An outsider's view of #CENaday14

Watching Ceridian's Analyst Day through social media

  1. [Caveat: I did not attend Ceridian's Analyst Event, either as an analyst or consultant. My interactions with this day are limited to the 140 character tweets publicly available online and this solely reflects my own opinion and the business perspective we have at DataHive Consulting.]

    In starting DataHive Consulting, we have found that one of the top interest groups for our goal of Social Big Data for Human Insight is from the HR community. We find HR particularly interesting because we feel that HR simultaneously collects more Human Insight data than other departments and has less experience on how to translate this data to other people across the company compared to traditional business intelligence analysts.

    In this context, I find Ceridian interesting as a company that has acquisitively built its way from a core HR management and outsourcing company and is now dealing with the twin pressures of integrating all of its parts and in being owned by a private equity group. From our perspective, both of these are actually consulting opportunities as we can potentially help companies try to put all the pieces together and to build value-added solutions on top of Ceridian and other workforce, payroll, and employee management data. To get an idea of the opportunities out there, let's take a look at some of the announcements that were publicly shared.
  2. Similar to the unified communications industry, the who's who of HR is less about purely inviting the top analysts and consultants from Gartner and Forrester.  Although the big firms are important, the most influential HR influencers tend to be independent analysts or from emerging niche firms. I have a theory that emerging fields are poorly covered by traditional analyst and consultant firms because, just as legacy technology firms have technology debt that prevents the understanding of new fields, legacy influencer firms are too stuck in traditional software and service categories to understand new trends. This is especially true in HR, where the innovation to translate human behavior into increased productivity is still nascent.
  3. About to kick off the 2014 Ceridian Analyst Summit #CENaday14 - a veritable who's who of HR analysts/luminaries in attendance
  4. And, of course, Ceridian had set up their own hashtag already for live coverage.
  5. #CENaday14 is underway in Boston. Follow the hashtag --> it'll feel like you're there!
  6. Ceridian started with an interesting point, that target customers aren't just based on their employee size. This differentiation, as simple as it seems, is odd to customers who start by asking "do you support enterprise or mid-market organizations?"
  7. @Ceridian target customers not just based on employee size, but also factors in complexity of workforce and payroll requirements #CENaday14
  8. Complexity is increasingly a challenge that we see as well, as the challenges of data integration, Big Data, and insight affect small and medium businesses just as much as they affect the mega-multi-nationals. I'm hoping that more vendors start to figure out that business model complexity is increasingly the biggest differentiator in technology needs, not pure company size.
  9. One of the interesting aspects of Ceridian is that it has a significant arm of operations based out of Mauritius, which is frankly not an area that is considered either a center of high-tech or professional services. But perhaps this background is part of why Ceridian takes business complexity more seriously; this complexity and subsequent talent arbitrage is more embedded into their core operations than it may be in other HR management companies.
  10. Despite the attractive location - strong English & French skills + 12 hour overal to NA r the reasons @Ceridian is in Mauritius. #cenaday14
  11. One of Ceridian's biggest purchases was that of Dayforce back in 2012. Integration always takes some time as companies have to deal with multiple technology roadmaps. We in the data integration world call this "opportunity." But it looks like one opportunity is slowly going away.
  12. Ceridian currently planning to move existing UK clients from Ceridian Evolution to the Dayforce platform. #CENADAY14
  13. It's a good move, as Dayforce is cloud-based and scalable, which is now table stakes for any new IT investment.
  14. Ceridian Dayforce HCM largest client has 186,000 employees but can scale from 250 employees up and can grow with each client #cenaday14
  15. As an aside, back in 2010, I worked with some of my former Aberdeen colleagues, Andrew Borg and Russ Klein, on what we called SoMoClo (Social, Mobile, Cloud) as a single expectation and platform for future-facing applications. It's funny that when we spoke about this to vendors back then, we got lip service about how they understood, but they wouldn't actually implement this combination in their own applications. Some would do cloud, but not mobile. Some would create a mobile app, but leave out collaboration and sharing capabilities. And some spoke about cloud, but didn't actually build a scalable multi-tenant solution. But now all are table stakes and the battleground has shifted to analytics, design, and extensibility.
  16. MyPOV - As long as vendors transitions fast to new architectures - all is good. Developers / Customer are the metric to watch. #cenaday14
  17. Interesting that @Ceridian is starting to provide change mgmt consulting services to certain clientele - #CENaday14
  18. Next, Ceridian spoke about branding and marketing.  Interestingly enough...
  19. @HCMAlan Rottenberg CMO of @Ceridian on stage to talk marketing momentum & why he still works full time - people & potential #cenaday14
  20. And we all know what happened to Cognos: it was acquired by IBM and is still a core analytics and business intelligence engine that has increasingly been both embedded into other software solutions and evolved as a standalone solution. Before Alan Rottenberg came to Ceridian in 2012, he was a top executive at Cognos who led the path to much of the "Moneyball" and "analytic business" discussion that happens today. Although the concept of analytic decisions is now almost a cliche, Rottenberg played a big role in changing business decisions from a gut-driven to a numbers-driven process. I would love to see Alan Rottenberg continue to bring more analytic and visualization capabilities into Ceridian, since insight comes from the ability to bring data-driven findings directly to the people who can use them.
  21. @HCMAlan talks about changing the HCM category & passion in excellence at @Ceridian - great to see marketing guru at #CENADAY14
  22. But in the multi-billion dollar world of human capital management, it's now a matter of making Ceridian better known. It's no secret that there are some heavy hitters in the world that Ceridian wants to conquer and that we see more often in our discussions with potential clients ranging from Oracle to SAP to Kronos to ADP. So, how does Ceridian expect to get to the point that we'll see them more often in our projects at DataHive? This generalized question (since I doubt Mark's top concern is DataHive!) is probably why Mark Stelzner asked:
  23. @stelzner raises the key question for vendors with a new product and customers in transition - what's the message. #cenaday14
  24. And it looks like the answer was.
  25. @HCMAlan @Ceridian #CMO has an aggressive marketing plan to take Ceridian from being known to being understood. #greatstart #CENADAY14
  26. Ceridian Dayforce market driver is the product demo - once people see it, they are inclined to buy says CMO @Ceridian #cenaday14
  27. #cenaday14 "@Ceridian is winning because we're changing the category with a single application." - Alan Rottenberg, CMO
  28. Granted that I'm looking at this in 140 character tweets rather than in person. (This is an outsider's view, after all!) But even so, this doesn't clarify very much for me. Alan's Rottenberg's go-to-market strategic capabilities are too good to doubt, but for now I'll just have to keep an eye out on product and API roadmaps.
  29. Going back to the advantages that Ceridian showcased, the single application approach is increasingly important for HR. In some ways, this reminds me of the unified communications market 5-6 years ago. Back then, we had one solution for your desk phone, another for your mobile phone, another for video conferencing, another for instant messaging and chat, another for social media and collaboration, and yet another for presence with all of these pieces being brought together through stitching and bridging. Now, HR is in the same world where talent acquisition, onboarding, payroll, benefits, workforce management, compliance, performance management, learning and development, succession management, and alumni/partner networks are all different pieces of the HR puzzle. Where does Ceridian weigh in as a master data source for HR?
  30. And the elephant has entered the room .@Workday vs .@Dayforce - time, #WFM, advanced payroll & compliance are differentiators. #cenaday14
  31. #Ceridian analyst briefing day -- good term introduced. @Dayforce sales have tremendous update in "product density" - 3+ modules #Cenaday14
  32. I found it interesting that Brandon Hall analyst Trish McFarlane made the following statement
  33. When I led #payroll & #HR The "must have" is solid workforce mgt. The "nice to have" is the talent mgt. IMHO #CENADAY14
  34. This fits the experience I had in the "real world" when I worked on workforce management projects back in 2007 at Bose. Back then, the key was to optimize the utilization and performance of existing employees, especially in commoditized work areas where you could throw people at projects or in projects where a specific skill set would solve the problem. But part of the problem was that it was much harder to track productivity outside of anecdotal evidence, such as saying "Everybody loves working with Trish and Trish's software and projects are always better than everybody else's." So, Trish would get a 5 out of 5 on her performance review, but it was hard to figure out how much better she really was.

    But now I wonder if that's still the case. We have a better idea of what stars can do. Stars can code 10 times more efficiently and build teams several times faster than even their above average counterparts. Star contributors can bring in 2-3x revenue or create a new product or service that becomes a money-making enterprise. The competition for talent has become more relevant as we have gained visibility into the importance of talent acquisition and management.  Just as you wouldn't want to sign a big ticket free agent on your sports team, then play them in the wrong position or keep them on the bench, it's important to have greater visibility into talent management now. And from our perspective, we get more interest from companies trying to gain advantages in the war for talent rather than the war for effective workforce management, so it could be our bias.
  35. Moving back to Ceridian's cloud approach, I'm glad they had CFO Lois Martin there. In general, industry analysts care about the numbers, general business health, and financial model of the company so I was always surprised in my analyst days when I went to a meeting with no CFO office representation.
  36. MyPOV - Good to a CFO at an analyst meeting - the numbers need to work, too for a successful vendor. #cenaday14
  37. Agree - wish more vendors did this RT @holgermu: MyPOV - Good to a see CFO at an analyst meeting - . #cenaday14
  38. What keeps @Ceridian's CFO up at night? Worried about implementation scale and wants to get to the SaaS annuity value (my words) #CENaday14
  39. @holgermu great question to CFO Lois Martin :what keeps her up at night? growth products and recurring revenue #cenaday14
  40. Great day with our industry analysts - outstanding questions and contagious energy! #CENaday14
  41. I asked as the 7 year itch from PE firms is well known RT @holgermu: probing aroind the #PE ownership of .@Ceridian #cenaday14
  42. MyPOV - The 7 year #PE timeframe got blown away by financial crisis & buildng good #ensw takes time. #CENaday14
  43. And just as we get to the good part...
  44. MyPOV - Kudos to Lois Martin to address the key question - not sure who all caught it & not tweetable #CENaday14
  45. So, you'll have to catch up with your analysts under subscription to see what's available for sharing!

    Prior to moving into the consultant world, I hadn't realized just how much of the implementation work and introductions are done at the consultant level. I've always respected the work of top consultant implementers, but it has been a learning experience to see just how much is done at the vendor level to support consultants. I'm not a Ceridian implementation consultant, as I'm not going to claim to be an HR systems expert or to have the necessary connections in this area, but it's always good to see the consultant love come in.
  46. Re: implementations, @dossip talks about new partner and that they expect to keep 100 of their consultants active/busy ASAP #CENaday14
  47. Interesting that @Ceridian is starting to provide change mgmt consulting services to certain clientele - #CENaday14
  48. @stelzner @Ceridian They have so much of implementation load on their plates that IMO they have no choice. #CENaday14
  49. And it's good to see Ceridian providing realistic time frames for their implementations. Both on the consultant and end user side, I hate hearing that "average implementations take 6 months" only to see them stretch out for 1-2 years. Nobody likes the end result and everybody ends up losing money in the long run.
  50. Have to give props to providers who give realistic implementation timelines to customers. Huge pain point in the industry. #CENADAY14
  51. Efficient implementation! engagement to live for @Ceridian @Dayforce is 17 weeks and can be down to 12 weeks #CENaday14
  52. Ceridian Dayforce is known for its workforce management and time clocks. At DataHive, we still think that time clocks are a severely underappreciated part of the Social Big Data for Human Insight process, as time utilization is a fundamental aspect of gaining greater insight into human productivity. It's not always about simply juicing out every minute out of a person, but in finding the most efficient work patterns associated with service, manufacturing, or even creative efforts. It's no secret that the greatest authors and artists don't typically create art 16 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. They look for inspiration, read or study their peers' work, or conduct research on how to better deliver their own artistic visions.

    This is the true next step for workforce management; understanding how work patterns lead to greater productivity. The catch is that the time clock isn't sufficient. Ideally, there would be a combination of time clock, user experience or movement heat map tracking, and performance scoring to understand the work patterns that lead to higher quality work. In today's world, every company is expected to create products and services that simply work out of the box. Any risk to quality in the pursuit of quantity is a risk. This is even true in areas that are often seen as commodities such as fast food. Companies like McDonalds and Wendy's are being pushed to create higher quality food while restaurants struggling to differentiate on quality, such as Quizno's and Sbarro's, are being left behind. It's not because Quizno's isn't working harder; it's because they are struggling to understand how to translate efforts into value. In that regard, it's valuable to see what types of inputs we should be expecting from time clocks in the near future as we prepare for HR projects at DataHive.
  53. It looks like Ceridian is thinking about some of these aspects based on comments by Ceridian's president, Dave MacKay and their CEO, David Ossip
  54. Dave MacKay President @Ceridian on stage talks priorities in employee engagement, customer experience & product excellence at #CENaday14
  55. In speaking about employee engagement and excellence, Ceridian also has a Lifeworks product that supports employee assistance which Ossip provided an update on
  56. HR guru Naomi Bloom brought up a point that truly got my attention.
  57. Embedding LifeWorks EAP content directly into DayForce at point of transaction or inquiry #CENaday14
  58. And George LaRocque identified Ossip's point that shows why this mattered.
  59. This is about bringing employee assistance data, such as performance management, benefits utilization, health programs, and the programs that the typical employee associates with HR into Dayforce. This is exactly where it should be. Employee benefit utilization should be analyzed just as workforce trends are to ensure companies are getting the biggest bang for the buck. At the end of the day, the true goal is to treat employees as people and to accept that their performance is affected by health, comfort, and basic access to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This holistic and human view of data and content is a core belief for DataHive and its always good to see that there are out-of-the-box solutions that support our goals so that we can spend more time implementing and less time trying to invent the wheel.

  60. Programs like #LifeWorks will gain importance as orgs raise benefit costs on the ee side. Already seeing it happen. #CENADAY14
  61. The convergence of HCM technology and health/wellness is one of the more exciting opportunities to drive meaningful outcomes #CENaday14

  62. I do admit that I wish I had been a fly on the wall for this conversation.
  63. David Ossip talking about modernizing UI of Lifeworks product. #CENADAY14
  64. Having spent most of last week at Enterprise Connect, I saw the future of wearable technology, mobility, video, communications applications, and even robotics. There is a whole world of potential user interface options for Lifeworks to pursue and that the HR market has largely missed because HR and unified communications vendors are so separated from each other. If I were a product manager, the transformation of HR engagement and wellness would be a fantastic area to look at. Although it looks like Ceridian has started down the path of mobility and analytics, it doesn't look like they have a roadmap to wearables and smart devices yet based on the admittedly limited access to tweets that I can see.

  65. .@Ceridian has added #HTML5, tablet, smartphone support, analytics and real time payrroll to the UK product #CENaday14

  66. And this is doubly true given the compliance and personally identifiable information issues for wellness.
  67. .@dossip talking about the #PII and compliance issues around wellness programs. #CENaday14
  68. MyPOV: @dossip taking a vigorous stance on privacy rules and what @Ceridian is doing to help organizations enforce them #cenaday14
  69. The solutions for these problems are already being handled through a variety of mobile management, security, and GRC (governance, risk management, and compliance) solutions, yet every software company seems determined to recreate that work for themselves. Why not just white-label some pieces from existing vendors and cross that checklist off?

    As Ceridian started to move into strategy, I was curious to hear more about strategy. To build up longer project visions, it's important to know whether DataHive should realistically suggest that a company simply wait a few months for a vendor to natively support capabilities or whether it will be a pain point. Frankly, we aren't interested in projects simply for the sake of collecting money from our clients. So, it was interesting to see Naomi Bloom weigh in that morning with this: 
  70. Message #CENaday14 heavily transactional/administrative/compliance/efficiency. So far no mention of biz outcomes or TM vision. #CENaday14
  71. Of course, you might as well flash dollar signs in front of consultants with that kind of language! But was this a view that others agreed with?
  72. I really love executives that can talk eloquently about software products... current product and future product stuff... #cenaday14
  73. @dossip talks single app for HCM on unified platform & single emp record to support payroll, tax, benefits, HR, WFM & TM #CENaday14
  74. Zero interfaces will free up a great deal of time for #HR & #payroll teams. Wish I'd had that in my prior life. #CENADAY14
  75. @dossip point on efficiency of payroll was validated in our new payroll research as top priority in 2014 #CENaday14 http://t.co/8GqCJMTTYI
    @dossip point on efficiency of payroll was validated in our new payroll research as top priority in 2014 #CENaday14 pic.twitter.com/8GqCJMTTYI
  76. @dossip argues the import of time/labor but my view tough sell to largely salaried workforce #CENaday14
  77. @holgermu @dossip I believe strongly that HRMS and TM are inextricably intertwined and expect to see more packaging of these. #CENaday14
  78. So, the gut feel is that Ceridian understands its core market well and wants to complete development on an HR application. The implications of this go far beyond HR, as integrated talent, payroll, workforce management, and benefits also have long-ranging affects on technology investment, supply chain management, and financial margins and chargebacks. This core is fundamentally important to bring together. But, at the same time, it doesn't seem like Ceridian's talent management story impressed the people on the ground and some analysts and thought leaders wanted to hear about Ceridian as a transformation vector for the next wave of people-centric businesses. This is a lofty goal and, based on what I know about Ceridian, the parts are there. But it's better to stay true to your core message than to prematurely shift to a message that your organization isn't comfortable presenting.

    Also, companies always have to watch out and make sure that their products don't become so bloated that they become unusable. SAP's Fiori initiative to simply key business processes speaks to how this demand is hitting even the largest companies. As one would expect, Ray Wang and Mark Smith provide pithy insight.
  79. RT @rwang0: MyPOV: the database (or system) is only a smart as the user #CENaday14 > or smart as the app :)
  80. The core takeaway is that apps are no longer seen as a simple channel to bring raw data to an employee. It is now seen as the logic that brings properly contextualized and visualized data and processes to the correct employee. The companies that bridge this difference are fundamentally ahead of everyone else in their space. Today's differentiation is all about design, logic, and application-based extensibility, which is why we spend so much time focused on the data.

    Ceridian also provided vision on its view for payroll reporting and real-time payroll.
  81. MyPOV - Great payroll vision to preview expected pay and get paid same day by @Ceridian #cenaday14
  82. @holgermu @Ceridian I see real value here for lowest paid/poverty level EEs, but not necessarily helpful to knowledge workers. #CENaday14
  83. The ease of having #payroll reporting that a #CFO can use for funding knowledge is impressive. Another time saver by @Ceridian #CENADAY14
  84. MyPOV - .@Dayforce #payroll shows its 21st century DNA - in pay period, slice & dice - no more sins of the past. #cenaday14
  85. .@Ceridian providing real-time hours calculations to determine eligibility under the #ACA #CENADAY14
  86. From a practical perspective, I see this in a couple of different ways. First, there is probably a billion dollar opportunity simply to deal with the float and transactions associated with temporary and hourly pay in different ways. Right now, this is handled through paycheck loan companies and other third parties, but all of that infrastructure really just represents that the employers can't provide an optimal payment option to their employees. Cut the middleman and take the money for yourselves.

    But the bigger insight is to see whether there is additional loyalty or productivity associated with real-time payroll.  Will your best temporary employees come back if you can pay them faster? Will your hourly employees stay longer and be more productive if they know they get paid ad-hoc or as needed? The reality is that with employees living paycheck to paycheck, employees want money on their own terms and there could be a real competitive advantage to doing this first. I think that even if this isn't a game changer for Ceridian's bottom line, it's emblematic of the type of innovation that still exists in areas that are often treated as commoditized, such as managing hourly workers.

    Ceridian also provided insight on the customer success program. From the consultant side, this means "can I trust the vendor to keep my client happy once I bring them in" program.
  87. The @cerdian Customer XOXO program & team has 100 years of HCM experience - great work @htarnoff at #cenaday14
  88. Customers are voting on enhancement requests at every level of detail via XOXO - #CENaday14
  89. That's how customer advocacy should work. Ideally, you have people in your company that care more about your customers than they do about your company. It's a bit of a conundrum to take that approach, but that's a core belief for today's customer-centric world.

    Having grown up in a traditional Peoplesoft environment when I was a database administrator and functional IT manager, it's interesting for me to start discussing HR data projects. Although I'm relatively new to the world of HR, it's fun and refreshing to see that there are newer and better interfaces to recommend, native cloud and mobile solutions to use, and native integration to many of the data sources that I'm working with. I honestly thought it would be much harder to talk about HR data, especially social data.  But it helps to have a player like Ceridian that is pushing the envelope in areas like payroll, employee assistance, and workforce management, both to consider them as an option for future projects and for their competitors to provide similar capabilities.

    And it is always insightful to see how the analyst and influencer community thinks about vendors. These are the people who live and breathe HR solution comparisons, so I always keep up with their insights. If you've made it to the end, you should follow all of the people I've quoted on Twitter.