Human Resource Software Giants Get Cozier

December 2, 2015, 10:00 AM UTC
Courtesy of Workday, Inc.

Sometime competitors Workday (WDAY) and ADP (ADP) are building closer ties with their human resources software.

The goal is to help multinational businesses standardize payroll across more than 100 countries, while complying with local laws in various countries.

The expanded partnership will make it easier for Workday customers to manage ADP payroll information from within Workday’s software, used for maintaining employee records and human resources data. Meanwhile, companies using ADP to pay their employees will be able to access and manage relevant data entered directly into Workday.

“ADP’s increased collaboration with Workday tightly aligns market leaders to deliver a seamless global payroll experience,” ADP CEO and president Carlos Rodriguez, said in a statement.

Workday has strong motivation to strengthen its pre-existing ADP alliance. At least half of its multinational customers use ADP for global payroll services, said Barbry McGann, a vice president of product strategy for Workday’s payroll services team. After reaching a certain size, many companies use a combination of outsourced payroll service providers and in-house teams, McGann said. Workday has more than 1,000 business customers overall, although it doesn’t disclose how many of them are multinational.

The two companies have been working together since Workday was founded in 2005. But after the cloud HR software company entered the U.S. payroll market in 2008, the two also became competitors.

The integrated payroll system won’t actually show up in Workday’s software until the second half of 2016, when the company delivers its next major revision.

Over the past year, ADP has invested heavily in technology so that its services work closely with other human resources applications, much as it is doing with Workday, said Stuart Sackman, corporate vice president of global product and technology for ADP.

So far, the company has signed at least 100 software developers—creators of everything from recruiting tools to timesheet apps to talent management systems—as official partners. Applications from these partners are featured in the ADP Marketplace; ADP receives a transaction fee on any sales that result from a marketplace listing referral.

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