When COVID-19 became more widespread, we didn’t know what to expect from life in quarantine but more than three months later, we’ve started to adapt. Some things we used to do are completely different, like virtual school and Zoom happy hours. But other things haven’t changed at all, like doing laundry, paying bills, and cleaning house.
Our customers face an even stranger trifecta. Some business needs have dramatically changed, like managing everything remotely, while others have stayed consistent, like the demand for reliable finance and HR systems. However, the need for those systems to be flexible, cloud-based, and rock solid, has gone from important to critical. Today, many companies looking for new finance and HCM solutions need functionality they can use fast.
That’s why we’re expanding Workday Launch and making it available to qualified large enterprises in the U.S., with plans to reach additional markets around the world in the next year. We know that every customer journey is different, but we always aim to provide quick time-to-value with our deployments, so customers can focus on what matters most—protecting their businesses, keeping employees safe and productive, and planning for what’s next.
Workday Launch was initially designed to move smaller customers through a simplified sales, contracting, and deployment process, so they could go live on Workday quickly. When we developed it, we took everything we’d learned from past deployments and designed packages with the critical functionality our customers typically need to set up a strong foundation using Workday. Because everything is preconfigured, customers get up and running with a faster and more predictable timeframe and cost.
Expedite discovery processes. By offering fixed fee and fixed scope packages and simplified contracts, we expedite the contract and negotiation cycle.
Reduce risk. By loading relevant business data upfront, customers get a head start on tasks and reduce risks later in the project.
Speed up decision-making. Seeing their own data in the system helps customers learn concepts faster and make better, more accurate decisions.
We’ve invested in equipping a subset of our partner ecosystem on the Workday Launch approach. And we stay connected with both the partner and the customer throughout the deployment process via our Delivery Assurance program so we can ensure things go well. We’ve had positive feedback from customers on the quality of those deployments, and now rely on these partners to deliver 70-80% of Workday Launch deployments.
Many customers have told me how well Workday Launch has worked for them. One of my favorite stories: a global, medium-enterprise communications company that went live on Workday in less than four months. Its existing HCM solution wasn’t keeping pace with growth, and the customer was struggling with a lack of reporting and analytics. We began with a discovery process to understand the customer’s needs. Based on these results, we provided a preconfigured tenant with preloaded data. During deployment, the customer expanded and refined the prototype to map it to company goals.
Because the customer had a tight deployment timeline, it depended on simultaneous workstreams. The customer’s system leads drove configuration and process, and its operations team managed testing. On the first day the company went live, 98% of its workforce logged into Workday.
Prior to Workday, simple tasks like expanding systems into new countries took four to six weeks, plus additional iterations. With Workday, it takes 15 minutes. Reports that took days are now generated on demand, and configuring modules, such as performance and talent, takes less than a week because of a simpler process.
The streamlined, automated functionality in Workday gives staff more time for strategic tasks. And now, more than a year later, the customer is adopting more Workday capabilities, including dashboards, scorecards, and analytics that will provide new insights into the business. As business grows, it can configure Workday to meet its needs well into the future.
This is just one example of the more than 750 global medium enterprise customers that have selected Workday Launch, and 95% of those deployments have gone live on time.
Now we are expanding the offering so that qualified large enterprises can use Workday Launch across industries including hospitality, manufacturing, retail, technology, transportation, and more.
And customers are already taking advantage. For example, a large retail company with more than 7,500 employees is moving from a legacy system and expects to go live by the end of this year. Given current market pressures, it needed a solution built to evolve and grow with the rapid changes facing its business, but also one that offered a fast go-live, so it could manage its diverse workforce.
We expect this momentum and the large enterprise offering to continue throughout the year. That starts with the rollout of customized packages including a few in the next couple of months designed for hospitality and retail businesses impacted by COVID-19, which will help them prepare to re-open and bring back furloughed workers. And it continues as we look to expand the availability of Workday Launch for large enterprises beyond the U.S. in the next year, starting with customers headquartered in Australia, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand.
As the world continues to change around us, it’s important to remember that some things don’t change. At Workday, we started with the core value of customer service, which influences every investment and decision we make. We rally our teams to prioritize customer needs and develop service offerings that address those needs and deliver outcomes in the most efficient and effective ways possible. Workday Launch is a direct result of customers telling us that they needed to optimize their use of our products quickly—to see value as they are still learning to use it. Expanding this program allows more customers to do the same. We’re ready to help them.