Workday, a now-leading provider of cloud-based enterprise software solutions for financial management, human resources, and planning, has started positioning itself as a full-fledged Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) provider whose modern technology and customer-centric approach will begin collecting customers away from ERP market leaders such as SAP and Oracle.
A recent Forbes article reported that Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri, whose firm until very recently has assiduously avoided using the term “ERP” to describe its SaaS Financials offerings, made it clear during a recent earnings call with analysts that as 12-year-old Workday approaches $2.4 billion in revenue for calendar 2018, it’s now eager to be considered as an ERP competitor of SAP and Oracle.
When asked if large-enterprise CFOs are seriously considering replacing their traditional on-premises ERP systems with cloud ERP, Bhusri said, “I think that with our combination of core financials plus procurement plus expenses and now planning, we can be an ERP replacement today. And it definitely seems to be the next area of focus from IT—first it was CRM and then HR, and now I think finance is the next big one to tackle.”
Many of the more prominent, bigger companies have been deeply reluctant to consider moving their mission-critical financial applications to the cloud for a range of reasons, however, the main two being: uncertainty about the ability of the cloud to meet business requirements for availability, security, performance, etc; and, concern for whether or not the relatively new cloud ERP apps could deliver the full range of functionality that global corporations require.
“One of the reasons cloud ERP hasn’t taken off in the past is that the products, including ours, were just not ready to take over that operations of the truly large multinationals,” Bhusri said. “But from a feature/function perspective, we’re confident that they are ready today. So when these big corporations go off do their analysis, they’re confident with the fact that, ‘Hey, I’m not actually giving up anything on the functionality side and I’m making a huge leap forward on the technology side.’ “
According to Bob Evans, author, the trigger behind Workday’s transformation from a fairly broad provider of financial apps to a complete ERP-suite vendor was its acquisition 3 months ago of Adaptive Insights for $1.55 billion, a topic that dominated the earnings call with analysts.
“Our investment in broadening our platform and extending our product capabilities is creating many levers to help us drive long-term growth. While Human Capital Management is our most-mature segment and has fueled much of our growth,” Bhusri noted, “HCM only represents approximately 25% of our total addressable long-term market.
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