Workday and Salesforce.com Partnership: What It Means for Our Customers

Recently we announced a partnership with salesforce.com to connect Workday with Salesforce Chatter and Force.com. The announcement generated a number of questions, so we thought we’d share more about the rationale and implications of the partnership.

We began considering the partnership in earnest earlier this year after a customer asked us to “figure out” how to tie our platforms together—Workday as the people and talent system-of-record and Force.com and Chatter as the development and social platforms. We thought this request made a lot of sense, as it supports our view of how cloud applications and the “social enterprise” will evolve, and how enterprise cloud leaders—like salesforce.com and Workday—should work together. At its heart, it’s still about securely bringing data, analytics, and business processes in and out of Workday as easily as possible for our customers, a core foundation of the Workday Integration Cloud strategy.

Here is a closer look at what the partnership means for customers of both Workday and salesforce.com:

Integration with Chatter. Workday does not see the value of “social” in the enterprise for social’s sake. The world doesn’t need another social platform for sharing stories about last Friday’s happy hour. Rather, we believe a social enterprise is one that facilitates successful collaboration across its workforce to get real work done. The required ingredients to facilitate this collaboration are:

  • A leading social and mobile enterprise platform
  • Robust worker profiles
  • The enterprise social graph (organizations, teams, initiatives, etc.)
  • Enterprise-class security and privacy protection for workforce data

The combination of Chatter and Workday enables customers to address all four of these requirements. Our goal with the integration is to enrich Chatter customers’ investment in their social platform with deep profile and enterprise social graph information from Workday, enabling them to collaborate more effectively.

With the Workday 15 update later this year, customers of Workday and Chatter (including the free edition of Chatter and Chatter Plus) will be able to securely present information from a worker’s Workday inbox—such as notifications, business process events, and workforce data—directly in that person’s Chatter stream. In addition to incorporating Workday information into Chatter, customer administrators will also be able to provision Chatter users directly from Workday—for example, as part of the new hire on-boarding process. Relevant to all salesforce.com and Workday customers, customers will be able to extend this user provisioning capability to all salesforce.com applications, not just Chatter. There will be no additional cost to existing Workday customers for these integrations.

Workday and Force.com. The idea behind building a connection with Force.com has less to do with the social enterprise and more to do with the reality that Workday is never going to package 100% of the HR and workforce-related business processes required by large enterprises. Still, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers and partners to fulfill these needs in the cloud.

Our plan is to deliver an application, built on Force.com, which enables developers to consume Workday objects natively on the platform, while also leveraging the security model governing access to the data they have implemented in Workday. This means that any app built on Force.com would be able to securely hook into Workday using our connector app. The details and timeline are still being worked out, but we’ll likely start with a small set of the most commonly used and requested objects in Force.com and add more with time.

In addition to customers using the Force.com platform to develop custom apps to extend to Workday, partners of Workday and salesforce.com also will be able to use the Force.com platform in combination with the Workday connector app to build new Force.com apps or enhance existing ones.

We’ll let you know as soon as we have more information about general availability of the Workday connector to Force.com. (If you’re a customer of both Workday and salesforce.com and have a project on hand, please let us know.) In the meantime, we hope our customers are as excited about this new partnership as we are here at Workday.