A Deeper Look at the Forrester Wave

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Analysts Forrester released their latest report on the state of the HCM marketplace a few weeks back. Although some may argue that analyst opinions do not necessarily have a 100% overlap with customer opinions, I think they’re good indicators of where a suite is broadly in terms of its competitors. Also – by comparing the relative positions in prior years’ reports – you can get an indication of momentum.

Riding the Wave

Here are the The Forrester Wave™: Cloud Human Capital Management Suites, for 2017 (left) and 2020 (right)

So, in which direction have the large HCM vendors moved?

Oracle HCM Cloud has moved strongly upwards, indicating the maturity, depth and breadth of the current offering. In fact, Oracle scores highest here of any vendor. It hasn’t moved to the right however, which I find baffling as Oracle seems to be innovating heavily on all fronts.

SAP SuccessFactors doesn’t fare so well. It’s drifted quite markedly left and downwards. This probably doesn’t mean the product has worsened, although there is confusion over the direction of their HCM offerings and rumours of integration issues, however it may just mean SAP is not keeping up with the pace of its competitors.

Workday has a mixed result moving down and right, with the strategy being well perceived, but the current offering losing ground when compared against the rest of the market.

Vendor Profiles

As well as the much-shared wave diagram, Forrester profiled the vendors. Here are some of the highlights from the Oracle section:

Oracle has more than 5,000 customers on Oracle Cloud HCM (it also quotes Workday as having 2,900 HCM customers)

Following more than a decade of sustained development, which included major investments in user experience design and the acquisition of Taleo (2012), Oracle Cloud HCM now provides a comprehensive, sophisticated HCM suite … Oracle Cloud HCM is a good option for larger, multinational organizations (more than 5,000 employees) with more sophisticated HCM needs, including those using legacy Oracle on-premises solutions (e.g., PeopleSoft).

They also mention many of the innovations what we’ve all heard are happening across the suite:

  • Campaigns (CRM within Recruiting)
  • Oracle Guided Learning
  • Digital Assistant
  • Experience Design Studio

plus some innovations I’d not heard much about yet:

  • Narrative
  • Pay-in-Advance

The full Forrester report can be downloaded here.

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