition of Dayforce now complete, Ceridian becomes the latest entrant in the SaaS HCM marketplace. Timely execution of strategies and leveraging its differentiators to retain and eventually migrate Ceridian customers to the new platform will be critical factors of success in Ceridian’s transformation from a portfolio-based services bureau company to a leading provider of SaaS HCM.

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HCM Powerhouse SuccessFactors to be Acquired by SAP

In an important move, today SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) announced its intended $3.4B acquisition of SuccessFactors (NYSE:SFSF) as it seeks to accelerate its Cloud Strategy and become a dominant player in the Human Capital Management space.

Event: SAP America, Inc., a subsidiary of Germany-based SAP AG, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SuccessFactors for approximately $3.4 billion, the deal being comprised of SAP’s acquisition of all outstanding shares of SuccessFactors’ common stock for $40.00 per share in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. Founder and CEO of SuccessFactors Lars Dalgaard to remain onboard and expand responsibilities to encompass the SAP Cloud business.

Analysis: Unlike the hostile takeover of PeopleSoft by Oracle back in 2004, the merging of these two powerhouse organizations, SuccessFactors with SAP, is an amicable event, with Lars continuing to operate SuccessFactors as an independent entity (“SuccessFactors, a SAP company”) as well as taking over responsibility for SAP’s Cloud business. With this move, SAP reaffirms its commitment to the Cloud computing model while also solidifying its commitment to delivering solutions to address the most critical assets of an organization: its people. Said Bill McDermott, Co-CEO SAP, in today’s press release, “The acquisition will help us address the top priority for CEOs globally – managing people and talent.”

The benefits of the acquisition from the perspective of delivering globally applicable Human Capital Management (HCM) offerings to organizations of any size are tremendous:

  • SAP has struggled with market-lagging learning and talent management solutions and delayed delivery of viable SaaS-based HCM. The acquisition enables SAP’s HCM customers (more than 15,000 deployments, actual customers are fewer) to more readily access the strength of the SuccessFactors offerings, which include the industry’s most well-adopted employee performance management solution on the market. The integration is already proven between the on-premise SAP Human Resources platform and the could-based SuccessFactors talent management capabilities, as evidenced by the many organizations whom today are joint customers of both.
  • Learning and development is critical in any people management strategy, and now SAP customers will benefit from the comprehensive learning management (LMS) capabilities of SuccessFactors (gained through the Plateau acquisition). The SuccessFactors LMS has proven scalability to meet the needs of SAP’s large enterprise global customer base and mid-market customers alike, as well as delivering the social learning capabilities required by today’s mobile, virtual, multi-general workforce.
  • SuccessFactors today has a robust offering for business insight and workforce intelligence, as bolstered by their acquisition of Inform in 2010. The SAP acquisition will further extend their market advantage by making available the SAP’s powerhouse Business Objects solutions, used by many leading talent management vendors today for comprehensive workforce intelligence and analytics.
  • SuccessFactors also brings to the deal a comprehensive social collaboration platform, with the benefits of driving employee engagement, connections and knowledge sharing beyond traditional HR processes. SAP recently showcased their planned 2012 delivery of a social-enabled Career Development application, but their delivery of next-generation HCM solutions is already late to market and likely competitive at best. With the SuccessFactors acquisition, SAP has a proven competitive social HCM solution to bring to bear on its sizeable install base, as well as to the HCM market at large, which itself is actively embracing social talent management offerings.

The collaborative nature of this acquisition bodes well for SAP and SuccessFactors customers, so far. Questions remain as to what will happen to the planned roadmaps on both sides, the speed with which SuccessFactors solutions will benefit from SAP’s assets such as Business Objects and extensive mobile platform, how SAP will effectively deliver SaaS-based HR and Payroll for its SuccessFactors clients, and whether or not SAP will maintain the levels of innovation and investment shown by SuccessFactors over the years. Another important yet perhaps less obvious risk is that of the two competing cultures. Lars Dalgaard has built a culture at SuccessFactors that is dramatically different from the German-sensibilities-driven culture permeating all of SAP, even SAP Americas, Inc. Whether or not the differences can be withstood remains to be seen.

The merging of SAP, the clear #1 leader in global payroll and HR solutions (by customers and global solution availability), and SuccessFactors, the touted #1 talent management suite, certainly serves to validate the Workday model of SaaS-based ERP.  It also means there is a new and formidable competitor in the SaaS HCM market that can deliver end-to-end capabilities across the people technology spectrum.  Other SaaS vendors such as Workday, Taleo, Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba, Ultimate, SilkRoad and others who still have gaps in their comprehensive HCM technology suite will want to consider acquisitions for innovation and suite completion while they themselves remain targets for acquisition from other behemoths such as ADP and Oracle.

Action:  For buyers of HCM technologies, the SAP/SuccessFactors HCM offering will be compelling option for companies of almost any size, delivering not just HCM capabilities but also integration with other business systems of SAP to bring greater business value to your HCM investment.  While the strategy you adopt in response to this acquisition must reflect the unique circumstances of your organization, some immediate actions and opportunities are clear:

  • Merger announcements such as this will typically stall contract negotiations or result in customer turnover, and as such, current SuccessFactors customers and their prospective clients may find themselves at unique negotiating advantage with SuccessFactors for the next few months.
  • SAP HR/Payroll customers who have not deployed SAP Talent Management modules may want to consider the SuccessFactors suite for solution competitiveness as well as the long-term benefits of single-vendor support
  • SAP customers who have deployed SAP talent and/or learning management modules will want to seek clarification on roadmap investments in that product line and continue to monitor the integration plans between the SAP and SuccessFactors solutions.

At Constellation Research, we are here to help customers by providing an assessment framework for evaluating the risks and opportunities for your organization stemming from this announcement.  We will continue monitoring this transaction and go deeper in our analysis in the coming weeks, providing perspectives and actionable insights from across the team. An additional assessment of this acquisition has already been posted by my colleague Ray Wang.   Meanwhile, send us your thoughts, feedback and questions and we’ll continue the dialogue.

HR: Are You Ready for Mobile Diversity?

byodMore and more mobile devices are showing up at work, whether sanctioned by IT or not. iPhones and iPads, Androids, Blackberries, … today’s workers bring with them the tools with which they are most comfortable in order to get work done. Have you embraced the usage of personal devices in the workplace (a “bring your own device” or “BYOD” policy), or does your company have policies against using non-company sanctioned devices for work related activities? Even if prohibited, you can bet there are employees using their personal technologies (phones, tables, laptops) for at least some information sharing related to work, verbally if not actual data sharing. Similarly, despite any limitations you may have on accessing external social sites while at work, surveys show that employees will find ways to circumvent those policies.

Cisco highlighted this love affair with mobile devices in their recently published Connected World Technology report, which included a survey of college students and young professional under 30 and their views on technology. In the report, two-thirds of Millennials indicated that not only are mobile devices the most important technology in their lives, but they’d take a job with lesser pay in exchange for workplace flexibility around using the mobile device of their choice and access to social sites at any time.

Device Support

Last week, I was invited to speak with a group of IT and HR executives on the topic of Mobile HCM, and the Cisco report was indeed timely. Regarding device support, most in this group of executives (spanning many different industries and employer sizes) had already embraced the concept of mobile diversity, or were seriously considering it. Security of the data stored on these devices was of course paramount, but at the end of the day, the policies developing around mobile device usage was largely independent of the device itself. Bandwidth and skillsets were also highlighted as important considerations when moving, for example, beyond traditional email and calendaring functions to more robust processes and applications via mobile.

Social Networking

It also became apparent rather quickly that we could not talk about “mobile” without also talking about “social”, given that mobile devices are increasingly used for internet access, social networking and many other non-voice related activities. (In fact, recent studies indicate that time spent actually making calls from smartphones is often far less than the time spent on non-voice related activities.) Accessing external social sites during work hours is moving out of the realm of convenience to become a business imperative. From souring candidates through social networking sites, to collaborating with professionals on specialized topics, social collaboration sites and tools — accessed via mobile devices — are becoming an important part of how work gets done. Hence, when organizations consider deploying HCM and collaboration tools through mobile devices, they also have to consider their policies around accessing social media outside of the enterprise and the type of information that can and cannot be shared on these sites to ensure protection of the company’s intellectual property, regulatory compliance requirements, as well as a host of other considerations.

Mobile HCM Processes

Looking at the actual HCM business processes enabled via mobile, the priorities need to vary based on what the organization wants to accomplish with mobile/social enablement. Are you looking to reduce burden on HR/call center/other staff, to facilitate more efficient workflows (such as reviewing candidates or approving transactions), or to foster engagement, collaboration and knowledge sharing? .) Areas such as learning, where just-in-time education on a topic to support customers or a sales cycle, or enterprise directories, where staff can quickly find experts on a topic, can provide significant benefits in both efficiency and effectiveness when deployed on mobile devices.

Unfortunately, and in a sad commentary on the state of mobile HCM today, according to the CedarCrestone 2011-2011 HR Systems Survey, payroll is the most adopted area of HCM mobile deployment (equal to recruiting). Looking forward to 2012, most companies do report plans to grow their adoption of mobile processes in the more strategic areas of succession planning, employee development and performance management — areas where we identify, develop and cultivate the workforce of the future. This highlights a growing focus on driving business outcomes through employee enablement, knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Measuring Value

A recurring theme during last week’s executive discussion, and manifesting in surveys focused on social and mobile processes in HCM, is the issue of measuring the success of these initiatives. While embracing a BYOD policy and enabling social media access and transactions on mobile phones helps you attract and retain the next generation of workers, at the end of the day you need to ensure you are deriving value from these investments. The introduction of collaborative, mobile processes means new measures of success, new ways of valuing the impact on the business. I have seen too many surveys where questions such as “How has the use of mobile or social improved your processes or business outcomes?” result in the response “I don’t know” in the majority of cases. Measuring outcomes from social and mobile investments will be the topic of an upcoming blog.

Your POV:
Do you agree that open policies such as BYOD are necessary for your organization, and will you be equally open about accessing social media external to your company? What are your biggest challenges in these areas, and what are your priorities for mobile HCM?

Take the Survey:  How much should organizations regulate the use of mobile devices in the workplace?  Take the Constellation Research Group survey and gain access to the results: Constellation Research Group Mobile Device Usage Survey

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