Wednesday, 31 October 2018 00:33

Workday has risen to become an impressive enterprise cloud app player in just 13 years, Part 1 of 3

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Growing from humble beginnings, Workday now serves hundreds of industry leaders with its enterprise cloud applications for finance, human resources, business planning, analytics and more.

Note this is article one in a three part series, part two is entitled: "VIDEOS: See Workday Rising 2018's keynotes, sessions, interviews and exec Q&A videos, part 2 of 3", while part three is entitled "Workday launches Skills Cloud while delivering Adaptive Insights, part 3 of 3". 

Workday. It is an impressive company, with its recent Workday Rising events in the US and Europe showcasing the latest additions to its universe of products and services.

I recently had the chance to attend the Workday Rising conference in Las Vegas, with its European event to be held in Vienna, Austria on November 13 to 15, and filmed the excellent day one and day two keynotes which are embedded below, as well as some other sessions including some Q&A session with executives.

Netflix is one of the companies that uses Workday's technology, which I recently read about in an article noting the interesting salaries that Netflix pays its employees, with Netflix choosing to make remuneration of all employees public via its Workday system, as you can read here

Most companies would not choose to make employee remuneration available for all employees, but Netflix is one of those special companies that can set it own rules, and no doubt Workday is happy to be one of the companies helping to power the Netflix engine in some way.

Workday has impressively grown itself, with its 2018 figures showing over 31 million users and 2300+ customers from the Fortune 50, Fortune 500 and beyond with nearly 10,000 employees worldwide, with new offices opened in places with South Africa, Thailand, South Korea and elsewhere, while the company recently acquired Adaptive Insights to add to its strong list of products and services.

Equally impressive is the growth in customer satisfaction from 95% to a new high of 98%, of which the company was naturally very proud to have achieved, especially as it is a stat generated by customers who use Workday day in, day out, to do the work Workday allows them to do.

The company was also listed as No.7 on the Great Place to Work and Fortune Magazine's list of companies that literally are great places to work, which is another impressive accolade the company is also proud to have achieved for itself and its employees.

I also had the chance to talk to a non-Japanese Hitachi executive, Levent Arabaci, SVP of HR, who explained that Hitachi has over 350,000 employees worldwide under Hitachi's umbrella of companies, which included 900 subsidiaries, and how the transformation of the HR department was a multi-year process - and how Workday's products and services were helping the company to achieve their plan.

Getting Japanese companies to change is complex and difficult, so Arabaci had to showcase the benefits of moving to a new system where order could be achieved out of well, in my words, chaos.

Currently 50,000 employees have been migrated across to the Workday system, with 300,000 to go, because such a large change cannot be done overnight, but must be done carefully and methodically.

The idea is to get to 250,000 employees into the system by 2021, with everything now being documented, timestamped and more, with the company shifting the way it manages its employees into the 21st century, and with the system working beautifully as planned.

Workday's system also allowed Hitachi to implement a performance review system, something the company had not done in 100 years.

When asked why the company chose Workday, Arabaci said he had known about the before joining Hitachi, so was familiar with the company, but that was earlier in his career.

Naturally, Hitachi looked at SAP, Oracle, Success Factors and others including Workday before deciding to choose Workday for the job.

Arabaci noted that after evaluating all the players, there was simply no competition - Workday was the only solution that could handle the complexity, with a single solution, at the right price.

Other companies were too expensive, or had too many platforms to contend with.

Workday's solution delivered the flexibility and customisability required, while allowing Hitachi to maintain control, so hearing all of this from a Workday customer was an impressive testimonial.

You'll find the promised videos, and what were some of the announcements made at the recent Workday Rising event, as well as some blog posts from the company in part two, entitled: "VIDEOS: See Workday Rising 2018's keynotes, sessions, interviews and exec Q&A videos, part 2 of 3", while part three is entitled "Workday launches Skills Cloud while delivering Adaptive Insights, part 3 of 3". 

The writer attended Workday Rising in Las Vegas as a guest of Workday.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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