3Sixty Insights Monthly Recap | September 2021

Recent Research:

Case Study: Allianz Global Investors Deploys Ceridian Dayforce to Modernize the Necessities of Employing People

For well over a decade, employers have been ripping out legacy deployments of software for human capital management in favor of superior, cloud-based solutions delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS). Providing the impetus for their decision to leave these often on-premises solutions behind is, typically, some combination of factors: the desire to emancipate HCM from pernicious inefficiencies, the business rationale to lower IT-related labor expenditure and eliminate expensive yearly maintenance fees, and more. Modern technology for HCM tends to deliver automation that greatly alleviates the administrative burden associated with the last generation of software for HCM. It is unacceptable today to accept highly manual processes in payroll or anything immediately surrounding it—e.g., the human resource information system (HRIS, a.k.a. core HR), time and attendance, scheduling, benefits administration.

With the change comes more, however. Modern technology for HCM delivers innovation, flexibility, and data transparency. Aspirational HCM focused on improving and buoying employee sentiment becomes something organizations can consider doing (3Sixty Insights BWSRN2142 – Concrete vs. Abstract HCM: The Power of “And,” April 2021). The technology they have gets the low-level, unnecessarily time-consuming work out of the way. This helps them save considerably on labor expenditure. Call this tactical. 3Sixty Insights calls it concrete HCM. Going far beyond the automation of tedious, repeatable workflow, meanwhile, modern HCM technology supports mobile internal applications and responsive self-service functionality. It provides real-time visibility into people data. It makes people analytics sophisticated—predictive and prescriptive. This is all the stuff of strategic HR, what 3Sixty Insights calls abstract HCM, an attention to employee sentiment and its inextricable, eventual link to everything the C-suite appreciates: increased revenue, reduced cost, and mitigated risk.

Market Alert: Ceridian Poised to Deliver Much-Needed Efficiencies in HCM to the Canadian Federal Government

What Happened

On Sept. 21, 2021, Ceridian announced that Canada’s federal government selected the vendor to deliver a pilot program to co-design and deploy intelligent solutions for HR and pay. The country of Ceridian’s origin has chosen Dayforce to replace an on-premises, Peoplesoft-based platform known as Phoenix, launched 10 years ago.


The vendor continues to build on recent success (3Sixty Insights 3SIMA2153 – Ceridian Displays Future-of-Work Savvy with Acquisition of Artificial Intelligence Startup Ideal, May 2021). Ceridian’s technology for human capital management, Dayforce, is a software-as-a-service platform in the cloud. Since acquiring Dayforce a decade ago, Ceridian has worked assiduously and methodically to build the solution into a first-class full software suite for HCM.

From the start, part-and-parcel to Dayforce’s design and the vendor’s ethos has been to create a solution that runs on a single application housing a single data set governed by a single rules engine. This uncommon set-up is advantageous for Dayforce users, who tend to realize greater-than-normal increases in efficiencies as a result of Dayforce’s architecture.

Market Alert: Paylocity Positions Itself Wisely with Blue Marble Global Payroll Acquisition

What Happened

On Sept. 1, 2021, Paylocity, a vendor of software for human capital management, announced that it had acquired global payroll provider Blue Marble Global Payroll. By connecting its U.S.-based project managers to local payroll experts in more than 150 countries, Blue Marble helps its clients manage the pay of international employees according to their local conventions and regulations.


A necessity for many these days, remote work has also long been a popular employee perk. Enlightened employers hoping to create competitive work environments have perceived that offering flexibility on that front is one highly effective way to improve the employee experience, and in a competitive job market, the employee experience is critical. The best way to retain employees is to keep them from looking. The best way to do that is to ensure that they are happy where they are, and part of the solution is to facilitate and simplify global payroll.

Even before the spring of 2020, work was trending toward remote. In the months since, the pandemic has accelerated that trend significantly. Workplaces that could afford to go remote did so, and when it became clear that lockdowns would persist, many people chose to relocate, some even internationally. Meanwhile, many high-level executives at United States–headquartered employers, who were unable to further delay the travel demands of their roles, have found themselves facing onerous quarantine requirements—often in other countries. Even those companies that were determined to eschew remote work have been forced to adapt or suffer competitively. Only the HCM technology vendors that are able to accommodate the flexibility their clients now need can remain competitive in this era.

Market Alert: UKG Raises the Bar for HCM Market by Acquiring Great Place to Work Institute, Inc. with Promise to Help Build Better Workplaces for All

What Happened

In September 2021, UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) acquired Great Place to Work Institute, Inc. A pioneer in workplace culture, Great Place to Work was founded in 1990. More than 10,000 companies worldwide rely on the company’s software and insights. Great Place to Work will continue to operate as a standalone company under CEO Michael C. Bush. UKG plans to embed elements of Great Place to Work insights into UKG’s HCM solutions over the next few years for customers to enhance organizational health and give a greater voice to their employees.


Human resources became a distinct domain of the enterprise out of a necessity to manage the employment of people. First going by terms such as personnel administration, according to Wikipedia, HR had origins coinciding with a prevailing attitude in business that, at the time, viewed employees primarily as a cost to be contained. Attention to improving staff’s experience in the workplace was not a concern. Since, the concept of what’s important in managing the employment of people has expanded considerably. The fact that employees are an expense, and that associated costs should be contained wherever appropriate, remains. The term human capital management remains too. But attitudes toward employees and their value have changed. UKG refers to its own

employees and its customers’ employees as people, not staff or a workforce—which makes the vendor’s acquisition of Great Place to Work intuitive.

Upcoming Events:

3Sixty Insights Global Executive Advisory Council Roundtable Discussion – October 6th 2021

3Sixty Insights team to host Global Executive Advisory Council Roundtable discussion. This event will be held on October 8, 2021 and will be completely virtual, and is private to 3Sixty Insights Executive Advisory Council Members only.

SilkRoad Connections Virtual Conference – October 26th

Join 3Sixty Insights Co-Founder and Director & Principal Analyst Brent Skinner as he speaks at the upcoming SilkRoad Connections Virtual Conference set to take place October 26th. Register on the SilkRoad Connections Virtual Conference website here: https://view.ceros.com/silkroad-technology/connections-2021

 Recent Articles:

 Whole Brain HCM: Knocking Down Software Silos and Solving for Industries

Before discussing human capital management, let’s discuss the C-suite.

There’s a domain of the C-suite fixated on orderliness, efficiencies, productivity, and mathematical measurement, and there’s a domain galvanized by people, creativity, inspiration, and emotionality. The first is the C-suite’s left brain, and the other is its right brain. For organizational success, the economics of our day demand all these preoccupations. Someone on the spectrum of autism may bring much indispensable, focused, unique value to a mission-critical project, yes. An artist may also. But an organization’s leadership singularly focused in just one of these or other ways falters. The C-suite that concentrates an inordinate portion of its energy in the proclivities of the left brain or the right will fail to function as a brain should—as an integrated, balanced organism paying attention to the totality of reality, which brains perceive as a consequence of their design. And don’t fool yourself. The C-suite is your organization’s brain.

In the News:

 isolved Launches Predictive People Analytics for Companies of All Sizes and Sophistication

MIAMI, Sept. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — isolved Connect — At a time when so many businesses are struggling to find and retain good employees, only 57 percent of human resource (HR) leaders rate their company’s employee experience as “good” according to a survey from isolved, a G2 Leader in Human Resources Management for eight consecutive quarters. One of the most common problems is that employers are often unable to analyze basic workforce metrics, let alone use their HR systems to predict what changes will have the biggest impact on business outcomes.

isolved Predictive People Analytics is the incorporation, seamless integration and enhancement of isolved’s recent acquisition of TrenData HR into isolved People Cloud™.  Available now, it delivers a range of configurable dashboards to managers. These dashboards provide analysis and forecasting of key workforce trends such as turnover and diversity, while also presenting a voice-activated assistant to deliver answers for a near-infinite number of HR-related questions, simply and easily using artificial intelligence (AI).

According to 3Sixty Insights Principal Analyst Brent Skinner, isolved’s acquisition, “Helps prepare users of [isolved] People Cloud not only for the eventual AI fueled future of work, but also for the near future.”

 Recent #HRTechChats


3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Melissa Swisher, Chief Revenue Officer at Socrates.ai

For this episode of the #HRTechChat, our guest was Melissa Swisher, chief revenue officer of Socrates.ai. To say Socrates.ai is an artificially intelligent chatbot to tie together various domains of the enterprise software ecosystem is probably the most straightforward description.  The description implies only a small sliver of Socrates.ai’s potential application. Some of these domains themselves may have chatbots specific to various proprietary software, and Socrates.ai an draw information from it all.

As Melissa elaborated during our chat, Socrates.ai “is an employee experience platform. Think of it as an experience layer” that hews to employees’ preferences. My take is this: Think of it as a prosthetic to facilitate a unified experience in employee self-service as this pertains not just to staff’s employment, but to anything they wish or need to know over the course of a given workday. In my experience, ESS for human capital management specifically offers a rich potential vein of return on investment, and I can only imagine that this ROI grows exponentially when applied to more of the employee experience. Melissa and I delved into some interesting numbers around newfound efficiencies deployments of Socrates.ai have produced.

Naturally, because of the solution’s relations to AI, our conversation expanded beyond Socrates.ai itself. And, as mentioned during the chat, I really wish something like Socrates.ai had been available to me much earlier in my career, when I worked with a team at civil engineering firm to figure out what the company had done, in its past, that was relevant to the many responses to request for proposals we drafted. A prosthetic to identify and pull that information from within the depths of the company’s enterprise would have been nice.

3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat from Hollywood, Florida at #isolvedconnect 2021

3Sixty Insights is at the Hilton Diplomat in Hollywood, Fla., this week to attend isolved Connect, the vendor’s annual customer conference. So, naturally, we recorded an episode of the #HRTechChat video podcast onsite with Amy Mosher, isolved’s chief people officer, and Lina Tonk, vice president of marketing for isolved.

For our chat, we dove deeply into isolved’s recent rebrand, the positive impact this has had on its employees and customers alike, and, as well, isolved’s successful internal use of its own platform to grow its own workforce by 40 percent this year. Earlier, this summer, 3Sixty Insights published a case study delving into the particulars. Download it for free, and, if you’re feeling enterprising, go here to learn all about our case study on Key Training Center‘s successful use of the isolved platform.

By the way, you read that right: #isolvedconnect is an in-person event this year. Related activities and festivities remain in full swing through the conclusion of Tuesday’s Final Night Party, and it was my pleasure to deliver a presentation here on Monday: Melding the Two Hemispheres of HCM: Concrete and Abstract. After close to two years now meeting with colleagues only virtually, you tend to forget how great it is to see familiar faces and meet new people in real life.

In my opinion, isolved has conducted itself in an exceptionally savvy way as of late — Amy, Lina, and I even dipped briefly into analyzing the effect of isolved’s new colors, pink and black. It’s fascinating, honestly, and I encourage everyone here to watch the video.

3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Josep Elias, Chief Strategy Officer at CloudPay

This was an especially illuminating episode of #HRTechChat. Chief Strategy Officer Josep Elias joined our video podcast to discuss the company’s new offering for earned wage access (EWA), CloudPay NOW. EWA is another term for on-demand pay, and CloudPay NOW is “the only earned wage access solution that can be deployed in 130+ countries,” the company’s website notes.

Interestingly, CloudPay is bucking the trend in on-demand pay by targeting the entire world (or most of it, anyway). Much of the growth in EWA of late has been in the United States, but EY estimates that “a total of approximately $1 trillion is accrued in employer payroll accounts on any given day,” as noted in a report published in September 2020.

That report by EY is a good read all-around regarding the potential for on-demand pay and the impacts of its unavailability. Additional research elsewhere adds grist to the mill. Nearly half of employees will tolerate no more than one mistake or problem with their paycheck, according to The Workforce Institute at UKG. And, according to a 2020 survey by the American Payroll Association, more than two-thirds of employees would experience financial difficulty if their paychecks were delayed by just one week. Just as worrisome, data from CareerBuilder shows that nearly fourth-fifths of people (in the United States, at least) live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Notably on this last point especially, as Josep pointed out, it’s a dynamic just as apt to dog the six-figure set, not just entry-level or low-wage staff. It would be a major mistake to attribute a gathering momentum in the growth of solutions for on-demand pay, or EWA, solely to a growing appreciation for employee sentiment and wellbeing vis-à-vis their pay. This is one factor undeniably driving adoption, sure, and socially conscious vendors want to meet the need. Swoop up and out another 20,000 feet, however, and you’ll notice something….

Cultural expectations among the newer generations have changed. Generation Z (a.k.a. Zoomers) genuinely wonders why it takes one or two weeks, sometimes a month, to get paid and in just a few ways (e.g., direct deposit to a bank account or, perhaps, via pay card). These limitations fail to align with their expectations of flexibility, instancy and immediacy. To the younger generations, their expectations are compelling.

3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Debbie Tuel, Chief Joy Officer at Symphony Talent

his one has been in the queue for a while. Earlier this summer, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Debbie Tuel. It was the day ahead of Symphony Talent‘s annual user conference. Fittingly, Debbie found herself doing this episode of #HRTechChat from a very cool brewery adjacent to event preparations.

In February 2021, Debbie became chief joy officer at Symphony Talent. When I first spoke with Debbie, not long after she’d landed the new position, I assumed hers was a job in the vein of chief people officer or chief culture officer. As it turns outs, this is not an HR role. Debbie’s charter is to advocate for Symphony’s core message, the idea that talent acquisition should be joyful.

Talent acquisition should indeed be joyful. Plenty of clunky, legacy applicant tracking systems populate the landscape, sure, and this is one of the greatest impediments. But the caliber of technology exists today to take most of the frustration out of talent acquisition for practitioners and job candidates alike. For the latter, all that’s left is the potential sting of not getting the job. And this should be more than enough frustration for anyone in the job search, really. Fortunately, the technology available has become more than good enough. Debbie explains how so and just what, exactly, it means for talent acquisition to be joyful. I thoroughly enjoyed our chat and encourage everyone reading this to give it a watch.

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