Workday Extend: Building New Business Capabilities for HR and Finance With Speed and Simplicity

Workday Extend empowers our customers to confidently build, deploy, and manage new business capabilities for finance and HR. Architected on the same platform as Workday's applications, Extend delivers enterprise scale and speeds development.

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The need for better digital capabilities never seems to stop. New business and system requirements—as well as new opportunities—surface unpredictably, sparked by business process changes, market shifts, new compliance requirements, and competitors. External events also impact us, stretching workforce structures, demand for skills, or financial priorities seemingly overnight. Taken together, this is creating a digital acceleration gap—where most companies struggle to keep up with the pace of change—demanding IT teams to deliver new digital business capabilities faster than ever, while keeping a vigilant eye on security. 

Enter Workday Extend, a technology platform to confidently build, deploy, and manage new business capabilities for finance and human resources (HR) (read below how Netflix and Unum are benefitting from Extend). Workday Extend is architected on the same platform as Workday's applications, delivering enterprise scale and speeding development. Apps developed with Workday Extend are accessed from a Workday user's home screen, dashboard, or related actions—retaining the consistent, familiar user experience that comes with Workday, simplifying uptake and ultimately increasing user adoption. The business functionality provided by Workday Extend apps deeply interacts with core Workday data and processes, and those are interactions that external systems can’t replicate.

We’ve enhanced Workday Extend with two powerful new capabilities: 

  • Workday Orchestrate, included with every Workday Extend subscription, supports orchestration of processes that run within Workday and interact with external systems. With Workday Orchestrate, developers visually build orchestrations using an intuitive drag-and-drop user interface (UI)—called Orchestration Builder—providing guided capability to define flows, map data, and perform transformations, all designed to reduce development time and effort. With Workday Orchestrate, developers can build orchestrations for new use cases requiring deep interactions with native Workday business processes, data, experiences, and third-party services. And all orchestrations are built from a trusted source of data, keeping data in place where it maintains context, stays secure, and ensures privacy. This removes the risk and extra effort that comes with extracting data out of the core system to meet unique process needs.

  • Support for new data and logic components for developers to build their own business objects and business processes to store, process, and secure Workday Extend app data. These net-new customer-delivered objects and processes extend Workday’s data model—which are unique Workday capabilities. Customers can associate these newly built objects with Workday-delivered business objects and processes to build sophisticated data models. And, by leveraging the existing Workday security model, new objects and processes inherit the same secure, auditable, and resilient features customers expect  from Workday applications. And, as new objects and processes are built, a public REST API is automatically created—unlocking access for other developers and processes to use, continuing to increase the ability to build new capabilities with speed and scale.

Workday Extend helps customers build new digital business capabilities faster, changing the digital acceleration gap to a digital transformation opportunity.

With these two major additions, Workday Extend expands support for companies creating and deploying new capabilities in their Workday environment—capabilities that sit right next to and orchestrate across trusted finance and people data and processes. By providing IT with a platform to build new digital capabilities faster, Workday Extend makes the IT technology stack simpler, and keeps vital finance and HR data more secure. Let’s unpack these benefits one by one, and see how Workday customers are applying these capabilities.

Build faster: In a fraction of the time required by traditional development, Workday Extend gives information technology (IT) teams a platform for deep extensibility, providing confidence to build apps and experiences that look and act like Workday, operating within the context of existing data, process flow, and security. And, because developers can reuse established data structures and design patterns, apps can take weeks instead of months to build and deploy.

Simplify the technology stack: With a patchwork of app development and deployment platforms, workflow and integration tools, and management systems, IT spends more time managing their toolsets and less time building new business capabilities. Building new capabilities from within your trusted systems reduces those costs, takes advantage of skills already on hand, and frees up IT resources to tackle the growing digital acceleration gap. 

Develop more securely: When data is extracted out of core systems, transformed, and ingested between technology stacks, the data movement inherently increases security risks and drives up IT costs to manage. Any opportunity to use data without moving it between systems, thereby avoiding data silos and reducing security exploits, can reap large rewards.

And, Workday Extend customers can also leverage the Workday Extend app catalog to save even more time. The catalog offers a curated list of app templates and reference apps addressing common business scenarios that are ready to be quickly configured and deployed for each customer’s unique needs.

Because developers can reuse established data structures and design patterns, apps can take weeks instead of months to build and deploy.

With more than 200 Extend apps live in production, let’s see the value of Workday Extend in action in different organizations across a wide array of finance and HR needs. 

  • Netflix: Built an employee self-service Stock Option Program Enrollment app for both open enrollment and new hire enrollment. Using Workday Extend new data components, they built configuration rules controlled by the program administrator. By streamlining the stock enrollment process, initial feedback has been extremely positive across 7,000-plus eligible Netflix employees. 

  • Unum: Benefits provider Unum built a Recognition Badging app to gamify their Inclusion & Diversity Champions Program. The app will store and display “champion badges” on employee Workday profiles. Employees earn badges after completing Workday Learning curriculum that help them enhance skills and practice inclusive strategies.

  • Workday: Built a Charitable Donations app and a Request Credit Card app (both of which are available from the Workday Extend app catalog). The Credit Card app allows organizations to issue credit cards faster by using Workday Orchestrate to streamline all of the approvals, data integration, and notifications as part of the request credit card process. This app reduces effort required from the finance team to support this high-volume process. 

Bottom line, Workday Extend helps customers build new digital business capabilities faster, changing the digital acceleration gap to a digital transformation opportunity. Our customers continue to demonstrate that when a unique yet vital process or experience needs to be created, Workday Extend is their seamless, secure way to build and deliver. We’re looking forward to seeing what else our customers are going to do with Workday Extend to create deep extensibility, and a brighter Workday for all.

To learn more, register for this webinar where Netflix and Unum show how they use Workday Extend to drive their business forward; watch this recording to learn how other companies are using Workday Extend; or download this helpful infographic

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