Workday Continues to Disrupt HCM and Financial Software Markets

This is the third post in a series on strategies and tactics for negotiating your licensing agreements with software companies including SAP, Salesforce, and Workday.

Forrester’s analysts and consultants are seeing an increase in the number of project discussions regarding Workday’s SaaS solutions as we enter the fourth quarter of the calendar year. Two significant factors are contributing to our clients’ interest:

  • The growing market momentum of Workday’s SaaS solutions as a competitive replacement to existing legacy on-premise Human Capital Management (HCM) applications and/or as a competitive option to other pure-play SaaS solutions.
  • Potential end-of-year budget spend / acquisition opportunities, which we believe will actually continue through Workday’s fiscal year end on January 31, 2016.

Once a client starts this evaluation, selection, and negotiation process, three key situations emerge:

  1. Standalone HCM Solution. This situation represents the typical head-to-head competitive solution where Workday is facing off with SAP Successfactors and/or Oracle Fusion HCM, although there are many other vendor solutions being offered too. Another level of complexity is added if we introduce existing on-premise HCM proposal options to the business case ROI analysis. We have seen that clients with a great negotiation strategy can achieve additional discounts, favorable contract terms, and increased business value.
  2. Financial Management Solution. An HCM acquisition provides significant business justification to focus the efforts of the Workday account teams; however, if you want the negotiation to get even more interesting, then add the Financial Management solution to the proposal. In these client engagements, we find Workday to be highly motivated from a business perspective and, more importantly, sales is financially incented to continue the market growth of this product by increasing business value concessions to their potential new customers.
  3. Workday Service Providers. Implementing SaaS solutions is not your traditional, long-term implementation project. It requires a new set of skills and capabilities including deep functional experience, technical knowledge, agile methodology that focuses on fast ROI and ongoing innovation, change management capabilities while including support from Workday. Clients we are working with are struggling to find the best fit partner for business requirements at market-competitive costs.

If you’d like to hear more negotiation ideas and tactics relating to Workday, register to join our upcoming free-to-attend “How to negotiate with Workday” webinar on November 5, 2015. In addition to hearing more from me, my consulting colleague, Mark Bartrick, who has been helping some of our EMEA clients optimize Workday business value and Liz Herbert, Forrester VP & Principal Analyst and a Workday expert, will also be joining us.