Before we get into the specifics of Workday, let’s understand competitor analysis. Competitor analysis is a strategic research method companies use to identify, evaluate, and understand their current and potential competitors within the market. It’s an essential business strategy component and instrumental in understanding the industry landscape.

The process usually involves the following steps:

  1. Identifying Key Competitors: The first step is to identify your competitors. These may be direct competitors (those who offer the same or similar products or services as you) or indirect competitors (those who provide different products or services but compete for the same consumer dollar).
  2. Analyzing Competitors’ Strategies and Objectives: Once competitors are identified, the next step is to understand their business strategies and objectives. This may involve analyzing their marketing materials, financial performance, customer reviews, or any public information available about the company.
  3. Assessing Competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses: This step involves evaluating the identified competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include unique products or services, strong brand recognition, and superior customer service. Weaknesses include poor product quality, weak customer service, or high prices.
  4. Understanding Competitors’ Products/Services: Understanding what your competitors offer and how your products or services compare is essential. This could involve examining features, quality, pricing, customer service, and marketing strategies.
  5. Observing Competitors’ Reaction Patterns: Some companies react more aggressively than others when faced with competition. Understanding these patterns lets you predict how these companies might respond to your business strategies.
  6. Drawing Conclusions and Formulating Strategy: The final step is to take all the information gathered from the analysis, draw meaningful conclusions, and use those to formulate or adjust your business strategies.

The main goal of a competitor analysis is to understand the competitive landscape, spot opportunities and threats, and position your company most advantageously. It helps to inform strategic decisions, from product development to marketing and sales efforts. 

Workday business overview

Workday, Inc., is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. Founded in 2005 by Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri, former executives of PeopleSoft (which Oracle acquired), Workday aims to deliver software as a service (SaaS) solutions that adapt more flexibly to the changing needs of modern businesses than traditional on-premise systems.

Key Products and Services: Workday offers a range of software solutions primarily focused on the following areas:

  • Human Capital Management (HCM): Workday’s HCM suite helps organizations manage the entire employee lifecycle, from recruitment to retirement. This includes talent management, payroll, benefits, learning and development. It provides comprehensive tools to manage a global workforce effectively.
  • Financial Management: Workday’s financial management applications provide real-time business insights and capabilities, including accounting, procurement, project accounting, expense management, and financial reporting. These tools are designed to help large, complex enterprises manage their finances efficiently and comply with various regulations.
  • Planning: Workday offers financial, workforce, and sales planning tools deeply integrated with its HCM and financial management systems. These tools enable continuous and comprehensive planning processes and support dynamic adjustments to changing business conditions.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Workday provides analytics and business insight capabilities through Workday Prism Analytics, which allows users to blend and analyze data from any source. This combines rich visualizations and reporting tools to help businesses make informed decisions.
  • Professional Services Automation (PSA): Workday’s PSA tools help service-based businesses manage projects, billings, and profitability more effectively by integrating these processes with the core financial and HR systems.

Market Position and Industry Impact: Workday has become a significant cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) player, mainly competing with giants like Oracle and SAP. Its software is renowned for user-friendly interfaces, robust functionalities, and strong integration capabilities. Workday has successfully penetrated large enterprises, including numerous Fortune 500 companies, and is increasingly expanding into mid-sized markets.

Strategic Focus: Workday’s strategy focuses on continuous innovation and expansion of its product offerings. This includes advancing machine learning capabilities within its applications, enhancing user experience, and expanding its financial and human capital management suites. Workday also emphasizes increasing its presence globally and penetrating further into government, education, and healthcare industries.

Challenges and Opportunities: Workday faces competition from established players like SAP, Oracle, and newer cloud-native companies. The rapidly evolving tech landscape requires ongoing innovation and adaptation. Opportunities for Workday include the growing demand for integrated, data-driven, and flexible business applications that can support remote work dynamics and provide deep analytics capabilities.

Overall, Workday continues to drive transformation in business applications through its comprehensive cloud-based solutions, catering to the complex needs of modern enterprises and their global and mobile workforces.

What does Workday do | How does it work | Business Model

Workday competitor analysis

Workday competes in the cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), and financial management software markets. It faces competition from a mix of traditional enterprise software providers and newer cloud-native companies. Now, let’s do a competitor analysis of Workday.


SAP competes with Workday primarily in the areas of enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), and financial management. As one of the largest and most established providers in the enterprise software market, SAP offers comprehensive and integrated solutions that serve a broad range of industries and business processes. Here’s how SAP positions itself against Workday:

  1. Comprehensive ERP Solutions: SAP’s flagship ERP solution, SAP S/4HANA, offers advanced capabilities in managing business operations and resources across organizations. It is designed to run on the SAP HANA in-memory database, which allows for processing high volumes of data with impressive speed and efficiency. This robust ERP system is more extensive than Workday’s offerings, with deeper functionality in areas such as supply chain management, manufacturing, and logistics.
  2. SAP SuccessFactors for HCM: Directly competing with Workday’s HCM suite, SAP SuccessFactors provides a wide array of tools for employee management, including core HR, payroll, talent management, employee experience management, and analytics. SuccessFactors is known for its global capabilities and scalability, making it suitable for large multinational corporations.
  3. Industry-Specific Solutions: One of SAP’s strengths is its focus on industry-specific solutions. SAP provides tailored software that caters to the unique needs of industries like retail, automotive, healthcare, and many others. This specialization allows SAP to offer functionalities that are often more aligned with the specific processes and compliance requirements of various sectors, compared to Workday’s more general approach.
  4. Integration Capabilities: SAP’s extensive suite of products, including SAP Concur for travel and expense management, SAP Ariba for procurement, and SAP Fieldglass for vendor management, are well-integrated, providing a seamless experience across various business functions. This ecosystem is a significant advantage for organizations looking to centralize their operations under a single vendor.
  5. Global Reach and Support: With decades of experience and a broad global presence, SAP offers extensive support structures and consulting services worldwide. This global reach and depth of expertise in implementation and support are critical for large enterprises and can be more comprehensive than Workday’s offerings.
  6. Innovation in Technology: SAP invests heavily in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain to enhance its suite of products. SAP’s commitment to innovation ensures that its solutions remain competitive and cutting-edge, which is crucial in maintaining its market position against companies like Workday.
  7. Financial Management: SAP’s financial solutions are integrated within its ERP system, providing robust tools for financial planning, analysis, accounting, and compliance. This integrated approach competes with Workday’s financial management applications, especially in complex financial operations and compliance scenarios.

While both SAP and Workday offer advanced cloud-based solutions for enterprise management, SAP’s extensive range of integrated solutions, global footprint, and industry-specific capabilities make it a formidable competitor. With its strong user interface and consistent cloud-native approach, Workday positions itself as a more modern alternative, particularly appealing to organizations prioritizing innovation and user experience in their software solutions. The choice between SAP and Workday often depends on the organization’s specific needs, size, and industry.


Oracle competes with Workday in the domains of enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), and financial management, leveraging its extensive experience in enterprise software and database technology. Here’s how Oracle positions itself against Workday:

  1. Comprehensive ERP Solutions: Oracle’s ERP Cloud is a significant competitor in the ERP market, offering robust capabilities that include financial management, project management, procurement, risk management, and compliance. Oracle ERP Cloud is designed to accommodate the needs of large enterprises with complex processes and global operations, making it a powerful alternative to Workday’s ERP solutions.
  2. Oracle Cloud HCM: Directly competing with Workday’s HCM suite, Oracle Cloud HCM offers a complete set of human resource solutions, including talent management, payroll, benefits, learning, and workforce management. Oracle emphasizes the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance functionalities like recruitment and employee experience, similar to Workday’s use of advanced technologies for personalization and efficiency.
  3. Advanced Database and Technology Infrastructure: Oracle’s strong foundation in database technology is a significant competitive advantage. The use of Oracle Autonomous Database in its cloud applications enhances performance, security, and scalability, offering a unique proposition for data-intensive enterprises that Workday may not match in terms of database management capabilities.
  4. Integration and Extensibility: Oracle offers a broad ecosystem of applications, including supply chain management, sales, marketing, and customer service, which are tightly integrated with its ERP and HCM solutions. This extensive integration capacity can be a crucial differentiator for businesses looking for a seamless and unified IT environment.
  5. Industry-Specific Solutions: Like SAP, Oracle provides targeted solutions for various industries such as healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and finance. These tailored solutions are designed to meet different sectors’ specific challenges and compliance requirements, providing Oracle with an edge in scenarios where industry-specific functionality is critical.
  6. Global Reach and Support: Oracle’s worldwide presence and extensive partner network offer significant advantages in deployment capabilities, local support, and consulting services. This global reach is crucial for multinational corporations needing consistent service and support across diverse geographical locations.
  7. Financial Management: Oracle’s financial solutions are recognized for their depth and breadth, particularly in complex areas like revenue recognition, advanced financial controls, and global accounting. These features suit large organizations with sophisticated financial structures and compete directly with Workday’s financial management applications.
  8. Innovation and Investment in Cloud: Oracle has heavily invested in transitioning its offerings to the cloud, which includes significant improvements in security, user experience, and accessibility. Oracle’s commitment to cloud innovation helps it compete effectively with Workday, which is a cloud-native company.

Oracle competes with Workday by offering a comprehensive, integrated suite of enterprise applications that cater to a wide range of business functions. While Workday focuses on usability and a modern approach to enterprise software, Oracle’s depth, flexibility, and strength in database technology and industry-specific solutions make it a preferred choice for large, complex organizations. The decision between Oracle and Workday often hinges on specific business needs, existing technology infrastructure, and the scale of the enterprise.


Microsoft competes with Workday primarily through its Dynamics 365 suite, which includes a range of integrated business applications covering ERP and CRM functionalities. Dynamics 365 provides comprehensive solutions that rival Workday’s offerings in enterprise resource planning, human capital management, and financial management. Here’s how Microsoft positions itself against Workday:

  1. Dynamics 365 Human Resources: This module directly competes with Workday’s HCM suite. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources focuses on streamlining HR programs, offering tools for personnel management, benefits administration, leave and absence management, and compliance. It integrates deeply with LinkedIn, enhancing recruitment processes—a functionality that uniquely complements Microsoft’s ecosystem.
  2. Dynamics 365 Finance: Competing with Workday’s financial management solutions, Dynamics 365 Finance provides capabilities in financial planning and analysis, revenue recognition, and automation of global financial operations. It offers scalable financial reporting for international enterprises to improve financial visibility and performance.
  3. Dynamics 365 Operations: This component of Dynamics 365, formerly known as Dynamics AX, is an ERP solution that helps companies run their operations more efficiently. It includes retail, manufacturing, and supply chain management features, areas not specifically targeted by Workday’s offerings. This makes Dynamics 365 more appealing to industries with specialized operational needs.
  4. Integration with Microsoft Ecosystem: One of Microsoft’s most vital competitive advantages is the seamless integration of Dynamics 365 with other Microsoft products such as Office 365, Teams, and Azure. This integration enhances productivity by enabling more accessible access to ERP and CRM data across typical office applications, creating a unified user experience that Workday cannot directly replicate.
  5. Azure Cloud Platform: Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, Azure, supports Dynamics 365 and offers robust security, global scalability, and compliance. Azure’s strength as a leading cloud platform is that it provides a solid foundation for Dynamics 365 applications, which are competitive with Workday’s cloud-native solutions.
  6. Artificial Intelligence and Analytics: Microsoft infuses Dynamics 365 with AI capabilities to automate processes and provide predictive insights. The AI integration across Dynamics 365 and Microsoft’s Power Platform, which includes Power BI for analytics, enriches the decision-making process and operational efficiencies, competing with Workday’s analytics and reporting tools.
  7. Scalability and Customization: Dynamics 365 is known for its flexibility and customization options, which cater to businesses of all sizes. Its ability to scale up for large enterprises and down for smaller businesses provides Microsoft with a broad market appeal, in contrast to Workday, which primarily targets large enterprises.
  8. Global Presence and Support: Microsoft’s global presence and extensive partner network ensure widespread support and implementation services worldwide, which is crucial for international businesses needing localized support for deployment and maintenance.

While Workday offers specialized, in-depth HR and financial management functionality, Microsoft Dynamics 365 presents formidable competition by providing a broader suite of integrated business applications that leverage Microsoft’s extensive technology ecosystem. This comprehensive approach appeals particularly to businesses looking for an all-in-one solution that covers HR and finance and extends into operations, sales, and customer service.


ADP (Automatic Data Processing) competes with Workday primarily in human capital management (HCM) and payroll services. As one of the largest providers of HR, payroll, and benefits administration services worldwide, ADP offers comprehensive solutions that appeal to many businesses, from small to large multinational corporations. Here’s how ADP positions itself against Workday:

  1. Extensive Payroll Services: ADP is best known for its payroll services, which are considered among the best in the industry due to their reliability, accuracy, and compliance capabilities. ADP’s payroll solutions cater to companies of all sizes and can handle complex payroll requirements, including multi-state and international payrolls. This is a core area where ADP has more profound and longstanding expertise than Workday.
  2. Integrated HCM Suite: ADP offers a robust suite of HCM tools under ADP Workforce Now and ADP Vantage HCM. These platforms provide comprehensive services, including HR management, talent management, benefits administration, time and attendance, and analytics. These services are directly competitive with Workday’s HCM solutions, although ADP’s offerings are often praised for their scalability and customization options for various business sizes.
  3. Global Compliance and Localization: With decades of experience handling payroll and HR services, ADP has a significant advantage in compliance expertise, particularly in navigating complex tax and employment laws across different regions. This makes ADP particularly appealing to multinational corporations that require meticulous compliance with local regulations.
  4. Data Security and Privacy: ADP emphasizes its strong security measures and compliance with global privacy laws, which is crucial for companies handling sensitive employee data. While Workday also provides robust security features, ADP’s long history and focus on payroll data add an extra layer of trust and reliability.
  5. Technology and Innovation: ADP invests in technology to enhance its services, including using artificial intelligence and machine learning to gain insights and automate HR tasks. ADP also offers mobile solutions and self-service portals that enhance the user experience for employees and employers, competing with Workday’s user-friendly and innovative platforms.
  6. Broader HR Outsourcing Services: ADP provides comprehensive outsourcing services, including Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services. ADP co-employs a client’s workforce and takes on many HR management and compliance responsibilities. This extensive outsourcing option is something that Workday does not offer directly, giving ADP a competitive edge in serving businesses that want to outsource substantial portions of their HR functions.
  7. Customer Base and Market Reach: ADP serves over 860,000 clients of all types and sizes in over 140 countries. This extensive customer base and market penetration provide ADP with vast data and insights that can be leveraged to improve and tailor their services, offering a level of market coverage that is broader than Workday’s.

ADP and Workday compete closely in the HCM space. Still, ADP’s breadth of payroll expertise, compliance capabilities, and extensive outsourcing services set it apart, particularly for companies looking for a proven, comprehensive solution with a strong emphasis on payroll and regulatory compliance.

Ultimate Software (now UKG after merging with Kronos) 

Ultimate Software, now known as UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) following its merger with Kronos in 2020, competes with Workday primarily in the human capital management (HCM) and workforce management sectors. The merger combined Ultimate Software’s comprehensive HCM suite with Kronos’ workforce management and HR solutions, creating a significant player in the industry. Here’s how UKG competes with Workday:

  1. Comprehensive HCM Solutions: UKG Pro (formerly Ultimate Software’s UltiPro) is an all-in-one, cloud-based HCM solution that includes HR, payroll, talent management, and benefits management. This competes directly with Workday’s HCM suite, offering businesses an integrated approach to managing their workforce from recruitment to retirement.
  2. Workforce Management: UKG Dimensions (derived from Kronos’ expertise) provides advanced workforce management solutions, including time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, and labor analytics. These solutions are robust in industries with complex workforce needs, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, offering deeper functionality in these areas than Workday.
  3. Employee Experience and Engagement: UKG places a strong emphasis on employee experience, integrating tools like employee surveys, sentiment analysis, and performance management into its platform. This focus is designed to help organizations build better work environments and enhance employee engagement, directly competing with Workday’s employee experience features.
  4. Vertical Market Expertise: UKG offers specialized solutions tailored to the unique needs of specific industries. This industry-specific approach ensures that their solutions meet the nuanced requirements of sectors like healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and the public sector, providing functionality closely aligned with sector-specific workflows and compliance regulations.
  5. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: UKG incorporates AI and machine learning across its platform to automate processes, provide predictive analytics, and enhance decision-making. This technology utilization competes with Workday’s use of AI to optimize business processes and workforce decisions.
  6. Scalability and Flexibility: UKG solutions cater to businesses of all sizes, from small to large enterprises, offering scalability and flexibility that can be customized to meet organizations’ growing and changing needs. This scalability is comparable to Workday, which serves a broad range of clients, from mid-sized businesses to large enterprises.
  7. Global Reach and Local Support: UKG operates globally, providing support and services tailored to the local needs of organizations in various regions. This international presence ensures that multinational companies can rely on UKG for consistent and compliant HCM and workforce management solutions across their operations, similar to Workday’s global capabilities.
  8. Community and Customer Service: UKG is known for its vital customer service and user community, which provides clients with resources, networking opportunities, and a platform for feedback and improvement. The company’s customer-centric approach is a significant part of its brand identity, resonating well with clients and providing a competitive edge in customer satisfaction.

UKG’s combination of Ultimate Software’s HCM expertise and Kronos’ workforce management capabilities provides a robust challenge to Workday’s offerings. While Workday is a strong contender in enterprise cloud applications for HR and finance, UKG’s focused expertise in workforce management and employee experience offers compelling alternatives for businesses looking for comprehensive, industry-tailored HCM solutions.


Infor competes with Workday primarily in the areas of enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), and financial management solutions. As a significant player in the enterprise software market, Infor differentiates itself with industry-specific solutions and a focus on practical, tailored functionality for various sectors. Here’s how Infor positions itself against Workday:

  1. Industry-Specific Solutions: Infor is well-known for its industry-specific ERP solutions, which are designed to meet the unique requirements of industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, retail, hospitality, and the public sector. This specialization allows Infor to offer functionalities closely aligned with these sectors’ specific workflows, regulatory requirements, and business processes, providing a level of detail and customization that generalist providers like Workday might not match.
  2. CloudSuite Offerings: Infor’s CloudSuite is a set of cloud-based applications built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), ensuring high scalability, security, and performance. These suites include tailored ERP, HCM, and CRM solutions that compete directly with Workday’s unified suite of applications. AWS provides Infor with robust cloud infrastructure capabilities and a global reach.
  3. HCM Solutions: Infor’s HCM software provides comprehensive tools for talent management, HR service delivery, workforce management, and payroll. Like Workday, Infor HCM offers a holistic approach to managing the entire employee lifecycle but with added emphasis on industry-specific needs, such as staffing in healthcare or scheduling in retail.
  4. Advanced User Experience: Infor differentiates itself with a strong focus on design and user experience through its Infor OS (Operating Service), which integrates business processes with AI, data analytics, and a sophisticated user interface. This commitment to a seamless user experience aims to improve usability and adoption, competing with Workday’s highly intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.
  5. Integration Capabilities: Infor emphasizes its ability to integrate with existing systems, which is crucial for companies that do not want to replace their entire suite of IT applications. This contrasts with Workday, which often requires clients to adopt its platform comprehensively to realize full benefits.
  6. Analytics and Business Intelligence: Infor directly incorporates powerful analytics and business intelligence tools into its applications, providing users with actionable insights tailored to their industry and business role. This approach is similar to Workday, which integrates analytics throughout its platform to enhance decision-making.
  7. Global Reach with Local Expertise: Infor has a robust international presence but differentiates itself with a localized approach, providing solutions that meet different regions’ specific regulatory and language needs. This capability is essential for multinational corporations with complex compliance requirements.
  8. Flexibility and Scalability: Infor’s solutions are known for their flexibility and scalability, catering to businesses of all sizes, from small and mid-sized to large enterprises. This scalability competes with Workday, typically favored by mid-sized to large enterprises.

Infor’s strategy of offering specialized, industry-specific solutions gives it a competitive edge in markets where businesses face unique challenges that require more than generic software solutions. While Workday provides broad, highly integrated solutions ideal for organizations looking for a unified approach to ERP and HCM, Infor appeals to those needing deep industry functionality combined with the benefits of cloud technology.

Check out the competitor analysis of global businesses