Workday’s annual user conference, Workday Rising, is in Chicago starting today. The European version is in Barcelona in a few weeks.
It’s always an enjoyable event with “The Citizens of the Cloud” – some of the happiest customers in the world. Founders Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri showcase an entertaining keynote, and this year I am looking forward to hearing a talk from Mike McNamara, CEO of Flex, who I have profiled in my books and is always fascinating to listen to, and Peyton Manning, still one of my favorite ever football players.
I caught up with Dan Beck, SVP Platform Technology, and he kindly gave me a sneak preview of what we can expect next week
Data and Analytics
The theme this year is, “Go further together.” It’s what we continually strive to do by sharing our ideas, our insights, and our innovations in this venue. Last fall, as you recall, we made a couple of big promises to our customers around data and analytics. We’re going to deliver on those at Workday Rising. As we shared early details with you in the Analyst Summit, we’ve made great strides to extend the analytical power of Workday to give our customers deeper insights into their business, and drive more informed decision-making. Some of the new offerings that will be rolled out will be, as always, unified with the rest of our products. Unified with Workday Financial Management, unified with Workday Human Capital Management, unified with Workday Planning, and empowering customers with one system where they can plan, execute, and analyze their businesses securely.
Expect plenty of excitement about the Workday Cloud Platform. We announced that we’re opening up the Workday Cloud Platform in July, as you know, and we’ve seen a lot of applications and innovation — first developed at the hackathon that we did in July during Workday Altitude in the U.S., and currently as part of our early adopter program. When we roll out new offerings, we always have a small set of customer design partners that we actively engage with to build out their use cases. We’re going to share examples of those extensions and what they’ve built. Then we’ll share more details on partners that have been engaged with us on the Workday Cloud Platform to see what they’ve done, as well as new possibilities and some teasers for what’s in store for the future.
The Refreshed UX
Another highlight that you’ll see is a refresh of our user interface (UI). With Workday 29, which was our September 9th release, we’ve added that next level of personalization, sophistication, accessibility, which are more important than ever. We always listen to our customers, and their input really comes to life in this update – with new images, signs, and iconography incorporated into a new look and feel, which is very elegant and modern. Big credit to Joe Korngiebel and our UI and UX teams – we look forward to seeing how our customers engage and enjoy the new user experience.
Customer Satisfaction, Success, and Momentum
Customers are a core value of Workday, and we continue to focus our efforts on customer success. We consistently achieve a customer satisfaction rating of over 95%, as you know, and Aneel is excited to discuss this year’s numbers on the big stage during the keynote. We’ll also hear customers sharing stories through sessions and breakouts. Some of the brands you’re going to see are Unum, WeWork, and Accuride – on how their businesses have transformed with Workday, and you’ll also hear Booz Allen Hamilton and Illumina articulate how analytics are shaping the world of HR. We’ll hear some thought leadership as well, some really robust customer stories, and then we’ll also share momentum across a variety of industries, including education and government.
With more than 8,000 attendees expected at Workday Rising this year, we knew we’d have a wonderful opportunity to rally together and give back to the Chicago community. We’ve partnered with Year Up, a non-profit organization that provides urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Among the Year Up students that have taken internships at Workday, more than 60 percent have become full-time employees. And with Chicago as our host city for Workday Rising this year, we’ll be donating $100,000 to Year Up Chicago.
We’re asking Workday Rising attendees to donate a piece of new or gently used professional clothing at the Innovation Exchange Expo. Year Up needs more donations for its career closets, as students are encouraged to project a professional image from the start of the program. Also, Workday Rising customer attendees will have the opportunity to mentor Year Up students on Thursday, October 12 in a mock-interview workshop scenario. We’ll also have plenty of Workday Giving and Doing activities, so be sure to keep an eye out for those in between sessions.
Dave’s Top Ten List
(Cross-posted @ Deal Architect)