SAP SuccessFactors vs Workday vs Oracle HCM: Which HR cloud giant leads Human Capital Management?
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SAP SuccessFactors vs Workday vs Oracle HCM: Which HR cloud giant leads Human Capital Management?

Finding the right Human Capital Management (HCM) system has always been important to companies looking to maximize efficiency and manage costs. HCMs are necessary as organizations look to manage their most important asset (and often their largest expense). However, with the global pandemic expanding how, where, and when people work, finding the right HCM is critical, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.


SAP SuccessFactors is a cloud-based HCM software solution designed to streamline HR functions and manage your workforce. Unlike some of its competitors, the core belief driving SAP SuccessFactors is that employees are different. As such, companies need HCM software that is highly adaptable, user-friendly, and employee focused. SAP SuccessFactors meets the needs of any sized company looking to compete in an increasingly global and diverse economy.


SuccessFactors, Oracle and Workday

The two largest competitors to SAP SuccessFactors are Workday and Oracle. Workday is the newest of these HR software giants. It was built to run on the cloud, so it’s fast, reliable and user-friendly. It is best for medium and large companies, and its functionalities include human resource management (HRM), reporting and analytics, talent management, compliance, payroll management, and learning and development.


Oracle may have been slower to pivot to the cloud, but as one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, they are now also one of the leading players in cloud-based HRM software. Oracle is also best for medium and large companies and like Workday, manages nearly every aspect of internal HR functions.


SAP is one of the largest ERP software companies with many systems to help manage day-to-day activities. SuccessFactors is their popular and proven cloud-based HCM software. SAP SuccessFactors is best for companies of all sizes and is particularly useful for those with a global presence. As with its competitors, SAP SuccessFactors has a wide range of HRM tools to help manage everything from time and attendance to recruiting and onboarding, workforce planning, and analytics.


How They Compare

The basic capabilities of all three products are similar; however, there are some key differences in how well each software functions for different organizations. Because of SAP’s extensive line of other popular ERP software and product suites, SuccessFactors integrates seamlessly within your company’s broader SAP ecosystem saving your organization time and money.


SuccessFactors is built for today’s increasingly global economy. In addition to being one of the only HRM systems to handle visa and permits management, SAP SuccessFactors also supports more languages (42 in total) than either Workday or Oracle. Because today’s top talent can be found in any corner of the globe, having the ability to process visas and work permits easily is particularly critical for companies.


As a European-based company, SAP is uniquely positioned to understand GDPR (General Data Protection Requirements). These complex data privacy requirements that are placed on organizations can be very costly if not managed properly. SAP SuccessFactors has several capabilities specifically designed to help your organization be GDRP compliant. These include protecting personal data, bank account data, HR data, salary, qualifications and education details, and other data that fall under the GDPR umbrella.


SuccessFactors also has better global payroll functionality, including retroactive and off-cycle payments across your entire global organization. According to an ADP report “The Evolution of Pay”, 78% of employers surveyed felt that flexible pay cycles and alternative payment methods would be increasingly critical in attracting and keeping top talent. SAP SuccessFactors allows for the flexibility and efficiency that international organizations require setting this HRM apart from its competitors.


London-based Computing Delta conducted independent research analysis among these HRMs, asking more than 200 senior HR leaders in the UK and Europe which system they use and their respective benefits. They found that SAP SuccessFactors and Oracle “scored highest on clear benefit/ROI in terms of pricing.” They also found that in terms of local and sectoral focus, SAP’s and Oracle’s larger networks of partners and customizations puts them at a clear advantage over Workday.


The number one HR related topic in all organizations is how to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. The people analytics capabilities in SAP SuccessFactors are specifically set up to address these needs. With an extensive library of predefined measures and benchmarks including gender, disability, age, and many more, SuccessFactors empowers employers to understand the impact of diversity and manage talent accordingly. Given the importance of this area, SAP SuccessFactors can help organizations advance this critical focus area.



While Workday has been somewhat of the industry darling since joining the HRMS game, they still have some limitations that Oracle and SAP SuccessFactors do not. Although Oracle has been in the software business longer than Workday, it was not designed for the cloud or with the employee as the end-user. As a result, Oracle has had to play a bit of catch up.


SAP SuccessFactors is well-positioned as a trusted global leader in ERP software to manage all of your organization’s HR management needs. Because of the larger SAP ecosystem, SuccessFactors can be seamlessly integrated and can pull the most valuable insights and analytics from user data. Additionally, SAP SuccessFactors’ advanced analytics features are robust and allow you to use advanced visualization tools like Tableau.


But what truly sets SAP SuccessFactors apart from its competitors is how well it can manage GDPR compliance. As a German-based company, you can be sure that SAP SuccessFactors understands the subtleties and nuances of the complex data privacy rules and will expertly manage all your HR management needs.