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Workday Review—A Software Evaluation

 

Additional Workday Capabilities

Workday's BI & Analytics Functionality

A significant investment of time and resources has gone into Workday's concept of embedded reporting and analytics. As such, business intelligence is built directly into the Workday solutions, which gives customers the ability to access and interrogate data, analyze and manipulate that data, and take appropriate action—all directly from the HR system without interfacing with a bolted-on BI solution. Workday analytics deliver time and cost savings due to the improved empowerment of managers to access and analyze their own data, while freeing IT staff, but the most significant gain is generally the improved decision making by delivering the right information to the right resources at the right time. Further, with the multi-dimensional (but simple) drill-down capabilities that allow action to be taken in the HR system off of any report, business insight is dynamic and fast. Reports can be custom-built, or customers have the option of leveraging one of 200+ packaged reports Workday provides.

It should be noted that this new "embedded" intelligence, while overwhelmingly positive, will likely be extremely disruptive to an already well-established analytic solution or process. Because Workday ties intelligence to such a granular level, any organization considering the Workday solution should map out which metrics, key performance indicators and analytics will take place in the system, and which will be handled by other solutions.

Workday's Mobile Functionality

Although Workday has succeeded at squeaking by with limited mobile functionality for the past few years, the current release of Workday 14 has raised the profile of Workday's mobile capabilities—in large part due to the recent support for the iPad tablet. Users should expect additional mobile functionality with the next several HR software releases, thanks to the fact that Workday sees mobility as a user experience (UX) lynchpin (predicting 90% mobility usage by its customers). As expected, analytics are a core piece of Workday's mobile offering, as is MSS (Manager Self-Service) functionality, and Workday has opted to include the mobile capability as a piece of the standard package—supporting a number of mobile devices from the iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

Workday's Social Functionality

For as innovative as the company is, Workday's social functionality (at least within the current release) is largely relegated to high level options such as posting and sharing links to social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ with other employees, as a means of providing some level of opportunity to develop a community among workers. Workday also provides worker tracking to help with emergency preparedness, ergonomic tracking, office moves, and office directories, but these functions are mainly transactional in nature. Workday 15 does have integration points with Salesforce.com Chatter, but it is too soon to say how prevalent this feature will be in the latest release.

Workday's Unified HR and Talent Management Functionality

Workday also has the capabilities to extend the core HRMS into a global talent management system that works in concert with the prior five HR software modules. Though far from best-of-breed, Workday's talent management offering will succeed in aligning goals, paying for performance, and planning your leadership succession from a single, unified solution. However, distinctly absent from this offering by Workday are formal Recruiting and Learning modules—both of which are needed to provide truly end-to-end talent management. While Workday has forged partnerships with leading vendors to bring this functionality to customers, the company does itself and its customers a disservice by not providing this capability in an integrated fashion.

International Software Capabilities

While payroll processing is limited to the U.S. and Canada, other HR software functions may be extended to select other regions. Workday support multi-currency management and a number of languages, including Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch, French (Canadian), French (continental), German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.

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