Workday fleshes out more of its hosted ERP suites
Its Enterprise Business Services offers software for financial, resource and revenue management
IDG News Service - Workday Inc., the start-up headed by Dave Duffield, the co-founder of PeopleSoft, put more meat on the bones of its ERP software today with the beta release of its on-demand financials service.
Established in March 2005, Workday brought out Human Capital Management, the first of four planned on-demand ERP suites, in November 2006. Today's announcement highlights elements of the three other suites -- Financial Management, Resource Management and Revenue Management. The suites are offered under the collective banner of Enterprise Business Services.
Workday positions itself as an alternative to traditional ERP software, which runs on a relational database and is built around recording a company's financial data, said Mark Nittler, vice president of applications strategy at Workday. Instead, the start-up relies on an object management system and captures and stores all of an organization's business events.
Users can define their entire company's structure in terms of its business events and can also analyze that information without recourse to third-party business intelligence software, Nittler said. The company uses the Web 2.0 world's concept of tagging as a way for users to search and link their ERP data. The idea is to make ERP processes easier to use and to integrate it with other types of software, as well as to enable users to alter their processes as their business changes.
While Workday's Human Capital Management services are more or less complete, the company is making only some parts of the other three suites available now, with more functionality to come. So Workday's Resource Management services currently focus on supplier accounts, with procurement and expenses to be tackled later. The company's Financial Management suite offers financial accounting and reporting along with cash management. Still to come are planning and budgeting as well as management accounting. Finally, Workday's Revenue Management suite delivers customer accounts, with orders, billing and revenue recognition on the road map.
Workday sees its approach initially appealing to upper midmarket companies employing between 1,000 and 5,000 staffers and with annual revenues of $200 million to $1 billion. The company has initially targeted North America and has about 15 customers, including on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) player Salesforce.com Inc. Workday intends to move quickly to take its offerings worldwide.
As for pricing, Workday won't commit to a single figure this early in its operations. "We're not going to have a list price," Nittler said. Instead, the company will let customers' size determine the cost of the subscriptions for its ERP suites. Roughly speaking, Nittler expects Workday to derive $100,000 through an annual revenue subscription from each customer.
Down the road, the start-up may look to directly target the big guns in on-premise ERP -- SAP AG and Oracle Corp. While Oracle's plans for hosted ERP are unclear, SAP is busy preparing A1S, a suite of on-demand ERP, CRM and supply chain management software for general availability in the first quarter of 2008.
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