PeopleSoft vs Workday: an objective comparison

Two of the main providers in the HRMS market, PeopleSoft and Workday, often make the shortlist in HRMS selection projects. On the surface they are very different vendors and products with Workday as a relative newcomer compared to PeopleSoft’s 30 years of releases. Each product provides its own advantages.

Which HRMS should you choose? Here are key considerations to keep in mind as you make your decision.

Company size and industry

Both vendors offer comprehensive solutions so you could have a full service package with HCM along with other modules like finance or expenses. Workday has been growing in leaps and bounds in recent years and now has more than 10% of the market share for HRMS. PeopleSoft (now acquired by Oracle) has been a proven technology for many years and more than 6000 customers continue to use it and upgrade to the latest version.

PeopleSoft has been proven to be a good match for large customers especially in the areas of government, manufacturing and education although Workday has begun to target education clients. Workday has been successful targeting smaller and mid-size customers and pharmaceuticals.  

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PeopleSoft has a long history of delivering globally to multinationals. Its global payroll extensions would be good for a company that has operations around the globe. Workday has only just begun to enter the global payroll space. Workday has strong functionality for manager and employee self-service including mobile apps, so would be well-suited for a company that has remote workers or employees who often travel.


Workday emphasizes speed of deployment as one of their selling points. As it is a cloud solution it can be implemented in months rather than years. Workday only permits implementations by their own consultants or certified partners which allows it to move quickly. A customer must be diligent and learn what the consultants are doing so that they are able to configure the HRMS once the consultants leave. 

PeopleSoft can be implemented through the cloud, but is also available on-premise. The implementation cycle is largely dependent on which option you choose - and in the latter case, on your internal resources and how much time they have to devote to a project.  


Both companies supply customers with online web portals where they can search for fixes and find documentation. As a SaaS product Workday automatically pushes out updates and fixes to customers twice a year. PeopleSoft users need to rely on their IT departments to coordinate and apply patches. Some customers will benefit from the automatic application of patches and fixes offered by Workday especially if they do not have the staff to do it. Others who prefer to be more in control of application updates will prefer to manage it themselves in a PeopleSoft environment.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski

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