Comparison of SAP SuccessFactors vs. Workday HCM Software

Written By: Michael Huang
Date: April 26, 2019

Recently we participated in anHCM conference that opened our eyes to new comparisons and discussions about the differences and similarities between SAP SuccessFactors vs. Workday HCM software. Both products are the most comprehensive of their kind in today’s market, but like all things software related, it’s important to understand the different things that your business needs from HR software.

As we outlined in our recent article about lessons from 1,000 HCM software implementations, there are a number of things to consider when choosing and evaluating an HCM solution. Here is what SuccessFactors or Workday can offer to your business, and how to choose which product your company needs the most:

SuccessFactors and Workday are both viable options

Depending on what your company needs, it is important to understand that there are truly no “cons” for both software. It all boils down to what works for your company and what doesn’t. Both tools offer aid in goal setting as well as insights into employee tenure, payroll functions, etc.

The difference comes in when we analyze how each tool offers services to businesses, and how differently tasks are carried out. While this doesn’t seem like much, choosing the wrong software for your company can possibly slow down business process and affect your company negatively.A good evaluation is the first step in a successful Workday or SuccessFactors implementation.

Workday: What makes it special?

Workday is unique between the two because it is cloud-based, meaning you can access the system, anytime and anywhere. They also have a mobile app that goes along with it if you prefer using it on the go. Workday also can combine business finances with HR functionality which combined can give you a real time insight on your company as well as predictive analytics you can use to facilitate your day to day operations. The pricing is by quote only as well with an annual subscription to the cloud-based service.

Workday reviews:

Here is a sample third-party review of Workday HCM software:

“It’s extremely easy to use and very user-friendly. Anything you’re looking for can be accessed within 2-4 clicks and the page is never crowded with too much information. In 2015, our company moved to Workday to house employee performance goals and reviews. This tool has the option to conduct reviews of direct reports and also has the ability to collect reviews from direct reports about their direct managers. There’s an awesome audit trail as well as approval process. All changes are tracked and it’s good that this tool allows the option for dual acknowledgement of year-end reviews (from the employee and their direct manager). Would highly recommend for companies of all sizes.”-

SuccessFactors: What makes it special?

SuccessFactors offers all functions needed to hire an employee, train them, and help them remain in the company – just like Workday. However, when we look at accessibility the differences start to show. SuccessFactors starts at $7.50 per user a month, which makes it very enticing to smaller businesses who have a budget. They also offer seven different languages that are built into the system to help out with any global company seeking to find software that doesn’t need special modifications to fit their language needs.

With all the potential customization, the difficulty comes in when you need help from a support team to fix a bug in the system. It might take slightly longer for you to get help when something goes wrong depending on how much you modify your version of SuccessFactors. Robust reporting also leads to long load times which may or may not be a problem for your business depending on if you need speed to be a factor.

SuccessFactors: Reviews

Here is a sample third-party review of SAP SuccessFactors HCM software:

“It is critical for all employees to have clear direction…vision, values, group goals, functional goals. SuccessFactors helps us manage all of this. The workflows are awesome allowing you to set up each stage of the process and release…Goal Setting, Goal Review/Acknowledgement, Mid-year Assessment, Annual Review. Each job role has core competencies, functional competencies and then overall performance targets. Weighting system is awesome, personnel calibration and round tables is great.”


It can be difficult to choose between SAP SuccessFactors vs. Workday because both provide a solid full-service talent management service. We believe that every business has different wants and needs so the choice is truly up to you and your company.

Make sure to look at the price of each tool, what each service can offer to your company, and whether a cloud-based system or a non-cloud-based system is for you. At the end of the day if you truly can’t make a decision you can always look at reviews for both software to come to a decision about which one to choose. This should be a key first step in your overarching digital strategy.

Michael Huang

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