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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Oracle vs. Workday: 5 things you need to know

Guest Author

By Jennifer Toomey, Nick Stankovic and Jayme Mesecher, Oracle

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

Your CFO has a question about the business and wants answers—now. Your team scrambles to gather the information, but pulling it all together takes days, and analyzing it takes days more.

This is an all-too common scenario for many companies, because of disparate, disconnected systems. The finance team uses on-premises ERP for accounting, and does planning, budgeting, and analysis using spreadsheets. Human resources manages payroll using an outsourced provider. The sales team uses CRM from a vendor that doesn’t sell much else. It all leads to a hairball of integration woes.

Then, along comes a cloud provider like Workday that promises to simplify all of it for you. But over the past few years, we've seen the line between promises and reality come into sharper focus. It's important to keep looking at what Workday can actually offer across its business applications and compare how these offerings stack up against Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications.

Here are five things every potential customer should consider as they weigh the merits of Workday versus Oracle for finance, reporting, planning, HR, supply chain, and other business applications.

1. Everything is different now

The financial, societal, and health impacts of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for months—or even years—to come. In times of uncertainty, it’s critical to forecast and re-forecast your plans as conditions change. To navigate a crisis of this magnitude, you need robust scenario planning capabilities.

Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM has these. You can plan, forecast, model, run Monte Carlo simulations, and budget across any line of business—including your workforce, sales, operations, and financials.

Workday is only in the early stages of providing some of these capabilities. They continue to focus their resources on the ongoing complexities of integrating the Adaptive planning platform.

2. You need to be ready for future growth

Eventually, this crisis will end. When it does, will you be positioned to recapture growth?

McKinsey & Company recently looked at how companies fared during and after the global financial crisis of 2008. According to their findings, the companies that invested in M&A, new business models, and innovation came out of the recession ahead of their competitors. It sounds paradoxical, but now might be the time to make big moves that can catapult your growth.

But big moves require insight, analysis, planning, and precision across your entire business. You need to model scenarios to forecast how new business models will impact revenue over the short and long term. You need to manage cash flow to ensure you have enough on hand to support your M&A strategy. You need to examine your workforce, to understand whether you have the right talent in place to support your plans. You need to build a resilient supply chain, with the ability to switch suppliers quickly to respond to business disruptions. And on and on.

Oracle is the only cloud provider that offers integrated SaaS applications across all these business functions: finance, HR, supply chain, sales, marketing and service. Our applications use a common data model for transactions across lines of business, meaning seamless process flows, improved efficiency, better insight—and much less integration work for you. Plus, we pull together all that data into our analytics and EPM applications, so you get deeper, faster insight to support your biggest decisions.

Workday’s focus is on finance and HR software. For lines of business such as sales, marketing, customer service, or supply chain, you’ll need to connect Workday to systems from other providers. Eventually, you could end up with an IT hairball that’s nearly impossible to untangle.

3. Innovation matters

The best way to maintain a single, seamless user experience is to invest—heavily and consistently—in building out a pipeline for R&D and technology innovation. Unfortunately, Workday relies mainly on acquisitions instead of in-house R&D to drive its innovation pipeline. Rather than working on truly unique and innovative capabilities, Workday is fighting a long, hard, and uncertain battle to integrate a grab-bag of inconsistent, incompatible acquired offerings.

In contrast, Oracle is significantly ahead of Workday when it comes to integrating acquired companies and technologies. We’ve invested billions of dollars in developing cloud applications for every business function—and in building out our own secure data centers and infrastructure. All the integration work is done for you.

Workday, by comparison, is betting that it can integrate acquired applications to gain functionality that Oracle Cloud Applications already have. These types of integration efforts are never an easy task—Workday is still playing catch-up.

On the cutting edge, Oracle's machine learning capabilities are driving high-value innovations such as digital assistants, powerful new mobile apps, built-in machine learning capabilities for end users, and advanced controls. With regular updates (typically once a quarter, but sometimes as frequently as every 30 days), you’re always running on the latest, greatest version of our software.

As Oracle keeps the pedal down on its own innovation engine, industry analysts have noted that Workday’s portfolio of applications is not completely comprehensive, with functional gaps in comparison to other HCM providers. In addition, there aren’t as many use cases for next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, or digital assistants, compared to Oracle.

4. You can't run a business on slideware and solution gaps

Analyst reports reveal that Workday is missing some mainstream capabilities that Oracle offers today—and, in many cases, has offered for years. ERP users looking for end-to-end quote-to-cash, omni-channel order management, or warehouse management tools won't find these capabilities in Workday; neither will HCM users looking for HR applications with complex scheduling requirements, advanced HCM controls, HR risk and compliance, or work-life solutions.

From financials to planning to supply chain, working with Workday means living with solution gaps—or, if you're lucky, with incomplete functionality and partially integrated acquisitions. But, you have a choice: get the capabilities you need from Oracle Cloud Applications, or settle for the possibility that Workday will eventually move this missing functionality from slideware to software.

5. One fact is worth a thousand promises

It's increasingly clear that Workday has a lot riding on its future roadmap—about capabilities, completeness, and giving customers a clear path to scale, compete, and succeed.

Maybe Workday will deliver on that roadmap—or maybe it won't. Either way, when your business runs on Oracle, you can stop betting on a vendor's promises, and start depending on hard facts:

The examples go on and on. It simply comes down to this: Oracle delivers. Workday is incomplete.

Organizations running their businesses in the Oracle Cloud have streamlined processes, empowered their employees, made their teams more nimble, increased customer satisfaction, and fueled growth—just take a look at our thousands of success stories and analyst reports across the domains of ERP, EPM and HCM.

We can’t think of a more ringing endorsement than that.

Learn more about Oracle Cloud Applications for finance and HR.