Understanding the Vendor Brandscape Report™

Our Methodology

The Starr Conspiracy Intelligence Unit (TSCIU) developed its Vendor Brandscape Report™ methodology as a multidimensional model with the purpose of understanding the market attributes of HR technology categories and vendor attributes to characterize how companies within a specific category interact with the market.

Market Attributes

  1. Market stage: Where the market sits on the technology adoption life cycle — early adopter, early mainstream, mainstream, or mature.
  2. Market size: The market size in U.S. dollars to capture the current and total addressable market for the category.
  3. Geographic footprint: Indicating where the geographic strength of the market is. Is it global? If so, where is it strongest? Where do we expect to see the most growth?
  4. Growth strategy: Are vendors going to market pursuing a profit or a market share orientation? What does the company’s choice mean to the vendor, customer, and investor communities?

Vendor Attributes

  1. Brand power: Based on brand awareness research when available and our own assessment when it is not.
  2. Message focus/market position assessment: Based on our analysis of how well the vendor understands the market and is delivering and communicating a compelling value proposition.
  3. Competitive strength assessment: Based on the vendor’s brand strength, financial strength, strategic alliances, and how defensible its position is.
  4. Potential: Based on the company’s business trajectory. For example, is it a rollup player, target for acquisition, an IPO candidate, or a persistent niche player?

This report offers TSCIU’s point of view, supported by our independent research and the experience of our staff of analysts and strategists. The report is speculative and serves as a lens to view what’s coming in the market by way of trends rather than a view to the past or present state.


This report serves the needs of three primary audiences:

  • Senior executives and sales and marketing leaders at HR technology vendors, who will gain a better understanding of the market and how to improve from a brand and message perspective in order to attain a better competitive position.
  • HR technology buyers, who will gain a better understanding of market trends impacting HR technology, the technology vendors and specific technologies to explore, and brands worth investing in.
  • Venture capital/private equity investors, who will gain a better understanding of the market and how marketing, message, and brand all play a role in the success or struggles of specific companies.


The Vendor Brandscape Report is the primary format by which TSCIU will provide its perspective on the trends, technologies, and vendors participating in a growing list of HR technology categories included in the expanding set of TSCIU research. We plan to update the HCM vendor brandscape report on a regular basis and encourage questions, input, and feedback from HCM vendors, customers, and investors. We are committed to evolving our reports, their format, and their reach.

Please direct any questions or comments to George LaRocque.


HCM Vendors: How We See the Market and Who’s Included

For the purposes of this report, human capital management (HCM) vendors are defined as cloud-based technology vendors offering solutions that cover essential capabilities for human resource management:

  • Human Resource Management — management of the core employee record and data
  • Payroll
  • Time and Attendance
  • Benefits Administration

HCM vendors may or may not have extended their solutions into talent management, learning, engagement, talent acquisition, or myriad other HR technology categories.

Inclusion Criteria

HCM vendors are included based upon any of the following:

  • The vendor’s presence and brand position in the global HCM market
  • TSCIU’s ability to measure the vendor’s brand awareness independently via our ongoing research
  • The vendor’s participation in TSCIU’s briefing and research process

This report is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of vendors in the market, but a measure of vendors that have a significant brand presence and/or potential.

List of Vendors

In this report, we are reviewing the following vendors:

  • Workday
  • Oracle
  • SAP/SuccessFactors
  • ADP
  • Ceridian
  • Ultimate Software
  • Skillsoft/SumTotal
  • NetSuite/TribeHR
  • Kronos
  • Namely
  • Zenefits
  • Sage
  • BambooHR
  • Infor
  • Paychex
  • Fairsail
  • Kin HR
  • Compass HRM
  • Benepay Technologies
  • cfactor Works
  • Zuman
  • PeopleStrategy

© 2015 The Starr Conspiracy. The analysis and recommendations made in the Vendor Brandscape Report™ are based on information currently available to The Starr Conspiracy Intelligence Unit (TSCIU) from sources believed to be reliable. The Starr Conspiracy disclaims all warranties regarding the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of such information. The Starr Conspiracy will have no liability for errors, omissions, or inadequacies in the information contained herein, or for interpretations hereof. This report consists of the opinions of The Starr Conspiracy and should not be construed as statements of fact. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. All content is copyright The Starr Conspiracy, unless otherwise identified. All rights reserved.