We had the opportunity to attend Kronos yearly user conference KronosWorks, held in Orlando from November 13-16, 2016. 

Here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here): 


Want to read on? Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

Workforce Ready is a success – Kronos has been investing in its SMB product Workforce Ready since some time, now with the recent additions in functional footprint it has taken off more that one would expect, reaching a triple digit million amount for the first time. Overall customer growth is up 45% and global customer growth 110%. It shows that Kronos has realized the need for an integrated HCM Suite for companies under 2500 employees, that are having a large population of hourly workers. And no surprise, Kronos focusses on these industries. For most other vendors the anchor module is Payroll, but for Kronos it is Workforce Management and Payroll. Buyers in these industries don’t only have to worry about one or two payroll runs per month, but usually worry about correct punches every morning and afternoon.

Workforce Central grows, too – more to come – The bigger brother of Workforce Ready for enterprises, Workforce Central is growing fast, too – the data point being over 2000 enterprises having going live or currently implementing the product. Kronos is actively making the product better, the new HTML5 based UI works well, though is a bit conservative. Good to see Kronos also eliminating ‘sins of the past’ – Java on the desktop is gone, now its about addressing the use of Adobe Flash. But the real news is how we learnt that Kronos is actively working on the next generation of its larger enterprise workforce management product, with later in 2017 as a first date for first release of capabilities. A good sign as some of the architecture changes required to keep Kronos powering in the 21st century cannot rely on the older, but proven architecture. The way how Kronos tackles this and from the little we know right now, there is little to nothing to worry for customers and prospect. Kronos is very conservative and hype free – so this will be an interesting one to watch in an usually hype loaded industry.

Cloud works for Kronos customers – Moving to the cloud is Kronos’ biggest and still fastest growing business, and has reached 60% of Kronos revenues. In total 4M Kronos users are in the cloud today. Existing, not just net new customers, move to cloud, with 1.1M existing users having moved over to Kronos Cloud. On the technology side, it is good to see that Kronos can and has run on AWS Cloud in Australia. Like many other enterprise software vendors Kronos has also seen that AWS Cloud is not cheaper than an in-house managed cloud – at the moment, but it gives Kronos flexibility in regards of data residency and global presence.


Kronos is doing two of the hardest things that an enterprise software vendor can do: Building the next generation of its flagship product and converting existing customer to a new platform, in this case cloud. Most enterprise software customers don’t want to move off an implemented on premise version, it is often amortized, fits the needs of the user community and everyone has gotten used to it, making existing customer conversions often tricky, hard and slow. The pace at which Kronos has managed to do this is impressive. In conversations with customers they realize the value proposition of cloud and are ready to convert. We will have to see how the trend continues when Kronos reaches more conservative and cloud skeptical customers. But time is on Kronos’ side from the overall trend perspective.

On the concern side Kronos must keep managing the transition and innovate in its product. The current architecture is adequate, but not how you want a workforce management product be for the next 10 years to come. The good news is that Kronos has done the heavy lifting, moving to an API architecture, even more interesting being used as an API layer for Workforce Management capabilities by large enterprises who have opted in building their own Time and Attendance / Absence Management.

The next year has been important for Kronos for a while and I have been saying that for the previous years, too, as Kronos had to lay the foundation for the future. 2017 will be key. Stay tuned.

More on Kronos
  • Event Report - Kronos KronosWorks - New Versions, new UX, more mobile - faster implementations - read here
  • First Take - KronosWorks - Day 1 Keynote - R&D Investment, Customer Success and Analyticss - read here
  • Kronos executes - 2014 will be key - read here
  • Tweeting and feeling good about it - read here

Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here). And check out the Twitter Moment I created on the first day of the analyst meeting here.

Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here.