With 47,700 customers, salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). The company’s portfolio of SaaS applications includes an award-winning CRM solution. Its Force.com PaaS enables companies to build their own powerful on-demand applications to meet specific business needs.
When salesforce.com set out to replace its HR software system, it required the new solution to integrate with several existing applications, automate processes, and offer global functionality. After a comprehensive evaluation, salesforce.com selected Workday’s Human Capital Management (HCM) solution to provide a core HRMS (Human Resource Management System) of record, track key HR metrics, produce reports in minutes, offer self-service tools to employees and managers, and enable HR staff to focus on more strategic activities.
As the world’s leading provider of CRM SaaS solutions, salesforce.com holds its enterprise applications to high standards. Not only must they be intuitive, but they also must help its global enterprise work together seamlessly across 15 countries. Salesforce.com’s previous HR software system couldn’t store international addresses or track multiple currencies. It only delivered self-service to US-based employees, forcing international HR staff to perform numerous manual tasks.
“Our international HR staff was storing a lot of data in spreadsheets,” says Renee Taormina, Senior Manager, HR Operations and Technology, salesforce.com. “Meanwhile, we were tracking far too many HR approvals through email, which created a risk for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance requirements.”
The selection committee at salesforce.com—composed of individuals representing HR, IT, and several executive divisions—evaluated six solutions, including Workday. The team narrowed the list down to two vendors, and invited Workday to go head-to-head with an established, tier-one ERP software provider in a two-day scripted demo.
“While Workday didn’t meet all of our initial needs, we liked so many things about their solution and their people, and saw tremendous potential,” says Taormina. “The interface was easy to use, the system was scalable, and—since Workday supports a SaaS model—we had a great deal of faith in the company’s ability to develop new functionality quickly. We immediately felt like Workday was a company we wanted to work with, and this was a product we wanted to support and evolve.”
Workday’s development team worked closely with salesforce.com to build additional key features that the company needed. Salesforce.com did a pre-launch, initially going live with a core HR software system that integrates with its key solutions, and then rolled out self-service access to employees. The next phase of implementation will enable end-to-end automated HR transactions and full manager self-service. User feedback has been positive—and that’s without any formal employee training.
“Since we have a mature and intuitive SaaS product, our employees can be a pretty tough audience,” says Taormina. “But when we rolled out Workday, we got a tremendous amount of positive feedback about the interface and navigation. Our international employees also really appreciated that we delivered a truly global solution.” With reports in minutes, HR focuses on strategic activities Workday’s robust reporting functionality is helping salesforce.com stay on top of critical HR metrics. The company has even gained a glimpse of the future.
“Our old system couldn’t track simple information—like transfers and promotions—so reporting on those kinds of activities was a manual process that would probably take someone an entire day,” says Taormina. “Workday lets us run a report on this information in minutes. We’re in the process of building a whole new HR metrics plan driven by Workday, which is probably our biggest benefit from the system. We can also report on future headcount metrics, which enables our executives to fine-tune their forecasting and planning, making Workday a business application rather than just an HR system to store data.
With managers being able to run their own reports, more and more teams across the company are accessing information on transfers, promotions, and other key HR management areas. Once manager self-service is fully delivered, data entry will be mostly eliminated. Salesforce hopes that this will deliver greater efficiency and restructure workloads, to allow the HR department to transition to a shared services business model with centralized administration.
“Prior to Workday, our HR team was the only group that had access to HR information,” Taormina explains. “Now, we just build reports and let people run them as often as they want. That frees up a lot of time for more strategic HR work. We’ve also tightened up our audits of HR transactions, so that if there are errors, they don’t cascade down to other systems.”
The next phase of salesforce.com’s implementation will deploy automated HR transactions and manager self-service. On-demand technology gives salesforce.com the flexibility to grow its HCM solution along with its company. “Workday HCM is an agile system that lets us tweak business processes on the fly,” says Taormina. “That’s critical to a global company that must constantly respond to changes. And because Workday automates transactions and minimizes data entry, we have more time to identify trends, plan against them, and work smarter.”
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