How We Serve Canada: Q&A with Workday Country Manager and Sales VP Jennifer Buckley

Workday's Jennifer Buckley discusses why business leaders in Canada are embracing the cloud, how Workday serves the unique needs of its Canadian customers, and our vision for continued growth in the country.

At Workday, we have the honor of having a significant number of Canadian-based organizations as part of our customer community. To support these customers and bring even more into the fold, we now have more than 270 employees across offices in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria.

To explore what’s behind this great momentum, we sat down with Jennifer Buckley, country manager of Canada and vice president of sales at Workday. Not only is she passionate about the company’s efforts in the region, but Buckley is also a Workday culture champion.

Here’s a look at Buckley’s perspective on the customer partnerships we’re building, ways we are prioritizing industries such as the public sector, and our vision for Workday in Canada.

At Workday, we talk a lot about business transformation and how cloud technologies can help. What do the business leaders you talk to think about these concepts?

When I started at Workday just over nine years ago, IT executives in Canada were still very much learning about the cloud. I remember being at a golf tournament in Montreal back then with a group of six high-level IT executives, of which only one was embracing the cloud.

Flash forward to today in our country—where we have more than 125 Canadian-headquartered customers— and we’re seeing finance, HR, and IT leaders not just move to the cloud, but uncover incredible benefits and insights about their businesses by having their finance and HR data on a single cloud platform, and then share those experiences with their peers.

Not only are we helping Canadian companies modernize their technologies, but we also work hard to understand and address the market’s unique needs. For example, many Canadian businesses are highly regulated. And both healthcare and higher education organizations are part of the public sector since they are funded and overseen by the government, which means they must follow stricter rules on such things as data security and data residency.

Workday has established a new public services team to help Canadian public sector organizations.

Can you tell us about Workday’s momentum in Canada over the last couple of years?

Our overall growth rate in the region has been tremendous—we’ve seen huge adoption of Workday Financial Management, Workday Human Capital Management, and Workday Payroll for Canada. Over the last few years, we have seen our net-new customer acquisition grow among medium and large enterprises, with the addition of organizations including Medavie Health Services, NAV CANADA, and Revera.

We’ve also recently expanded into the Amazon Web Services data center in Montreal to address data residency needs, which helps organizations such as Fresche Solutions leverage the public cloud for greater flexibility and the freedom to choose how and where they run Workday applications.

Workday has also established a new public services team to help Canadian public sector organizations navigate the regulatory landscape, adapt to new market demands, and modernize their operations to enable higher levels of workforce engagement and better understand where to allocate resources.

How is Workday differentiated in Canada?

Culture is weaved into our core values at Workday and we feel this is a differentiating factor for us in Canada. We find that when you build a culture where employees and customers come first—together with fun, innovation, and integrity—employees become more engaged and proud of what they do, which in turn leads to happy customers.

However, our focus on customer service doesn’t stop there—because it is also one of our core values, everything we do is aimed at making the satisfaction of our customers paramount.

When pursuing an opportunity, we strive to understand what the customer is trying to accomplish based on the business challenges and opportunities they’re facing, and we always aim to deliver a premium experience—regardless of the size of the deal. To determine best practices as we go to market, we have organized networking sessions called “Wonders of Workday Canada,” which bring together individuals from sales, services, pre-sales, value management, and customer success to collaborate and share their ideas.

Our team also cares very much about giving back and we measure our success in not only growth and financial terms, but also how we contribute to the community. We recently participated in fundraisers to raise money for Canadian organizations, including the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart charity, and Montreal-based Cedars Cancer Center.

We measure our success in not only growth terms, but also how we contribute to the community.

What is the outlook for Workday in Canada?

In order to continue momentum in this region, we must look at the business from a long-term perspective—do we have the right people, are we supporting and enabling our employees in the best way possible, and are we treating our customers and communities with the utmost integrity and respect? It is through this lens that we will continue on our growth trajectory and ensure that our customers remain happy across Canada and beyond. In particular, we see enormous growth potential in the public services sector, as these organizations are embracing the concept of modernizing their digital platforms.

We’re not just selling great applications, we’re solving business problems. As long as we keep focusing on that, we’ll keep welcoming more Canadian customers to the Workday community.

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