When I arrived at the HR Technology Conference & Expo in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, I was carrying some extra baggage—literally. I brought along two large suitcases and a pillow because after the conference I was on a flight to Paris, where I’ll be living and working for a while. I’ll still be focused on Workday HCM product strategy, but I also have a new responsibility of helping to further connect our culture and products with our European community, one of many growing areas outside the U.S. I’m enjoying my immersion into the European culture and all the things that come with it, including great food. Our France team even got together for French cooking lessons one evening last week.
My new international assignment has got me thinking even more about what it requires for businesses to move ahead in a fast-changing world. These changes could be rapid growth, mergers, divestures, or external factors such as regulatory changes. Now more than ever, to keep up with growth and other changes organizations must have global workforce insight into whom, what, and where their talent is. I believe the single most important step to achieving this full global insight is when talent management is part of your core HR system.
When HR and talent are unified, there are no extra steps required for global insight. From a single source, an organization can execute on workforce strategies—such as fostering an environment where your talent can move into positions where they’re most needed (or as in my personal situation, into another region)—to support the larger business goals.
I love hearing stories from Workday customers about how unified HR and talent makes global insight possible. Lisa Blair Davis, VP of HR Services at Johnson & Johnson, with a global workforce of 130,000, discussed how executives now have access to real-time data for making talent decisions at a session at the HR Technology Conference. She also pointed out that the user friendliness of Workday entices employees to manage and regularly update their personal data and career goals, making that insight all the more relevant.
Workday announced yesterday that Paris-based Sanofi, a global integrated healthcare leader with operations in more than 100 countries, has selected Workday Human Capital Management. The news release notes that Sanofi is repositioning the business for future growth, and with Workday Talent Management, “Sanofi expects to offer its managers more visibility on the strengths and talents of employees so that they can access wider pools of potential candidates for key roles in support of the expected future growth of the company.” I look forward to welcoming Sanofi to our European Customer Advisory Board, which works with us to set the strategic direction of our product roadmap.
Today I’m attending HR Tech Europe in Amsterdam, where I’ll be hosting a session titled “Real Customers, Real SaaS” featuring Diageo and HP. I expect there will be a lot of discussion about HR in the cloud at the conference, and our customers have some great insights to share on this topic. Marc Coleman, managing director for HR Tech Europe, mentions SaaS HR as among the top three leading investment areas for European HR along with talent management and analytics in a blog he recently posted. Good picks. All three of those things, when properly executed, support the strategies needed to manage change and drive our businesses forward.