Workday, Inc. was founded by Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri, who’d previously worked together at PeopleSoft. It is generally the case that the companies Dave starts:
- Develop application software for large or fairly large enterprise customers.
- Build those applications in/on their own platform technology, which is meant to be cutting-edge in its day. (For example, PeopleSoft was early in building an RDBMS-based client/server application suite, and did so with the help of a clever technology called PeopleTools I nonetheless helped talk PeopleSoft out of further commercializing.)
- Focus first on human resources software (Dave had another HR company before PeopleSoft).
- Move fairly early into non-profit/higher-education accounting (Dave had a company in that area before PeopleSoft, and PeopleSoft was fairly active in the area too).
- Emphasize a pleasant corporate culture.
All these things seem true of Workday Inc., although the non-profit/higher-ed move is just underway now. Specifically:
- Workday was founded in 2005, starting with an asset buy of some platform software a key PeopleTools developer had been working on for years.
- Workday has had multitenant SaaS offerings from the getgo. (And that’s all Workday does.)
- Workday has around 150 customers.
- Workday sells mainly to multinational corporations, generally based in North America. Efforts in the UK are beginning to ramp up.
- Workday has six core application modules, among which are:
- Workday Human Capital Management (almost all the customers).
- Workday Payroll (a little under 50 customers). Workday is partnered with local providers for payroll in 20 countries, and is building its second inhouse version (Canadian) now.
- Workday Financial Management (a little under 20 customers, for what is far from a complete system).
- Workday Benefits Network, providing connectivity to benefits providers (that’s the only Workday module that isn’t straight software).
- Workday, Inc. has around 500 employees, mainly in Pleasanton, CA. About 20 are in Dublin, Ireland, courtesy of the acquisition of CapeClear. About 1/3 are in development.
Workday prices its services based on metrics for the overall client business, not per-Workday-user. (Actually, the metric is basically headcount, which makes sense given Workday’s application focus.)
Some of these points are covered in more detail in a Workday Inc. slide deck.
This post is part of a three-post series
- Workday Inc. company overview (brief)
- Workday Inc. technology overview (detailed)
- Workday Inc. CTO Stan Swete’s comments on database strategy
Edit: Also, there’s a Workday blog with only a few posts, which nonetheless seems to flesh out a few of the ideas in this post series.