Wednesday, 3 October 2012

How global is workday?

Working in a large multi-national, being ‘global’ is second nature. It becomes more of a necessity than a nice to have, to have an application that supports a global population. Over the years, we’ve gone in to implement PeopleSoft and bring a group on to our current environment, thus rendering their local HR software obsolete and redundant. That being said, there’s often a flipside, that their local software is very reactive to the local legislation and requirements, and we’ve adjusted (i.e. customized) to address the gaps in psoft (where existing). From my limited viewing and analysis of workday in relation to this topic, a few thoughts:
  1. It’s a US-developed application. I’ve often made the same observation about PeopleSoft as well, so no offense is meant. When you look at the functionality from a user perspective, you can see that various pieces do not fit naturally into the flow. In PSoft, I see this most clearly in areas like the contract data pages, or the country specific flag functionality. It seems that a) it was built as an afterthought and b) it was just tacked on, rather than fully integrated into the application. I see a similar train of thought in WD, when you look at it on the surface, you can tell that it was developed for a US user base, or perhaps for US-based requirements first and foremost. That being said, it is a step above PSoft in that some of the European or Asia specific fields (e.g. religion)* are already existing, rather than awkwardly placed under the flag/setid combination.
  2. It’s not yet a ‘global’ application. Yes, I realize WD has been implemented in countries around the world. However, in some cases it seems like we’re missing some things. For example, company cars are frequently a benefit in Europe, and one’s HR system often tracks them. PeopleSoft has a few pages to this point–the car is set up, it’s applied to an individual. An individual is attached to a car plan for eligibility. It all ties together at the end of the day and enables you to have the basis of the data required by the UK government P11D reporting. When we asked WD about this, 1) they didn’t understand the requirement 2) they have no car pages, the best you can do is set up a car under the company property pages (where you won’t have the required data fields that you need, such as c02 emissions) 3) no such report is pre-existing in WD (according to the WD supplied resource doing the demo). So now we’ll be stuck, having to make an access database, or something else on the side, to support the business requirement.
  3. It will become more global over time. One of the things that impresses me about WD is their frequent application updates. As they get more global customers I suspect they will incorporate more of these business needs into their app, and they will be rolled out accordingly. Much nicer than having to wait for a major/minor release from PSoft.
  4. Asia character sets existing and integrated. Our users in Asia will be impressed with the way the Asian character sets are built into the app. We have other HR apps for other purposes (e.g. performance management) that are only existing in English or where you get only the Asian language or only the Western chararcters, that you cannot have both on the same page, but WD appears to have integrated both into their pages.
These are just a few random thoughts from the demos that we have seen, upon first glance and the limited interaction I’ve had with WD resources. It’s certainly not meant as a criticism of WD as from my HR Systems perspective, it’s more global than many apps out there. It may be that a *truly* global HR System that addresses all of the local legal requirements is a holy grail or not worth the effort, especially as you get outside of the US/Canada workspace and many locations use local payroll as a way to meet their HR data requirements. Will halt here, before I wander into the ‘global payroll’ space as that’s a topic in and of itself.

*Sidenote: we had a person from WD doing an online demo. She was skilled at WD, although not used to presenting remotely to a global (i.e. not native English speaking) audience, so she spoke a mile a minute. In addition, she made the statement multiple times, that WD is a global app, and that you can track religion for the UK as an example of its ‘globalness’. What she failed to realize is that here in the UK we don’t track religion, we have the same business requirements as in the US–the company has no business reason to track your religion, in fact it’s none of their business, and in particular you get into diversity/discrimination issues. (In Germany, your HR system should track your religion, but that’s a topic for a separate post.) The point here is that WD’s resource was not clear on basic global requirements and misspoke.

No comments:

Post a Comment