Back in the mid-nineties, Hollywood hatched an idea: Captains James Tiberius Kirk and Jean Luc Picard really ought to join forces. The easy-to-see logic was that fans of the original "Stark Trek" series and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" alike would flock to theaters to experience the nirvana of witnessing William Shatner and Patrick Stewart sharing the silver screen, ostensibly to fight the bad guys more roundly and to play out a storyline of even deeper profundity than the plotlines of either series' big screen adaptations could ever muster alone.
"Star Trek Generations" was the product of this thinking. The film's plot itself seemed to be a metaphor for producers' apparent prediction: Both televisions series' captains find themselves entranced by the Siren's call of a strange, cosmic nirvana, The Nexus. Something like heaven, The Nexus was a vortex of sorts, a naturally occurring hologram that threw those who entered it into perfect lives reflecting their deepest desires and dreams. Fans, upon reaching this point in the movie, would find themselves in a nexus of their own, where everything Star Trek–related worked together seamlessly.
Actually, that's just a layman's description of the movie's portayal of the Nexus, whose lowercase, non–Star Trek definition is merely "a means of connection, a tie, or link," according to dictionary.com. But that still works. What if tasks related to workforce management, HR, payroll and tax all functioned together under the auspices of one application or platform? Connected, they might reflect the deepest desires and dreams of human resource practitioners currently cowed and discouraged by the tedium these tasks can generate.
"May the Dayforce Be With You"
We're now talking about "Star Wars." In late-seventies sci-fi font that would make George Lucas proud, the above displayed across the front of complimentary t-shirts that Ceridian Corporation gifted to every participant of the Ceridian Analyst Summit, a gathering last week of industry observers, analysts and influencers at the Boston Four Seasons Hotel. Attendees and others viewed and listened to presentations as they used the hash tag #CENaday to tweet about the event.
Ceridian's objective was to introduce this audience to the company's evolving HR technology offering, an iteration made possible by Ceridian's recent acquisition of Dayforce Corporation. Readers of this blog will know that we're big on integration and the ensuing alignment of HR with itself, other business processes, and C-suite strategy. Any technological integration whose result further aligns heretofore misaligned or under-aligned processes is a win, in our eyes. And on this score, Dayforce | HCM delivers. The new system, Dayforce | HCM, at once retains the acquired company's moniker and reflects the potential many have long anticipated from Ceridian, a company with financial year 2011 budget of $1.5 billion.
What Does HR Tech Nirvana Look Like for HR Practitioners?
It probably looks like much more than Ceridian Dayforce, but nirvana for practitioners surely includes elements that look, sound and feel just like the Dayforce | HCM ecosystem, a healthy, thriving ecosystem whose user interface is effortless. Dayforce | HCM is a single SaaS application for HR, payroll, tax, benefits, workforce management, talent management and several related activities. Time and pay join forces under one application, sans interface — perhaps the most compelling aspect of Dayforce | HCM, which also comprises HR and benefits. The result is surely a Nexus-like experience for practitioners.
Talk about alignment. Practitioners have waited a long time to see time and pay working together, under the auspices of one platform. The amount of administrative tedium expended in synchronizing disparate systems for these tasks hogs too much of your HR practitioners' time and mental energy, precluding the department from focusing on more strategic activities pertaining to talent management, which Dayforce | HCM also enables. Workflow condenses favorably within Dayforce | HCM, whose now-integrated time and pay functionalities alone eliminate redundant data validation and interface issues to consolidate 70 percent of duplicate tasks. That's a big deal, and as Ceridian Dayforce President David Ossip's presentation noted, Dayforce | HCM involves no interfaces, delivers one user experience, and produces one employee record.
Prequels and Sequels
The prequels to ecosystems like Ceridian Dayforce remain the reality at many organizations. A hodgepodge of hastily and sub-optimally cobbled together platforms and applications, many of them premise-based, all struggle to inform each other. The HR practitioner, who bears the brunt of the circumstances, must navigate his or her way through a tortuous process demanding too much time and too much mental energy. IT goes along for the ride, too, kicking and screaming.
Yet much of HCM is automatable and interlocking, and Dayforce | HCM really does seem like the next generation of evolution along the pathway to HR alignment. The next several months promise much from Ceridian. Stay tuned to HRO Today and TMT for more information, as it becomes available.