One of the many announcements happening at SAP’s SuccessFactors’ SuccessConnect conferences has been the global reseller agreement that SAP and Workforce Software (going forward Workforce) signed. It merits some analysis as it fills a key automation area for SAP – and provides a major event for Workforce. We had the opportunity to sit down with Workforce CEO Choksi and team at SuccessConnect for some further insights. 
So let’s dissect the press release in our custom style, it can be found here:

LAS VEGAS (August 11, 2015) – WorkForce Software®, a leading cloud-based provider of enterprise workforce management solutions, announced today at SuccessConnect 2015 the signing of a global reseller agreement with SAP (NYSE: SAP). Through this agreement, SAP will resell three components of WorkForce Software’s cloud-based EmpCenter workforce management suite – Time & Attendance, Advanced Scheduler and Absence Compliance Tracker – under the name SAP® Time and Attendance Management by WorkForce Software.

MyPOV – Interesting to see a scope larger than basic Time & Attendance, which makes the offering a more complete solution. It shows that both parties – SAP and Workforce – understood the key benefit of the partnership – making life easier for customers, eliminating integration needs that can slow down in the worst case even derail projects. And we see a bundling of three capabilities in a single price list item, which reduces complexity - but also creates differentiation with Absence, that is not part of most partnered solutions.

This reseller arrangement adds a robust, cloud-based workforce management solution to SAP’s portfolio, complementing the company’s market-leading core human resources (HR) and global payroll solutions. With the ability to automate the most complex time, scheduling and leave administration requirements, the SAP Time and Attendance Management application streamlines compliance with wage and hour laws and leave regulations and gives employers greater visibility for strategic decision-making.

MyPOV – Good to learn more details on the scope. SAP had a partnership with Workforce (and other T&A player Kronos) in place before, this agreement will make it easier for customers to use Workforce going forward. We learnt that the solution is on the SAP Global price list, which is key for SAP partners, as in many cases their solution gets sold by the SAP salesforce. Thanks to the SAP partner vetting and certification process, customers expect fewer to no issues with the integration.

“WorkForce Software is committed to providing some of the most flexible and complete workforce management solutions on the market,” said Kevin Choksi, co-founder and CEO, WorkForce Software. “We are excited about this new partnership with the undisputed leader in enterprise application software—SAP— as it will enable more organizations around the globe to automate time and labor processes, simplify compliance and help boost workforce productivity.”

MyPOV – Good quote by Choksi, who is rightfully thrilled by the opportunity.

WorkForce Software’s EmpCenter suite integrates with SAP SuccessFactors® Employee Central and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, allowing SAP customers to automate their most complex time, scheduling and leave-management requirements with a proven, global solution.

MyPOV – Good to learn more about the scope, the product naming similarities will help further.

“Customers moving to the cloud demand choice and flexibility in the platforms and vendors they work with – allowing them to maintain their investments in what works well today and to evolve as they grow,” said Mike Ettling, president, HR Line of Business, SAP. “By offering SAP Time and Attendance Management integrated with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, some of the most flexible core HR products available, we can help an ever-growing number of enterprise customers overcome the challenges often associated with workforce management. These solutions provide the choice and flexibility they require, allowing them to benefit from an easy-to-use, cost-effective and compliant strategy.”

MyPOV – Good to see a SAP quote, too – coming all the way from Ettling (not a partner executive), that allows room for the speculation that this partnership was high on the priority list on the SuccessFactors side, too. From what we heard, certification and negotiation was un-SAPish fast. A good data point.


Overall MyPOV

Out of the box, vendor integrated partnerships are key for the enterprise software market. Integrations are risky, time consuming and always a ‘ticking time bomb’ to fail. The good news for enterprises is that in the SaaS era, the integration risk and work has been passed largely to the vendors. Should it break, it becomes a product support case and a defect, a better position to be in for most enterprises than having to find the professionals who built the integration during rollout of an integrated HCM portfolio.
This should be good news for customers - as vendor integration of SaaS solutions ultimately serves customers better. As with all vendors with substantial price lists - customers should make sure they understand what they are buying and from who the solution is coming. In an irony of the Time & Attendance industry, customers only care for the automation when it doesn't work, so they will welcome a reduction in operational complexity.

For SAP / SuccessFactors the partnership means a better and faster path for customers to more complex Time & Attendance automation. SuccessFactors has to build many things and a rich roadmap ahead – it has now one area less to focus on.

For Workforce it means it is now ‘strapped on a rocket’ with a SAP logo on it. Achieving certification and making it on the SAP price list is the Holy Grail for ISVs partnering with SAP. Having been there once and almost twice in my career, I know it can be an vendor transforming experience.

Too early to tell how successful the partnership will be, but executives on both sides are aware of the challenges, the work to be done and the opportunity at hand. Customer benefits are compelling. So far all is setup for a successful start – good luck and we will be watching.

More on WorkForce Software:
  • Progress Report - WorkForce Software powers into more Workforce Management - but needs to watch the Fundamentals - read here


And more on overall SAP strategy and products:


  • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Day #1 Keynote Top 3 Takeaways - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors introduces Next Generation of HCM software - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP delivers next release of SAP HANA - SPS 10 - Ready for BigData and IoT - read here
  • Event Report - SAP Sapphire - Top 3 Positives and Concerns - read here
  • First Take - Bernd Leukert and Steve Singh Day #2 Keynote - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP and IBM join forces ... read here
  • First Take - SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
  • In Depth - S/4HANA qualities as presented by Plattner - play for play - read here
  • First Take - SAP Cloud for Planning - the next spreadsheet killer is off to a good start - read here
  • Progress Report - SAP HCM makes progress and consolidates - a lot of moving parts - read here
  • First Take - SAP launches S/4HANA - The good, the challenge and the concern - read here


  • First Take - SAP's IoT strategy becomes clearer - read here
  • SAP appoints a CTO - some musings - read here
  • Event Report - SAP's SAPtd - (Finally) more talk on PaaS, good progress and aligning with IBM and Oracle - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP and IBM partner for cloud success - good news - read here
  • Market Move - SAP strikes again - this time it is Concur and the spend into spend management - read here
  • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors picks up speed - but there remains work to be done - read here
  • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Top 3 Takeaways Day 1 Keynote - read here.
  • Event Report - Sapphire - SAP finds its (unique) path to cloud - read here
  • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP becomes more about applications - again - read here
  • Market Move - SAP acquires Fieldglass - off to the contingent workforce - early move or reaction? Read here.
  • SAP's startup program keep rolling – read here.
  • Why SAP acquired KXEN? Getting serious about Analytics – read here.
  • SAP steamlines organization further – the Danes are leaving – read here.
  • Reading between the lines… SAP Q2 Earnings – cloudy with potential structural changes – read here.
  • SAP wants to be a technology company, really – read here
  • Why SAP acquired hybris software – read here.
  • SAP gets serious about the cloud – organizationally – read here.
  • Taking stock – what SAP answered and it didn’t answer this Sapphire [2013] – read here.
  • Act III & Final Day – A tale of two conference – Sapphire & SuiteWorld13 – read here.
  • The middle day – 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
  • A tale of 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
  • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire – read here.
  • Why 3rd party maintenance is key to SAP’s and Oracle’s success – read here.
  • Why SAP acquired Camillion – read here.
  • Why SAP acquired SmartOps – read here.
  • Next in your mall – SAP and Oracle? Read here.


And more about SAP technology:
  • HANA Cloud Platform - Revisited - Improvements ahead and turning into a real PaaS - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP commits to CloudFoundry and OpenSource - key steps - but what is the direction? - Read here.
  • News Analysis - SAP moves Ariba Spend Visibility to HANA - Interesting first step in a long journey - read here
  • Launch Report - When BW 7.4 meets HANA it is like 2 + 2 = 5 - but is 5 enough - read here
  • Event Report - BI 2014 and HANA 2014 takeaways - it is all about HANA and Lumira - but is that enough? Read here.
  • News Analysis – SAP slices and dices into more Cloud, and of course more HANA – read here.
  • SAP gets serious about open source and courts developers – about time – read here.
  • My top 3 takeaways from the SAP TechEd keynote – read here.
  • SAP discovers elasticity for HANA – kind of – read here.
  • Can HANA Cloud be elastic? Tough – read here.
  • SAP’s Cloud plans get more cloudy – read here.
  • HANA Enterprise Cloud helps SAP discover the cloud (benefits) – read here.
Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard.