We had the opportunity to attend Ceridian's yearly user conference Insights 2018, held from October 15th till October 19th at Cesar's Palace Hotel in Las Vegas. Attendance was over 3k, a new record for Ceridian, which has outgrown the Aria, the location of previous Insights conferences.
Prefer to watch – here is my event video … (if the video doesn't' show up – check here)
Here is the 1 slide condensation (if the slide doesn't show up, check here):
Want to read on? Here you go:
Good customer and prospect traction. When vendors do well, good things come to them, in form of more market traction. And Ceridian is doing well, signing up more customers, getting more interest of prospects and gaining in the partner ecosystem. It's frequent that I meet passengers on a plane ride to the event town, but I have had not had conversation with three prospects and one client - across seat rows - on the 50-minute short flight from San Diego to Las Vegas. Take it as an indicator for Ceridian traction. Moreover, Ceridian keeps up the impressive performance of actively converting its legacy payroll customers to its new platform, something I am not aware of anyone else doing in the industry at this scale… all signs of product strength resulting in customer traction.
On demand pay debuts, key for underfunded employees. Cash flow remains an issue for many employees in today's economy… it's the season of 'on demand pay' – as pretty much all vendors in the payroll business are delivering instant pay options to employees / workers. The winner is the employee / worker who can request effectively a cash advance on delivered work – before the pay day. It's an important contribution of the industry to get employees / workers out of the claws of the sometimes-shady paycheck advance industry. Behind the scenes the capability first and foremost requires an 'always on' payroll, meaning a payroll that is always ready to show employees / workers what their current and up to date earnings are. To be efficient, the functionality requires a payroll that is 'always on' – continuously updating earnings positions as payroll relevant events happen. This is what Ceridian has since a while (2012 to be specifc), so the technology behind this new capability is already available.
Ceridian goes deeper into Talent with Succession Planning. Ceridian has been on the long-term quest of completing its Talent Management suite capabilities, and with Succession Planning that journey is concluded. Succession Management remains an important, albeit not critical component of Talent Management, so customers and prospects took note, but were not overly excited about the new capability. Nonetheless, good to see Ceridian finishing up the Talent Management Suite capability now having capability for Recruiting, Onboarding, Performance Management, Learning (own and partners), Compensation Management and Succession Management.
Good to see the market traction for Ceridian, who is a vendor that needs to be shortlisted for any workforce management intensive industryas well as payroll selection scenarios (see the Constellation Shortlist here and here). The in-build combination of workforce management, an always on payroll and now a full Talent Management suite, makes Ceridian a very attractive player for enterprises in the industry. Good to see the vendor also getting the user experience in good shape, historically a challenging area of Ceridian.
On the concern side, Ceridian needs to push the envelope in the direction of Machine Learning / AI in general and voice as the new UI more. Last year at the user conference the vendor showed the most impressive voice demos of all HCM vendors in 2017 – a worker talking to Alexa (?) for an understanding of their shift situation and executing a shift swap. No demo this year, the vendor citing keynote time reasons… Behind an effective Machine Learning / AI strategy is the move to public cloud, to be able to leverage cheaper compute, spare capacity, low cost storage and overall compute elasticity. And Ceridian says the Dayforce suite runs on public cloud IaaS (Azure) but needs to move there for good. When the whole industry is moving to IaaS, it's time for all vendors to move there to level the field.
But overall an impressive event, Ceridian is doing well and for now the technology concerns mentioned do not concern customers and prospects, so Ceridian is … on a roll and critical to do what enterprises need to do move - be ready to accelerate and effectively accelerate in order to survive and / or thrive.
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