Even if you’re not a keen follower of software and HR trends, you might enjoy this radio broadcast by the mellifluous and humorous Bill Kutik in which he interviews Stuart Harvey, the CEO of Ceridian, about that company’s attempt to transform itself from services provider into “cloud” software company.
Harvey makes the case that Ceridian needs this transformation because customers want software that is easy to implement. Much to the consternation of Kutik, Harvey repeatedly uses the terms “SaaS” and “cloud” to describe the new Ceridian, thus distinguishing itself from historic Ceridian which has been passed around like a dirty handkerchief from IBM to Control Data to its current owner, Thomas H. Lee Partners.
But speaking of IBM, isn’t Harvey’s strategy the exact opposite of the now celebrated one of IBM that places emphasis on serving the customer holistically instead of trying to ‘sell product’?
My take is that this transformation by Ceridian has little to do with serving the customer and a lot to do with the dreamy valuations being accorded public companies in the cloud software space.
Indeed, if a money-losing cloud floozie like Success Factors can sell itself off for $3.4 billion, then Harvey, whose background is in law and investment banking, shouldn’t have too much trouble doing something similar with Ceridian.