Top 5 Takeaways from Ceridian INSIGHTS 2015

by | Jul 24, 2015

Last week, Ceridian held INSIGHTS 2015 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.  This was my second Ceridian’s user conference. I was looking forward to comparing my experiences last year and this year to answer the question: “What’s new with Ceridian?”  And, the short answer to that question is “a lot”.

Ceridian is working hard to differentiate itself from its competition by adding breadth and depth to Dayforce HCM through product innovation, strategic acquisitions and high-quality service.  This hard work is paying off with market momentum and a significant uptick in the number of clients live on Dayforce.  In fact, during the opening session CEO David Ossip said the number of go-lives has grown 115 percent in the last year.

So, let’s take a look at the top five things that stood out to me at Ceridian INSIGHTS 2015:

1. How Do We Relate?

Ceridian started the conference by showing one of the most innovative applications I’ve seen in the Human Capital Management market this year. It comes from RelatedMatters, a company Ceridian acquired a mere four months ago.

RelatedMatters has built a product called TeamRelate which assesses individuals’ communications styles.  It then provides insight into how well team members relate to each other through a “relatability score.”  Finally, it gives team members real-time insights as to how each person can manage differences in their communication styles to reduce conflict and improve effectiveness.  Neat idea. What transforms a neat idea into something truly innovative is the way that Ceridian has integrated TeamRelate into Dayforce.  During the opening session, TeamRelate and its relatability score was available almost every time a user viewed any information about employee. Seeing the relatability score in context of a person’s timesheet, schedule, etc. was incredibly powerful.  Rarely do I watch a demo and wish “I could use that” but that’s how I felt watching the TeamRelate demo. The fact that Ceridian had integrated TeamRelate as deeply as it had in a few months was equally impressive.

2. Information (and Lots of It) at Your Finger Tips

Ceridian released the capability to build dashboards in Dayforce over a year ago (see my NRF 2014 wrap-up for a summary).  As with many new features in Dayforce, the first release provides basic functionality and then is expanded over time.  Dashboards are no exception.

Today, Dayforce sports more than 300 views out of the box which gives users a rich library of content to get started with.  Ceridian also provides tools for users to create their own views and reports.

Reports can be created using a natural language query tool that let’s non-technical users get at data through the system.  For example, a query could be “Show me all salespeople split by age and gender”. Dayforce does the heavy lifting to interpret my question and recognize that I want to see all employees in a sales position and return the results grouped by both age and gender.  The results can be displayed as a table, pie chart, line graph, etc.

3. Solve the Global Payroll Challenge

Axsium Group works with many multinational organizations, and local payroll is a challenge for many multinationals.   Each country requires collecting, managing and maintaining different data.  To be successful with payroll in any country, you need to be a local expert.  This is why there is not a true “global” payroll provider.

Instead, multinationals are reliant on local payroll providers collect the required data from in-country employees, collect taxes, pay entitlements, calculate pay, etc. and do all of it in the local language.  While employees (usually) get paid correctly, reporting is a challenge because data from the local payroll provider is not consolidated or real-time. Ceridian addresses these problems with Dayforce ConnectedPay.  With ConnectedPay, multinational corporations can use Dayforce to collect and manage all necessary local employment data through country-specific onboarding forms and HCM workflows. Data can then be sent to local providers for processing.  The local providers then return data (all seamless) to Dayforce for consolidated reporting.  ConnectedPay is available for France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, and Mexico with support for 16 more countries coming soon.

4. A Pretty (Inter)face

Last year, I highlighted that Ceridian was updating the Dayforce user interface, replacing Silverlight with HTML5, and cleaning up and streamlining navigation, button, icons, etc.  This year, Ceridian introduced further updates to the UI.  Let’s talk about two of the more significant changes. The first change is to the overall look and feel.  The update UI takes last year’s changes to a new level.  Yes, the screens have continued to be simplified and streamlined.  Yes, the colors have been updated to be both more modern and provide better contrast but one of the more significant changes was to navigation. It is not only more intuitive but much of the navigation has been moved from the top of the screen to a sidebar which the user can hide or show.  This is handy with today’s widescreen monitors which tend to have a lot of horizontal real estate but little less vertical real estate.

The second change is that the pages incorporate responsive web design.  This means that Dayforce can render on any device and any size screen.  Yes, they still have mobile apps but if you have users with multiple resolutions, different mobile devices, etc. Dayforce will render will on all of them.

5. Customer Appreciation

I mentioned above that Ceridian has significantly increased the number of customers live of Dayforce in the last 12 months.  In my conversations with the customers, three things jumped out at me.

First, it was obvious how happy the vast majority of the customers are with Dayforce.  Whether they were moving to Dayforce from a legacy Ceridian product or brand new to Ceridian, they felt that Dayforce was a big step forward for them and were happy with the service Ceridian delivered.

Second, when I spoke with customers last year, many customers had wished that they had been better prepared for their implementation.  They didn’t realize their responsibilities during the implementation and the value of dedicated project management, the time required for testing, and how valuable process mapping would be. This year it felt that the customers had matured.  Most customers had a greater appreciation their accountability to make their implementation and on-going use of Dayforce successful.

Third, Ceridian is serious about building a lasting relationship with its customers and between customers.  Ceridian has developed XOXO, their customer success program, in which customers can share their stories and best practices with other customers.  Several customer presenters talked about the value that they receive by participating in the program and the opportunities to network with peers.  But the company’s customer-centricity is best captured by this anecdote from the conference:

During the first day of the conference, Ossip gave out his email address during the general session saying that anybody could send him email with questions or if problems were not being addressed.  Two days later while at the last general session, someone at the conference send him an email about an urgent issue with their payroll and Ossip interrupted the session to connect the customer with the vice president of support to make sure the issue got resolved quickly.  It’s just a snapshot, one story, but it provides a telling perspective on what’s important to the company and their CEO.

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