In what is anticipated to be a “Holy Grail” for CFOs, cloud-based financial and human capital management software firm Workday has this month unveiled details about its Planning application.
The app, available in 2016, is yet another of the many splashes which the company is making of late in the B2B space.
Workday’s recently released Planning application is a native planning tool designed for budgeting and forecasting, which will be offered as an add-on service to Workday’s existing suite of products. It aims to take real-time finance and human resources data, and use it to provide a framework for continuous planning with an audit trail throughout. The user interface is expected to be as familiar as a spreadsheet, but will feature interactive grids and have Workday’s signature visuals.
Features of the application will include:
- a budget generator which will combine actuals and budget data to model baselines
- collaboration tools so internal teams can share and edit budgets and forecast within Workday
- ongoing budget management which, when a plan is finalized, will allow team members to monitor performance metrics, control budgets and adjust forecasts as business changes.
Leighanne Levensaler, senior vice president, says that Workday Planning will likely be attractive to customers that use both the company’s financial and human capital cloud management applications. However it could be applied to customers that use either one. She adds, “Many companies don’t have a planning tool and use spreadsheets. Others are using Tidemark, Anaplan and others. In some cases, Workday Planning will be a replacement.”
This release follows on the heels of the April 2015 release of Workday’s Talent Insights application. According to senior vice-president of technology products Dan Beck, Talent Insights aims to make HR predictive by analyzing indicators like turnover, worker profiles, equity compensation variables and engagement to allow executives and managers to identify top performers and flight risks. By scraping staff data, Workday can list those employees at risk of leaving and how much it would take to replace them.
Even with this latest release, Workday shows no signs of resting on its laurels. Shortly after the Planning app announcement, the company stated that it is delving into a new venture which will increase its offerings to the health care industry. This anticipated application release is called Workday Inventory, and will be accompanied by more capabilities for Workday’s existing Procurement service, developed specifically for health care supply chain management and procurement.
Of this announcement, John Webb, vice president of industry strategy and alliances at Workday, said, “Health care providers are dealing with a significant amount of complexity. New regulations, industry consolidation and a shifting patient relationship are changing the way they manager their organizations. With Workday, health care providers will have the people, financial and supply chain insights they need, all in one system built on a flexible foundation from which they can continually adapt and grow in a dynamic industry.”
Founded in 2005 by Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhursi, Workday has been a growing force in a wide range of industries that require financial and human capital management software. These industries, according to Workday’s website, include banking, health care, higher education, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, professional and business services, retail and hospitality, state and local government, and technology.
Investors in Workday include T. Rowe Price, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Janus Capital Group Inc., and Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com).
In a move which highlights company’s ambition and suggests its long-term viability, Workday has participated in strategic ventures. It recently invested in Tidemark’s latest funding round, which raised $25 million with a vision of expanding in Europe — an interesting venture, since its Planning application will likely put Workday in direct competition with Tidemark (Anaplan is another partner-turned-potential-competitor in which Workday invested, having received part of its $100 million funding in 2014 from the organization). In 2013, Workday participated in round D funding of Datameer, the Big Data Analytics Platform it uses.
Flickr photo via Jon Evans. Used with permission
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