Friday, July 29, 2005

State of the Industry - HRMS

As a consumer organization, this is just a terrible time to be on the market for an HRMS system. There is a huge void in the mid-range that PeopleSoft used to fill adequately. Here's my top vendors for the space:

1) SAP
2) PeopleSoft (if you can get Oracle to sell it - very rare)
3) Lawson (8.0 only - 7.x would be ranked lower)
4) ADP Enterprise (you must be willing to outsource payroll)
5) Oracle
6) Cyborg (tied)
6) Ultimate (tied)
8) Ceridian HR (once called eSource)

I know there are other vendors, but I come across these most often. I only include Cyborg because Hewitt is forcing it on all their HRO clients now. PeopleSoft is being sold rarely and only if you have lots of money to give Oracle.

The top vendor is SAP - they have the technology, functionality, full range of ERP, and one of the best portals on the market. After SAP (ignore PS for the above reasons), you have Lawson and ADP Enterprise. Lawson jumps this year with the release of 8.0 and the elimination of their COBOL processing engine. However, ADP Enterprise will get even with or leapfrog Lawson next year as their integrated portal technology matures. With ADP, Lawson and Oracle filling the mid market (2000 to 15000 employees) space right now there just are not enough good options. Oracle has always underperformed in the HR space, Lawson is not a serious ERP and ADP forces the PR outsourcing. Lawson and ADP are the better players here but simply don't have the depth to compete against SAP. If you want good ERP, go with Oracle, but HR will suck. If you want a quality vendor and service relationship, go with ADP who will also provide you with stability. Lawson is just a ho hum average player.

The bottom of the list (Cyborg, Ultimate and Ceridian) are just the players that win a few deals every now and then. They either don't have the sales force, R&D, functionality, or vendor stability to make it in the market at this moment.

Notable mention 1: I have heard very little about "Fusion." Fusion is Oracle's next ERP suite that combines the best of PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Oracle. Personally, I think it's just going to be an integrated look and architecture for PeopleSoft HRMS, Oracle Financials, and JDE SCM. But what do I know. There is mysteriously little coming out of the Oracle camp, and usually I'd hear some whispers of what's going on. Well, we're a few years from product release anyway.

Notable mention 2: Dave Duffield (PeopleSoft founder) will be officially launching the new company shortly. It's aimed at the mid market and will be a subscription based enterprise suite, but anything from Dave is worth mentioning.