Cloud Wars: SAP SuccessFactors v Workday

Posted on August 2020 By Speller International
Cloud Wars

This is the first of a series of blogs comparing the SAP Cloud product to its non-SAP counterpart.

We all know Cloud products are easier to use, easier to implement and give the business users direct input to a software that helps their day to day role.

This month we look at two HR systems: SAP SuccessFactors versus Workday.

Two very popular products at the moment. SuccessFactors has had a huge uptake since SAP bought it in 2011 and the demand for SuccessFactors consultants has been off the charts for us over the last 2-3 years.

At the same time, Workday has been taking off at a rapid pace. We have seen this in very large companies and organisations. For example, most of the Universities have been looking at, or are currently implementing Workday to deal with their large student population.

There are not necessarily good or bad reasons that a company will choose one over the other. The decision is usually based on the individual company’s requirements. But if you’ve been wondering what the differences are between the two, here they are.

Hey, what have they got that I don’t?

Both SuccessFactors and Workday are very good HCM products but there are some limitations with both software packages. We list some comparisons below.

Business size the system caters for


SuccessFactors makes SAP accessible to most size companies. You don’t need to be BHP or Rio Tinto to get this software. You can be a company with under 100 users. It also integrates well with most other non-SAP Systems, i.e. you don’t have to be a huge SAP site to get on board.


Workday is not for smaller businesses but for medium to very large organisations. This is because it is an enterprise level software that can cater to a huge workforce demand and complex end to end processes.

The Look and ease of use


The SuccessFactors screen is simple and easy to use. The main difference though as opposed to Workday is that you need to go through different tabs to complete a process rather than on the one screen.


Workday is user friendly and intuitive. The user interface is slick, pleasant on the eye and easy to get the users on board. The main difference with Workday is that a user can compete a process on one single screen due to Workdays ‘all in one’ properties.

Payroll function


It has a payroll function. To complement the workforce management aspects of SuccessFactors you can have the complete package by also implementing the ECP (Employee Central Payroll) function. This will take more planning initially for the implementation, but you will have an integrated payroll function.


There is no payroll function built into Workday in Australia yet. At the moment, you will need to integrate your Workday systems into a local payroll provider. Workday does, however, have Finance and Procurement functionality that you may choose for your wider enterprise needs.



SuccessFactors give you a wealth of reporting opportunities whether it be your own specifically created reports or standard reports that you can retrieve from the system with ease. Then there are the analytics of the systems, cutting edge imbedded analytics with front end easy to read and impressive visuals so you can forecast and review at a glance.


It has workforce planning tools so you can get a good look at various stats and costs for your workforce. There are smart dashboards and other visuals that you can modify as a company or team. You can add particular metrics, go through data and have an idea of what actions need to be taken.

Ease of implementation

SuccessFactors and Workday

On a basic level, the main difference between an implementation for SuccessFactors and Workday is the number of consultants needed to complete the job. Of course, there will be a lot of other more technical differences, but in a nutshell, as SuccessFactors is comprised of different very separate areas of expertise, generally consultants will be engaged to implement each separate area. With Workday however, the fact that the product is a complete end to end process, the number of consultants is greatly reduced which makes for a less complex project.

At the end of the day…

It’s a tricky choice between SuccessFactors and Workday. They both provide very strong talent management functions, but then they differ in their other offerings whether it be payroll functions or reporting abilities. Price will always be a consideration in every organisation too and of course the size of your business and its users.

Know your limitations, know your price and know your business needs!

Did you know Speller International can help you recruit for your SuccessFactors resource needs? CloudApps, Speller’s sister company, can help you recruit for your Workday resource needs.

If you want to know more about the Speller Team or the SAP industry, feel free to follow us on LinkedIn.