What is Happening?
Earlier this week, Saugatuck attended Workday Rising 2015 at the Mandelay Bay in Las Vegas. Compared to last year, the event has grown dramatically – from approximately 3500 attendees last year to over 5500 this year, including more than 3000 customers, 400+ prospects, and nearly 1,000 partners (according to Workday). This reflects that fact that not only is the business and customer base growing rapidly, but so is their partner ecosystem.
The core of the event showcased the growth in their product on many fronts, with improvements and new capabilities added across their existing products and platform. Additionally, Workday seems committed to taking on not just HCM and Finance, but also vertically-focused applications that play to their strengths. It is clear that they are moving toward more and more ERP functionality, starting with the industries least served by current options, or industries where the Cloud is of particular benefit.
Overall, we took away seven major points from this year’s event:
- Workday Planning – Though Workday already has strong relationships with Tidemark, Anaplan, and Adaptive Insights (including direct investments in Tidemark and Anaplan), they are now working on a planning application inside their core application environment, that is deeply integrated within their HCM and Finance solution sets.
The new planning capabilities take advantage of their acquisition of Gridcraft to deliver a planning application inside of the familiar spreadsheet interface, which borrows heavily from the look of Google Sheets or Excel. While this planning application is a nascent feature for Workday we expect this to become a core area for them, as it will likely benefit in the future from Workday’s expertise in machine learning and predictive analytics.
In the future, we expect Workday’s planning capabilities will be bolstered by Insight Applications. While there was little mention of new Insight Applications this year the concept is not one that Workday has abandoned, but instead one that has necessarily been slowed as they worked on performance improvements in the platform to enable these capabilities. However, the launch of the Planning application does raise some questions for the future. This is an area where Workday has build many strong partnerships, and we are uncertain how Workday plans to chart the balance between developing new capabilities, and competing with existing partners.