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Aberdeen Asset Management

Implementing Cornerstone and Workday in 17 months at Aberdeen Asset Management


Client & Situation

Aberdeen Asset Management is an international investment group with 2,800 employees in 26 countries. Over the past 9 years Aberdeen customised their HR system to include local variations, ad-hoc forms, reports, compliance requirements, and workflows to create a very bespoke solution. However, this legacy HR system had limited remaining life due to a lack of future support, and needed to be replaced fairly urgently.


Aberdeen Asset Management needed a fast RFP and implementation to fit around business ‘blackout’ periods for compensation cycle and wanted to simplify and globalise ways of working whilst ensuring all financial services regulations were met.

Actions & Response

As Aberdeen’s chosen implementation partner, Veran streamlined the RFP over 8 weeks, focusing on four scenarios that mattered. During this time Veran developed the business case along with the Steering Group to support the implementation.  In leading the selection process, two new best-in-class systems were chosen: Cornerstone for Learning, and Workday for all other HR needs.

During the Aberdeen-Veran journey, the joint project team:

  • Defined the design plan and business processes, standardising all core HR processes across all regions

  • Worked with key people in the global, 90-strong HR team, clarifying the scope and leading the design in a series of workshops built around Workday topic areas—Phase One: core HCM, Absence, and Benefits; Phase Two: Talent, Performance and Advanced Compensation

  • Cleansed and mapped all data including 6 years’ historical data required for compliance

  • Structured training and communications to the global business

  • Established a global change agent group across all regions and divisions broadly calculated on a 1:100 ratio (These change agents were trained locally by the project team and in turn they coordinated and delivered local training requirements using centrally produced training materials such as Toolkits for HR, Managers and Employees, How-To Guides and a series of user videos

  • Trained global HR team using topic specific WebEx sessions

The project plan was brilliantly managed and constructed, largely by Veran.  To get to where we are, problem free, in that short space of time, and to replicate all the functionality we had was phenomenal.  We set quite an aggressive target for ourselves, and we’ve achieved it.I would have to say, hand-on-heart, to anyone who is looking to implement an HR system (most of my peers don’t have their own in house HR teams), you absolutely need to use an external consultancy that’s expert in this; it’s very hard to do it successfully if you don’t.  Veran was a great fit for us.


–Kerry Christie, Head of HR, Aberdeen Asset Management

Veran Performance and Aberdeen Asset Management successfully implemented Cornerstone OnDemand (5 months) and Workday (12 months) on time and on budget.

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