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Workday Review—A Software Evaluation


Human Capital Management Software Review

The Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) Suite contains five primary HR product modules. Workforce Lifecycle Management handles the worker lifecycle from hire to termination via a centralized and cohesive solution. Organization Management enables organizational structure modeling and analytics. Compensation Management allows for compensation program design, management, compliance, and performance rewarding. Absence Management enables the creation and management of absence planning. Employee Benefits provides tools for defining, managing, and adjusting benefits plans to meet business requirements. Payroll is a separate software module.

Workforce Lifecycle Management is the global core of the Workday solution and consists of the tools to plan, hire, manage, and analyze a global workforce.

  • In regards to planning, this HR software module allows: for the establishment of a workforce plan with headcount, position, and cost budgets; for the setup and maintenance of jobs and positions; for the assignment of compensation; and for the configuration of business processes (by region, division, or organization).
  • In regards to hiring and managing, this HR software module appears to only serve as a default function for managing the transition from applicant to hire. Given the fact that Workday has no Recruiting feature (and thusly has to interface with JobVite), this module seems to be in place as merely a data repository for positions and employee actions and to manage new hire documentation.
  • In regards to analysis, this module serves as the reporting feature for drilling into global positions, headcount, turnover, demographics, employee/position history, and compliance. The higher level functions that Workday's Talent Management offering provides appear to all originate from this module.

Organization Management is Workday's answer for creating/tracking multiple organization types; easily reorganizing when necessary; segmenting necessary (and global) reporting, and securing organizational data access. Most traditional ERP systems allow for only a few organizational structures that are difficult to change during the normal course of business. IT teams often struggle to handle the amount of change that occurs, so many reorganizations do not get recorded in a timely fashion. Delayed recording of reorganizations can lead to manual work-arounds, inaccurate information, data errors when later transactions must be backdated, and ultimately result in a lack of confidence in the system.

This solution is one of the hallmarks of Workday's software and gives the ability to accurately represent organizational structures in a timely manner and react quickly to organizational restructuring. With the changing workforce demographic, globalization, and consumerization of the workplace, this approach by Workday represents a great example of what workforces are after in regards to business agility.

Compensation Management is Workday's solution for the creation and management of employee compensation plans. Focused on flexible compensation plan design; compensation rules assignment; compensation process definitions; compensation-performance linkage; and analysis, this HR software solution seeks to consolidate employee compensation across multiple plans, teams, and geographies. The aggregation of compensation data can deliver near real-time visibility, thereby, permitting timely course corrections or assurance of the links between compensation, performance management and business objectives.

Absence Management is Workday's solution for calculating absences. While straightforward in its approach, the differentiating factor in this Workday software solution is that this module shares a foundation with Payroll—combining calculation methods for both. Not altogether vastly different than other absence management approaches, the result is simply consistency between calculation results. In addition, because of the shared foundation of time-off/payroll, self-service and access to information through a single self-service portal for administrators and employees is found in this module (though it does extend to others).

Employee Benefits enables HR managers to design and implement a number of benefit plans and control the plans that are eligible for selection by employees during open enrollment or benefit change events. The system also allows HR managers to automate benefit events, including new hire enrollment, benefit change events, terminations, and passive events. Customers can further set up default enrollment logic for employees that miss the benefits enrollment window, and additionally configure what benefit changes are allowed for different types of events.

Workday's Cloud Connect for Benefits complements this primary module by delivering a catalog of packaged integrations to benefits providers across all major categories. When changes occur in Workday, the WBN automatically informs the appropriate providers of these changes, helping to reduce the total cost of managing benefits providers.

Payroll solutions at Workday are comprised of 3 distinct offerings:

  • Workday Payroll leverages the benefits of Workday Human Capital Management and addresses the full spectrum of payroll for the United States and Canada by providing calculation tools, automatic tax updates, audit & reporting, and adaptable pay groups and organizations, via SaaS delivery. Further, using a dynamic combo of load balancing (in-memory across multiple servers), and a tabular data store, Workday significantly decreases the amount of time necessary to handle the heavy processing needed for payroll.
  • Payroll Co-Sourcing Services, through OneSource Virtual HR (VHR), is Workday's balanced solution that gives the control of an in-house payroll solution with the convenience of outsourced payroll services. This option represents a fairly standard payroll offering, but cannot fully be evaluated without understanding the cost structure of this feature which was not disclosed by the vendor.
  • Cloud Connect for Third Party Payroll is built off of the Workday Integration Cloud that allows organizations to leverage Payroll Connector to integrate to third-party payroll partners, as well as more easily create and maintain integrations with external (non-Workday) payroll solutions. The software functionality of this option is quite impressive and includes the ability to: import payroll data from a third-party payroll system back into Workday HCM; enable reporting and analysis across global payroll actuals in a single currency; configure Workday HCM to maximize alignment and ease of data transfer between systems; and leverage a standard Payroll Interface Output File as a foundation for new payroll integrations.

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