Workday begins its work day

Workday has been one of the most anticipated product launches of the year, if for no other reason than Dave Duffield is driving it and everyone knows that Duffield has an eye for what works with products. It’s really a shame that Workday passed on the opportunity to brief the Irregulars prior to their PR blitz today, if they did talk to the group they would have gotten a hell of a lot of good feedback without all the ring kissing that so many media folks seem to be doing over this.

From what I read I have to say that I was disappointed for no other reason than the missed opportunity that this seems to be. For example, pricing based on number of employees in the system when they could have implemented a pricing scheme that pivoted on consumption of the system and what people were actually doing with it. It’s a hosted environment so they could even benchmark this across their entire network and price it based on where customers where in relation to each other – value pricing aimed at improving the performance of individual accounts. But that’s just brainstorming… the point is that they seem to have settled on what everyone else was doing.

If enterprise 2.0 is really just enterprise 1.0 delivered with SOA then what’s the point? Speaking of new vs. old, I just don’t get why anyone would think that this company or any other is going to rip-and-replace anything ERP out of the top 20,000 global accounts in the next 5 years. That investment has already been made and it works, customers are not going to entertain pulling the plug on a system they spent millions of dollars and a few years implementing. Go find new markets, enable businesses that have been ignored by traditional enterprise software vendors rather than talking about SAP/Oracle, but be careful because Microsoft has one hell of a SMB offering with Dynamics Live.

Speaking of nuts-and-bolts, in reading the press material there was the waterfall of buzzwords and catch phrases that everyone else uses. They could have summed it up as “we’re trying to do what everyone else is doing functionally but on top of a service bus (ESB) and delivered as multi-tenant hosted” and I would have gotten it.

I would love for Teqlo to team up with Workday to deliver service components to casual users to drive consumption but I’d have to see more of it before I could make any determination about what’s in it for us. BTW, don’t get me wrong and think I’m down on this launch, I just think they missed a great opportunity to be truly disruptive by attacking the business model as much as the technology, and in the end I, like many others, will be anxiously awaiting more details on the products as they become available.

» Workday begins its work day | Between the Lines |

Three design principles–agility, ease of use and ease of integration–pervade Workday’s software, Bhusri said. The application looks more like a consumer Internet site than a traditional ERP application, includes native reporting and analytics and has liberal doses of Web 2.0 technologies such as AJAX, Flex and search, he explained. In addition, Workday is working on integration with Microsoft Office and teaming up with Accenture.

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4 thoughts on Workday begins its work day

  1. Jeff,

    Couldn’t agree more. I had big hopes for today’s “launch” and while I have no doubt Workday will be a player in the coming evolution of SaaS apps, today definitely had an air of missed opportunity. It was very much “been there, done that” and far too much obsession with today’s buzzwords.

    But the real disappointment was the demo which focused around the responsibilities of a reorg by the COO, which is great an all but it was really no different than what a COO would be tasked with in conventional ERP modalities. I would’ve much rather seen examples in the demo of how Joe Employee could use the service to change their workday; which was how the marketing rhetoric painted the product (i.e., they said it wasn’t just for HR employees).

    Hopefully they will take today’s vanilla launch and start really pressing the flesh, and perhaps now Mark Nittler will allow the Irregulars to do a proper briefing.


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  3. I also agree with you, Jeff. In addition to the other things already mentioned, I can’t believe they aren’t offering free trials, which is pretty much standard fare these days. Apparently, it is in the works but they aren’t taking full advantage of all of the exposure they are receiving via their launch.

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