Microsoft Office 365, Workday Integrations Arrive in 2017

The companies embark on a partnership that will ultimately connect Workday's HR and finance applications with Office 365.

Microsoft, Workday partnership

Microsoft Ignite 2016 isn't the only technology conference taking place this week although the sheer number of new announcements coming out of Atlanta, the site of the event, suggests otherwise. In Chicago, where Ignite was held last year, Workday Rising is currently gathering users of the Workday's finance and human resources (HR) applications and partner companies.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Workday specializes in cloud-delivered human capital management (HCM) and financial management software. This summer, in an expansion of its current alliance with IBM, the company inked a new multi-year partnership deal with the IT giant, making the IBM Cloud the new home of Workday's development and test environment.

On Tuesday, Workday revealed it had lined up another major partner: Microsoft.

In a rare non-Ignite announcement involving Microsoft, the companies said they are working to integrate Workday's HR and finance applications with Microsoft's productivity software and services suite, Office 365. The first Office 365 and Workday integrations are scheduled to appear in the second quarter of 2017. The firms also pledged to continue the collaboration and deliver "deeper connections between their solutions" going forward.

Specifically, the companies are working on connecting Office 365 Groups with Workday. Once linked, changes in Workday will be automatically reflected in the Office group collaboration feature. Using Workday's dynamic business process framework and Flow, Microsoft's workflow automation technology, the companies claim they can help joint customers eliminate manual processes involved with bringing third-party software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications into the mix.

Finally, with MyAnalytics from Microsoft, Workday's HCM customers can gain insights on their workforces' communication and collaboration habits. Individual employees can study their own behaviors, including the average time spent in meetings.

"Blending the power of Workday's cloud-based finance and HR applications with the cloud productivity of Office 365 will enable our customers to simplify their businesses processes, enhance collaboration, and infuse more intelligence into their organizations," Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said in a Sept. 27 statement.

Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and CEO of Workday, echoed the sentiment. Connecting the companies' respective platforms "will enable customers globally to uncover new ways to produce great work that ultimately drives their businesses forward," he said in a statement. "Our partnership with Microsoft is yet another example of our commitment to empowering customers to increase productivity and drive performance with Workday –all in an intuitive experience that mirrors how they prefer to work."

Workday isn't the only major ally Microsoft gained this week.

On Monday, the software giant announced during Ignite 2016 that it had entered into a new partnership with Adobe. Under the terms of the deal, Adobe will move its Creative Cloud, Document Cloud and Marketing Cloud to Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure platform. "Adobe and Microsoft will bring together the cloud horsepower and end-to-end capabilities brands need to design and deliver great digital experiences," Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe, said in a Sept. 26 announcement.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...