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SilkRoad Technologies Review

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SilkRoad Best Fit and Competitors

SilkRoad Technologies Software Sweet Spot
SilkRoad touts that its HR and talent management software solutions are not specifically designed for one market segment; often referring to the product’s architecture as “start anywhere”. In fact, as SilkRoad CEO Filipowski frames it, “Our Life Suite solutions are robust enough for large enterprises and ideally suited to meet the needs of SMBs”. That said, given SilkRoad's cross-border presence, enterprise-class functionality, and multi-national support capabilities, much of the depth that can be leveraged from the company’s solutions makes it seem as though SilkRoad is particularly well-suited to large, global corporations. From our vantage point however, the broader middle market (roughly 500-5K employees) may represent a more ideal customer target market.

Likewise, when it comes to specific verticals that have done well with adopting the SilkRoad software suite; few if any connections with specific industries are visible. In fact, SilkRoad can count fully 12% of the Fortune 500 as clients and as Warren Weiss (general partner at recent investor Foundation Capital) explains, “SilkRoad’s track record of success in serving enterprises of all sizes and in industries as diverse as banking, healthcare, technology, entertainment, and manufacturing...”. Of those currently serviced enterprises (now 2K+ and serving over 5M employees in 80+ countries), marquee customers include: Allianz, Unisys, H&R Block, Crate and Barrel, Deloitte,, IMG Worldwide, Make-a-Wish Foundation of America, Reckitt Benckiser, Rocket Software, and FTD.

Alternative Solutions
Talent Management software buyers may wish to consider alternative options if:

  • Seeking a fully developed HRMS with built-in payroll processing capabilities.
  • Your company has a regulatory need or preference for an on-premises deployment model.
  • Current workforce needs involve a large population of contingent employees that necessitate robust time and attendance capabilities.
  • Needing more advanced software customization or business analytics functionality.

SilkRoad’s Talent Management Software Competitors

In the current HR software marketplace, SilkRoad faces an uphill battle. Aside from the larger enterprise vendors such as Oracle, SAP and IBM that have recently gained robust talent management software capabilities, a sizeable number of smaller point solutions (i.e. Peoplefluent, Saba, etc.) are also siphoning off potential customers interested in a segmented or best-of-breed deployment approach. That said, the most direct competition that SilkRoad has to contend with comes from those talent management vendors that occupy the same middle-market territory; namely Cornerstone OnDemand, SumTotal, and Lumesse.

Concluding Remarks

Chicago-based SilkRoad Technologies is a study in what can happen when a serial entrepreneur like Filipowski puts his considerable business expertise into developing a product cadre; and in many ways this SilkRoad story is not terribly removed from industry darling Workday’s roots. Both companies sold off prior assets to start fresh—and both companies have largely succeeded at tapping into what businesses are clamoring for and the industry is trending towards. What sets them apart though (and may consequently be SilkRoad’s greatest selling point), is that SilkRoad is setting their innovation sights on what functionality to deliver and where those feature sets should be sold. Workday on the other hand, like so many of the other larger HCM vendors, has focused a great deal of their time and attention on the “how” of their architectural components while giving relatively short shrift to some of the broader aspects of delivering functionality that businesses are asking for. Proponents on both sides can easily argue which method is more effective, but in the end SilkRoad may just have the upper hand due to its read on where the market is headed—effectively making many of its business decisions before a trend actually starts. They’ve already done this with on-boarding, collaboration, and international expansion; so it’s not hard to imagine that their next set of actions won’t lead the pack as well. Admittedly though, the company faces hurdles; not the least of which are tightening up their integration capabilities and adding in some more of the basic feature sets like payroll and time/attendance that organizations commonly require. Once done though, it may be hard to stop the momentum that this company continues to achieve. End

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