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Exit Ceridian, enter Dayforce (and a pile of generative AI announcements)

Brian Sommer Profile picture for user brianssommer October 12, 2023
Summary:
There was a record amount of news to unpack at the Dayforce (née Ceridian) Insights event. While generative AI innovations were numerous, the company’s growth, new partner channel and other news made this a must-attend event.

SaaS HCM vendor Ceridian held their annual user event, Insights, in Las Vegas, where it showcased more generative AI tools/applications that are (or will very soon be) available to customers than almost any other vendor that I covered this year. One key takeaway is that these products all have solid release dates while many competitors can only point to a roadmap with vague release timeframes. The challenge for this event write-up is to capture a lot of the news in 1000 words or less. 

But before we start in on the product announcements, the event started off with a notable change to the company. Going forward, the firm will assume the name of its principal product: Dayforce. The brand promise “Makes Work Life Better” remains unchanged.

Dayforce has become a major entity in the HR and payroll space. The company reported $1.4+ billion in trailing 12-month revenue. Almost 6,300 customers are live on the Dayforce applications. That’s up from approximately 732 in 2013. Dayforce’s employee count is now 8,526 (6,000+ work on the Dayforce products).

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The growth story at Dayforce is compelling. This growth is occurring due to new product development (see image above), international growth, a new focus on channel partners, greater vertical focus, etc. The company now reports customers in 224 countries/territories. Executives noted that 50% of new customers buy the full software suite. One more growth stat: Dayforce Wallet (an on-demand payroll solution) now has passed the $2 billion earned wages delivered mark.

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Dayforce’s product architecture not only supports the core HRMS and payroll apps, it also provides common services (e.g., compliance, security and workflow), a data layer that can also power machine learning and large language models. These technical attributes are enhanced with a number of community additions.

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AI and Dayforce

Dayforce’s AI technology, Dayforce Co-Pilot, is a part of all of its applications. Dayforce Co-Pilot does three main things:

Answer & Summarize (Available Today)

  • “How-to” Q&A
  • On-off boarding Q&A
  • Pay & Time Q&A
  • Benefits Summaries
  • HR Policies Summaries

Create & Refine (Available 2024)

  • Job Descriptions
  • Performance Reviews
  • Development Plans
  • Recognition & Feedback
  • Knowledge Articles

Automate & Nudge (Available 2024)

  • Report Generation 
  • Analytics Alerts
  • Scheduling Automation
  • HR Service Automation
  • Payroll Automation

New product announcements

Here are the new products Dayforce announced this week:

  • Experience Hub (Available Now)
  • Mobile Phone Benefits Enrollment (Available Now)
  • Dayforce Measures (Available 2024) (Leverages 27+ ISO standard KPIs to “make better people decisions”)
  • Intelligent Search (Available Now)
  • HR Knowledge Hubs (Available Now)
  • HR Service Delivery (Available Now) (provides case management functionality)
  • People Programs (Available 2024)
  • New Payroll Interface (for Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines)
  • Compliance Center (Available 2024)
  • Eight Industry Solutions (Available now) (support items like unions, variable pay, scheduling compliance, enrollment, advanced data, entitlements, etc.)
  • ML-powered Budget & Labor Planning (Available 2024)
  • Entitlements Tracer (Available Now)
  • Autonomous Pay (Available 2024)
  • New Candidate Experience (Available Now) 
  • Event Based Voice of the Employee (Available Now)
  • Career Explorer (Available Now) (AI internal mobility & skills development)
  • Skill Driven Career Plans (Available Now)
  • Talent Community Insights (Available 2024)
  • My Time (Available 2024) (Provides nudges and insights re: overtime, absences, missed clock-ins, etc.)

Payroll

Dayforce has previously built, acquired and re-platformed several in-country payroll solutions. Now, the company is dramatically growing its global payroll capabilities. Dayforce Global Payroll is available now.

Dayforce also announced Dayforce Exchange. Dayforce Exchange is actually three exchange with one each for solutions, partners and talent. The Solution Exchange (Available in 2024) helps customers acquire other technologies that supplement their Dayforce purchases (e.g., employment verification services). The Partner Exchange (Available in 2024) helps customers identify potential implementation and other service providers. 40% of new Dayforce deals are implemented by partners. And, there’s Dayforce’s Talent Exchange. It supports an Alumni Network, internal mobility, external workers, hourly shift visibility). 

The Alumni Network is fairly interesting as it will be of great interest to specific firms and industries where firms want to re-engage former employees for short-term or permanent re-hiring situations. I’ve personally seen firms want this for positions like dental hygienists, pharmacists and more. These are highly skilled persons who may not want to return full-time but could definitely take over for a worker who is ill, on vacation or pregnant. Alumni already know a firm’s culture and work procedures. What employers need is a way to instantly reinstate a former employee with a minimum of time and effort expended.  For a detailed look into alumni requirements see this Diginomica piece

Improved customer service

Dayforce is using AI to improve its customers’ experiences with the products. It noted that:

  • 85% of questions are being answered via Generative-AI
  • There has been a 13% reduction in support tickets
  • Self-service activity has seen a 40% uptick

One feature of this expanded support is the concept of automatic audits. Dayforce technology is checking the implementation, configuration, etc. of each customers’ solution to see if a better, more reliable or value-added experience is possible. 

My take

It’s been some time since I experienced so much news crammed into just a few hours. That actually bodes well for Dayforce and makes other vendors’ content at recent shows seem weak in contrast. Kudos to Dayforce. 

There may be other opportunities for Dayforce in the near-term.  I discussed how Dayforce could support a number of the Social and Governance components of ESG reporting and regulations. Those requirements need data around DEI, pay equity, community interaction and more. The data many firms need may very well be in their Dayforce solution. A tool to extract and map the data to regulatory reports would be a productivity boost for their customers. 

The alumni tool is a great addition to the product mix. I’ve had clients ask for this before the pandemic but vendors have not stepped up – until now. Likewise, the new focus on partners is right-on if not a bit overdue. I was glad to see this. 

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