Jul 09

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SaaS – Oracle and Workday

Software as a service, or ‘SaaS’, is known as a software application delivery model over the Internet—as a service. In this model, a vendor develops a web-based software application, and hosts and operates that application over the Internet for use by its customers. This eliminates the need to buy software licenses or infrastructure for the customer. This model also completely eliminates the installation and maintenance of the software/enterprise application, and the same can be accessed through the Internet. The need and innovation arises to free the customer from complex software and hardware management. Alternatively, SaaS applications can be named as Web-based, on-demand, or hosted software. In any case, SaaS applications run on a SaaS provider’s servers. It’s the vendor/provider province to manage access of the application to the customer, including security, availability, and performance and so on. To the customers, it delivers software functionality without the overhead of operating the application.
Adoption of this model came from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), where the complete business processes of a company can be outsourced and managed by other company(vendor/provider). So the idea arises if the business processes, IT processes can be outsourced, why not the Software applications? And why it can’t be act as an important enterprise strategy, provided the fact that the IT and business process outsourcing industry has grown at a very good rate.
Security and Operational Risk
Data security and privacy are to be considered as a big risk factors (or were may be), as all type of a company data transportation has to happen in this model. As I said “or were may be”, and as the technology grows, there are best in the industry remote security technologies and data redundancy tools are available too, which makes SaaS model less risky and more successful, and in turn, the SaaS adoption is increasing day by day.
Major Players: Oracle Fusion and Workday
Oracle as a market leader, aggressive about its marketing approach, provider of great Enterprise products. Workday, in turns, another great product by Dave Duffield (after PeopleSoft) who gave the enterprises its first HRMS globalized product.
While the strategy from making the product and selling it, these two differs a lot, however, the outcome and product delivery is same, based on one model only, SaaS (yes, may be for Oracle, 100% not now, but in future). While going through the product statement for both, points which I gathered are broadly based on finding pros and cons of these products over one another.
1. Pioneer in market for its HRMS product because of PeopleSoft (who can forget PIA, not in decades), Workday gives a better User Interface than Fusion
2. Because Workday becomes the first company to provide Cloud HCM, it gives Workday first mover advantage and better experience in SaaS implementations
3. Smartphone and tablet apps are advance
4. Users claims it faster and more regular in terms of updates.
1. Keeping its approach same as what Dave had for PeopleSoft, its very much US-Centric. May be same as PeopleSoft, he wants to start from there, rather then taking chances to launch it for global at once.
2. Only focus on HCM as of now. For other solutions, integration with other vendors is required.
3. Major modules like Recruitment are missed out.
4. Don’t give any alternative to cloud. There might be customers who are still not ready for SaaS model.
1. Its an Integrated solution, not just one suite, like HCM
2. Non-centric to one geography (like what Workday is for US only)
3. Customization available (although not fully available, but atleast available for customization on cloud)
4. Having an alternative, can be installed and run locally too, not just on cloud.
5. Integrated BI (workday can’t have it, integration has to be done).
1. Not pure cloud
2. Oracle still have to work on SaaS model
3. Physical installation is still required, and can be  question of affordability for small and mid size enterprises
4. User Interface
What survey says about SaaS?
Towers Watson’s 2013 HR Survey:
— 88% customers will ultimately choose a SaaS-based solution in near future.
— One in three companies will ultimately choose a SaaS-based solution in near future.
•About half of the responses came from multinational organizations.
•Two-thirds of the responses came from organizations with more than 5,000 employees.
•The survey responses came from a broad cross section of industries, with the largest number concentrated in the manufacturing sector, followed by financial services, IT and telecom, professional services, and retail.
Why is SaaS architecture growing in popularity? May be organizations that choose it, choose for its lower ongoing costs and the peace of mind of always being on the current version of the software without owning it. Even they need not to concern about any platform, server or infrastructure. Thinking platform-less would have been good!!!

Permanent link to this article: http://alokbhardwaj.com/oracle-peoplesoft/2014/07/09/saas-oracle-and-workday/

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