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Workday Rising 2018, hosted in the City of Dreams

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

Excited to network with other Workday users and learn about what’s coming next, Veran spent the week in Vienna; City of Dreams where Freud established Psychoanalysis and wrote the first edition of The Interpretation of Dreams.

Workday now has over 500 customers in the APJ and EMEA regions over half of which have signed up in the last two years. The Austria Centre hosted over 2500 of us over the 3 days and here are my highlights (Safe Harbor applies!).

Workday Skills Cloud – available now

When assessing whether to build, hire or borrow talent, skills are the vital currency.

But there are so many different skills and ways of describing and categorising skills that doing this between businesses, departments, teams and countries is near impossible. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a universal language for skills?

Well now there is. Workday have taken 2 million skills commonly used by customers and consolidated them into 55,000 to create a Skills Ontology.

Skills can be related to people and to jobs, enabling strategic talent management and predictive analytics which is consistent and collaborative.

Talent Marketplace

The Skills Cloud is the engine behind the Talent Marketplace where internal projects and jobs can be posted online for Workday to either tell you how well matched your potential candidates are or suggest new candidates and show the relevant skills that they have and would need to develop to add the most value.

IBM Watson

Workday have also partnered with IBM Watson to ensure candidate searches are free of biases by excluding gender and age information when looking for people with the right skills.

IBM’s intelligent tool also brings a unique people experience that offers tasks and mentors that will help employees to develop their career.

Workday Org Studio – coming in WD32

One of the benefits Workday encourages teams to include in their business case is agility. When I asked how this is measured, the Value team told me it’s measured by time taken to model and process changes in the organisation structure e.g. acquiring a company or moving a team to a new part of the business.

So Workday is delivering an easy org modelling tool with drag and drop functionality. You can flip each card in the org chart to see information about people and organisations, you can view open positions, fill them when you're in org studio, submit the changes and this updates Workday. Neat!

Machine Learning in finance

Workday started by defining Machine Learning; ‘using information you have, to create information you don’t have’. I liked that.

So how can this apply to Finance?

At this point we are presented with a 20ft image of this picture:

Machine Learning could be used to identify whether each picture is a Chihuahua or a Muffin, saving valuable human time and using pattern detection to spot differences that humans might not see. In practical terms, this means anomaly detection and then suggested mitigation or resolution, continuous reconciliation rather than manual reconciliation all at period end, and constant checking for exceptions. All of this means the Finance team are free to do more value add activities.

Discovery Boards

At Veran, we find that many Workday customers have not found time to create their own dashboards yet. Discovery Boards are a really intuitive, quick and really insightful tool where you can drag and drop any fields you want to explore and see visualisations of how these fields relate to each other and change over time. This allows non-technical people to freely explore data whenever they like and without time-consuming design work.

Workday Cloud Platform

Workday have opened up their platform for customers to develop;

- New fields and attributes like t-shirt size (very popular with the tech firms)

- Extended processing models

- New layouts and forms

- New fully fledged platforms

There are currently 30 customers including Netflix, 3M and IBM who have taken advantage of this functionality.

The Cloud Platform can be built by developers or non-developers like systems administrators by using the App Creator which again provides simple drag and drop functionality.

Workday Marketplace is available now for customers to find and discover applications.

Workday Virtual Assistant – WD33

This is super exciting. Workday talked about plans to develop a bot that can do 3 things;

1. Execute tasks in Workday

2. Bring information to the user from outside of Workday e.g. Policies held on SharePoint

3. Executes daily tasks within and beyond Workday

The first release will be in English and will start with the basics I’m sure – watch this space!


I was really impressed at this and would love to get my hands on it. Livepages in Workday are PowerPoint-like presentation slides that show real time data visualisations. Every time data is updated in Workday, the slides update. The best part is, if I like the look of my colleague’s deck and want one for myself with my data in it, I simply ‘Copy as me’ and there it is!

We also had a great presentation from Archana Ramamoorthy about the investments that Workday is making to ensure security, availability and performance scale with the solution and then we enjoyed schnitzel, champagne and photobooths at the infamous Customer Appreciation Party. Plus, Workday made a pledge to be super sustainable which I loved. Here’s how they did it

For more information about Workday, Oracle or SuccessFactors and how cloud HR can benefit your business, please contact


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