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Ceridian’s DayForce Payroll and HCM Software Solution: A Review

4 stars Average rating: 4 (from 95 votes)

Ceridian's Dayforce Software: An Independent Payroll and HR Assessment

Ceridian's Dayforce Payroll and HR Software Evaluation

Based out of Minneapolis, MN, Ceridian is a 9.5K employee strong, global software and services provider that has undergone significant changes over the past few years in its progression from a company offering aging mainframe software to a cloud leader. Our focus for this review is squarely on the company's relatively new Dayforce offering, but before we fully delve into the "course corrections" that this solution has enabled, it's important to put the entire company into the context of what it does and the market it caters to.

Although its roots can be traced back to a 1932 inception, it was a lawsuit in the 1970's that effectively paved the way for the Ceridian we know today. Specifically, this lawsuit's decision dictated that the Control Data Corporation be acquired by (what was then an IBM company) the Service Bureau Corporation (SBC). This decision laid the foundation for a breakaway company focused solely on the business services of payroll, GL, and accounts payable. Following a corporate restructuring in 1992, the Ceridian Corporation emerged as provider of outsourced payroll and HR services with ambitions to become a global player in HR administration and management solutions.

On the road to becoming the sizeable force that it is today, acquisitions (of which our focus for this review, Dayforce, is just one) have played a significant role in how Ceridian has come to be seen. For instance, 1993 saw the company's first purchase of Systems Tax Service (a payroll tax services firm); which was quickly followed up in 1995 by the acquisitions of Centrefile and Comdata. From 1998-2006, Ceridian added more solutions to the fold to build to its deepening population of payroll, HR, and benefits offerings; including LifeWorks (the Employee Assistance Program subsidiary of Work/Family Directions), ABR Information Services (the U.S. largest third party benefits administration firm), Stored Value Systems (the U.S. largest provider of stored value cards), GLS Benefits Services, HR Comply, IBM's Commercial Employee Service Center, Recruiting Solutions International (a provider of online recruiting/workforce management offerings), Information Technology Systems (an Ireland-based HR software company), and Leade Health (a health coaching firm that focuses on weight and stress management, as well as substance cessation and heart health)—which brings us to the most recent acquisitions that Ceridian conducted in 2011 with Versult (a leading workforce management consulting firm) and 2012 with Dayforce.

Perhaps inevitably, these acquisitions formed the backbone for what most would describe is more of a conglomerate corporation rather than a company solely focused on one offering. And although not nearly as disparate as the solution that company's such as Sage have put together, what we see currently from Ceridian are separate business arms dedicated to the U.S., Canada, UK, Stored Value Solutions, Comdata, and now Dayforce.

Ceridian Focused on Dayforce Partnership Turned Acquisition Turned Offering

It's important to note that while Dayforce is now (since April 2012) officially a part of the Ceridian solution bank, the history of these two firms goes back further than that. Specifically, Dayforce was created in 2009, and shortly thereafter, the two firms began a strategic partnership to deliver added value to both companies' customers. 2011 saw Ceridian take a minority investment stake in Dayforce, but unbeknownst to most at the time, according to Dayforce's founder David Ossip, once that move was made "we began acting as one organization[--]sharing…resources, information, technology, and intellectual property". As such, once the purchase was actually finalized, the relationship had already been well-established and plans were firmly entrenched for how the future would look for both firms. So, while many in the industry (us included) saw this announcement as merely the beginning in what would be a long reconciliation process to work Dayforce's elements into the Ceridian fold, the truth of the matter is that the work had already begun.

Accolades for Ceridian's Dayforce

This move (and subsequent company focus) towards the cloud isn't all that surprising; especially given the trajectory that the HR and Payroll industries have been on for the past few years. However, Ceridian's historical emphasis has been on outsourced services; a fact that has netted the company a sizeable amount of recognition globally for their solutions, as well as a market share that falls just behind ADP and PayChex. As such, it is somewhat surprising to see how well-received this new solution has been. Specifically, Dayforce HCM has been named to LAROCQUE's #HRWins 2012 HR Companies to Watch program; has been honored with an inaugural Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award for Human Capital Management; won the 2012 Golden Bridge Awards distinction as the World's Most Innovative SaaS Product; and was even doubly awarded the overall HR Technology TekTonic award and the TekTonic award for Workforce Management, Time & Attendance. These accolades don't happen arbitrarily, and signify that the efforts both Ceridian and Dayforce have taken to reinvent the core processes of workforce management are both impressive and novel. Here, we review the specifics of the Dayforce HCM product in more detail.

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