SAP HCM v/s Success Factors and Work day 

What is success Factors and How it is different from SAP HCM

Today’s corporate workplace is a far cry from say, the corporate workplace of a decade back. It’s much more evolved and much more technologically sophisticated. Along with the workplace change, the Human Resources (HR) functions too have evolved a lot with companies today placing more emphasis on the importance of recruiting, developing, and maintaining corporate talent. This in turn has fuelled a rise in more HR challenges compelling the HR professionals to come up with newer solutions to tackle the challenges.

The entry of predictive analytics and cloud based technologies for Human Capital Management (HCM) including Oracle HCM Cloud, SuccessFactors, Ultimate Software and Workday to name a few, have helped HR professionals to run highly effective HR processes for securing their objectives, from seeking out right-fit talent with the help of innovative cloud-led platforms to engaging candidates and employees using big data or cloud-based human capital management (HCM) software, to set their organization apart from the rest.


One of the major modules in SAP that plays an important role in building an organized management in organizations, SAP HCM (Human Capital Management) manages the entire gamut of HR functions from hiring an employee to the employee’s final termination in the organization.

SAP HCM comprises of the following sub components:

  • Organizational Management;
  • Personnel Administration;
  • Recruitment Management;
  • Personnel Cost Management;
  • Planning Budget;
  • Payroll Benefits Compensation;
  • Management Personnel;
  • Development Training & Event Management; &
  • Travel Management.


The Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) Suite contains five primary HR product modules as described below:

  • Workforce Lifecycle Management: It handles the worker lifecycle from hire to termination via a centralized and cohesive solution.
  • Organization Management: It enables organizational structure modeling and analytics.
  • Compensation Management: It allows for compensation program design, management, compliance, and performance rewarding.
  • Absence Management: It enables the creation and management of absence planning.
  • Employee Benefits: It provides tools for defining, managing, and adjusting benefits plans to meet business requirements.

Based on next-generation technology (object and in-memory) with a consumer-grade user experience (including mobile), WorkDay HCM has evolved within a short span as an extremely versatile product with robust functionality that covers all HR domains.


  • SAP HCM is a global HRMS platform for integrated HR & Payroll solutions while Workday HCM is a unified suite of HR and Talent Management functions, combined with Workday Payroll Management, forms an integrated HRMS.
  • SAP HCM has an older underlying architecture and user experience, while WorkDay HCM has been built from the ground up using a multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) strategy with an underlying service- orientated architecture.
  • SAP HCM is based on an older architecture design while WorkDay HCM is focused on a modern design supplemented by usability, strong analytics and mobile applications all of which are important for today’s businesses customers.
  • Workday has 3 types of staffing models which Workday considers it as its core activity. On the other hand, SAP HCM looks at the whole process differently.
  • Workday supports Position Management which aligns roughly to SAP’s standard HCM functionality for positions.
  • Workday from the business standpoint, integrates hiring freeze into staffing models whereas SAP doesn’t have that linked to SAP HCM directly.


SAP’s SuccessFactors HCM suite includes a complete set of tightly integrated core HR modules such as payroll, global employee benefits, time off and record keeping; Talent Management modules such as employee performance management, compensation management, succession management, learning, recruiting, onboarding, workforce planning, and workforce analytics; and employee engagement tools including robust workforce analytics and planning, collaboration and social media, plus a next generation core HR solution.

SuccessFactors HCM suite contains the following applicationsz

  • Employee Central – The core HCM system;
  • Performance and Goals – Performance and goal management;
  • Recruiting – Recruiting management and marketing;
  • Compensation – Employee compensation planning;
  • Learning – Learning management system for training and learning activities;
  • Succession and Development – Succession planning and employee development;
  • Onboarding – Employee onboarding solution for pre and new hires;
  • SAP Jam – Social collaboration and networking platform;
  • Workforce Analytics – Comprehensive analytics and reporting;
  • Workforce Planning – Workforce planning and resource allocation; &
  • BizX Mobile – Mobile application to perform processes on the go.

What makes SuccessFactors a viable choice?

  • It is easy to implement, integrate and use.
  • It does not require any upgrades/maintenance.
  • It helps eliminate complexity. As a complete solution, there are no 3rd-party dependency / integration issues.
  • It helps reduce costs, lower admin overhead, Capex vs. Opex.
  • It provides for complete visibility with Real-time access across all HCM functionality.
  • It assures total compliance – GRC statutes, country-specific regulations & mandates.
  • It assures total security with Safe-harbor certification of HR data.
  • Its costs are predictable – bundled offering & fixed-scope implementations.
  • It has low total cost of ownership.


SuccessFactors and SAP HCM were each originally developed by two different companies and therefore have different code bases, technologies, etc.

SuccessFactors was built from the ground up as a SaaS application with services in the cloud. SaaS provides access to enterprise software on a subscription basis without the need to own or maintain hardware or software.  On the other hand, SAP HCM was originally designed to be on-premise software which is a complete HR and payroll solution that integrates with other SAP ERP components.


  • SAP Human Capital Management (Cloud and on Premise) solution offers a complete and integrated set of tools for helping effectively manage people, hire the best talent, align employee goals with business objectives, cultivate employee skills, and measure and reward performance. On the other hand, SuccessFactors offers Employee Central, a complete, cloud technology-based core HR system of record that combines HR transactions, processes and data with social collaboration features and mobile functionality.
  • SAP HCM can automate all core HR processes to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and support compliance. Further, if one is looking to outsource HR processes or run an internal shared service center, SAP HCM can be deployed in ways that helps reduce risks and costs. On the other hand, SuccessFactors as a standards-based, flexible technology can be deployed at own pace. It is highly configurable to business processes and adaptable to changing business needs.
  • SAP HCM HR Renewal is an evolution of a 20-year-old robust platform while SuccessFactors Employee Central is a young, could-based solution that draws on the latest thinking in solution deployment.

Since its acquisition of SuccessFactors, SAP has been offering a full suite of HCM solutions both, on premise and in the cloud, while providing customers with the opportunity to combine on-premise applications with cloud applications.