Workday (or more properly, Workday, Inc) is a cloud based vendor, with offerings in financial management and human capital management, and is based in Pleasanton, California. It started with a meeting of two former leaders from PeopleSoft, Aneel Bhusri (a co-CEO currently) and David Duffield at a California diner back in 2005, which resulted in a startup. This company has grown through the years, both organically, and through over a dozen acquisitions, most recently through acquiring VNDLY in November of 2021.
Workday now has over $4.5 billion of quarterly revenue, with growth of 20% on its last quarterly report with over 7,900 customers, and 455 million users. In addition to Human Capital Management (opens in new tab), current offerings include Financial Management, Talent Management, and Professional Services Automation.
Plans and pricing
Workday does not list any pricing on its website, which is an all too common practice from cloud service providers. Rather, Workday follows the usual routine of requesting business credentials through its website portal; it can alternately be contacted via phone directly. Once they have a valid business email, phone number and know who they are dealing with, then Workday can then understand your company’s potential needs, and provide a custom quote.
Upfront, potential users should be cognizant that there is no free tier, and it is not stated anywhere that there is a free trial. Scouring the internet, we were able to glean that the contracts are for some years, and the monthly charges can be paid by the month, or with a savings, annually. The plan pricing is based on the number of users, with a subscription cost for each employee enrolled in the system. This is designed for larger enterprises, and not for smaller businesses.
The tiers, and options are not listed on the website. Apparently there are possibilities for the HR software (opens in new tab) as a standalone, or combined with other Workday software solutions.
Workday Human Capital Management is a modern solution to HR issues, with a goal to reflect our current global challenges, and target current areas, such as employee engagement. This is a comprehensive solution, that covers multiple business HR needs:
- Human resource management
- Organization management
- Business process management
- Reporting and analytics
- Employee and manager self-service
- Absence management
- Compensation management
- Performance and goal management
- Talent management
- Survey framework
- Contingent labor management
Workday works on a variety of platforms, including desktop PC’s and smartphones. It is also easy to integrate with the other Workday products, avoiding the need for data migrations, and invariably glitchy add-on software. As it is cloud-based, this means that Workday is always the latest version, and updated at the server level, making it easier to use for the user.
We appreciate the flexibility that Workday is built with, so employees can be grouped into logical financial groups, by whom they report to, or by geography. Additional flexibility is offered via the business process framework, that can incorporate embedded information, and process flows that can be configured to suit the application.
Figuring out the support options for Workday is also too amorphous for our taste. Before you write us off as conspiracy theorists, kindly understand that we get at least a little suspicious when there is no easy way to get support directly from a company, but we keep finding the sales info at each and every turn- which is our experience with Workday’s site.
The Workday site does list a number of services that are provided to its customers. These include onboarding when you choose this provider, and an annual business review to check in and see how the service is working for you. The top of the support page also indicates that it is 24 hour support, which we like to see. It also has ‘Customer Care,’ but no method(s) of contact listed. That’s right, there is no phone number on the site that we found, other than for sales.
Rather, users contact Workday via its Customer Care Portal. Here, the customer can designate the severity of the issue, with a response targeted for under 60 minutes for a Level 1 problem.
There is also a Workday Resource Center, where users can request new features, learn about updates, and interact with other customers. We wanted to see how robust this community was, and gauge the level of support here, but once again there was no transparency, and it is locked down to limit access via an email sign in to only verified customers. We also tried the chatbot, asking for more support info, and we received the following automated response “If you're an employee looking to access your company's Workday HR application, you'll need to contact or IT or HR department,” which left us wondering how much support is done locally by the IT or HR Department versus from Workday.
Workday has a combination of features and shortcomings that represent a bit of a dichotomy. The large number of business customers can be accounted for with the adaptable feature set, the 24/7 support with a fast turnaround time, and the interface with other Workday products. However, there are plenty of downsides here, starting with the totally opaque pricing, the lack of a direct phone number for support, the community forum is members only, and the product is enterprise only, so not suitable for small businesses. Overall, take a close look, and see if Workday fits your business’ needs.