Workday has completed its acquisition of Adaptive Insights for $1.55 billion. The acquisition was first announced in June and more details are emerging. As originally announced the business win run as a separate brand, Adaptive Insights, a Workday company.
This is a departure from most of the acquisitions that Workday had made in the past. However, it is the largest it has ever made.
Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and CEO, Workday commented: “Running a business that stands the test of time requires a strategic approach to planning supported by the right tools and a trusted partner. That’s why I couldn’t be more excited to officially welcome Adaptive Insights into the Workday family. With this incredible team and technology unified with Workday, we will set the new standard for financial and business planning — with one system that equips customers with the intelligence they need to make more accurate decisions that drive future success.”
That team include Tom Bogan, Adaptive Insights CEO who added “Adaptive Insights was founded with a vision to create a cloud planning platform that would free people to do their best work, and we’re doing that for more than 3,800 companies of all sizes. Now, as part of Workday, we’re able to further our vision and continued innovation with our Business Planning Cloud, while remaining true to our values and focus on employees and customers. I’m excited for all the great things we’ll be able to achieve together.”
Market Consolidation or vindication
There are two differing thoughts about what this means for the market. Over the last few years several companies have founded strong and growing business in the financial planning and analysis sector. Anaplan, Host Analytics are two of the leaders in the sector according to the latest Gartner grid.
In terms of ERP vendors Oracle is already in the leader quadrant. Workday will soon join it thanks to its recent acquisition of Adaptive insights. Is this a shift toward consolidation in the market?
Mickey North Rizza, program vice president, Enterprise Applications & Digital Commerce, IDC commented: “With Adaptive Insights as part of Workday, organizations will have a more comprehensive planning system that further fuels finance and business transformation to drive competitive advantage. The office of finance is undergoing significant digital transformation as the back office is finally reaching parity with the front office, creating a new digital core across the enterprise. As part of this shift, finance teams require a robust central planning system that provides the insights to help them grow and compete in real time.”
His statement might indicate that more companies will look to a complete ERP solution rather than separate packages. We approached Vena Solutions, a rapidly growing company for its thoughts on the acquisition.
Shawn Cadeau, CEO at Vena Solutions responded: “Workday’s acquisition of Adaptive Insights is great news. The acquisition, and also earlier news of Adaptive Insights’ IPO filing, are a huge testament to the accepted value of cloud software that solves real-world challenges for enterprise finance teams. They’re further proof that SaaS offerings have hit mainstream, majority adoption.
“The market interest in Adaptive Insights and its ultimate acquisition price are particularly encouraging with Vena Solutions continuing to lead the industry with record-breaking growth and the highest customer satisfaction. We welcome today’s news as setting the stage for greater, future success – for Vena Solutions and our industry as a whole.”
For Cadeau that vindication may mean that there is easier access to funds. However, with Adaptive Insights remaining a separate brand, the competitive advantage Vena Solutions would have received had it been subsumed by Workday is diminished.
The question is whether Cadeau is hoping for a similar outcome. He was evasive in answering: “With our industry-leading growth, product usability and customer satisfaction, Adaptive’s acquisition certainly bodes well for the value potential suitors put on Vena Solutions. That said, my priorities remain to build on our growth, provide the best FP&A software on the market, deliver a world-class customer experience and bring operational excellence into everything we do.“
What does this mean
Customers of Adaptive Insights should relax a little on hearing that the business unit will retain some independence. It means that the company will continue to service clients whose financial systems are not workday. For Workday they are now able to indicate a powerful business planning in its portfolio.
This may also bring Workday closer to Salesforce and see them jointly push into larger enterprises with a fuller suite of Workday HCM, Workday Finance, Salesforce CRM, Salesforce Service cloud (and others as well as a business planning solution that will sit across them all. Adaptive Insights has only to date launched the sales and financial planning elements of their business planning platform.
For competitors such as Vena there should be new opportunities as they promote their independence. Vena already had a partnership with FinancialForce, native on the Salesforce platform, Sage Intaact and was recently listed on the Deltek marketplace as well. Further alliances are likely to emerge.