Comparison between SAP SuccessFactors and Workday HCM

Category: Workday HCM Posted:May 21, 2018 By: Robert


Nowadays, most HR professionals are aware of Human Capital Management technology. By selecting the correct HCM technology the human resource will be able to streamline the various HR processes that save a lot of time and money for the organizations. With the latest business environment, regulation, and technology, the employer not only has to pay compensation to the staff, however, but they also have to manage all the information of the employee and keep a record of each and everything related to them. In order to carry out this activity in an efficient way, the organization has to use a particular software that helps the employer to perform various activities. Presently, the cloud-based Human Capital Management technology is in very much demand by most of the organizations, that delivers every feature required by the company to manage their workforce.

There are various benefits of utilizing cloud-based HCM technology in an organization. Some of the benefits are providing security to the employee data, easy to track employee life cycle, it provides better employee commitment, getting regular hardware and software advancements, etc. Considering all things, there are two most popular HCM solutions used by most organizations, they are SAP SuccessFactors and Workday HCM. They provide a wide variety of HR features to almost all sizes of companies. The common features are recruiting, learning and development, compensation, payroll, talent management, etc. This post fundamentally demonstrates a comparison between the two HCM software on the basis of various parameters, which helps businesses to take the correct decision on the purchase of the software.

1. Outline of the Product:

The Workday was established by Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri in 2005. Workday HCM software is basically created for medium to large companies with global employees, in order to manage their workforce in an effective way. It is an instinctive cloud-based software solution that is specifically designed to combine HR and finance-related data and features.

Whereas, SAP developed a new cloud-based HCM software, i.e. SAP SuccessFactors in 2011. It offers flexible core HR features including the three modules, i.e. Employee Central, Employee Central Payroll, and Employee central service center, to control the various HR processes. The SAP SuccessFactors provides the planned HR modules like learning and development, recruitment, payroll, etc.

2. Features:

The various features provided by Workday HCM include recruiting, talent management, learning, time and attendance management, workforce planning, payroll, benefits, and compensation. With Workday HCM it is possible to modify the business workforce requirements. It also involves workforce planning tools for the companies to analyze their staff like labor costs, etc. The users are able to grasp the dashboard that is modified by the team, department, or the entire company. By utilizing these dashboards, users can also have a look at the particular metrics, they can completely go through the data and can get an idea of what actions need to be taken.

On the other hand, the SAP SuccessFactors also includes a wide variety of core and planned HR features similar to Workday. Apart from the three modules, i.e. employee central, employee central payroll, and Employee central service center, it also offers different modules that creates a combined group. These modules include recruiting, onboarding, time and attendance management, workforce planning, etc. It also provides cross-site arrangements like enclosure and variety, health and wellbeing, and total workforce management that helps the companies to enhance their employee engagement.

Both the software conveys relatively similar HR features, but these features may be differently delivered by each seller, like SAP SuccessFactors offers a devoted onboarding module, though Workday’s onboarding feature is integrated with performance management and succession-planning features talent management set, to carry out various functions.

3. Customer Support Services:

The clients who want to work with a devoted customer manager of Workday, Workday provides them a superior support facility and a customer success management program. The clients work with this dedicated manager on an enduring policy and obtain the benefits of using the Workday software continuously. The service involves the consistent review of the Workday practice, endorsement on further training, and confirmation that the clients should receive the correct support for the troubleshooting concerns.

For any questions or issues related to the usage of Workday, the clients can interact directly with the support team. Not only this the users can also register a request to get support through the online Workday Customer center. Once the request is registered, a case number, an approval mail, and the status updates will be received by the client. Then the generated request is directed to the responsible customer service representative who will look after the request and try to resolve the issues. Apart from these, the extra resources are also made available to the users by the Workday community, such as product documentation, get information on the latest features, and can interconnect with the other clients.

Similarly, the SAP enterprise provision set involves a wide range of offerings for the customers. The customers can communicate and share their concepts on the issues with the general HR topics or software on the customer community. The customers can also glance through the article, videos and submitting support requirements using the support portal. Not only this, but the users can also contact the support team through live chat and can also get more knowledge about SuccessFactors through webinars. The SAP chosen Care option is also provided for the clients who want to work with the devoted support manager to solve any issues and queries. It offers best practices and mission-critical support for ever-increasing support problems. The support managers are also responsible to guide the customers for scaling up or down the solution and helping them in traversing through the latest releases of the product.

Well, both SAP SuccessFactors and Workday provides the same kind of customer service support and voluntary priority support, and devoted support manager for the clients. The Workday does not have an option to contact the support through the live chat, but the SAP SuccessFactors provides this alternative to the clients.

4. Training and Implementation:

Workday’s deployment approach is performed by utilizing a partner network. It includes a very generic five-step deployment procedure. They are:

1. Review of the project plan

2. Review of the integration approach

3. Review of configuration prototype

4. Test review

5. And final configuration review.

Each process is carried out according to the client’s exclusive requirements. The workday completes the implementation of the new software within a year for almost 85% of its clients, nevertheless, implementation timelines may differ from company to company. The various training approaches are offered by Workday’s, such as on-demand training, classroom training, virtual classrooms training, and self-service online training. It also contains an acceptance tool kit which comprises job assistance, videos, and marketing materials.

On the other hand, a wide collection of implementation services is offered by SAP SuccessFactors. These services include prepackaged plans for implementation to the companies that want a completely modified solution. SuccessFactors advisory Services team connects with the client to gather their exclusive requirements so that the best practices are planned for the SuccessFactors deployment. With the help of the SuccessFactors integration, delivery team, clients can integrate the SuccessFactors with either the SAP product or the current client applications. The SAP Education system offers the training program. It provides the certification programs and instructor-led specialized for various SuccessFactors modules. It also offers a subscription-based service called SAP learning Hub for its users, so that the training materials for its products are accessible to everyone anytime anywhere.

SuccessFactors and Workday have an overall implementation strategy, but the timelines and the phases depend on the unique requirements of the client. The only difference between these two vendors are, the workday trusts on a partner network for its implementation while SAP depends on its in-house resources.

5. Limitations:

Though the Workday and SAP SuccessFactors are very good HCM software, they have some limitations too.

The Workday is not designed for smaller businesses, i.e. companies with less than a hundred staff, because it is an enterprise-level software. Also, the Workday interface is not always instinctive to use, for example, it takes some time to finish certain procedures, like reports generation.

With the help of the report of some clients, it is observed that the SAP SuccessFactors may be challenging to learn and not always easy to use. Also, the customer service support may become slow sometimes, for example, to resolve a simple ticket, may take one or two weeks.

There is a common limitation between the two software, the users have to learn the interface and they want a shorter click to execute the processes. It is important to ask the user’s preferences so that it is easy to find out the positive and negative experience of the users which they have come across while using the software.


The Workday and SAP SuccessFactors offer very similar human resource management system features, training as well as customer support services. The Workday HCM software is easy to use, learn and setup, very user-friendly, and can meet the customer’s requirements in an efficient way as compared to SAP SuccessFactors. Most of the companies are nowadays using Workday HCM software to manage their workforce performance goals and services. The clients who want to choose between these two software, have to figure out their business goals and requirements.  Both Workday and SuccessFactors HCM software provide full-service talent management options, it depends on the size of the companies to choose between the two software. If it is required to merge the finance with the talent management, the workday is recommended, if not the SuccessFactors can be chosen by the companies. Once the features and accurate price are known to the company they can purchase the software as per their choice.

At ZaranTech we offer self-paced online training of  Workday HCM and various other SAP, Workday topics. To learn more about our courses, please visit our website.

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