We had the opportunity to attend Workday Rising in Las Vegas this week. The conference is well attended with over 5000 attendees, and held in the Mandalay Bay conference center.

Lots of things announced and happening - but here are my Top 3 takeaways:


If you have no chance to watch - take a look:

  • Learning - Workday announced a Learning module, scheduled to be released in about a year from today with Workday 27. Workday is hitting all the right features for a modern Learning application, a more detailed roadmap has not been shared (yet). The Mediacore (more here) acquisition is key for this, and the demos leveraged Mediacore capabilities. Read more about Learning in my News Analysis blog post here.
  • New Scorecard capability - Two of the Insight Applications that Workday announced a year ago at Rising were Scorecard based, and the new Scorecard capability is available now. On the question of the overall push for 'true' analytics (more here), the answer from Workday executives was that customers wanted Workday to address more reporting and dash-boarding capabilities.
  • Platform Housekeeping - Platforms age like humans and load up on more technical debt, from a chat with CTO Stan Swete and a presentation by David Clarke / Jim Stratton during the conference it is clear that Workday is doing substantial renovation, innovation and good housekeeping on the platform. Examples were the ability to move large data amounts across servers, multiple threaded reads and updates and a separation of processes.

Analyst Tidbits

  • Worksheets - Workday acquired Gridcraft (a little more here), a bona fide spreadsheet tool that is Excel compatible but can be embedded into enterprise systems. Workday did quick uptake on it - e.g. we saw an improved Compensation functionality. Gridcraft also has collaboration capabilities that were demoed in the keynote. 
  • Trust Workday - Workday is taking a page from the Salesforce playbook - and creating a customer status website.
  • UI Improvements - a new employee profile, Android is a 1st grade citizen and new collaboration capabilities are coming. Spontaneous audience applause came for new branding capabilities of Workday to get more of a corporate design look & feel. 
  • Effective Date Change Interface - Workday provided an interface to feed effective date based core HR systems (hint - SAP) - which reduces implementation effort considerably - the quoted number was 90%.
  • Ecosystem - The ecosystem is doing well, though the show floor looked smaller / with less partners than a year ago at Rising in San Francisco. Major ecosystem news was IBM acquiring Workday boutique analyst shop Meteorix (more here). 


Another good Rising conference for Workday. A growing vendor, a growing ecosystem, more customers always creates a positive vibe at a conference. And with Learning Workday has (finally) delivered the missing piece to its portfolio of Talent Management solutions. Workday approaches Learning with the same verve as it did Recruiting - re-thinking it from an employee / consumer experience, always a good approach. Workdays is also doing good work at innovating and expanding its platform capabilities, which alleviates a general concern in regards of platforms that are reaching their 'teenage' years of age. It is also good to see how Workday is looking at TCO, the new effective date capability will make it easier, faster and cheaper to implement Workday, a good move. 

On the concern side it looks like the Insight Apps are not moving as fast as at least I expected. Workday is saying customers wanted more basic / Bi reporting capabilities, which is plausible, but Workday is at risk to loose the (ambitious) initiative of being the most 'true' analytics vendor out there. But the calendar year is not over, so we will have to see what is coming. Equally Workday did not share a roadmap (yet) on what will come when for Learning, it will be important for Workday to share that soon so that customer can do their plans. And in contrast to Recruiting where the market leaders had slowed down and then got acquired (aka Taleo), the Learning market is thriving as part of a larger Talent Management function. 

But for now congrats to Workday for completing the Talent Management 'puzzle' with Learning in the next year. Stay tuned for more. 

And more on Workday
  • News Analysis - Workday completes Talent Management with Learning - Finally - or too late? Read here.
  • Event Preview - What I would like Workday to address this Rising read here
  • News Analysis – Workday to Expand Suite of Applications for Healthcare Industry - with a SCM twist - read here
  • News Analysis - Workday supports UK Payroll - now speaks (British English) Payroll  - read here
  • Workday 24 - 'True' Analytics, a Vertical and more - now needs customer proof points - read here
  • First Take - Top 3 Takeaways from of Workday Rising Day 1 Keynote - The dawn of the analytics era - time to deliver Insight Apps - read here
  • Progress Report - Workday supports more cloud standard - but work remains - read here
  • Workday 22 - Recruiting and rich Workday 22 are here - read here
  • First Take - Why Workday acquired Identified - (real) Analytics matter - read here
  • Workday Update 21 - All about the user experience and some more - read here
  • Workday Update 20 - Mostly a technology release - read here
  • Takeaways from the Salesforce.com and Workday partnership - read here
  • Workday powers on - adds more to its plate - read here
  • What I would like Workday to address this Rising - read here
  • Workday Update 19 - you need to slow down to hurry up - read here
  • I am worried about... Workday - read here
Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here