Workday rolled out the latest version of its human resources and finance cloud service with a time tracking application designed for the white collar crowd. In addition, Workday continued to work toward a simple user interface by taking design cues---and in some cases designers---from e-tailers, travel sites and consumer sites.
The move fleshes out Workday's human capital management tools, payroll and finance tools and could put the company at odds with some of its key partners such as Kronos. The general idea is that Workday will provide a single app to manage time and labor for its workforce.
Related: Workday steps up its mobile game, bets on HTML5
According to Workday, it developed the time tracking features with the help of seven design partners. Workday cited Brown University, Cadence Design Systems, Carnegie Mellon, Life Technologies, Plexus Corp. and Thomson Reuters as early customers. Of that group, Thomson Reuters was a design partner. "The reason we went into time tracking was consumer demand," said Leighanne Levensaler, vice president of product strategy at Workday.
Thomson Reuters is in the middle of a full-blown rip and replace Workday implementation. Thomson Reuters, which has 60,000 employees globally, had a good amount of input to Workday's design. Brown has already deployed Workday's Time Tracking application.
For Workday, time tracking and attendance is a natural extension for the company. Time tracking is essentially the "fuel of payroll" and human capital management as well as the bridge between HR and finance, said Levensaler. Workday Time Tracking works across all of the company's applications and automates data such as overtime calculations. The time tracking application will also be available on mobile devices for input.
Workday Time Tracking is available in Workday 17 and sold separately. Levensaler said Workday Time Tracking will compete with partners such as Kronos, NetTime and others, but "is focused more on the white collar worker and companies that don't need advanced labor scheduling." The aim for Workday is to offer time tracking across multiple industries.
As for Workday's user interface, Levensaler said that the company had to focus on the time tracking design because it's likely to be the most high-touch application used by employees.
The continuing themes for Workday are mobility via iOS, Android and HTML5 applications and usability. Since Workday releases updates four times a year, Levensaler said that usability is continually being improved. On mobile, Levensaler said Workday is seeing "hockey stick like" usage.
Among other key items: