Workday's big picture: Be in position to swipe Oracle customers in 2012

Summary:Workday customers will soon get Workday 12, the latest update of its human capital management suite, but in the big picture the latest edition is one more stepping stone to be ready to disrupt in 2012.

Workday customers will all wind up with Workday 12, the latest update of its human capital management suite, by the end of Monday, but in the big picture the latest edition is one more stepping stone to be ready to disrupt in 2012.

I was in on a group of Enterprise Irregulars who were briefed on Workday's strategy and Workday 12. The Workday executives had a lot to say, talked about customer wins and a bit of the roadmap ahead.

Gallery: Workday 12: A walkthrough

Here a look at the building blocks for Workday:

The gray area are things that are on deck. Workday started with human capital management, but by 2012 it will have financials layered in. Some financial capability is available today, said Mark Nittler, vice president of financial management product strategy at Workday. However, the financial part of the enterprise resource planning equation will be built out through 2011.

"By 2012 all of those layers will be in colored in and very rich," said Nittler.

When those financial portions of the equation are filled in Workday will have a nearly full-blown ERP suite. The company already butts heads with NetSuite from time to time, but spends most of its time stalking SuccessFactors and Softscape.

Of course, Workday has bigger fish to fry---notably Oracle and its PeopleSoft customers. In 2012, PeopleSoft customers will be pondering a move to Oracle's Fusion middleware and apps.  Naomi Bloom, a human capital management consultant, noted that PeopleSoft customers are likely to figure out there won't be more non-Fusion development coming after 2012. "That's the plan," said Nittler. "Use 2011 to get to critical mass in functionality, references, customers and users so we're there in 2012."

In addition, Workday may run into SAP's Business ByDesign, but it's unclear how that will play out. SAP's strength is the manufacturing sector and that is likely to carry over to its on-demand platform. Workday is more service industry oriented. In any case, this ERP scrum is going to be fun to watch over the next few years.

Related:

Workday CTO: Cloud integration the Holy Grail, a current hurdle for skeptics

Topics: CXO, Banking, Enterprise Software, IT Employment, Oracle, Software

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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