Workday continues to rollout new versions of their SaaS product suite about every four months and their most recent release is Workday 17. This will probably be their last product release prior to their upcoming IPO this fall.
One major change that we were interested in seeing was their newly streamlined user interface. We consider Workday’s UI as one of the most advanced, and easy-to-use in the market, so it was a little surprising to see how the company had decided to simplify it even more. Here are some of the other updates announced with Workday 17:
New application: Time & Attendance
Workday will provide their customers with a new application designed to control labor costs, reduce organizational risks associated with work rules and labor laws, and increase workforce productivity. This application is native product that is built on the Workday architecture and fully integrated into their other products such as payroll, financials and HCM.
Workforce Management is an area that Workday has provided some functionality such as travel and expense management but this is creating a full featured competitive offering against solutions from Kronos and SumTotal.
The application has a clean user interface, which appears to be designed more for white-collar workforces where workers and managers are using mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. Beta customers for this new application include Brown University, Cadence Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Plexus Corporation and Thomson Reuters. This screen shot shows how Workday is using more of a calendar metaphor for this product, which we think will be a big improvement when compared to some of the other industry solutions.
Also check out a fun video for the new Time & Attendance application.
Updated mobile capabilities with Workday for iPad®
Like their browser-based user interface, Workday has reworked their mobile experience as well. The iPhone and iPad versions have delivered a more consumer-like look and feel for their applications. Workday stated they are taking a ‘mobile first’ approach to their products, is also moving more actively to a fully HTML5 UI for use across multiple types of mobile devices.
One of the new capablities that we were really impressed with was the employee timeline feature on the iPad that provides a cool way to see changes to employee-related events such as awards, reviews or even job changes. This is a screen shot of the employee timeline feature.
Simplified User Interface
We continue believe that in terms of SaaS-based enterprise software, Workday leads the way with providing a superior user experience with their interface solutions. What was nice to see is the continued use of icons and gamification techniques to make complex applications and features easier to use. This type of focus on the user experience leads to products that managers and employees want to use, improving overall adoption and consumption of solutions.
Workday 17 continues to improve their application interface to offer a surprising amount of white space, which allows for causal users to more easily figure out how to use the features. We like how information, analytics and business processes are available to users but not pushed right to the front of the user experience. Their brief demonstration showed us how this new interface has improved the experience with their compensation planning and performance management tools. Workday has taken the older spreadsheet and Word document metaphors and really cleaned them up.
The new user experience is available across the Workday 17 product suite including Workday HCM, Workday Financial Management and Workday Expenses applications.
Product Briefing: August 21, 2012