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By eweek  |  Posted 2007-11-21 Print this article Print

Can you talk a little about Workdays model-based development approach and how thats a differentiator for Workday? Bhusri: The underlying technology platform is a purely object-oriented development system that runs in memory, and the real value you get out of that model-based development is [that] application developers who build applications are working with a tool set that requires no code. So in our vernacular its called a definitional system; you define business objects, relationships, methods and executions that are going to be performed against those business objects, and you basically just point and click your way to build all those relationships. What it allows us to do is versioning in upgrading these systems, as opposed to lines of code.
And thats where old ERP [enterprise resource planning] systems have completely broken down. You cant easily upgrade from Version 5 or Version 6. One company were talking to tomorrow is a large insurance company that just did a PeopleSoft upgrade for financials that cost it $30 million. They looked at each other and said, "Were not going to spend $30 million again. This technology allows us to basically forever take care of the upgrades for our customers."
Click here to read more about Workdayss ERP-like beta. You mentioned the customer you are going to see. Who are you talking to? Are you talking to chief financial officers, CIOs or line-of-business folks? Bhusri: Mostly vice presidents of HR are the people who get excited about [the Workday platform], and we typically win over the HR project folks. And then the CIO [has] some influence—in some cases as an early adopter and in some cases as a vetoer. You need a particular type of CIO that likes on demand. Theres a new generation that likes it, and theres a generation that likes having their system on premises and having large empires of people—they dont like on demand right now. I would guess, particularly with financials, that controllers and CFOs are a pretty conservative bunch. What is your strategy to win those folks over? Bhusri: The whole security thing—I think it is a red herring. Our security platform is better than any one companys. Maybe the government has better security technology. We use all the same stuff that they would use internally. Its about as secure as you can be. Yes, you access it over the Internet, but you access it over SSL [Secure Sockets Layer]. Its a secure connection that has proven to be robust. Duffield: And the financial folks, theyre also not IT guys. The whole HR team is enthusiastic about our product. The controller isnt, but the CFOs are up for it, IT is up for it. The controllers are sort of digging their heels in. Bhusri: By definition, we have to be best practice, state of the art. We have to be better than anyone else. The CIO of Chiquita, we walked him through our security, and hes a believer of on demand. He said, "Hey, this is the right way to deliver HR." In that case, it was the CIO who was an advocate. Page 3: Workday Gets to Work


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