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Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri

Workday Developing ISV Platform for Software Partner Ecosystem?

Workday is one of the world’s fastest-growing SaaS companies. But unlike Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and other big rivals, Workday doesn’t really have much of a formalized channel partner ecosystem. Nor does the company have a “platform” approach for ISVs.

Still, there are clues that could be about to change. During Workday’s earnings call yesterday, an exchange between a Wall Street analyst and Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri (pictured above) offered this hint of direction…

The analyst stated:

“I think I recall at the Analyst Day that there was some discussion about kind of opening up and building out a platform strategy. It sounds like you’d have partners and ISVs. Where are you on that?”

Bhusri replied:

“Well I alluded in my script that there’s other exciting announcements coming down the path this year. I’ll probably just leave it right there. I would just say that we’ve been working on that initiatives since David Clark committed to at that financial Analyst Meeting in the fall so, and we had actually been working on it for a while before that, so just stay tuned.”

Workday Has Partners — But Not a Channel

No doubt, plenty of cloud integrators manage Workday deployments for end-customers. And plenty of software companies write application integrations for Workday. But Workday doesn’t really have a formalized channel partner program.

Here’s the potential cause for concern: Over the past decade, most SaaS and mobile app companies have attempted to become platforms upon which ISVs (independent software vendors) can write additional applications. Salesforce was an early mover in the platform area. More recently, companies like Box have attempted to attract ISVs.

As yesterday’s earnings call hinted, plenty of folks are watching to see if David Clarke, senior vice president of technology development, is preparing to unwrap an ISV platform strategy.

When would such a surprise potentially arrive? My guess: Circle October 9-12, 2017 on your calendar. That’s when the annual Workday Rising conference is set for Chicago…

Workday Growth

In the meantime, Workday remains in growth mode even without a formalized ISV partner push.

For the quarter ended April 30, 2017, total revenues were $479.9 million, up 38 percent from the first quarter of fiscal 2017. Also, subscription revenues were $399.7 million, up 42.7% from the corresponding quarter last year.

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