|By Amy Wohl||
|December 24, 2007 09:30 AM EST||
For a company born out of a headline-grabbing clash of wills between two industry titans - one practically beloved by his users, the other, well, not so much - a company set up to pioneer the latest disruptive distribution scheme, a model likely to change the face of the software industry forever, and use chi-chi infrastructure like Linux, Java, MySQL and Tomcat, PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield's Workday start-up sure has been a quiet little thing. So unlike the mouthy Salesforce.com. So when we found out that industry analyst Amy Wohl was going that way we asked her to report back. Here's what she says.
When I first heard (in 2006) that David Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft, was going to start a SaaS company to build a full-blown ERP portfolio I was excited. I felt that software-as-a-service, a game changer if ever there was one, was finally coming of age now that it was embraced by mainstream, enterprise-oriented, mission-critical software.
Of course, there are contradictions in that statement. SalesForce.com certainly thinks of itself as mainstream, enterprise-oriented, mission-critical software, but perhaps less so in 2006 than now. And Workday, Duffield's new company was not quite so ambitious; the initial goal and current focus is to build ERP software for the mid-market, focusing on companies with 100-600 employees, but it's got enterprise customers already, a year after its first software shipped.
But let's not talk about contradictions, instead let's examine Workday's plans and see how well things are going. I got an update this week from Stan Swete, Workday's CTO, that puts Workday on schedule with its roadmap.
Workday's plan was to provide software services in four areas: Human Capital Management; Resource Management; Financial Management and Revenue Management.
Human Capital Management was scheduled to be available first and went into production last November. It includes modules for organization, lifecycle, compensation and payroll management, and workforce development. Workday is currently using ADP for payroll management, but expects to have its own offering by 2009.
Resource Management includes Supplier Accounts, Expenses, Resource Management, and Procurement. It's scheduled to ship in 2008.
Financial Management includes Financial Accounting and Reporting, Cash Management, Planning and Budgeting, and Management Accounting. The Financial Accounting and Reporting and Cash Management modules are shipping now; other modules are expected to ship next year.
Revenues Management includes Customers Accounts, Orders, Billing, and Revenue Recognition. It's scheduled to ship in 2008.
Workday is currently shipping to about 25 customers, a two-to-one mixture of technology companies and non-technology companies. It's Workday's strategy to target technology and services organizations, especially in food services and professional services. Swete seemed a little surprised that it's seeing a smaller number of bigger deals than it planned, meaning it's returning more money than it thought it would at this point. It already has two larger-than-intended customers, Lifetime Fitness (17,000 employees) and, in the last few days, Chiquita (25,000).
Generally speaking Workday expects to be selling to customers who are new to sophisticated ERP solutions, rather than replacing existing implementations, although it's already replaced Peoplesoft/Oracle at McKee. Of course, it expects to move into replacement mode later on - when customers start finding it pricier to upgrade their old systems than to switch to the SaaS model - just as it expects to garner more enterprise customers. (SaaS is becoming more appealing to larger firms.)
Why, one might ask, is it seeing such early success? Workday and I are in pretty violent agreement here.
· The ERP solutions built by traditional software vendors are expensive to buy, very expensive to implement, and expensive to upgrade (since customizations often have to be entirely rewritten). That makes them not only expensive but inflexible, a barrier to the more agile and dynamic world of the Internet.
· Rewriting a traditional ERP solution to a SaaS platform is tough. ISVs have to address both business model and architectural issues. Efforts often flounder on the unwillingness of ISVs to understand that they're writing an application that might be used by an enterprise (that they'd like to keep on their current, more expensive software) as well as an SMB. Applications are often written to be deliberately less appealing to enterprise customers, shooting them in the foot. Of course, it's a lot easier to write a great SaaS application if you have no existing business model or installed software to consider.
· David Duffield has a great reputation. Many customers are delighted to consider any product he's associated with.
We asked if Workday had to sell SaaS before it could sell Workday. It's clear Workday's experience mirrors what we're seeing elsewhere:
o Prospects are much less concerned about going to SaaS; concerns about security have stopped being the barrier they once were.
o On the other hand, customers are much more concerned about whether they can get enough integration with their data and applications. Workday is confident it can supply these needs.
o Customers are also looking for the ability to use the application's configuration to provide some customization. Modern SaaS applications are designed to provide this.
I think that Workday's presence - and apparent success - in the marketplace are evidence that SaaS is growing up in both maturity and in the size of customer that will find it compelling. One should expect to see more companies join it in the business software marketplace over the next few years.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 7, 2016 08:15 PM EST Reads: 2,195
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 261
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 926
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,748
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 7, 2016 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,676
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Dec. 7, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 363
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 7, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 2,262
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 7, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,778
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 4,318
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 941
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,119
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Dec. 7, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 2,200
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 3,388
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 01:45 PM EST Reads: 1,122
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 848
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 648
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 747
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,126
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 698
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 7, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 2,305