After visiting with customers, partners, and prospective customers in cities throughout Europe, I finished a month-long trip with a stop at Workday’s Amsterdam office last week. The timing was perfect, as I was able to tour our new state-of-the-art training centre for customers and partners. Today, the centre opened for training! Our European team is very excited about this new facility for many reasons, including its impact on the following areas.
Customer experience. While we will continue to offer training onsite at customer locations as needed in Europe, customers and certified consultants can now take advantage of open enrollment training courses offered at the centre. Amsterdam is ideal for our European community, with its central location, varied transportation options, and highly multilingual populace. Our office tower is located in the popular South business district (offering lovely panoramic views of the city), and the classrooms incorporate the latest technologies and a superior learning experience that is unique to the Workday culture.
Workday consultant certification. History shows that many traditional ERP software deployments went badly because the consultants hired weren’t competent with the selected technologies, applications, and integrations. At Workday we take a different approach to certification. We believe certification should not be a one-time event, and we require all consultants in the Workday ecosystem to be re-certified for each one of our twice-yearly updates delivered in the cloud. The Amsterdam training centre provides a convenient location for our European partners to get certified on Workday applications so they can deliver the best possible experience and guidance on customer deployments and updates, and they will continue to participate in online training twice each year.
Workday culture. I love that our new training centre looks and feels like our other Workday offices across the globe. This may seem a small thing, but it’s important to us because of our tremendous pride in the Workday culture. It’s more than just the modern training technologies and the open space; the overall feel communicates that we are not just another corporate office—we are Workday!
While it was wonderful to come home after a month of travel, I enjoyed learning from our customers about the benefits they’re gaining with Workday—most often mentioned was how they’ve come to more deeply understand what it means to have a unified system and global business insight. I was happy to hear them share these experiences with prospective customers at events we hosted in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo, Paris, London, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
During our multi-city tour, many customers asked us how they can become even more involved in Workday’s product roadmap. We always encourage them to join Workday Community, where our customers suggest, collaborate, and vote on new features and functionality as part of our Brainstorm program. Some of our Europe-based customers also have become involved in product advisory councils and feature design groups. Our Workday EMEA Executive Advisory Board, which includes executives from a select group of companies, has met with us several times to provide direct strategic direction and feedback. This high level of interest from customers in shaping the future of Workday demonstrates a commitment and passion that, to me, is a sign our Amsterdam training centre will be very busy indeed with new customers in the months and years to come.
(This post was edited on July 1, 2014 to clarify that the Amsterdam training centre provides onsite training for partner certification, while partner training for Workday updates is provided online twice yearly.)