Your Guide to Software Selection

Workday vs Successfactors

Along with many other kinds of new enterprise software tools, human resources software is catching on (and is known by a variety of names). These can be effective solutions for companies that are growing, trying to keep track of who’s on staff, trying to attract the best talent or trying to organize and centrally store their “people and finances” information.

Here, we compare Workday vs SuccessFactors, two of the most well-known human capital management (HCM) software. These are two HCM solutions that bring a higher level of functionality and insight to the human resources department. Both of these cloud-based solutions help with everything from applicant tracking to talent acquisition, compensation management to employee self-service tools and much more.

Here’s a synopsis of each HCM platform, along with a comparison report:

Workday HCM

The Workday finance and HR software suite is a comprehensive workforce management tool that helps planners stay on top of their people, finances and the data related to both. It has the pedigree of being designed by PeopleSoft ERP founder David Duffield and long-time PeopleSoft ERP strategist Aneel Bhusri, which suggests that Workday brings PeopleSoft’s legacy into the 21st century.

As a suite of applications, Workday does many things for businesses. Capabilities include building dashboards from big data analytics. There’s also a set of functional tools for financial reporting and making payments. Other features include reports for revenue by region, time off and spend management.

Workday allows companies to digitize and automate things like payroll and the submission of expenses by employees. Users can delegate management tasks or browse charts with head shots that shows who’s working where and in what role. Managers can give feedback directly into the system, look through staff directories or monitor goals and performance management data.

Compare Workday vs Successfactors in our Comparison Matrix.


When it comes to talent retention, Workday takes the particular approach of analyzing some metrics that have traditionally been “off the books.” A Retention Risk tool gives managers a peek at who has the longest commutes, who’s taken a pay cut and who’s waited the longest for a promotion.

In addition to performance ratings and other factors, all of this is meant to create a snapshot that helps users make decisions about the long-term management of employees. All of this is brought to the executive’s fingertips through visual dashboards. These dashboards are easily formed into chart and graph views that show details about management chains, team histories and more.

All of this is presented on a cloud solution accessible from any device, with multi-language support and the ability to generate a wide range of reports on the fly.

SAP SuccessFactors

SAP SuccessFactors provides HR and workplace analytics solutions in five distinct segments: core HR, talent management software, analytics, social collaboration and small business solutions.

The core HR element (Employee Central) provides a central resource for employee control, as well as payroll. The Analytics component provides workforce planning tools that help decision makers work on long-term planning, such as succession planning.

The Talent Solutions module helps provide dashboards for things like recruitment, onboarding and incentives, with the key goal of helping hire and retain talented people.

SAP’s Social Collaboration component involves a tool called SAP Jam that’s meant to enhance collaboration between employees within a company. SAP promotes this tool as leading to shorter sales cycles, more employee engagement and more efficient training, as people work together on a shared platform. Demos and descriptions of SAP Jam show how the platform helps multiple staffers work together on customer contact points, crafting a collaborative process for sales.

In addition, SAP Jam provides training assistance. Here, the company takes a page from the world of education, with functionality that SAP describes as “blended learning,” or replacing/supplementing formal training and instructional modules with a mix of videos, wikis, polls and other resources.

SAP SuccessFactors also offers a small business toolset called Perform and Reward for companies with under 500 employees. This resource allows users to look at charts, employee profiles, goals and incentives and other metrics in order to make decisions at a more granular level.

Which System is Right For You?

Although both Workday HCM and SAP SuccessFactors come with robust functionality, neither one is the hands-down best solution for every business. You have to weigh your unique needs against the features offered by each system. Once you gather all of your requirements, you can conduct a full Workday vs SuccessFactors comparison and decide on the best system for you.

Compare Workday vs Successfactors in our Comparison Matrix.

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