It Takes a Community: The Power of One with McKee Foods

The Power of One is about one version of software, one security model, one user experience, one architecture, one source of truth and one customer community. That’s easy enough to say, but how does that result in experiences that are unique to Workday customers?

One great example is Workday Community, where our partners and customers across the globe can ask questions, share blueprints for new business process frameworks, and suggest features and functionality for upcoming Workday releases. A customer favorite is our Brainstorm process, where they can submit and vote on ideas for new features.

Read on as Floyd Walterhouse, IT group manager at McKee Foods Corp., shares his experiences as an active Workday Community member for more than eight years now—McKee Foods is Workday customer No. 7.

How do you use Workday Community?

Floyd Walterhouse
Floyd Walterhouse

It’s a primary source of documentation and news about the Workday system. We use it to keep an eye out for what’s coming down the road—patch notes, webinars, roadmap updates, training catalogs, design partner groups we might consider joining, and more.

We also use it to collaborate with other customers, whether that’s looking for answers to questions or to share experiences. And we answer questions or give sample solutions to others, and participate in Brainstorms.

What do you find to be the single most valuable part of Workday Community?

All of it. Workday Community isn’t just a site for consumption, or a place for a vendor to send you information. If you look at sites like StackExchange, in a similar way Workday Community offers that type of collaboration and group assistance for enterprise applications. The collaboration is the differentiator.

So, do you view Workday Community as tactical, or does it help you shape future strategy?

For us, a lot of it is more strategic in nature. Workday is constantly innovating, so you really need to keep your eyes on what’s happening. There are definitely day-to-day things we use it for, but conceptually, I like to think about it like a hawk. A hawk, to find something to eat, has to be able to soar at 500 feet and get the big picture before diving down to the ground to get its food. So, is that hawk soaring high above the ground being strategic or tactical? Both, because its future is at stake.

“There seem to be many Workday customers who are willing to help other customers out, especially new ones.”

As a Workday Community member, how do you feel you’ve impacted product roadmaps?

Early on, we talked about all the challenges that we’d had in our prior environment with a different company: One example is that we weren’t able to hide certain pieces of payroll data from groups that shouldn’t be able to see everything. For instance, managers don’t need to know an employee’s withholding order. Workday took that whole concept and worked segment-based security into a number of other areas.

What usually happens is you get some discussion that starts off in an area or feature that’s very important and particular to you, but the people at Workday think bigger than that—they abstract it up several levels of value, and then use that idea across the whole platform for everyone’s benefit.

What’s your overall experience been with other Workday customers—online and in person?

There seem to be many Workday customers who are willing to help other customers out, especially new ones. I saw a lot of that happening at Workday Rising this year. There was a group lunch featuring a discussion on analytics, where a lot of people who have been with Workday for a long time, including Workday employees, participated in group activities and showed new customers the ropes.

I’ve been to other conferences where people sort of get annoyed by the new customers, because they don’t want to rehash the things they learned when they started. I don’t see that happening with Workday customers. It’s a “welcome to the family” type of thing.

Do you get business insights on Workday Community from people who are in different industries, or, are any insights necessarily more industry-specific?

Many of us are dealing with similar issues across industries and geographies. I’ve always felt that there’s tremendous strength in diversity of opinion. For example, all of your body’s limbs are set up as sensors to determine certain things. To walk, your left leg has to send sensory input to the brain. The same thing holds true of organizations—in the best organizations, each person is sending sensory input into the decision-making process. And, we should be looking outside of our organizations to get as much, and as varied, input as possible. So yes, I get all sorts of insights from all sorts of Workday Community members.