Choosing the Right HR Platform: Workday vs SuccessFactors

Workday vs SuccessFactors

Workday vs. SuccessFactors: Key Differences

  • Origin: Workday is HR-centric; SuccessFactors began as talent management.
  • Integration: SuccessFactors integrates with SAP; Workday offers broader integrations.
  • User Interface: Workday has a modern UI; SuccessFactors is more traditional.
  • Deployment: Both are cloud-based; Workday is cloud-native.
  • Modules: Workday combines HR, finance, and planning; SuccessFactors focuses on HR modules.

Workday: An Overview

workday vs sap successfactors

Workday has emerged as a powerhouse in the HR tech space, offering a suite of tools designed to cater to the holistic needs of modern businesses.

Here’s what sets Workday apart:

  • Features and Benefits: Workday’s cloud-based HCM offers a range of features, from payroll talent management to finance and analytics. The Talent Intelligence and Employee Experience Platforms stand out, providing businesses with actionable insights to drive growth.
  • Industries and Organization Sizes: Workday’s flexibility suits various sectors, from healthcare to finance and everything in between. Whether you’re a startup or a multinational corporation, Workday offers solutions tailored to your needs.
  • Unique Selling Points: One of Workday’s standout features is its cloud-based HCM. This ensures that businesses have access to real-time data, fostering informed decision-making. Its enterprise architecture and advanced analytics capabilities allow firms to draw deep insights from their HR data.

SuccessFactors: A Closer Look

SuccessFactors, an SAP company, is another major player in the HR tech arena. It offers tools to optimize the employee lifecycle, from hire to retirement.

Here’s a deep dive into what SuccessFactors brings to the table:

  • Features and Benefits: SuccessFactors shines in its Talent Marketplace and Capability Academies. These tools help businesses identify, nurture, and retain top talent. Its Conversational AI and Workspace Management tools enhance the HR experience, driving efficiency and productivity.
  • Addressing Modern HR Challenges: HR challenges are ever-evolving in today’s dynamic business environment. SuccessFactors addresses these challenges head-on with its robust suite of tools. Whether navigating the complexities of remote work or fostering a culture of continuous learning, SuccessFactors has solutions tailored to modern HR needs.
  • Customization and Integration: One of SuccessFactors’ strengths is its ability to integrate seamlessly with other SAP products, ensuring a unified HR experience. Whether you’re looking to integrate with finance, procurement, or any other department, SuccessFactors offers smooth integrations.

Comparing Workday and SuccessFactors

sap successfactors vs workday

In the realm of HR technology, both Workday and SuccessFactors have established themselves as leaders.

However, businesses often find themselves at a crossroads when choosing between the two.

Let’s delve into a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision.

  • Features: At its core, Workday offers a cloud-based HCM solution, emphasizing financial management, human capital management, and planning. Conversely, SuccessFactors focuses on the entire employee lifecycle, boasting features like talent management, core HR, and analytics.
  • Integrations: Workday’s strength lies in its seamless integrations across various business functions, ensuring a unified experience. SuccessFactors integrates effortlessly with other SAP offerings as an SAP product, providing a comprehensive business solution.
  • User Experience: Workday’s interface is known for its intuitive design, making it user-friendly. SuccessFactors offers a customizable interface, allowing businesses to tailor it to their needs.
  • Market Presence and Customer Feedback: Both platforms have a strong market presence. Workday is often praised for its real-time analytics and financial tools, while SuccessFactors garners appreciation for its extensive talent management features.

Why Companies Should Choose SuccessFactors Over Workday

SuccessFactors, an SAP solution, offers several advantages:

  1. Deep Integration with SAP: For businesses already using SAP, integrating SuccessFactors can be more straightforward.
  2. Comprehensive Talent Management: SuccessFactors initially focused on talent management, making its features robust.
  3. Global Reach: Being a part of SAP, SuccessFactors has a vast global presence and support network.
  4. Real-life Example: A global enterprise using SAP ERP might prefer SuccessFactors for seamless integration and consistent support across multiple regions.

Why Companies Should Consider Workday Over SuccessFactors

Workday brings its own set of strengths:

  1. Unified System: Workday combines HR, finance, and planning in one system.
  2. User Experience: Workday’s modern interface promotes higher user adoption.
  3. Agility: Workday’s architecture allows for quicker feature rollouts.
  4. Real-life Example: A rapidly scaling tech company might opt for Workday due to its agility, unified system, and user-friendly interface.

Cost Analysis of Workday vs. SuccessFactors

  1. Initial Costs:
    • SuccessFactors: Licensing costs can vary based on the modules chosen. Being an SAP product, it might come with bundled offers for existing SAP customers.
    • Workday: Operates on a subscription model, potentially leading to lower initial but recurring costs.
  2. Implementation Costs:
    • SuccessFactors: Costs can vary based on the extent of customization and integration with other SAP products.
    • Workday: Typically has a more predictable implementation cost due to its unified nature.
  3. Ongoing Management Costs:
    • SuccessFactors: Regular updates might require manual intervention, especially if heavily customized.
    • Workday: Automatic updates reduce the need for manual oversight.
  4. Training Costs:
    • SuccessFactors: Given its traditional interface, training might be more extensive.
    • Workday: Its intuitive design could lead to reduced training costs.

Before deciding, companies should conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis, considering both direct and indirect costs.

Top 5 Recommendations for Choosing Between Workday and SuccessFactors

  1. Assessing Your Organization’s Specific Needs: It’s crucial to understand what your organization requires before deciding. Do you need a comprehensive HR solution or specific modules?
  2. Importance of Scalability and Adaptability: As your business grows, your HR software should be able to adapt. Both platforms offer scalable solutions, but it’s essential to consider long-term growth.
  3. Evaluating User Reviews and Feedback: Customer reviews can provide insights into both platforms’ real-world applications and limitations.
  4. Considering the Future of HR Technology Trends: The tech world is ever-evolving. Ensure that your platform is forward-thinking and can adapt to future trends.
  5. Integration Capabilities and Third-party Support: A seamless integration capability ensures your HR software can communicate effectively with other business tools.


How do Workday and SuccessFactors differ in terms of features?

Workday emphasizes financial management and planning alongside its HCM, while SuccessFactors offers an extensive suite focused on the employee lifecycle.

Which platform offers better integration capabilities?

Both platforms offer robust integration capabilities. Workday provides integrations across business functions, and SuccessFactors integrates seamlessly with other SAP products.

How do the pricing models compare?

Pricing varies based on the modules chosen and the size of the organization. It’s best to contact the vendors directly for a tailored quote.

What are the user feedback and reviews saying about both platforms?

Both platforms receive positive feedback, with Workday being praised for its analytics and SuccessFactors for its talent management features.

Are there any known limitations or drawbacks for either software?

Some users find Workday’s reporting complex, while others feel SuccessFactors requires a steeper learning curve.


Choosing between Workday and SuccessFactors is no small feat. Both platforms offer robust features that can revolutionize HR operations.

However, the right choice hinges on your organization’s needs, growth plans, and your value on specific features. As the HR tech landscape evolves, making an informed decision today can set your organization on the path to future success.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.