Workday Rising Europe 2015: Growth is a Beautiful Thing

It’s been a fantastic week here in Dublin with more than 1,100 Workday customers, partners, and employees at Workday Rising Europe 2015. I’ve been learning more about our customers’ experiences, and sharing with them what’s coming next from Workday.

Among the things I shared during the opening executive keynote yesterday were some of the data points around the incredible growth of our European community. How do we define growth? In many different ways.

One is the growth of our customer base. From its beginning in the US 10 years ago, Workday has grown into a large company serving customers worldwide. Since September we’ve publicly announced more than a dozen new Europe-based customers, including Centrica, Lonza Group, and Sky Betting & Gaming, and a number of customers that are now live on Workday. Just within the past few weeks Unilever went live on Workday for its 170,000-person workforce—our largest Europe-based deployment to date.

Growth isn’t just physical—we’ve grown closer and smarter as a community, too.

Organisations are growing their use of Workday as they realise the value of having all their core enterprise data in one system. London-based Aon plc, with 70,000 employees in 120 countries, is expanding its Workday footprint to include Workday Financial Management following a successful deployment of Workday Human Capital Management. Customers are also utilising Workday to grow into new markets—something our own chief accounting officer has written about as we’ve expanded across Europe and opened new offices this year in Copenhagen and Zurich. It made me very happy to share with customers yesterday that in 2016, we will open an office in Madrid in my home country. Bienvenidos a España!

Growth isn’t just physical—we’ve grown closer and smarter as a community, too. As more customers deploy and go live on Workday they share their experiences with others, resulting in collaboration and knowledge transfer that’s only possible through Workday’s Power of One. With every customer on the same version of Workday, customers’ ability to learn from one another is in full force here at Workday Rising Europe.

As a company, we’ve grown and continue to grow in our understanding of customers’ regional needs. Whether they are based in Benelux, DACH, France, Ireland, the Nordics, or the UK, customers educate us on requirements for their specific markets, and some have joined us as product design partners as we’ve expanded our family of applications.

We now employ more than 500 people across Europe, and that number will continue to grow rapidly. Here in Dublin, home to Workday’s European headquarters and a major technology talent powerhouse for our entire company, we’ve filled 200 new positions since 2014, and we recently moved our headquarters to King’s Building in the north inner city and plan to hire another 200 skilled developers in the next three years.

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Recognising our Workday Rising Europe customer event on the River Liffey in Dublin.

Our Dublin-based team is critical to the development of Workday technologies and tools for integrations, deployments, and more. In fact, Dublin is the main development hub for Workday Learning, an exciting new application we plan to offer in 2016.

We’ve grown our technology talent in other countries, too. In Munich, we have a team of developers focused on platform technologies. A developer team in Reading, UK, helped us prepare Workday Payroll for our UK customers, and in Paris we have a team working hard on Workday Payroll for France, which we plan to offer in the first half of 2016.

Over in Amsterdam, the Workday Training Centre we opened last year has become incredibly popular with Workday customers and certified consultants. Every time I’m there it’s packed, and we recently doubled the size of the centre to meet demand. By the end of January we expect to have more than 700 certified partner consultants here in Europe.

Yet I have to save for last the growth fact we’re most proud of. Based on a global customer survey, we learned in September that our customer satisfaction rate rose to 98% this year from 97% in 2014. This is by far the most important measurement of growth for us at Workday, as nothing else matters unless we have strong customer satisfaction.

So as we collaborate, share, and learn as a community here at Workday Rising Europe 2015—and enjoy some well-deserved fun at tonight’s Customer Appreciation Party—let us celebrate these successes together. In its many different representations, growth is a beautiful thing that benefits us all.