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Oracle Fusion Payroll and HR Software Review

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Oracle Fusion Best Fit and Competitors

Oracle Sweet Spot

Fusion’s program for early adopters saw business from clients in the 5K-7K employee range, a clear sign that Oracle saw this size of organization as perfect for what Fusion could offer (thus giving themselves the highest likelihood of early success). That said, many smaller organizations are accessing and utilizing Fusion via official partner programs, although at times they may experience ‘functionality overkill’. Similarly, larger clients in the 10K+ employee bracket will find Fusion perfectly capable of meeting their payroll and HR needs. Although, as mentioned earlier, clients in this size category have to choose Fusion in large numbers which may instigate caution in prospective buyers. Current marquee customers for Fusion HCM include: Thomson-Reuters, PZ Cussons, The Principal, and Advanced Innovations.

When you’re looking for a payroll solution, shortlist Oracle if:

  • Your organization is already utilizing an Oracle IT platform/stack – this continuity of technology and interfaces is likely to enhance/ease user up-take and early system adoption, as well as provide significant in-roads for any broader Fusion ERP capabilities.
  • You’re seeking the best-in-class advanced business intelligence and analytics (e.g. predictive modeling) that can only be found through front line vendors such as Oracle, SAP, and Workday.
  • You have a need for mixing on-premises deployment for certain payroll and ‘core’ HR functions and a SaaS deployment for more specialized associated functions, such as performance management.

Alternative Solutions

Payroll and HR software buyers may wish to look further afield if:

  • You require global functionality that focuses on countries and regions that Oracle has not made a priority; such as Africa, South America, and much of the European market.
  • You’re looking for an established payroll/HR software solution that has a mature customer ecosystem.

Oracle Fusion Competitors

Unsurprisingly, Oracle’s direct competitors for its Fusion payroll application include SAP, Infor, and Workday. However, although the associated business intelligence functions embedded in Fusion are best-in-class, the in-memory analytics provided by both SAP and Workday offer capabilities beyond those of Oracle.

For potential clients looking for payroll as part of a wider HCM solution including the current hot software topic of talent management, then clearly Oracle is entering into competition with smaller niche talent management software vendors. However, what is clear is that the advances that Fusion offers ( such as combining talent management with HRMS into a single, fully-integrated solution) effectively trump several of the smaller competitors such as Ceridian, NuView, Ultimate, and Meta4 who simply aren’t in the same ‘combined HR functionality’ ballpark.

Concluding Remarks

With the payroll and HR applications that are contained in Oracle’s Fusion HCM, the company has proven again its capacity for innovation. However, this achievement is overshadowed in some ways by the length of time it took to execute. It is arguable that given the competition from the likes of SAP, Infor, and Workday, Oracle could ill afford a six-year time to market period. To be fair, this ‘delay’ may be more understandable when Oracle’s unique difficulties are taken into account. The company has had to simultaneously bridge functionality gaps between a wide variety of disparate current products; develop a new second-generation payroll and HR software product that both takes the company into the future of HCM solutions but maintains seamless ties with existing solutions; and furthermore update a revenue model that has worked successfully (and has therefore become entrenched) for the past few decades. These challenges were ultimately made more so in the light of the sheer breadth of Oracle's range of hardware and software options – all of which were/are worthy products that have been forced to compete for finite management, development and marketing resources.

With a virtual campaign of revolt against anything but SaaS payroll/HR incited by the outspoken views of the industry’s smaller vendors, analysts, pundits and business executives, the above challenges may been surmounted but the prolonged journey has cost Oracle dearly. With full-scale ‘ripping-and-replacing’ of HCM and ERP systems becoming a more possible alternative and hence more desirable, Oracle is in danger of watching quantities of existing clients jump ship. The Fusion suite of applications itself is solid, flexible, and scalable. It easily offers the capability to provide the feature sets and business insight necessary for effective payroll and human capital management in mid-market organizations on up to larger enterprises. But at the end of the day, Oracle’s key challenge is no different to that of its competitors: having developed a worthy product, create and deliver a consistent message about the benefits of the offering. The ‘battlefield’ now belongs to marketing and sales and the next months and years will be crucial for the Fusion brand as Oracle fights to secure its customer base – looking to convince new clients to come aboard and old clients to stay.

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