September 9, 1908 saw Orville Wright make his first ever one hour flight. This significant step in aviation history helped make it possible for 3,500 attendees from around the globe to converge on the Moscone Center in San Francisco exactly 105 years later to attend Workday Rising 2013. CloudPay was excited to be part of this event, Workday’s seventh annual gathering of customers and prospects which has grown almost as quickly as the company’s stock price (Workday’s IPO having been established a year ago, there are many happy employees whose shares have jumped by around $50 per share)
The first morning of the event started with the mist of the bay clearing to a beautiful blue sky. The Moscone was resplendent in Workday colors that could be seen from a distance. Also in clear view was the CloudPay logo, prominently displayed at the registration area. After an hour or so of setup, our CloudPay team and all the other partners were addressed by Workday’s partner management teams. A review from some key executives highlighted the value of partners in Workday’s future growth and the importance of all the partner organizations to work together to bring swift customer delivery through collaborative processes. The encouragement was to go make friends and see how we can best work together to bring great results for our joint customers.
Following this meeting, we set up the CloudPay booth. Our clean and crisp look was well received (other vendors even took pictures so they could use our approach at future events). The team also looked fantastic in the first outings of CloudPay’s new clothing range, a simple touch that made us easily identifiable, but also proud to promote our company.
Towards the end of the first day, the doors opened to prospects first and then to Workday’s customers. This was the first chance for CloudPay to meet with existing customers and those looking to adopt a global payroll solution. Our stand was staffed by Andrew Pearson, Sheri Sullivan, Fonda Gestwicki, Lisa James and myself, which meant that visitors were granted access to different levels and departments within our business.
Day 2 started with the big buzz of the keynote speech by Workday co-founders Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri. The presentation kicked off with flying buildings signifying the take-off of the growing number of Workday customers (currently standing at 550+ and growing!).
The announcements fed in through the session included significant globalization of the financials application and a move from three releases to two per year (as requested by their customers – who also requested 40% of the enhancements in the previous update). Joe Korngiebal then wowed the audience with a view of Workday 21, based on HTML5 (a move from Flex), the modern format of the application also making it easier for users to access their payslips (one for the payroll geeks out there!). Workday also launched a preview tenant to make the update process a little easier (maybe something we might consider at CloudPay?). In addition, the company announced a new venture into the Student vertical and presented joint Workday and CloudPay customer Thomson Reuters with a customer visionary award, a testament to its investments in cloud technologies.
After the keynotes, the general sessions started. There were streams for prospective and current customers alike, with this further split down to specific subject matters. The CloudPay team was delighted to see our own application highlighted when the Global Payroll team presented our single sign on process to view third-party payslips, within the “Workday Global Payroll Cloud Overview” session on Tuesday afternoon, presented by Workday’s Laurent Botella and Mark Simons. The sessions really gave the attendees a fantastic overview of the capabilities of the Workday application, based upon real customer experience. Some of the best sessions included either customer testaments or even some fireside Q&A discussions, where attendees could quiz those who’re living the dream on how they could themselves make best use of Workday and its partner applications and services.
The show certainly emphasised customer interest in Cloud-based solutions and the importance of finding the right partner to integrate with core HCM and financial solutions. More customers are tackling payroll at the same time, or are overlapping at some point of either projects or implementations. CloudPay aims to work with our joint customers, Workday and Workday’s partners to build the best-of-breed solution in multinational payroll. Indeed, significant discussions were made from which we hope to make future significant announcement that we believe will benefit our joint customers – stay tuned!
It’s fair to say that new friends and acquaintances were made during our brief stay in San Francisco. We have seen more and more common interest with the Workday community and look forward to coming back to Workday Rising next year!