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Ceridian’s DayForce Payroll and HCM Software Solution: A Review


Ceridian Dayforce's Software Strengths and Weaknesses

Ceridian Dayforce's competitive positioning in the payroll and HR software market can be summarized by highlighting the following strengths and weaknesses.

Assessing Ceridian Dayforce's Software Strengths

  • Dayforce's main strength resides in the removal of integration (and interface) issues by positioning time, attendance, payroll, and benefits into one application with one database and one rule engine. In turn, this means only one employee record is needed.
  • The user experience (UX) is both highly intuitive and streamlined; and while less visually appealing overall than systems such as Workday (and on the talent management side SilkRoad), newer scheduling capabilities via Windows 8 does set the solution apart.
  • Ceridian Dayforce's architecture can greatly reduce the amount of administrative effort and error by virtually eliminating redundant data entry; with some analysts predicting a 40% reduction in time.
  • Dayforce's payroll eliminates batch processing and greatly decreases resource usage; with demos we've seen being able to process up to 40K records in mere minutes.
  • Changes to employee elements (e.g. schedules) reflect real-time changes—allowing employees the capability to immediately view period-to-date earnings at any time, and managers to instantaneously gain insight into key metrics without relying on separate bolt-on applications.
  • Strong financial support from owners Thomas H. Lee Partners has provided the elbow room for Ceridian to refocus and rebuild and could do so again in the face of future market changes.
  • In the same vein as the much-touted Workday, Dayforce has the capability for in-memory processing that's spread across the client/server environments—greatly increasing efficiency.
  • Though we're dubious about the reported 70% reduction in implementation effort overlap between time/attendance and payroll that Dayforce representatives estimate, the fact of the matter is that this single system approach is an industry first and can have a serious impact on an organization's speed for identifying errors.
  • Robust functionalities within the payroll-related arena (i.e. paycards) provide an excellent opportunity for those organizations heavy on contingent labor who want to eliminate the necessity to print payroll checks.

Evaluating Ceridian Dayforce's Software Weaknesses

  • User reviews of the Dayforce HCM mobile application, while decidedly mixed, skew towards the negative, with a majority of complaints revolving around on-going scheduling and access issues.
  • While robust for time/attendance and scheduling, Dayforce's mobile functionalities do not include feature sets for actually processing payroll from a mobile device.
  • Although Ceridian does often refer to "collaboration" functionalities, the company appears to see social media tools and integration as less of a priority than other substantive areas; which could become a serious detriment to the company as the trend for introducing social media utility in business applications continues to grow.
  • More important in the grand scheme of HCM versus simply payroll capabilities, and although a definite focus for the company going into 2013, Dayforce's talent management capabilities are currently lacking compared with Ceridian's closest competitors; especially in terms of the areas of recruiting and learning which the company has been less clear direction-wise on.
  • An area that needs significant work for the Dayforce solution before it can successfully measure up to industry competitors is compensation management—which, while likely sufficient for smaller businesses, could possibly be too basic for the enterprises that the solution is designed to cater to.
  • Although the company is global in scope, currently Dayforce's international functionalities do not compare well to Ceridian's closest software competitors. Future development for Europe and Asia may be in the works but no official announcement has been made.
  • While Dayforce provides one of the industry's most compelling cases for new customers, a large part of Ceridian's strategy rests on successfully migrating existing customers to Dayforce—a position that, while far from impossible, could result in greater customer churn should roadmaps need to be altered or timetables need to be adjusted.

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