For Dale Shephard, the offer to join OneSource Virtual wasn’t just another offer of employment. It was an invitation to help OSV build something new and exciting in Europe
“The opportunity to get to work with a close group of people was very attractive to me,” he says. “I’ve worked in a start-up style environment before, but I’ve also worked at massive corporations, and I much prefer the former.”
Now, as OSV’s business development manager (BDM) for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), he helps new deployment customers plan and prepare prior to deploying Workday, manage expectations and conversations as they enter each new stage of deployment, and make sure the customer’s post-deployment services have them set up for long-term success.
“Because we’re such a small team, that encompasses a lot of responsibilities,” he says.
It also requires a lot of firsthand knowledge of Workday and the nuances of different deployment processes—knowledge that Dale has no shortage of.
“I’ve worked in delivery, I’m a certified consultant in both HCM, Integrations and Engagement Management,” he says. This wide breadth of skill and knowledge is one of the primary factors that helps OSV, in multiple cases, over potential partners.
His experience with Workday goes back four years to when he was an employee for Telefónica, an end-to-end digital telecommunications products and services company based in London. When one of Telefónica’s smaller companies in Israel was going to adopt Workday, they needed someone to take the reins on the project. Not one to squander an opportunity to expand his scope of professional expertise, Dale jumped at the chance.
A week later, Dale found himself in Tel Aviv, in the company of 110 other team members, working on a system he had little experience with at the time.
“We ran it as if it was live for two weeks,” he says. When the company finally went live on Workday, he was asked to stay on as the HR technical analyst “to basically run the tenant.”
“I looked after everything,” he adds. “I rolled out Performance and completely re-engineered all the business processes.”
Afterwards, Dale took his already impressive toolbox of IT, HR and implementation experience and went into Consulting. “I wanted to understand integrations more,” he says, which led him into a contract position as global integration lead for GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Workday deployment.
“That was a massive project,” he says. “The project team was 140 people. Seventy-seven countries and 110,000 people. The definition of LE.” From start to finish, the GSK project took three years where he spent working with GSK’s IT department to get them up to speed on the ins and outs of Software as a Service.
“From there,” he says, “I wanted to get certified.” He now had a solid understanding of integrations and Workday, having worked on both the functional and technical sides, but he knew there was even more to learn. He also knew, from experience, that there weren’t many others with that level of comprehensive expertise.
After receiving his certification, Dale completed one more large-scale deployment before joining OSV, this time for Warner Music. “I looked after the non-US integration landscape, covering 39 countries,” he says.
All of this experience feeds into what he does now as an essential part of OSV’s London operations. It also helps explain his favorite OSV value—“You are empowered to fix what’s broken”. That specific kind of environment—one in which team members are encouraged to think outside the box and look for improvements to standard practices—was one he wanted to be a part of.
“In London, we’re making things happen, setting up business, and we have to be able to do what we need to do,” he says. “I do feel genuinely empowered, as well as supported by my team.”
When he’s not helping OSV advance its mission in the U.K., he spends part of his free time learning Japanese.
“I went to Japan for the first time last year for work and fell in love with it,” he says. “Japan has a very specific and established business culture,” he adds, and knowing more about the language and culture of Japan will be invaluable as Workday and OSV move into the APAC region in the coming years.
Originally from Leeds, Yorkshire, Dale currently lives in London with his wife of six years and their cat, Milo. “My wife’s from London,” he says, “so she’s come back home. It just took me a while to get her back down.”