High Line Personality – A Lot of Functionality in One Package

Posted by Admin on October 15, 2014 under HCM Software | Be the First to Comment

Last week we received an update on High Line’s Personality HCM application. Personality has traditionally been an on-premises only application, however recently they have expanded into cloud offerings with a hosted solution option.

High Line is a small company, but has been in business over 34 years. You can see the company’s long experience in the HCM space in that Personality has very extensive capabilities, including all in-house developed and fully integrated modules such as:

• Human Resources
• Benefits Administration
• Employee and Manager Self Service
• Position Management/Succession Planning
• Recruiting/Applicant Tracking
• Onboarding/Off boarding
• Learning Management
• Performance Management
• Timekeeping
• Payroll

They currently have around 130 customers, with around 25% of those being hosted. In addition, their product is marketed under an OEM agreement with McKesson, which uses Personality extensively in the Healthcare space. Right now the current trend in small to mid-market applications is moving toward multi-tenant SaaS; however High Line still sees demand for their on-premises solution. They are also a strong candidate for those who wish to have more control and/or customizations over their implementations than would be possible in the multi-tenant SaaS environment.

We will continue to watch High Line, as its offering has extensive functionality and tends to offer a good cost to performance proposition.

ADP – A Lot More Than Payroll Processing

Posted by Admin on September 10, 2013 under HCM Software | Be the First to Comment

It’s been interesting watching ADP over the years as they’ve tried to adapt to competition and changing market demands. They’ve been the dominant provider of payroll and related tax filing services, but numerous competitors including PeopleSoft, Ceridian, Workday, Ultimate and others have entered their market with Human Resources solutions that were delivered both in an on-premises scenario, and more recently Cloud-based services (which is basically what ADP has been providing for many years, albeit before “Cloud” became such a hot technology option).

In order to fend off this competition and complement their traditional Payroll processing, ADP has looked for ways to provide Human Resources functionality. To do this, they tried different approaches including acquiring HR software providers, and licensing HR software from others. This resulted in a hodgepodge of many different backend systems that they tried to unify under a single front-end user interface.

But a few years ago they decided to build their own HR solution which would allow them to offer a unified solution that includes both Payroll and HR. So now they have rolled out two different solutions that were written from the “ground up” with a single database to handle payroll, human resources, benefits, on-boarding, applicant tracking, performance management and mobile applications with more enhancements to come.

1. Workforce Now – This was released in 2011 and has done very well. It is geared for companies in the 40 – 1,000 employee range, including those with an international reach.

2. Vantage HCM – This is designed to handle the needs of more complex organizations with over 1,000 employees. It also includes succession planning, learning management and other functionality.

ADP also provides international payroll and tax filing services in 90 countries, including handling country-specific pay slips and forms. They can also work with their customers to meet specific needs in a la carte manner. For example they offer Comprehensive Services which provides full blown business process outsourcing for organizations in need of staff support. They can also provide just the tax processing/filing services for a company, including integration with the company’s payroll module in its 3rd party ERP system.

Ultimate Software Ranked #9 on Fortune’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For

Posted by Admin on January 21, 2013 under HCM Software | Be the First to Comment

Congratulations to Ultimate Software for being rated #9 on Fortune’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For! This is a very prestigious list to get on to and they managed to do better than any other business applications software provider. The next closest providers are Salesforce.com (ranked #19), and Intuit (ranked #22) …. Congratulations go out to them, too!

Ultimate’s strategy to move to a solely Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model seems to be paying off. They provide a robust and scalable human capital management solution (human resources and payroll) to a wide range of clients including, as we understand it, Google (ranked #1 on the list), Quicken Loans and the New York Yankees. In 2011 Ultimate Software had $269M in revenues and it looks like they now have over 1,400 employees. Ultimate is continuing to have momentum in the market, with a number of recent new hires and a lot of job openings that they’re in the process of filling.

They should certainly be on your screen if you’re looking for a new human capital management solution!

One caveat, which would apply to any vendor with very strong market momentum and a high employee growth (e.g. Workday and Tyler EnerGov are other vendors who come to mind, among others) is to be very careful in your due diligence. For any company with high sales and employee growth, you want to be sure that their resources are not spread too thin and that you will have the support that you need.

Oracle Fusion Applications Update

Posted by Admin on November 19, 2012 under CRM Software, ERP Software, HCM Software | Be the First to Comment

We recently got an update on Oracle Fusion Applications and this post will give you an idea of what is happening with this product. But first it is important to define the distinction between Fusion Middleware – which is the underlying connectivity software and has been out for a number of years, and Fusion Applications – which is a whole new ERP software solution built on top of the Fusion architecture that was released September 2011 after a six year development effort. This post is focused on Fusion Applications.

Oracle now has 100+ customers on the new Fusion Applications ERP software as they slowly engage new customers. Like their other ERP products, Fusion is focused on large companies and is a Tier 1 application (see SoftResources’ Tier Chart), but there is no specific target industry right now as they are building their install base in general ERP situations. One of the challenges of building a Tier 1 software solution is the depth of functionality required to handle the complex needs of large companies – which requires a long development cycle. Oracle has been methodically building out the functional footprint and they now have the core functionality built including the following current modules: Sales and Marketing, Customer Service and Support, Human Capital Management, Talent Management (including functionality from the Taleo acquisition), Financial Management, Procurement Sourcing and Inventory, Project Portfolio Management, Governance Risk and Compliance, and Planning and Budgeting.

With regard to selling the Fusion Application, Oracle is being very careful not to cannibalize sales for their other ERP products (e-Business Suite, Peoplesoft, and JD Edwards). In fact they are actually trying to leverage their install base by offering new Fusion modules to run with their existing ERP solutions using the Fusion Middleware to link the products together. In this way, current customers can leverage new functionality available from Fusion without having to take out their investment in their current ERP solutions. (It is important to note that Oracle will continue to upgrade and develop their current ERP solutions under Oracle’s Applications Unlimited program that states that Peoplesoft, JD Edwards, and e-Business Suite will be continually upgraded for many years to come.)

With regard to deployment strategies – Fusion Applications can be installed either on-premises, in a hosted or vendor managed instance (where Oracle manages the system even if installed on-site), or in a true cloud scenario. Pricing can be either traditional software license, or a monthly/annual subscription model in a cloud implementation.

Oracle is following the same implementation model that it has with their other ERP solutions, offering Oracle Consulting, or implementation services through implementation partners like Accenture, Deloitte, IBM, KPMG, PWC and others. This means that if you are considering Oracle Fusion Applications, make sure you do an Implementation Partner Selection to find a partner with experience and the resources to fit your industry.

In summary, after a long development cycle and careful initial rollout, Oracle Fusion Applications ERP is beginning to make traction in the market. Companies that are considering Tier 1 solutions should include Fusion in their long list and conduct a proper evaluation to determine if it meets their needs.

Oracle Acquires Taleo – The HCM Market is Heating Up

Posted by Admin on February 9, 2012 under HCM Software | Be the First to Comment

It was announced today that Oracle plans to pay $1.9 billion for Taleo Corporation, one of the leading HCM software vendors specializing in talent recruitment and management. This follows the 2011 HCM acquisitions of SuccessFactors by rival SAP for $3.4 billion and Enwisen by Lawson (Infor) for $70 million. It’s a mad race by the vendors to increase their HCM “footprint,” to move into the hot SaaS/Cloud market, and, in many cases, to lock up leading best-of-breed providers as a strategic competitive move!

These vendors are also facing fierce competition from SaaS/Cloud HCM provider, Workday, whose co-founder, Dave Duffield, founded PeopleSoft (now part of Oracle). Workday has grown rapidly since its founding in 2005 and has proven to be a formidable competitor in the large market space.

As we discussed in an earlier blog, expect to see a lot of mergers and acquisitions as SAP, Oracle, Infor and others try to acquire as many key cloud solutions vendors as they can. Keep an eye on the leading privately held vendors because in the next year or two expect to see them get acquired or go public (IPO).

So, what do you do if you’re looking for a new HCM solution? Hang on to your hat because it could be a wild ride!

Acquisitions can be very difficult for a company and its customers in terms of technology, integration, processes, culture clashes, resources, support, organization changes, turnover, knowledge transfer, etc. And, it’s not any easier with an IPO as resources may be diverted to support IPO activities and repercussions. Disclosure requirements, shareholder requirements, legal issues, stock options, and SEC compliance have a big impact on standard operations, employees and customers.

It’s critical that you plan how you will mitigate the risks in this turbulent environment. Stay tuned because we will be blogging with tips to help you successfully navigate these rough waters.

SAP Acquires SuccessFactors

Posted by Admin on December 23, 2011 under ERP Software, HCM Software | Be the First to Comment

A couple of weeks ago, SAP announced the acquisition of SuccessFactors – a Talent Management/HR software solution. There has been a lot of commentary regarding the high price that SAP paid for this company on the heels of Oracle’s acquisition of RightNow. Clearly these large traditional ERP/database vendors (SAP and Oracle) are doing everything they can to move quickly to the SaaS/Cloud market and the fastest way to do that is to acquire an established company.

While the acquisition of SuccessFactors looks like a good play for investors, we look at things from a practical end user standpoint. The main question is, what will SAP do with this product? Our take is that in the short run, there will not be much change with regard to current SuccessFactors customers. However, in the medium run, we would imagine that a standard interface will be made to the SAP R/3 product offering a cloud talent management solution to SAP’s existing customer base. In the long run, SuccessFactors could become part of a suite of cloud products offered by SAP.

It is important to note that SAP has built a cloud ERP product called Business By Design (BBD). However, at this time, BBD is really geared to the lower end of the market and does not scale up to the level of companies that would have a separate Talent Management solution like SuccessFactors, so an interface between these products does not make sense at this time. At this time, SAP’s current cloud software portfolio includes a high end Talent Management solution and a low end ERP product. This means that SAP will likely make other Cloud software acquisitions over the coming months.

This will be the last post to the Software Evaluation Blog for 2011. We wish everyone a great holiday season and look forward to providing more software vendor insight in 2012!


Posted by Admin on August 1, 2011 under ERP Software, HCM Software | Be the First to Comment

Workday is a cloud based Human Capital Management (HCM) and financial/ERP software solution that has a lot of momentum in the market right now. Founded in 2005, they have grown rapidly and now have over 600 employees. They currently have 200 HCM installations and 12+ financial/ERP installations.

But in order to really understand this product, you need to understand it’s history and close relation to Peoplesoft. After Peoplesoft was acquired in a hostile takeover by Oracle a few years ago, Dave Duffield (the founder of Peoplesoft) left Oracle and started Workday. He wanted no part of Oracle and saw this as an opportunity to start fresh with a new solution based on the up and coming cloud environment. With a new software offering, he would have no legacy install base to maintain and could develop the product on the latest technology. In fact, many Peoplesoft veterans now work for Workday.

Workday is following exactly the same model that Peoplesoft used 20 years ago in the early 90’s. The strategy is to provide a Human Resources (Human Capital Management) software solution and then move into the financial/ERP software space. Basically this product is a PeopleSoft sequel!

Workday is built on an open source technology stack that includes Linux, MySQL database, Java, and Tomcat. Because they are fairly new, they are still building out functionality – especially on the financial/ERP side. As a cloud solution, they promise (and this is included in the contract) that they will be up and running 99.5% of the time. Workday requires a 3 year minimum contract commitment and a typical implementation cost is 1.25 times the annual cloud subscription cost.

Like Peoplesoft, Workday focuses on larger companies with a stated target of at least 1500 employees. They are focusing on going after companies that have a traditional HCM or ERP software solution that would like to move to the cloud.

We are watching Workday closely with our software evaluation clients and it will be interesting to see if they will be able to start taking market share away from the larger traditional vendors such as SAP and Oracle. Much of their short term success will depend on the general market adoption of cloud based solutions. On the HCM side, outsourced solutions have been offered for many years, making cloud based software very viable. Workday should be able to make inroads into that market quickly. On the other hand, companies have been slower to adopt the cloud model for ERP and there are fewer true cloud based solutions. While this makes for a more difficult sell in the short run, this also offers an excellent opportunity for Workday to penetrate the ERP market when (and if) the market turns toward the cloud model for ERP.