Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft converted from Workday to Oracle HCM Cloud in order to change its internal systems and gain more functionality via self-service for managers and employees.
- Cadwalader’s Workday implementation had issues from the start, so it was inevitable that they would eventually move to another system.
- Moving to Oracle HCM Cloud drastically improved the accessibility to data for reporting.
- Data conversion from Workday to Oracle was time-consuming because of the limited Workday access and Kronos data.
About Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft was founded in 1792 and continues to be one of the world’s most prominent financial services law firms. It is the oldest continuing Wall Street practice in the U.S. There are locations in New York, Washington, Charlotte, London and Brussels, and the firm includes almost 400 legal staff internationally.
The practice includes work in antitrust arenas, corporate law, sports law, energy and financial regulation and financial restructuring. Cadwalader’s clients include many of the world’s leading financial institutions, corporations, health care and charitable organizations, government agencies, and private individuals.
Prior to its Oracle implementation, Cadwalader was running Workday for HR, Benefits and Absence Management, including data migrated initially from Kronos.
Why did Cadwalader decide to make the move to Oracle HCM Cloud?
There were a lot of big reasons behind the need for change at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. First, the Workday implementation wasn’t done correctly. Implementation decisions were made without understanding the long-term impact, so the team was unable to administer the technology after go-live. This created a second problem of limited use of functionality due to the setup and implementation issues. The team was unable to run the ADP interface, even after five years of work and review. Third, there was no accessibility for reporting or analysis. Information was kept in separate silos. The processes also required a lot of detailed paper trails, and there were manual workarounds that included multi-layered approvals outside of the system. It wasn’t efficient. Finally, there was limited access and visibility in the system for managers, and the lack of functionality reinforced employees’ aversion to self-service.
What were some of the challenges of being in Workday?
The structure of Workday didn’t allow the Cadwalader team to use its naming conventions or existing reporting structure. The structure also required a lot of configuration workarounds or placeholder data to get data loaded. The data that was converted into Workday from Kronos wasn’t easily accessible and reportable either.
A lot of the processes needed improvement, too. The submission/approval process for absences like “Bar Leave” for attorneys typically had to be handled off-line and passed to several different groups for approval. If an employee submitted an absence in Workday and decided not to take it, they would have to submit a negative absence to balance it out.
Why was Oracle HCM Cloud chosen over others?
It was nice to be able to implement multiple Oracle modules at once. The client ownership was also much better with this project. It took some time, but it was because there were so many problems with the old system. People weren’t used to taking ownership of the content and functionality. Oracle also allowed a complete data conversion. Cadwalader had a lot of important data that needed to move into the Cloud, and now the team could access and report on that data more easily. The final piece of the puzzle was the process of consulting from both Oracle and Arclight, Cadwalader’s implementation partner. Having more guidance around the project and functionality made a big difference.
What modules were implemented?
With this HCM Cloud project, Cadwalader implemented Core HR, Workforce Directory, Workforce Predictions, Benefits Administration and Absence Management.
What were the lessons learned from this project?
There were many lessons to learn after such a big transition, but here are just a few that were highlighted.
- Data transformation for employee data from Workday to Oracle was a time-consuming process that required a field-by-field review and data mapping.
- There was limited Workday access, so a Workday expert was needed in order to extract and transform data to fit Oracle requirements.
- The data transformation for Kronos data required a completely different extraction and mapping process.
If you’re looking to make the switch to Oracle HCM Cloud, be sure to read our article, Essentials for a Strategic Transition to Cloud Services.
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