We had the opportunity to attend Ceridian’s yearly analyst meeting in New York, held May 24th till 25th 2017, at the W Union Square in New York. The analyst meeting was very well attended with close to 30 analysts in the audience.


So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)


[Factual Correction: Ceridian does NOT miss Onboarding, its available, see below.]

No time to watch – 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:

Ceridian Dayforce Analyst Day Holger Mueller Constellation Research
Ossip opens CENaday17 (picture credit to Lisa Sterling)

Suite strengthening – When comparing the major HCM players, Ceridian has the most functionality on a single platform, given assets in HR Core, Payroll, and WFM. Ceridian has acknowledged that it lacked in Talent Management and with the announcement of Ceridian Learning has closed one more functional gap on Talent Management (it now has Recruiting, Onboarding, Performance and Compensation Management, the remaining ones are Succession and Career Planning, and Ceridian has plans for them as well). In the area of user experience Ceridian has moved most of their user interface to HTML5, which gives it a consistent look & feel across browsers and platforms. As a remarkable engineering feat, Ceridian was able to bring the critical scheduling functionality to HTML5 as well, and with that eliminating one of the last bastions of Microsoft Silverlight (Ceridian’s previous user interface platform). Good to see for users who are in for a much more 21st century experience than with Silverlight. 

Ceridian Dayforce Analyst Day Holger Mueller Constellation Research
5 Dayforce Differentiators

Predictive Analytics – An area all HCM vendors are playing some sort of catch up is in the area of helping users make better decisions and Ceridian is releasing its predictive analytics offering with recommendations (lime many other vendors have) on flight risk. It speaks for the honesty / modesty of the vendor not to be tempted to call this Artificial Intelligence (AI) as many vendors, especially startups do these days. Now it will be important to quickly add further areas helping users to make better decisions around HR questions.

Ceridian Dayforce Analyst Day Holger Mueller Constellation Research
Dayforce in 1 Slide

Developer and Partner Ecosystems – All SaaS vendors need to grow and nurture ecosystems – both from a developer and partner perspective. Ceridian was behind in this area when it comes to developers, and is addressing this now with the launch of the Ceridian Developer Network. A demo of the community and documentation pages looked compelling – now it will be interesting to see adoption and what developers will build. They will come from partners, where Ceridian has created more traction as well, sharing a few partner under NDA, NetSuite being the one we can mention here.

Ceridian Dayforce Analyst Day Holger Mueller Constellation Research
MSS in Dayforce


Good to see Ceridian make progress across the board. It didn’t make the Top 3 – but a new (and of course faster) implementation methodology is another key area that the vendor is rolling out. A key ingredient for fast go lives is to have more integration options available out of the box, and Ceridian has not less than 1400 today. Both impressive and a sign of complexity of HR solutions and a key reason why implementations take long. Now it will be key to see if Ceridian can bring implementation times further down. Good to see the addition of Learning, as well as the ecosystem progress. W

On the concern side Ceridian will have to consider some technology decisions in regards of potentially choosing an IaaS vendor as partner, it needs to move into Hadoop / MapReduce area (to power e.g. Benchmarking, DaaS and more). And conversational user interfaces are emerging, a key usability improvement – as language is a more natural way to interact with software than through a keyboard and mouse. To be fair, these are challenges for most vendors in the industry at the moment.

But for now, and overall, good progress by Ceridian, which is at the verge of finishing the transition from a mostly mainframe based service bureau to enterprise SaaS vendor. Only 25% of the Ceridian business are still in payroll bureau and that area is shrinking quickly. That has been replaced by a single system that for a North American target user, only lacks very small talent management automation pieces. Stay tuned.