Workday Industry Accelerators - Image credit Pixabay variousAt Workday Rising this week, the HR and Finance cloud vendor revealed a new industry-first approach for its product and partners. More and more organisations are taking an industry-first approach, sometimes with different solutions. Workday has taken the common approach by introducing industry accelerators. The first ones target banking, healthcare, insurance, and technology.

The accelerators will feature ready-made integrations and configurations that align with the industry they serve — for example, electronic health records, regulatory reporting, and tax compliance solutions.

Coupled with this announcement is a vision to see its partner ecosystem become more industry aligned. The first stage of fulfilling this vision is the introduction of Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC as the first Industry Acceleration Partners. These partners will leverage their specific industry experience by combining industry practices, proven solutions, and ecosystem connectors with the Workday Enterprise Management Cloud. The aim is to improve the time to value and quality of customers’ digital transformations.

Pete Schlampp, Chief Strategy Officer, Workday
Pete Schlampp, Chief Strategy Officer, Workday

Pete Schlampp, chief strategy officer,(differs to what’s under his image.) Workday commented: “Cloud transformations can be complex for any organization, but it’s particularly challenging for those companies that have industry-specific needs. Workday, together with our Industry Accelerator partners, will bring industry-specific value from day one, while offering lower risk deployment. As a cloud finance and HR leader, Workday builds best-in-class applications that connect with other industry-specific clouds so our customers can solve their most pressing business needs.”

Fantastic Four Accelerators

Workday provided details about the industry accelerators:

  • Industry Accelerator for Banking and Capital Markets. With the Industry Accelerator for Banking and Capital Markets, Workday Financial Management and Workday Accounting Center combine with partner solutions to deliver finance-reconciled data with regulatory reporting capabilities to help streamline customer operations
  • Industry Accelerator for Healthcare. The Industry Accelerator for Healthcare will help organizations better optimize finance and talent resources, manage supply chain operations, and improve organizational agility, with offerings from software and services partners. For example, customers can quickly deploy proven solutions to automate the validation of clinician credentials to get new nurses on the floor faster
  • Industry Accelerator for Insurance. With the Industry Accelerator for Insurance, customers can more easily move financial and operational data to the cloud leveraging Workday’s expansive ecosystem and solution stack optimized for insurance companies. For example, customers can address new long-duration targeted improvement (LDTI) requirements with a purpose-built solution that ties to Workday Financial Management
  • Industry Accelerator for Technology.  The Industry Accelerator for Technology will help organizations streamline quote-to-cash and simplify their merger & acquisition (M&A) process. For example, customers can enhance billing methodologies, revenue recognition, and automated collections by combining Workday Financial Management, Workday Revenue Management, and configure, quote, price (CPQ) solutions

Each accelerator ensures faster time to value for deployments and lowers the risk with experienced industry partners delivering industry-aligned solutions. The strategy also promotes a more focused community with an alignment of partners and customers working together from a similar base solution. R “Ray” Wang, founder, chairman, and principal analyst, Constellation Research, Inc., commented: “Industry Accelerators improve customer success and improve the overall value of the technology investment. These actions provide customers with confidence across the full solution stack from day one, with a commitment to continued innovation.”

Partner vision

Workday also laid out a vision for its new partner ecosystem. The aim is to create what it describes as a “more open and connected partner ecosystem”. This does not, however, mean that Workday is opening the floodgates to new partners. Instead, it is working to develop deeper and more open relationships with its existing partners. An example of this is the elimination of fees for the Workday Extend partner program, which looks to increase the 750 already existing Workday Extend Apps and extensions that address specific business needs. It aims to promote innovation within the partner ecosystem, already delivering packaged solutions for Workday ExtendWorkday Prism Analytics, and Workday Adaptive Planning.

Workday will also launch co-selling programs with partners to support joint go-to-market strategies, presumably within specific industry verticals. The company is also expanding its partner support offerings. It will invest in partner education and accelerate certifications and the onboarding process. It plans to build a new partner portal to support the enhanced partner program it will launch in 2023.

The next iteration of the partner ecosystem will include three consolidated tracks for innovation, go-to-market, and service partners. Each track will have different tier systems, appropriate incentives and rewards. The aim is to double the consulting capacity within the Workday ecosystem by 2026. This considered investment, coupled with the industry-first approach, aims to help achieve that.

Sam Alkharrat, chief partner officer, Workday, commented: “Customer service and innovation are core values at Workday, and our partner ecosystem has always played a critical role in helping us innovate and deliver great experiences to our customers. As we look ahead, we see an incredible opportunity to transform how we jointly work with our partner ecosystem to establish a more open and connected Workday. Doubling down on this effort will help accelerate our ability to co-innovate and co-sell, and streamline the partner experience in order to serve our most pressing customer needs.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

There is a shift to an industry-first approach among vendors. There is a realisation that one size does not fit all. There are benefits to vendors, partners and customers with this change. For customers, there is a faster time to value. As the volume of organisations looking to digitally transform increases, partners must become specialised within industries or miss out to those who do align themselves. It is not enough to be an expert on digital transformation; one must also understand the industry.

Platform vendors must introduce solutions specific to industries, as Infor and Aptean do, or provide accelerators. Those accelerators must provide a pre-configured solution ready to deploy for that specific industry.

What is missing from this announcement is whether partners can create their micro-vertical industry accelerators built on top of the Workday ones. For example, there are differences between hospital systems in different countries and other healthcare organisations.

Workday has delivered a modern approach for its go-to-market that should help to maintain, if not accelerate, its growth and achieve its goal of a larger ecosystem and customer base. The approach may also help it to move more into the mid-market as the time to value and the cost of deployment is reduced.


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