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Ceridian Strategy Update: Developing Dayforce, Expanding Industry Offerings, and Leveraging Global Capability

Ceridian’s recent analyst day in San Francisco was focused on Dayforce HCM, its proprietary HR cloud offering. The company shared news of Dayforce client wins, new service offerings, technology developments, and its global expansion plans.

In 2014 Ceridian was focused on HR product development, and 2015 sees the company launch Dayforce in the U.K. Ceridian is looking to further globalize and enhance its service offering through more standardization of services and leveraging global capability. Ceridian’s key strategic developments are examined below.

Key Dayforce developments

Ceridian now has ~2000 Dayforce clients, and is adding  ~500 per year. Processes in scope include payroll, workforce administration and payroll, and are included in ~85% of deals.

Ceridian is continuing to develop Dayforce, and its development roadmap includes the addition of:

  • New recruitment features
  • New performance features
  • A compensation module
  • Career path succession planning
  • Enhanced global workforce management capabilities.

Further, it has made the first step in investing in social talent tools by acquiring RelatedMatters, and plans to embed RelatedMatters features into the Dayforce product in 2015.

Also launched in Q1 2015 is Dayforce Go, Ceridian’s ‘prebuilt’ product for SMEs with 100-500 employees. Using the same code, it takes 10-12 weeks to implement this product.

The integration of its HR processes has been enhanced in 2014 through web services, offering improved integration frameworks, and adding capability to support notifications of data changes through triggering events (e.g. promotion, or password reset). It is further enhanced through deep analytics delivering ~400 standard reports.

Dayforce competes with many talent products on the market and, though not a talent management company, Ceridian gets the basics right. With the talent agendas of many companies becoming more important, Ceridian needs to continually review its design to be competitive in this highly employee and candidate-centric market. Where talent management software is heavily used, typically by mid-sized organizations, NelsonHall expects a high adoption rate of Dayforce. For larger organizations, Dayforce delivers the core HCM in a way likely to satisfy many users, though continued product development and enhancement will be key to success.

Expanding Dayforce’s industry offerings

Ceridian continues to service retail as a distinct vertical with dedicated operations, implementation and sales teams, and significant new wins in 2014 reinforce Ceridian’s strength in retail, including:

  • A U.K. retail company with ~40K employees for workforce management
  • A U.S. retail company with ~12K employees for workforce management and payroll
  • A U.K. media company for HR administration as well as multi-country payroll across 19 countries
  • A German retailer with ~185k employees on workforce management.

Beyond retail, Ceridian has expanded its industry offerings in Q1 2015 by adding Dayforce for:

  • Hospitality
  • Services (including long-term healthcare)
  • Grocery
  • YMCA
  • Manufacturing.

Ceridian’s vertical market focus has supported its growth in recent years, and increased its differentiation in the payroll services market. This expansion of its industry offerings is a positive step to drive further growth.

Dayforce goes global with standardized service offerings

In 2015 Ceridian is also starting to focus on standardizing service and localization of fields for country builds. In terms of standard service delivery, Ceridian now offers the following four service types in all the geographies it supports:

  • Application Support (Standard), including legislative updates and hosting
  • Application Support (Premium), as above but with extended support hours or higher SLAs
  • Managed (Administered) Services, with Ceridian also maintaining key tables or rules
  • Managed  Services, as above plus Ceridian will also offer a managed service for payroll and take over payroll operations on the Dayforce application.

The addition of a Managed Services offering in the U.S. is expected to drive growth in 2015, and will assist organizations migrating away from legacy Ceridian products by not requiring payroll managers to be retrained on a new product where the payroll is outsourced.

For multi-country payroll, Ceridian offers ConnectedPay, which leverages local payroll partners in an aggregated model on Dayforce. Today ConnectedPay is live in 9 countries and Ceridian looks to scale up to 20 countries in 2015 through client commitments.

To support multi-country delivery, Ceridian offers helpdesk capability in 15 languages and system capability in four languages (English, French, Spanish and German), and is currently building out Dutch system capability. Additional languages take ~3 months to install. Ceridian offers data centers across Asia Pacific (Australia), the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Ceridian supports U.S., Canada and U.K. payroll services directly itself and additional countries are supported through partners. It has no immediate plans to expand direct payroll service delivery to new countries beyond these three markets, though European expansions could be considered in the longer term.

Other key take-aways

Other key take-aways from the Ceridian analyst event were:

  • By putting analytics first, placing data needs in the core of the product design, better than expected business results can be delivered. This was evidenced by a Ceridian client case study on maximizing workforce effectiveness that delivered bottom line improvements double those anticipated by the business case
  • Dayforce is proving flexible in supporting complex analytics and query tools with dashboards and built-in alerts (again evidenced in the case study)
  • ‘Mobile first’ means more than making a product visible on a smart device. Ceridian has invested in mobile and touchscreen features (such as geo tagging for clocking in, and gesture recognition with swipe capability and pinch and scrunch features for touchscreen devices) and demonstrated how it is leveraging technology in new ways that are not present in some other HR cloud products today. 

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