Choosing the Right HR Platform: Workday vs SuccessFactors


Choosing the Right HR Platform: 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 them.

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 that emphasizes financial management, human capital management, and planning. Conversely, SuccessFactors focuses on the entire employee lifecycle and boasts 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

Why Companies Should Consider Workday Over SuccessFactors

The decision between Workday and SuccessFactors is pivotal when selecting the right human capital management (HCM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Below are detailed insights into why Workday often emerges as the preferred choice for many organizations:

Unified System

Workday stands out with its integrated approach, offering key advantages:

  • Comprehensive Integration: It seamlessly combines HR, finance, and planning into one system, facilitating streamlined operations across various departments.
  • Single Source of Truth: This integration ensures data consistency and integrity, simplifying reporting and analytics with real-time, across-the-board insights.
  • Efficiency and Accuracy: Minimizes the need for manual data entry, thereby reducing errors and saving time.

User Experience

The design and functionality of Workday are centered around a modern user experience:

  • Intuitive Interface: Designed for ease of use, encouraging higher employee adoption rates for daily tasks.
  • Mobile Accessibility: Ensures that the workforce can engage with the platform anytime, anywhere, which is essential in today’s mobile-first world.
  • Engagement and Productivity: A user-friendly system promotes a more engaged and, consequently, more productive workforce.


Workday’s architecture is inherently agile, offering significant benefits:

  • Quick Feature Rollouts: Enables faster deployment of new features and updates, keeping businesses ahead of market and regulatory changes.
  • Adaptability: This is especially beneficial for rapidly growing companies or those in fast-changing industries.
  • Continuous Improvement: Workday’s commitment to innovation means organizations benefit from the latest advancements without disruptive upgrades.

Real-life Example

Consider the case of a rapidly scaling tech company:

  • Growth and Scalability: A tech company experiencing exponential growth needs an HCM system that can scale and adapt quickly. Workday’s unified system provides a robust platform that grows with the company.
  • User Adoption: Workday’s intuitive and mobile-friendly interface ensures high adoption rates, essential for onboarding new staff efficiently.
  • Industry Agility: The agility of Workday’s architecture allows the company to swiftly adapt to the dynamic tech sector, ensuring it remains competitive and compliant.


For organizations aiming to streamline operations, enhance employee engagement, and maintain agility in a rapidly changing business environment, Workday offers a compelling proposition over SuccessFactors.

Its unified system, superior user experience, and agile architecture make it an ideal solution for companies looking to innovate and scale effectively.

Cost Analysis of Workday vs. SuccessFactors

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.

Workday vs SuccessFactors FAQ

What are the main differences between Workday and SuccessFactors?

Workday offers a unified HR and financial management platform, while SuccessFactors focuses on HR processes with modules that can be integrated with other SAP products.

Which platform is better for HR management?

Both platforms are strong in HR management. Workday provides an integrated solution, while SuccessFactors offers flexibility with its modular approach.

Can Workday handle payroll as well as SuccessFactors?

Yes, Workday’s unified platform includes robust payroll capabilities. SuccessFactors integrates with SAP Payroll to manage payrolls comprehensively.

How do the user interfaces of Workday and SuccessFactors compare?

Workday is known for its intuitive, user-friendly interface. SuccessFactors also offers a clean interface, but some users may find it less intuitive due to its modular nature.

Which platform offers better talent management features?

Both platforms offer comprehensive talent management features. Workday integrates talent management with HR and finance, while SuccessFactors provides specialized recruiting, learning, and performance modules.

Is SuccessFactors more cost-effective than Workday?

SuccessFactors can be more cost-effective for companies that only need specific HR modules. Workday may have higher costs due to its integrated suite, but it offers broader functionality.

Which system is better for large enterprises?

Large enterprises often prefer Workday because of its unified platform and scalability. SuccessFactors is also suitable for large organizations, especially those already using SAP products.

How do Workday and SuccessFactors handle data integration?

Workday provides seamless integration within its platform and with third-party applications. SuccessFactors integrates well with SAP products and other external systems through the SAP Cloud Platform.

What kind of customer support do Workday and SuccessFactors provide?

Both offer extensive customer support, including online resources, training, and community forums. Workday is known for its comprehensive customer service, while SuccessFactors benefits from SAP’s global support network.

Which platform is better for compliance management?

Workday and SuccessFactors both offer strong compliance management tools. Workday integrates compliance within its platform, while SuccessFactors leverages SAP’s expertise in compliance and regulatory updates.

Can both systems support global operations?

Both Workday and SuccessFactors support global HR processes, including multi-country payroll, compliance, and reporting.

Which platform offers better analytics and reporting tools?

Workday excels in advanced analytics and real-time reporting across HR and financial data. SuccessFactors offers robust reporting, especially when integrated with SAP Analytics Cloud.

How should I choose between Workday and SuccessFactors for my business?

Consider your organization’s needs, existing systems, and future growth plans. Workday is ideal for those seeking an integrated solution, while SuccessFactors is great for businesses wanting modular flexibility and SAP integration.

What training resources are available for Workday and SuccessFactors?

Both platforms offer comprehensive training resources, including online courses, certifications, and community support. Workday provides extensive training through Workday Learning, while SuccessFactors offers training via SAP Learning Hub.

Can Workday and SuccessFactors be customized to fit my business needs?

Yes, both platforms offer customization options. Workday allows extensive customization within its unified platform, while SuccessFactors provides modular customization to fit specific HR needs.

Choosing between Workday and SuccessFactors depends on your organization’s specific requirements, existing systems, and long-term strategic goals. Both platforms offer robust HR solutions, but the right choice will depend on your business’s unique needs.


  • 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, improving organizational efficiency.

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