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Dinosaurs in SaaSWorld

March 14, 2013

Writing a blog post every day is hard. Maybe that’s why I don’t do it. I try, but some days it’s a reach. I hope today isn’t one of those days.

dinosaur cloudThere’s a good discussion thread over on the HR Tech LinkedIn group: How SAP plans to transition to the cloud. The thread captures opinions on a blog post by industry veteran Holger Mueller titled, Life in transition is hard – SAP HCM. In short, the discussion is centered on how T-Rex sized vendors like SAP and Oracle are going to migrate their herds of ginormous applications to the swanky new theme park called SaaSWorld, all while supporting thousands of current customers on non-SaaS applications. As you can imagine, moving dinosaurs from an on premise location to the cloud will require heavy lifting and screwing with dinosaur DNA, just like in the movie.

You’ve got to give the big boys credit for their efforts. Oracle has their Applications Unlimited program, and SAP now has a similar transition strategy for SAP HCM. Credit, yeah, but they don’t have a choice. SaaS vendors and applications are breeding like crazy, and the lysine contingency of huge market share isn’t going to stop them.

Of course T-Rex weren’t the only dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. There were the smaller, nasty ones. Raptors. Now I’m not saying my beloved employer is a Raptor, but there aren’t too many 35 year old tech companies, if you know what I’m saying. So we have this little application suite called Workforce Central, and thousands of customers are on that ride. Most are on premise, but a growing number are moving to the Kronos Private Cloud, and many new customers are choosing to acquire the apps using a SaaS model. No, it’s not a true, multi-tenant app, but it is the best workforce management suite available from anyone. Workforce Central SaaS allows customers to deploy in our cloud, let us manage it, and they pay monthly, just like SaaS.

Thing is, we know that’s not a long term solution for our customers.

So what is? Well, we have this other little product called Workforce Ready. It is a true, multi-tenant workforce management platform including HR, payroll, and timekeeping, and we’re finding it meets the needs of most customers in the Small to Mid-Sized Business (SMB) space, up to around 2,500 employees. If a SMB customer has sophisticated scheduling or workforce analytics needs, Workforce Central SaaS meets them.

Since the on premise model really is going the way of the dinosaur eventually, do we add Workforce Central DNA (more modules & functionality) to Workforce Ready, or do we replicate Workforce Ready DNA (SaaS architecture) in Workforce Central? Or something else? Since I don’t know the answer yet, I’ll show this little video of how our engineering team is working on it. I’ll tell you this. Screwing with DNA is not for the meek. Life finds a way.

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