I just finished my first day at Workday as I write this blog post. Many have asked me why I would move from an analyst job to work for a vendor. A key part of my job as an analyst was to listen to and help clients make critical technology purchasing and deployment decisions. During those discussions, I would hear about the myriad of challenges they faced selecting, implementing, and supporting their applications, and gaining value from their investments.
Many of the vendor methods and practices clients railed against had not changed in more than 20 years. As an analyst, I thought clients would value a fresh take, and I had some ideas on how to do some things differently. In my view, there are only a few places in the enterprise software industry right now where the game is really changing in terms of the customer experience. Workday is one of those places. I was extremely pleased to learn that we have a shared passion for customer success, and a desire to innovate and find new ways to make that success happen.
My job title at Workday is vice president, services strategy and marketing. For some, this may seem a bit odd on the surface—I have been covering human capital management (HCM) software at Gartner and so the expectation might be that I would be working in product strategy. Why services strategy? In covering fast-growing, SaaS HCM vendors—many with stellar reputations and references—one of my concerns was that the customer experience would become less consistent as they grew to a few thousand customers. The challenge I am taking on is to help Workday scale the customer experience so it is consistently outstanding as the company grows.
Workday’s partners are key to our strategy, and I look forward to working with them to help our mutual clients succeed. I also plan to work closely with Leighanne Levensaler, vice president of product strategy, and her team, because I believe one of the ways that you deliver a consistent, high quality customer (and partner) experience is to think about what the deployment experience will be like for customers as you are designing the products. I am on the team of Jim Bozzini, senior vice president of operations and services, and am excited to start working with the many folks in the trenches to make sure our customers are successful—every day. Finally, I look forward to meeting with many of our customers. I had the good fortune to work with many of you as an analyst, and I hope to continue to learn from you in my new role.