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Workday Cloud Business Momentum: More SaaS Systems Integrators Needed?

Workday (Nasdaq: WDAY) enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources gain serious momentum, but the fast-growth SaaS company remains strangely quiet about its partner ecosystem strategy.

Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri

Workday’s revenues reached $743.2 million for Q3 of fiscal 2019, up a strong 33.8 percent from Q3 of fiscal 2018, the company said Thursday. The momentum reinforces Workday as a serious SaaS alternative to entrenched HR and finance applications from Oracle and other enterprise software suppliers.

Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri sees “significant momentum” across the company’s suite of products for human capital management (HCM) and financial management software — particularly among Fortune 500 customers.

Also, CFO Robynne Sisco mentioned momentum involving the company’s  Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud; a skills-building cloud; and various analytics tools. She also pointed to the company’s strong Workday Rising conferences, which attracted more than 13,000 attendees in 2018.

Workday: No Partner Mentions?

Workday CFO Robynne Sisco

The strange omission? Bhusri and Sisco said little to nothing about the company’s partner ecosystem in Thursday’s earnings release and an associated financial call. 

No doubt, Workday’s partner ecosystem members (particularly global systems integrators) play a critical role in the company’s growth. True believers include Accenture’s DayNine organization, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC, among others.

Still, Workday’s management team mentioned the “partner” word in passing a mere three times during Thursday’s earnings call, according to ChannelE2E’s notes. Actually, the math wasn’t even that good. The first partner mention referred to business customers rather than deployment partners; and another of the three mentions actually came from a Wall Street analyst.

How About Systems Integrators?

At one point, a Wall Street analyst asked Workday’s management a two-part question involving:

  1. The challenges of HR and finance departments working together as a team; and
  2. whether systems integrators can help to bridge the gap between HR and finance.

Bhusri answered the HR and finance question, but he didn’t address the systems integrator portion of the inquiry. That’s too bad — especially since the company needs more integrators to help speed customer deployments.

Workday’s partner needs are a familiar story. The company conceded back in 2016 that it needed to work more closely with IT consulting and professional services firms. And in 2017, the company conceded that an ISV ecosystem needed some development.

Workday partners, meanwhile, have been buying up one another in a talent grab worldwide. For instance, Accenture acquired DayNine in 2016.

No doubt, demand for Workday consultants is growing. Too bad Workday isn’t taking enough time to put the spotlight on that demand — especially in earning statements and financial calls. Perhaps the company will bang the drum more loudly for partners during the Workday Rising conferences in the U.S. and Europe for 2019.

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