Workday launches Workday 14, wins Thomson Reuters deal

Workday launches an update to its HCM and financial tools and lands a big global customer in Thomson Reuters.

Workday on Tuesday will officially announce the latest version of its human capital, financial and spend management suite. The company also landed Thomson Reuters as a customer.

Thomson Reuters, which has more than 55,000 employees in 100 countries, will use Workday's human capital management (HCM) and payroll tools. Workday started targeting companies with 1,000 employees and up, but is increasingly talking to larger enterprises with an average of 8,000 workers.

The news comes as Workday increasingly gains momentum. Appirio CEO Chris Barbin recently said that Workday has momentum in many accounts, but primarily for HCM. Barbin, however, expects Workday to get traction in financial tools at some point.

Workday 14 is aimed at bringing more features to the table to win over the HCM and financial management crowd. The company said it is embedding intelligence within business processes. In action, Workday will use in-memory data management to bring performance reviews, holiday schedules and other contextual data points to the fore.

Workday's Stan Swete, chief technology officer, said there are more than 140 features in the new release. The company also launched an iPad app last week. Workday updates its suite every four months. The update went out over the weekend for customers in production.

"We're taking little bits of analytical data and putting them in worklets," said Swete. "Analytical data was surfaced in dedicated areas before. Instead of having the information in a dashboard it is now embedded in the same screen."

Among the key additions:

  • Worklets that can be custom-built or pre-fab. The aim is to bring context as decisions are being made. Customers will have the analytics instantly, but can customize and tweak them to fit their companies. Financial data will be big in HCM, said Swete. He noted that Workday is seeding features so that HCM and financials will be intertwined. "That's the way we're architected," said Swete.
  • Financial and spend management enhancements to make things like automated cash receipts, requisitions and 1099 filing easier.
  • HCM tools to compare workers and performance side by side.
  • Enhancements designed for higher education with union management, budget checks and electronic reporting requirements. Swete said that higher education represents Workday's first vertical. Workday is developing industry-specific tools for higher education and the company is focusing on the public sector with a dedicated sales force.

Workday, like many SaaS vendors, is looking toward Oracle's Fusion upgrade cycle as an opportunity. Swete said many of the "at bats" Workday gets come as customers ponder big upgrades. As Oracle Fusion becomes available, Swete said Workday will see more opportunities.


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