Part Two - Workday Technology Summit

More on the Workday Technology Summit including information re: an iPad analytics application, Workday Labs interest areas and the role of social media in Workday applications.
Written by Brian Sommer, Contributor on

Monday afternoon, we were treated several briefings re:

- Workday’s UI (User Interface) - use of in-memory database technology - how Workday integrates with customer and third party applications, and, - the business intelligence functionality in the software.

Co-CEO Aneel Bhusri surprised the attendees with his discussion about a new development Workday is undertaking to create an iPad tablet based solution. This application would be in addition to the BI (Business Intelligence) Workday already possesses. The iPad analytics product would be targeted for CXOs and would be separately priced from other Workday solutions. The initial focus of the app would provide detailed KPIs (key performance indicators) about a business on a form factor that Workday believes will be of interest to CXOs. The company expects to team with major consultancies to populate the solution with appropriate business and vertical KPIs. Aneel also indicated that this solution will also be available on desktops.

There was also another conversation at the event that involved the desire of Fortune 500 firms wanting to use certain social network technologies (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter). Some of the analysts present volunteered that many large firms lock down users’ devices and personal computers to prevent access to these sites. One Workday executive indicated that some of their customers have strongly indicated that they would not support this technology. Other analysts encouraged Workday to rollout the capability but make it optional. This exchange is a bit problematic for me as I’ve been briefed by many HR and Talent Acquisition technology firms that make extensive use of the social network technologies (e.g., JobVite, Selectminds, etc.). I’ve seen the customer lists of these firms, too, and I believe many firms are already incorporating social technologies into their Human Capital and ERP solutions. I guess this area warrants more research.

Later in the day, we received a briefing re: Workday Labs. That briefing showed a number of technologies and capabilities Workday is investigating for future products and product enhancements. There was lots of activity re: Microsoft Pivot and Office integration; Apple iPod and voice dictation integration with Workday performance evaluations; more cell phone integration; etc. Within these teasers, social media integration within Workday was quite evident. So, one must conclude that the interest and desire is there within Workday to tie their technology to social media but the timing (and risk concerns) may be an issue at the moment.

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