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    Workday vs. SAP SuccessFactors vs. Darwinbox: The Great HR Tech Face-off

    April 12, 2023

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    Man trying to choose the right HR Software: SAP SF vs Workday vs Darwinbox

    It’s a clash of titans in the HR tech space today and you have the ringside seat. Grab your laptops and popcorn as we bring the three heavyweights of HR technology face to face so that you can choose the perfect software for your business.

    Confusing, isn’t it - finding the perfect HR software for your business?

    Should you go with the legacy workhorses like SAP SuccessFactors and Workday HCM or switch to a next-gen solution like Darwinbox?

    We know that you want the best solution that works for your business. In fact, by now you’ve already read hundreds of articles, and white papers, thumbed through brochures, sit through demos, and have probably spoken to a few sales representatives from different companies. Yet the confusion persists. So many promises. So many features. So much tech jargon and buzzwords being thrown in the air. Well, that ends today!

    In this article, we bring together the three top-of-the-line HR software solutions face-to-face so that you can get a clearer idea of which platform is better for your business.

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    SAP SuccessFactors

    Founded in 2001, SuccessFactors started off as performance management software, adding other functionalities at a later stage. It was acquired by SAP in 2012 and renamed SAP SuccessFactors. Currently, SAP SuccessFactors provides cloud-based solutions to manage various HR functions such as core HR, payroll, performance, recruitment, and learning activities for organizations of all sizes. Here are a few pros and cons of SAP SuccessFactors in comparison to its competitors.

    What Works: 

    1. A comprehensive modern cloud-based solution that allows integration with many existing HR systems, including payroll and benefits administration.

    2. AI-backed predictive analytics that helps you create action plans, interactive HR analysis and dashboards along with the standard HR metrics catalogue.

    3. An automated and accelerated payment processing that works with local taxation nuances thus reducing the risk of errors and simplifying payroll management.

    What Doesn’t: 

    1. SAP SuccessFactors is an aggregate of multiple solutions that were acquired over several years. This has resulted in multiple interfaces and broken UX which causes low employee adoption.

    2. Importing data from legacy systems to SAP SuccessFactors can be a hassle requiring heavy manipulation of source data due to lack of flexibility. You’ll also have to bear additional data migration fees.

    3. Customer service experience is not always consistent. Multiple users have reported long response time per request with their customer service team taking at least 48 hours to respond.

    SAP SuccessFactors Pricing: 

    SAP SuccessFactors follows an annual subscription model that may cost you anywhere between $25-38 per employee per month. This is besides a substantial one-time implementation fee. Overall, while SAP SuccessFactors is not the most expensive solution, it is definitely in the premium price bracket.

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    Workday Human Capital Management

    Founded in 2005, Workday is a cloud-based platform for HR and finance. Through Workday HCM solution, it offers comprehensive products for human resource management, talent management, compensation and payroll, time tracking, etc. for midsized companies and large enterprises. Here are a few pros and cons of Workday in comparison to its competitors.

    What Works: 

    1. A powerful talent management system to attract, retain, and develop an agile workforce. Workday is designed to help employees build the skills they need.

    2. A strong and continuous listening platform in the form of Workday Peakon Employee Voice that collects and analyzes feedback to provide insights across employee experience.

    3. Augmented Analytics that provide prioritized insights, tailored to the role, and paired with narrative explanations.

    What Doesn’t: 

    1. Workday isn’t a mobile-friendly platform – many features on mobile are still behind the web version. The Workday app also requires newer devices with faster connectivity and won’t work smoothly in places with low data bandwidth.

    2. Every new release brings forth implementation challenges and is both tedious and time-consuming.

    3. The tool lacks advanced talent management functionalities such as succession planning, advanced talent analytics and talent profiling.

    Workday Pricing: 

    Workday’s pricing is customized for the need of the customer. While it doesn’t provide any specific pricing information on its website, a recent Forbes article quoted the price as “$99 per employee per month” which puts it in the premium solutions bracket.

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    SAP Success Factors and Workday: The Only Solutions?

    Both SAP SuccessFactors and Workday have their own sets of pros and cons. SAP SuccessFactors is a powerful platform that supports many countries around the world. On the other hand, the Workday HCM solution is more suited to businesses that have a focus on in-depth reporting and data visualization and majorly operate in Western countries. However, there are a few issues common to both platforms such as:

    1. Both products have relatively old architecture and clunky UI which results in a steep learning curve for employees and hampers user adoption.

    2. Both are not very employee-centric with a limited focus on last-mile employees, a feature that is crucial in industries like retail and insurance.

    3. Both products charge more expensive subscription fees which may not always translate into a value-for-money deal.

    4. There’s a lack of flexibility and reconfigurability. Both products come with long-winded traditional change request methodologies that often hamper organizational agility.

    5. The mobile apps offered by both platforms lack critical functionalities and aren’t designed with a mobile-first approach.

    So, is there a better alternative to SAP SuccessFactors and Workday?

    Darwinbox – A Future Ready SAP and Workday Alternative

    Founded in 2016, Darwinbox is a next-gen cloud-based HR technology platform which caters to an organization’s HR needs across the employee lifecycle including Recruitment, Onboarding, Core transactions (Leaves, Attendance, Directory), Payroll, Travel and Expenses, Employee Engagement, Performance Management, Rewards & Recognition and People Analytics. The modern and innovative platform combines highly configurable workflows, intelligent insights, and smart interfaces to help enterprises unleash the true potential of their workforce. Here are a few reasons why over 750 enterprises in 100+ countries prefer Darwinbox over both SAP SuccessFactors and Workday:

    Fast and Seamless Implementation 

    Unlike both SAP SuccessFactors and Workday where implementation may take as long as 8-12 weeks or even more, Darwinbox has a track record of fast implementations with a timeline averaging just 10-12 weeks*. Darwinbox offers open RESTful APIs (free of cost) with the flexibility to integrate with other systems of record, a feature that is not available in SAP SuccessFactors. Also, unlike both legacy products where third-party implementation partners play a major role, Darwinbox’s in-house implementation team brings unmatched seamlessness to the entire process.

    Highly Configurable

    Compared to both SAP SuccessFactors and Workday, Darwinbox is a highly flexible system giving users complete freedom to configure and accommodate myriad processes and workflows specific to the client context.

    Modular Approach 

    Darwinbox is a plug & play model, where any module(s) can be combined with the Core HR module. In the case of Workday, clients have to take the entire suite or nothing.

    Rewards and Recognition 

    Darwinbox comes with a unique rewards and recognition (R&R) framework where both managers and employees can award badges and points basis the R&R program. Receivers can encash reward points through the Darwinbox redemption portal from any online retail store.

    Multiple Attendance Tracking Methods 

    The platform features multiple attendance tracking methods including roster management at multiple levels, location-based check-in for attendance, and real-time integration with biometric and facial recognition-based check-in through the mobile app. Darwinbox also allows employees to mark their attendance even if the device is offline, making it convenient for on-field staff who may or may not have internet access at all times.

    Mobile-first Approach 

    Unlike both SAP SuccessFactors and Workday, Darwinbox was built ground up with a mobile-first approach, and all HR processes can be done on the mobile app. Features such as a helpdesk with integrated chatbots and voice bots that can be accessed directly from the app make HR truly accessible on the go. At just 7 MB, Darwinbox’s mobile app is also the lightest in the segment which functions equally well on all mobile phones.

    High Employee Adoption Rate 

    Low employee adoption is a common problem with both SAP SuccessFactors and Workday, but Darwinbox’s consumer-grade and intuitive UI has helped it consistently achieve over 90% adoption rates across the client base.

    Powerful People Analytics Module – Darwinbox Atlas 

    Darwinbox Atlas is an all-in-one reporting and analytics tool, that offers an easy-to-navigate consumer-grade interface. It is the map you need to navigate the sea of data and make your way to the port of unique, actionable, data-driven insights. This tool will help you tackle the three most pressing data-related challenges faced by the HR teams:

    • Prioritization: Assisting business leaders with personalized insights and helping drive action through AI-enabled features such as smart nudges. 
    • Data Literacy: Making data insights accessible with clear narratives written in everyday language, using features such as smart summaries. 
    • Democratization: Empowering leaders at every level with access to data and insights.


    All three HR tech platforms – SAP SuccessFactors, Workday and Darwinbox – have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. However, what really sets Darwinbox apart from the other two solutions is the flexible architecture, customer focus, employee-first development, unmatched configurability, and a comprehensive Employee Experience (EX) package which are essential in today’s era of agile work. This, combined with a strong support infrastructure in the form of 24x7 local customer service and support through designated account managers, make Darwinbox a great alternative to both SAP SuccessFactors and Workday.  Darwinbox also offers the most value for money and the highest returns on investments among the three software platforms. No wonder then that Darwinbox is the only Asian HCM which made it to the prestigious Gartner Magic Quadrant.      

    If you are a future-ready organization that’s looking for a scalable HCM platform, it would be remiss to not include Darwinbox in your consideration set.

    Find out how Darwinbox is the perfect HCM solution for your business. Book a demo now!

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