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Oracle HR Software Evaluation

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Oracle Fusion HCM Best Fit and Alternatives

Sweet Spot
Oracle's Fusion HCM software has netted primarily customers that fall into the 3,000 to 10,000 employee range. However, it should be noted that through business partner programs, smaller companies are likely to find this Human Resource solution more than adequate (though at times overkill) at handling their HR software requirements. Likewise, most larger organizations (over 10,000 employees) will find that the Fusion HCM suite will satisfy the majority of HR software business requirements. However, it should be recognized that few customers at the upper end of the market have selected and deployed Fusion HR applications. Marquis customers for Fusion HCM include Thomson-Reuters, PZ Cussons, The Principal and Advanced Innovations.

Short list Oracle Fusion HR software when:

  • You are satisfied with current deployments of Oracle E-Business Suite or Oracle PeopleSoft and looking to add more functionality in the areas of embedded analytics, performance management and compensation management.
  • Your company's IT platform is already Oracle—effectively making your IT department an Oracle shop. This technology continuity will lower IT costs and may impact user up-take and system adoption, as well as provide significant in-roads for broader Fusion ERP capabilities.
  • Your company falls into one of Oracle's industry vertical markets—a positive position given that Oracle has taken the time to define industry-specific feature sets, processes and reporting requirements through data model extensions (rather than focusing solely on configurability).
  • You are looking for best-in-class advanced business intelligence (e.g. predictive analytics) that can only be found through vendors such as Oracle, SAP and Workday.
  • You are seeking global HR software capabilities that focus on Oracle's supported geographies such as the Middle East and China markets.
  • Your organization is considering adopting or alternating between on-premise deployment for certain HR functions (i.e. core HRMS) and SaaS deployment for other functions (i.e. performance management).

Alternative Solutions
Prospective HR software buyers should consider alternative solutions when:

  • Needing robust Talent Management software such as Recruitment and Learning & Development.
  • Seeking global functionality for talent management that focuses on geographies where Oracle has not made significant inroads; such as Africa, South America, and parts of the European market.
  • Looking for an mature HR software solution that has an established partner and customer ecosystem.

Oracle Customers
Existing Oracle customers are best advised to:

  • Seriously consider Fusion HCM if needing a SaaS-based HR application that has deep integration capabilities with a broader ERP system.
  • Understand that Fusion HCM software is built on an entirely different code base than E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft; which means that while a migration path is available (and coexistence between the applications is possible), a full-scale rip-and-replace Fusion deployment is not much different than other HR software deployments (i.e. you can't simply upgrade your way to a full Fusion suite)—and should be diligently evaluated as such.
  • Talk with your Oracle rep to get detailed information and advice on a recommended path (e.g. an upgrade of your PeopleSoft or E-Business Suite system, a hybrid approach, a rip-and-replace with Fusion, etc.) given your existing investment and environment. In all likelihood, upgrades will be recommended, but keep in mind that your best decision may not be the one that Oracle most advocates (i.e. make sure to go into the decision process well informed of your business objectives, needs and budget).

Oracle HR Alternatives

Oracle HR software solutions compete directly with SAP, Infor, Workday and other major players in the HRMS market. Both SAP and Workday in-memory analytics provide business intelligence components that Oracle has yet to match. That's not to infer that Oracle's BI capability is necessarily lacking but that Oracle competitors seem to place a higher emphasis in this critical area.

Oracle offers reasonable, but not necessarily best in class, talent management software. HR software buyers should recognize that advances to Fusion HCM software, such as combining talent management with HRMS into a single solution may effectively knock out several of the smaller competitors such as Ceridian, NuView, Ultimate and Meta4 who simply can't deliver the combined HR functionality that larger companies like Oracle can.

Concluding Remarks

With Oracle Fusion Applications, the company has shown that innovation can still be delivered by an industry giant. That said, the pace of innovation has been slow which is a major issue for any vendor but especially for Oracle given the wolves at the door like SAP, Infor and Workday. Yet Oracle's task has been infinitely more difficult than other vendors—attempting to simultaneously bridge gaps across products; develop a new generation HR software solution that ties with existing lines; and alter a revenue model that has worked successfully for the past several decades. These initiatives are made even more challenging given the scope of Oracle's hardware and software lines—all worthwhile endeavors that compete for finite investment, development and marketing attention.

These challenges have proven costly in terms of more agile customer requirements; thanks in part to the consistent messaging of smaller vendors, analysts, and customers calling for a veritable revolt against on-premise software systems. In fact, with the increased success of SaaS HR systems, at no other time within HR technology's history, has full-scale rip-and-replace been as viable an alternative as it is today.

The next few quarters and years are crucial for the company as it looks to secure a growing customer base on Fusion. The HR software solution itself is relatively solid, quite flexible, and extremely scalable; and has the ability to give mid-market and larger enterprises the feature sets and business insights desired for effective human capital management. Convincing new customers to come aboard and old customers to stay though may wind up being an entirely different story; regardless of how large and well-known Oracle as a company has become.

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