As kids in the Northeast found in the wake of Irene, there are Snow days even in the summer. Hurricane Dreamforce blew into San Francisco (what else can you call an event with an attendance of 45,000?) this week and many of us bloggers and analysts found ourselves in the middle of a Workday. A briefing by Workday that is. Kudos to Workday for leveraging the time and expense already invested for the bloggers and analysts to be in town.
On surface the agenda was fairly technology, platform and architecture oriented (it’s a theme I saw repeated at Dreamforce and will cover in another post). But with a bit of probing the application and business benefits came through fairly well.
My favorite sessions were how mobile applications are being leveraged for expense and other tracking, a natural interface application where even an awkwardly posed question returned a person’s PTO balance and discussion of in-memory/grid concepts and how they were dramatically reducing payroll processing times and accelerating analytical/reporting and how they are reducing need for read-writes and therefore cooling in their data centers.
The really impressive thing was how comfortable the 15+ presenters were – many couple of levels removed from the executives who mostly opened and closed sessions and chimed in as needed. It reminded me of trips to Walldorf in the 90s – SAP had deep bench strength in their product area, and young as Workday is, it is building similar competence.
Aneel Bhusri, co-CEO was asked if he was content with the “slow growth” – 144 live HCM customers in the 6+ years the company has been in business. His response – that represents 2 million employees. And in 3-4 years he would like to have 10 million employees under the software’s care. That would be lots of expenses to track and plenty of gross-to-nets to process.
So, glad we got to hear about the application and infrastructure innovations.
My kind of Snow day!