In the realm of human resources software, SAP HR and Workday stand out as top contenders, providing comprehensive solutions for streamlining various HR processes and managing critical data. Find out how Workday HCM and SAP HR compare to determine the ideal HR software that aligns with your business needs.

What is Workday?

Workday is a leading cloud-based software platform designed to simplify and enhance various aspects of human capital management and financial management for organizations. The company has been a pioneer in providing a unified, user-friendly solution that seamlessly integrates core HR functions, such as talent management, payroll, benefits administration, time tracking and workforce planning.

SEE: Oracle vs Workday: A Comparison of HR Software.

What is SAP?

SAP HR, now evolved into the SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management Suite, takes the core concepts of HCM and enhances them to create a more engaging and employee-focused experience. This software suite is designed with a deep understanding of employee needs, work styles and motivations, providing support throughout an individual’s career journey while empowering HR teams and business leaders to drive organizational growth.

Workday HCM vs. SAP HR: Comparison table

FeatureWorkdaySAP HR (SuccessFactors HXM Suite)
HRISYesYes
Cloud-basedYesYes
AnalyticsYesYes
Global complianceYesYes
Audit and internal controlsYesYes
Workforce planningYesYes
Visa and permits managementNoYes
Recruiting and onboardingYesYes
Talent managementYesYes
Learning and developmentYesYes
Benefits managementYesYes
Payroll management for US employeesYesYes
International payrollYesYes
Time-off requestsYesYes
Travel and expense managementYesYes
Employee experience managementYesYes

Workday and SAP pricing

Both vendors do not publish pricing information on their websites. The cost of these systems varies depending on the size of your organization, the specific features and modules you need and other factors.

SEE: Looking for an employee onboarding solution? Check out our list of the best onboarding software for small to large businesses.

Feature comparison: Workday vs. SAP

Human resources information system

Both Workday and SAP HR provide robust human resources information system capabilities, offering comprehensive solutions for managing employee data and supporting HR functions.

SEE: The best HR software.

Workday HCM dashboard.
Workday HCM dashboard. Image: Workday

While Workday’s HRIS is known for its unified architecture and seamless integration of various HR modules, SAP HR creates a dynamic and engaging employee experience through its people-centric focus.

SAP Core HR dashboard.
SAP Core HR dashboard. Image: SAP

Global compliance

For large enterprises operating across multiple countries, global compliance is paramount. Ensuring adherence to various international labor laws, regulations and data privacy standards is crucial for maintaining a company’s reputation and avoiding legal complications. As businesses expand globally, their HR software must be capable of keeping up with the evolving regulatory landscape, making global compliance a key feature to consider when comparing HR software.

Workday and SAP HR excel in providing global compliance capabilities, catering to the needs of large enterprises operating in multiple countries. Both companies have modules that keep track of regulatory changes and notify users accordingly.

Learning and development

Both Workday and SAP HR offer impressive learning and development features, with a range of curated content, personalized learning paths and third-party partnerships. While Workday’s learning module provides personalized content tailored to each worker’s career interests, SAP HR’s SuccessFactors offers learning paths for succession and development, enabling employers to help employees move into senior-level positions.

Employee experience management

Employee experience management is an essential aspect of modern HR software. It encompasses all employee interactions with their employer, including their work environment, relationships with colleagues and managers and access to resources and tools.

Workday’s platform includes features such as personalized dashboards, self-service tools and real-time feedback, empowering employees to take charge of their own development and growth. The platform also supports diversity and inclusion efforts, enabling HR teams to create a more inclusive and equitable work environment.

Employee experience in Workday.
Employee experience in Workday. Image: Workday

SAP HR’s SuccessFactors HXM Suite emphasizes creating a dynamic and engaging employee experience by incorporating various tools and features to support employee well-being, career development and productivity. The platform offers personalized learning and development paths, career development plans and real-time feedback to help employees achieve their career goals. SuccessFactors also provides tools for fostering a more inclusive and diverse workplace, including features such as unconscious bias training and diversity scorecards. The platform’s mobile-responsive design lets employees access important information and tools from anywhere, improving their overall work experience.

Employee experience in SAP.
Employee experience in SAP. Image: SAP

Workday pros and cons

Pros of Workday

  • Single, unified architecture for seamless integration of various HR modules.
  • User-friendly interface and mobile-responsive design for easy access to critical information.
  • Configurable platform, enabling businesses to tailor the system to their specific requirements.
  • Robust global compliance capabilities and advanced data privacy controls.
  • Advanced analytics capabilities, providing valuable insights to support data-driven decision-making.
  • Third-party integrations with e-learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft and Udemy for Business.
  • Strong security measures, including role-based security and data encryption.
  • Regular updates and new feature releases, ensuring that customers have access to the latest capabilities.

Cons of Workday

  • Some customers have complained about the naming conventions used, such as referring to pages as “apps,” which some people find confusing.
  • There are mixed reviews on the user interface, with some users finding it easy and others complaining that it is outdated.

SAP pros and cons

Pros of SAP

  • SAP is an established company with a strong reputation.
  • Comprehensive suite of HR modules covering a wide range of HR functions.
  • Strong global compliance capabilities.
  • People-centric focus, with a strong emphasis on creating an engaging and dynamic employee experience.
  • Advanced analytics capabilities, providing valuable insights to support data-driven decision-making.
  • Open Content Network, offering integration with various third-party content providers.
  • Personalized learning and development paths, focusing on career development and succession planning.
  • Strong security measures, including data encryption and compliance with global data protection regulations.
  • Regular updates and new feature releases, ensuring that customers have access to the latest capabilities.

Cons of SAP

  • Complex system with a steeper learning curve for less tech-savvy users.
  • Limited customizability for some features, such as performance management.
  • Integration with third-party systems which can sometimes be challenging.

Methodology

We conducted extensive research on both platforms, gathering information from various sources including vendor websites and customer reviews. We analyzed the features and capabilities of each platform and evaluated their strengths and weaknesses, highlighting key differences and similarities.

Should your organization use Workday or SAP?

When deciding between Workday and SAP, it’s important to carefully evaluate each platform’s capabilities and consider your organization’s specific needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing between these two HR software solutions:

Features and customization

Both Workday and SAP HR offer robust HR tools with strong customization capabilities. However, each platform excels in different areas of HR, so it’s important to prioritize the features that your organization has the greatest need for. Consider which modules, such as payroll, benefits or learning and development, are most important for your business and which platform offers the strongest capabilities in those areas.

Global compliance

If your organization operates across multiple countries, global compliance capabilities are crucial. Both Workday and SAP HR offer strong global compliance capabilities. Consider which countries your organization operates in and whether the platform supports those regions.

Size of business

While both Workday and SAP HR are designed for large enterprises, small businesses may find the platforms unnecessarily complex or costly. Consider whether the platform’s capabilities align with your organization’s size and whether the cost is justifiable for your business.

Integration and support

Finally, consider how well the platform integrates with other systems and software that your organization uses. Further, evaluate the quality and responsiveness of customer support to ensure that your business has access to help when needed.

Other HR solutions

1 BambooHR

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BambooHR is an award-winning HR platform that helps your growing organizations automate, centralize, and connect your people data all in one place. It gives you a one stop shop to manage data, hire talent, run payroll, and help employees grow.

Learn more about BambooHR

2 Rippling

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Rippling is the first way for businesses to manage all of their HR, IT, and Finance — payroll, benefits, computers, apps, corporate cards, expenses, and more — in one unified workforce platform. By connecting every business system to one source of truth for employee data, businesses can automate all of the manual work they normally need to do to make employee changes.

Learn more about Rippling

3 GoCo

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Elevate your HR with a modern, easy-to-use HRIS designed for small businesses. GoCo is a secure, compliant hub for sending, digitally signing, and organizing your sensitive HR documents and data. Manage records, performance, time off, onboarding, benefits, and more – all in one place. With the best support in the industry, every GoCo customer is assigned a dedicated Customer Success Team that is readily available to provide guidance and ensure a smooth and reliable HRIS experience.

Learn more about GoCo

4 Deel

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Deel is the all-in-one platform built to hire, manage and grow global teams. By bringing together cutting edge HR tools, payroll solutions, compliance and more, Deel enables companies to scale globally with unmatched speed and flexibility.

With Deel, you can hire and onboard any type of employee, compliantly, in 150+ countries in minutes. You can run payroll in 100+ countries and all 50 states in a click of a button. You can offer competitive benefits, equity, manage equipment and more.

Learn more about Deel

5 Paycor

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Paycor’s HR software modernizes every aspect of people management, which saves leaders time and gives them the powerful analytics they need to build winning teams. Paycor provides a full suite of HCM solutions with a single source of truth for employee data, so users never have to switch platforms, log-in to multiple systems, re-key data or open multiple spreadsheets. Everyday processes become simplified, allowing organizations to focus on their most important work.

Learn more about Paycor

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Stay up to date on the latest in technology with Daily Tech Insider. We bring you news on industry-leading companies, products, and people, as well as highlighted articles, downloads, and top resources. You’ll receive primers on hot tech topics that will help you stay ahead of the game. Delivered Weekdays