The Workday customer and developer ecosystem plays a crucial role in driving innovation across HR and finance. By constantly experimenting, iterating, and refining their work, developers create solutions that solve unique business needs, improve efficiency, and enhance the user experience—all while moving at an incredible pace. Their contributions are essential to the growth and progress of their business, and they’re a vital part of the innovation ecosystem. That’s why Workday continues to invest in our developer community and the technologies they use—we understand that their success depends on it.
We’re excited for the Workday developer community to take advantage of the platform capabilities and partnership announcements at this year’s developer conference, Workday DevCon 2023. This includes the general availability of App Builder—Workday’s no-/low-code tool to collaboratively, quickly, and easily build Workday Extend Apps on the web—and GraphAPI, which leverages GraphQL technology to provide a single pane of glass for developers to discover and access Workday data.
As Workday’s fastest-growing event—more than doubling in size since last year—developers who attend DevCon have the opportunity to explore new possibilities for innovation through in-depth sessions on capabilities like Workday Extend, Workday Prism Analytics, Workday Adaptive Planning, and Workday Journeys.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights we’ve shared so far at Workday DevCon, taking place this week at the San Jose Convention Center.
Expanding Value Through Partnerships
I had the pleasure of taking the stage with Scott Rosecrans, vice president of applications sales and strategic business development at Amazon Web Services (AWS), to discuss the partnership between AWS and Workday. Scott talked about the close engagement between our two companies for over a decade, and how together we’ve built a strong partnership from a joint go-to-market perspective in North America, EMEA, and APJ.
Scott also announced that AWS and Workday Extend teams have collaborated to create a native integration from Workday Extend to AWS, enabling developers to easily and securely leverage AWS platform capabilities in their Workday Extend applications.
And on behalf of Workday, I’m delighted to share that we’re piloting this integration with the developer community at the Hackathon taking place here at Workday DevCon, enabling developers to use the best of Workday’s and AWS’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), storage, and event-processing capabilities with AWS AI services, AWS Lambda, Amazon S3, and Amazon EventBridge.
For me personally, this news is all about the power of the two platforms. AWS services and tools are going to provide our developers with a lot of new toys to build with by expanding Workday Extend to seamlessly include AWS with a completely native integration.
“AWS is excited about the growing global partnership with Workday,” shared Scott. “The integrations we’ve developed with the Workday Extend team will help to both enhance the developer experience and accelerate innovation. We’re looking forward to continuing to co-innovate with Workday to develop new solutions that help our customers solve their business challenges.”
Using AI and ML to Create the Future of Work
Workday Co-Founder, Co-CEO, and Chair Aneel Bhusri was joined onstage by Workday Co-President Sayan Chakraborty to talk about the future of work. Their conversation centered on how Workday is using technology like AI and ML to help developers enable better business outcomes. Aneel kicked off the conversation by reminiscing about the beginning of his career. “DevCon brings me back to my early days as a technologist, and the early days of Workday when we were hacking the cloud," he shared.
Aneel emphasized that one of the biggest opportunities for Workday developers today is with Workday Financial Management. “HR is a huge market, but finance is an even bigger one, and it sits closer to the line of business. This creates a lot of possibilities for developers to deliver customization and configuration for their businesses with the Workday platform,” Aneel said. He then turned the conversation to Sayan to talk about how Workday is investing in AI capabilities.
Despite the recent surge in hype around large language models (LLMs), Sayan emphasized that Workday has been delivering AI and ML technology—including LLMs—for several years. He shared that Workday continues to look past the hype cycle and find real ways to extract business value from LLMs.
“The right way to solve a business problem is to apply different techniques to it until you find the right solution,” explained Sayan. “LLMs are just one of those techniques. We need to peel back the cover of LLMs to better understand the value they bring and the right context to leverage them in.”
He then discussed the value of Workday’s application of ML and LLMs with Workday Prism Analytics. “With Prism, customers can bring in third-party data, combine it with Workday data, apply machine learning, and produce unique and powerful applications based on the output,” shared Sayan.
He revealed that with its early adopter program, Workday is releasing 13 new ML APIs that developers can use in the applications they build to accelerate their business. He also spoke about Workday's commitment to trustworthy AI and ML, ensuring transparency and ethical treatment through a human-centric approach.
They closed their discussion by emphasizing their excitement about both the possibilities of what developers will build next, and their continued innovation together. “From my perspective, the next wave of innovation revolves around collaborating with our Workday developer customers and partners to craft cutting-edge applications that meet the unique needs of the future of work,” said Sayan.