Tips and Takeaways from a Longtime Workday Rising Attendee

A Workday consultant at Unilever, who is attending his seventh Workday Rising conference, offers tips and takeaways to other show attendees.

Steve Dunne September 18, 2019
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Manish Bhaisare, who serves as a Workday consultant at Unilever, will attend his seventh Workday Rising conference. That makes him especially well-placed to offer tips and takeaways to other show attendees.  

Here are his thoughts for those who will soon join us in Milan, Nov. 12-14, for Workday Rising Europe. See you then!

What keeps you coming back to Workday Rising?

There are a lot of reasons, but I think access to other customers, the people who are going through the same things with Workday day-in-day-out, is most helpful. Workday has a great online community, but you can’t beat chatting with people in a relaxed setting and hearing about their journey first hand. I think we’ve overcome some of our challenges simply by meeting with other customers at Workday Rising and learning about how they approached similar ones. I’d also have to mention the customer appreciation party, because that is always something truly special!

With so many sessions, there’s always a lot to digest. How do you prioritise content at Workday Rising?

Unilever invests in our attendance at Workday Rising, so we have to provide value back to the business. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to do that. It is a chance to get an early view of new product features and what is coming down the line. That gives us the opportunity to get the rest of the business ready for those changes and prepare our partners for new capabilities. 

On another level, you see what other businesses are doing, and it drives you to be more innovative and creative with what Workday can actually do for your organisation.

How do you share those ideas and start implementing those concepts within the business?

Well, I used to be a line-by-line note taker, but thankfully most of the sessions have great visuals, so now I rely on taking lots of pictures on my phone. I can share these in seconds with my team and tag everybody in. For more important things, I will drop the images into slides and present back to the business. 

With so many sessions, you can’t attend everything, but thankfully you can catch up with content on the Workday Community site after the event. That’s a great resource. When I return to the office, I meet with the systems, change, solutions, and planning teams. We talk about what we have learnt, starting with the areas where we can get immediate gains. Then we look at potential innovations over the longer term, and finally the areas where we say, “That’s nice, but not really for us.”

How valuable are the relationships you build at Workday Rising Europe?

The community element is just brilliant. It’s such a great mix of a conference event and a social element that just works so well. You see old friends and people you have worked with in the past, and find out how their journey is progressing. It can be a real reality check—finding out why people have done things a certain way. 

I’ll have long conversations with people and then will connect with some via email when I return home. The connection and community does not end after the three days. It’s only just beginning. 

What are you most excited about, from a content perspective, at Workday Rising in Milan?

I think there are four words, or maybe letters, on everyone’s lips this year: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). A lot of the sessions and tracks have a big focus on those areas, and that’s understandable as most businesses are trying to understand how these technologies will impact them and how Workday will drive these concepts forward.

As an extension of those areas, the Workday skills cloud is another big focus for me this year. I want to spend a lot of time with the experts and listening to the product managers to understand the roadmap.

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