Last week, we were thrilled to be a part of Workday Rising, Workday’s annual event for customers and prospects. We were joined by 800+ customers, prospects, Workday executives and partners. Workday calls it the “Rising Revolution” and from the time we started setting up our table last Monday until the conference ended, it sure felt like we were part of a revolution. If you’ve ever used Oracle or SAP, you’ll know how unusual this level of customer excitement is when talking about HCM or Financials. Workday is on a triple-digit growth trajectory and it’s not hard to see why.
So, we thought we’d share our early thoughts about why Workday is generating so much excitement from its customers and partners.
- Culture: It’s almost a cliche to talk about Workday’s unique culture that comes from founders Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri. They’re both customer-oriented to the core and the values they’ve worked hard to instill are clear in every interaction that you have with anyone at Workday. Customers we talked to always mentioned how they always felt comfortable, even when things got challenging with their implementations, because of their trust in the Workday team. And the earnest pursuit of customer success is not without laughs. One of our favorite moments was when Dave Duffield deftly combined customer success and humor with a segment on how he (and his family) supported his customers from Chiquita Bananas to McKee foods to Sony Pictures and many more.
- Compelling product and vision: It goes without saying that Workday has a compelling product. They’re delivering a far superior user experience at much lower TCO than traditional HCM solutions. Senior executives at one of Workday’s largest customers apparently say that Workday is the most successful IT project in their history. And HCM is just the start. By integrating Financials and HCM, Workday has a vision of giving enterprises insight into not only into where their teams are investing their time but also how this translates into business outcomes. Business systems of the past helped enterprises optimize how widgets got produced but did less well at helping enterprises manage their most precious resource, their people. By moving beyond transactions, integrating with financials and providing easy-to-use analytics, Workday could unlock significant new value within enterprises, many orders of magnitude beyond the TCO savings on the systems themselves.
- Great customer community: We had heard a lot about Workday’s traction with large enterprises but seeing is believing. What’s amazing is to see enterprise IT and HRIS teams at large enterprises genuinely excited about what they’re experiencing with Workday. We even talked to a few people at the event who were in the first week of their Workday go-lives. Try that with your on-premise system!
- Lots of opportunity to innovate: Workday showed off a lot of exciting new features including mobile analytics, new reporting capabilities and a nifty Outlook plug-in that brings contextual Workday information right into email. In addition, Workday is making it easy for customers and partners to bring Workday information to business users. This is what makes it possible to build solutions like PeopleWorks that bring the power of Workday to the tools that people use to work.
- Friendly ecosystem: Unlike other events where there’s an air of cut-throat competition among competitors in the ecosystem, this was a much friendlier and collaborative affair. Workday takes pains to foster the idea that everyone is on one team and often brings together multiple partners to deliver the best solution to customers. Our interactions with other partners at the event reinforced this notion and made us excited to be able to contribute our cloud expertise and innovation to the ecosystem.
Along with Google and Salesforce, Workday is at the forefront of a dramatic shift in enterprise computing, toward a world in which even the largest enterprises run their businesses in the cloud and we’re excited to help accelerate that shift!