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What We Learned at Workday Rising

Oct 12, 2017 News & Events

What We Learned at Workday Rising

A lot always happens at Workday Rising, and this year’s conference—the 11th in Workday’s history—was no exception. With more attendees than ever before, and the announcement of new technology, features and functions Workday’s commitment to innovation and obsession with customer service were on full display.

Below are some of the standout moments from this year’s conference in Chicago:



The conference got off to a great start Monday night with the Kickoff Keynote. Two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning was joined by his father Archie Manning, himself a former NFL quarterback, and Hannah Storm, an author and broadcast journalist for ESPN. During this event, Storm talked with father and son about the parallels between football, family and business leadership. “The most valuable player on the team is the one who makes the most players feel valuable,” Peyton Manning said during the keynote.



The Executive Keynote brought Workday co-founder and CEO Aneel Bhursi to the stage with co-founder and Chairman Dave Duffield, along with other members of Workday’s executive leadership team, to welcome attendees and talk about the Power of One. “We’re the only vendor in the world that follows the Power of One blueprint,” Bhusri said during the keynote. Their keynote also revealed that Workday’s commitment to exceptional service has earned them an impressive customer satisfaction rating of 98 percent. “We’re very proud of that number, but we know we’re not perfect,” Bhusri said. “When we figure out who that two percent is, we start calling them to make sure there’s a path to make them happy as well.”


During the conference, Workday announced two standouts solutions Workday Prism Analytics resulted from Workday’s acquisition of Platfora, and provided the platform for this year’s announcements around Data as a Service. The power lies in giving customers analytics tools that brings all their data together, regardless of where it’s stored. As a result, leaders gain greater context and insight into their data, leading to more informed decision-making.

Workday Benchmarking is Workday’s first Data as a Service (DaaS) offering. This innovative solution takes advantage of Workday’s large user community to let organizations compare their relative performance with other organizations using Workday. The result, again, is to provide leaders with greater analytical power so they can gain a truer understanding of their performance, and are empowered to make effective decisions about their company’s direction.


During Tuesday afternoon’s technology and analytics keynote, Vice President of Technology Product Management Eric Yang talked about Workday’s much-anticipated Cloud Platform. Slated for 2018, Cloud Platform will put Workday’s technology in the hands of customers and partners, allowing them to streamline and automate workflows in ways they’ve never been able to before. Yang was also joined by Vice President of Workday Analytics Pete Schlampp for more discussion around Workday Prism Analytics and Workday Benchmarking.


Also on Tuesday, Director of Financial Solution Consulting Dominic Kellermann announced another new service, Financial Performance Management, and discussed how it would help leaders face three pressing challenges: the pressure for greater analysis and distribution of data, the need for guidance and insight to support decision-making, and the ability to keep pace with rapid change.



Flex CEO Mike McNamara spoke to Workday Rising’s attendees about what he’s learned as the leader of a company that designs and builds intelligent products for today’s connected world. He also discussed Flex’s experience with Workday and the growing importance of artificial intelligence. “We’re in the intelligence age, not the internet age,” McNamara said. “We need to embrace change to succeed.”


Wednesday night, attendees left expo floor behind for Workday’s biggest ever customer appreciation party, with three-time Grammy award winner Gwen Stefani playing to a packed house at Wintrust Arena. An amazing performance that was B-A-N-A-N-A-S!



This year’s conference came to a close with a keynote by Shawn Achor, happiness researcher and best-selling author of “The Happiness Advantage,” which details the link between happiness and success. During his keynote, Achor shared insights into what makes people happier and more creative. “Ninety percent of your long term happiness depends on how you process the world,” Achor said, noting that happiness is a choice, and that it can not only be spread to others, it is also one of the biggest competitive advantages for organizations of all kinds


This year’s conference also gave Workday an opportunity to highlight YearUp, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering urban young adults through education and professional careers. Workday announced a $100,000 charitable donation to the organization, and close to $4,000 was donated by attendees during the conference. Attendees could also volunteer to become mentors or hiring partners with YearUp, and over 250 items of professional clothing were donated.


Congratulations to Workday for another engaging and successful event. This year’s Workday Rising conference was bigger and better than ever before. But with everything Workday has on the horizon, it’s not hard to imagine next year’s Workday Rising surpassing this one. And when it does, next October, we look forward to seeing you there.

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