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How you negotiate your next Workday or Oracle contract

Get a great deal on your next Workday contract with these insights.

Negotiating an ERP contract is like two governments negotiating a trade agreement — it's a complex labyrinth of heated discussions and unreasonable demands. But instead of senators and state leaders, ERP discussions involve pushy sales reps and disgruntled vendors who constantly give you the hard sell. "It's only software," you tell yourself, but it's as if you're thrashing out the finer details of an international tax treaty. The process is so long and laborious that sometimes you wish you'd never joined the vendor selection team. 

Whether you're negotiating with Oracle Fusion or Workday, you will inevitably face roadblocks. Vendors have an almost-indestructible army of hungry salespeople who go to any length to win the negotiation battle. Don't let these charismatic sales reps fool you. By sizing up the competition, you can win your next negotiation and secure a contract that's in your favor. 

It's all about identifying the strengths and weaknesses of both Oracle and Workday and using this knowledge while in the negotiation room. Does Oracle have a better feature than Workday? Make sure Oracle knows about it. How does Workday trump Oracle? Tell Workday your thoughts. Remember, it doesn't matter if you're negotiating with Workday, Oracle, or both. Pitting these vendors against each other could strengthen your hand.

Negotiating with Workday? What Oracle Does Better

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP has a larger user base than Workday, and it consumes a meatier slice of the ERP pie. There's a misconception that cloud-based Oracle is the better pick (mainly because of their market share), but who has the hottest new logo growth? Workday also touts their data layer model and their analytics ability because of it.

That said, Oracle does a lot of things better. It has an integrated cloud and analytics solution, for starters, which comes with a data model for transactional systems. Some features don't exist on Workday at all — end-to-end, quote-to-cash, and omnichannel order management come to mind. Then there's the price. Negotiating skills will determine exact costs, but Oracle usually works with new clients to make the economics work. (Not good if you have a large company.)

Tip: Why not bring your own contract to your Oracle/Workday vendor? You can start the negotiation from your terms and go from there. 

Negotiating With Oracle? What Workday Does Better

Launched in 2005, Workday Financial Management is a couple of years older than Oracle's real move to cloud (before buying Netsuite). It has garnered a loyal fan base over the years, even catering to multi-nationals such as Walmart, GEICO, BP, and others. 

Workday brims with features (far too many to list here) and offers users plenty of capabilities they can't find on Oracle.

Other products in the Oracle ecosystem (mainly Oracle HCM) support these features, but their extra features will cost you more money. Raise these concerns to a rep if negotiating Fusion Cloud ERP. Why should you pay for human capital management software when Workday provides the godfather of enterprise cloud HR systems? Really, who could build it better than Dave Duffield (PeopleSoft co-founder who also started Workday)? Let's not forget that Oracle did a hostile takeover of PeopleSoft ( ...use it!

Tip: Offer a fair price for Oracle/Workday and column fodder up. Stand your ground.

What Do People Say?

An overly ambitious sales rep can make all kinds of claims in the negotiation room, but no one knows an ERP system better than its users. 

  • Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP has an average user rating of 4.2/5 (based on 46 reviews) on Capterra. 

  • Workday Financial Management has an average user rating of 4.3/5 (based on 42 reviews) on Capterra. 

Ease of Use

Workday scores significantly higher on ease of use, with one user calling it "streamlined." The consensus is that Oracle isn't as user-friendly, with one user describing it as "poor" and "cumbersome to use and learn."

Customer Support

Workday also wins on customer support, according to real users, with customers praising the Workday Community as "a great tool to post ideas and get real-world advice from other companies."

Value for Money

Users think Workday provides more bang for their buck. However, customers point out that Oracle, being a cloud-based solution, "eliminates IT infrastructure costs" and integrates easily with multi-format databases.

Features and Functionality

Again, Workday wins over Oracle, albeit slightly, with customers heralding the former's reporting capabilities and an interface that looks "fresh." Oracle scores points for its "on-demand scalability and pricing," which suits small- to medium-sized companies. 

It's a similar story on Gartner, where users prefer Workday over Oracle:

  • Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP has an average user score of 4.4/5 (based on 56 reviews) on Gartner.

  • Workday Financial Management has an average user score of 4.5/5 (based on 86 reviews) on Gartner. 

Both are respectable scores, especially compared to other ERP systems like SAP and Infor CloudSuite, but users prefer Workday for:

  • Evaluation and contracting 

  • Integration and deployment

  • Service and support

(Oracle scored higher on product capabilities.)

Note: ERP users recently ranked Workday as the No.2 ERP system on the market (out of 22 vendors), with 82 percent of customers satisfied. Only Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations had more satisfied customers — 84 percent in total. Interestingly, Workday appeared toward the bottom of the list. 

Tip: Quote a couple of user reviews in the negotiation room to point out any weaknesses. Ask the vendor to justify any price hikes if a software feature has poor feedback.

Final Word

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP and Workday Financial Management are both valuable ERP tools that optimize innumerable business workflows. When your next contract is up, learn the differences between Oracle and Workday and bring up feature variations, system inefficiencies, and user reviews during negotiations. You could save thousands of dollars!

If you need some help, we are pretty good at this :)

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