Workday Review

It reduces the administrative burden and provides better visibility in reporting on benefits

What is our primary use case?

Workday is an HR management or a talent management tool. It is basically the full suite of HR core processes. It has got modules within it for benefits for HR administration and talent acquisition. 

How has it helped my organization?

We have been able to reduce the administrative burden of HR so that HR can focus more on strategic activities rather than administrative work. It also provides better visibility in reporting on benefits.

What is most valuable?

It helps the users to enroll for the benefits automatically and update their life events without the involvement of HR individuals or back-office staff. It enables a person to take action on their own. It reduces the administrative burden on HR and puts the ownership on the person that is going through the life event, whether it is having a child, taking a leave of absence, or something else. 

There are easy ways to integrate Workday with your common benefits. At least in the USA, it can be integrated with common benefits providers such as Fidelity, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, etc. It has got a connector that is able to connect with the vendor or the third party to which you are trying to send the eligibility file. It basically allows us to automate or set up the tool, and the integration with the provider is a lot quicker than competing tools. 

When it comes to reporting on just eligibility and SLSA, it is a lot more user-intuitive. Depending on the purpose of what you are doing, you can grant security rights or roles, for example, you can control whether someone is a benefits administrator doing an independent audit. Workday makes it very easy to do that. It significantly simplifies the reporting process. 

What needs improvement?

It is very unique as compared to other tools in terms of the employee master data and how it is organized. That's why sometimes the information needs to sit in two different systems because, in Workday, it is organized differently. This issue is not related to benefits. It is more or so related to how you categorize employees. I don't think this is a problem that could be solved. Workday is aware of this. It is one of those kinds of situations that you just got to live with.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Workday since 2013.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable, but obviously, it is all about how you set it up and configure it. At the end of the day, the technology works. It is all about setting it up the right way.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We use it across the organization for all 10,000 employees. As we hire more or acquire more companies, it is definitely going to be used more.

We have around 10,000 users, and about 4,000 of them are back-office employees. That would be HR, finance, supply chain, and IT. The other half of the organization is using it sparingly, but this is the revenue-generating workforce that is sitting in the field. These could be plant workers, plant supervisors, and craft labor. Basically, we just log in to look at their paycheck and other things, but we use the app to look at their leave balances.

How are customer service and technical support?

They do a great job of selling the tool, but for support, you are kind of on your own. You either decide to go with a vendor to support you, or you build capabilities in-house. It is a common model. I know it sounds like they are leaving you out to dry, but in today's day and age, this is a common model with most providers.

If we need additional stuff that we are not getting, they are great at providing that. In terms of supporting the application, I can't even rank them because, frankly, they don't do it. It is something for which we have to pay an external vendor to provide the service.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We went from Legacy ERP to Workday. We switched because of its simplicity, ease of use, and a lot simpler and easier user interface.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex but manageable. I have worked on a couple of deployments. The last one within the last year was supposed to take eight months, but it took a year and a half. That was mainly because of the integrations taking a lot longer than I anticipated and problems with the vendor who was implementing it. The vendor did a series of missteps that didn't help.

What about the implementation team?

We had an implementation partner who didn't do a very good job. We have 10 to 20 people to maintain it, but it depends on the complexity of your configuration and builds. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You have the license fee per module, and then you have a kind of annual training fee, which is a kind of add-on. I wouldn't say it is exhaustive; it is minor. Licensing is pretty transparent for most of the part.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered all the top leading HCM solutions, such as SuccessFactors, Oracle HCM, and UltiPro. It was a $5 million to $10 million investment for us.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise making sure that your HR data is clean. Take your time. Everybody is eager to implement a new shiny toy, but a lot of cleanups are required to get your house in order. You have got to clean up your HR data and make sure that there are no duplicate employees, people are assigned to the right job descriptions, and there are no such people who are terminated but still sit in your organization. When you actually migrate the data, all such issues will create a lot of problems. 

It is a leading talent management tool, and it has got the largest market share. I would rate Workday a ten out of ten.

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**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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