We had the opportunity to attend Workday's Rising conference, held from September 30th till October 3rd, 2018, held at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas. The event had record breaking attendance, in every dimension: Attendees, hotel, partners, expos, conference program etc. always a sign of a growing vendor.



Prefer to watch – here is my event video … (if the video doesn't' show up – check here




Here is the 1 slide condensation (if the slide doesn't show up, check here):

Want to read on? Here you go:

One more analytics push – Reporting, BigData, Analytics, Machine Learning are all topic that Workday has been addressing continuously across the 6 Workday Risings I have covered. No surprise, this year – given the recent acquisition of Adaptive Insights, the topic was given substantial keynote time. Question remain on integration, UI harmonization and it's too early to declare that Workday has solved the overall analytics challenge, but it is closer than ever to close this 6+ year journey.

Workforce Planning and Skills Cloud – A long term desire from HR practitioners is to solve the planning problem, that across the board has not been addressed well by the vendors in the market, leaving enterprises to use with 3rd party platforms and tools. Given the importance not a good solution, so good to see that Workday is trying to tackle this important area. The other key functional announcement was around the Skills Cloud – an area that as well has eluded practitioners in the past from a standpoint of out-of-the-box automation by all vendors. Skills have been a long-term ambition by Workday as well, trying to solve tricky ontology question with acquisitions and inhouse.

PaaS for Build gets Real – The move into PaaS is key for Workday customers, as for all SaaS vendors. In the era of business process uncertainty, a PaaS gives customers the confidence to use a SaaS vendor – as when automation does not fit, they can build what the need. In 2018 it requires also to build standalone apps, a capability that Workday promised at Rising in 2017, and delivered this year. Always good to see vendors keeping their roadmap promises.

Update from Rising 2018 – Vienna

Being uncharacteristically late with this job post, opened it to be overtaken news wise by Workday Rising Europe, held in Vienna, November 13th – 15th 2018. Largest user conference for Workday in Europe as well. The big news was Workday disclosing its progress moving its offering to AWS. First customers in North America are live, so no it comes to rollout. After Canada, USA is next, and Germany has been announced to come first half of 2019. The latter is key to allow customer to comply with GDPR and ease Patriot Act related concerns of running their servers in North America. Good to see Workday deliver on its announcement from AWS reinvent conference a year ago.


Good progress by Workday, pushing functionality across the board and (hopefully) solving the Analytics challenge now with Adaptive Insights, it's largest acquisition ever. Good to see the PaaS progress and interesting innovation with the Skills Cloud.

On the concern side, Workday for a long time claimed the thought leadership for HCM, but to keep that lead it needs thought leading functionality and innovation in the core business applications. This was missing (at both) Workday Risings, and it possibly caused by the re-platform efforts that are happening in the background. For 2019 Workday will have to deliver some big thought leadership functionality to keep that lead. That the competition is idling in this key department is a frustration for HR practitioners all across the world

But overall an impressive, well-choreographed event, as usual at Risings. Good news on customer traction, partner interest and platform /analytics innovation. Now it comes to see how customers and prospects will update the new capabilities.


Business Research Themes