Workday Rising: Becoming Part of a Unique Customer Ecosystem

I attended Workday Rising last year as a prospect. This year, several of my Time Warner Inc. colleagues and I are in Las Vegas attending as customers. It’s a different perspective, but one thing is consistent: Workday employees’ enthusiasm, which I think goes a long way.

What I glimpsed at last year’s Rising, and appreciate more now, is how Workday strives to have an unusually collaborative and open relationship with its customers—and encourages its customers to have the same sharing spirit, regardless of what industry they come from. There is a real partnership vibe, and a sense that we are all working together toward making the most effective use of Workday’s products and sharing best practices to meet our business goals, despite the many differences among the industries we work in.

At Time Warner, we launched our Workday project in July. In just three months, we’ve gone through a global HR and payroll process design and will soon have a prototype of Workday for our entire company, which includes Time Inc., HBO, Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting, and our corporate office. The Workday ecosystem’s culture of collaboration and sharing has certainly contributed to the speed with which we’ve been able to deploy. One of the most useful aspects of being here is thinking about which additional and future Workday features we’ll want to turn on.

It was helpful during sessions here to see customers’ suggestions and feedback addressed so quickly. Among other things, we’re encouraged to see Workday continue to roll out capabilities for smartphones and tablets such the Apple iPad. At lunch, several of us were joking that Workday Rising does feel like a bit of a love-fest. It’s more like a community experience than a corporate event—and as a result you see customers eagerly talking to other customers and prospects. It’s clear that other customers are really proud of what they’re building, and that gets back to the level of partnership Workday has fostered, and the ability of us all to be on the same version of the software (something that can seem intimidating at first). I appreciate that feeling that we are all in this together.