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3/24/2010
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Workday 10 Boosts HR Capabilities

The enterprise resource planning suite gains talent profiles, employee goals, and succession planning features.

For more on business intelligence, see Intelligent Enterprise.

A battery of new human resource management features have been introduced in Workday 10, the latest upgrade, announced Tuesday, of the software-as-a-service vendor's eponymous ERP suite. The new features are said to unite in talent management and human capital management in one system.

To parse these increasingly popular HR buzz phrases, talent management is about individual employee recruitment, assessment, performance management, development, and succession planning. Human capital management (HCM) is about strategic reporting on aggregate capabilities. Workday says it's consolidating the two areas.

"Most of our customers are using Workday as their core HR system around the world, but they have point talent solutions," said Stan Swete, Workday's CTO, in an interview with InformationWeek. "They know that if we can do more in areas such as performance management, they can eliminate point solutions and get unified HR processes in Workday."

Workday 10 supports both talent management and HCM with new worker and talent profiles designed to give managers a view of skills, performance, job history, compensation and other employee details at both an individual and companywide level.

Each role in the organization chart can also be assigned goals that can be linked and aligned with those of superiors, reports, and team objectives. New succession planning features give line-of-business managers, HR managers, and executives insight into the depth of individual and companywide talent and readiness to fill key positions.

To bolster recruiting capabilities, Workday 10 has an API for integration with recruitment management services, and it has been specifically pre-integrated with the SaaS-based Mr.Ted service.

Other important upgrades in the Workday 10 release include custom analytic and reporting features. Akin to cube-style multidimensional analysis capabilities, the custom analytics let users choose from a pick list of dimensions to create live, drillable charts and tables through configuration rather than coding. These views can be displayed through configurable windows that can be deployed on one's own Workday page or on shared pages (the latter with role-based data security).

"We're calling this self-service business insight because these custom capabilities empower people to write their own analyses," Swete said.

The Workday ERP service is upgraded three times per year. Workday 10 is now running live for about half of Workday's more than 130 customers. Upgrades in the Workday 11 and 12 releases, planned for June and October, respectively, will include more talent management and HCM enhancements. But the company says it will also bolster core financial management capabilities.

"We believe that in 2009, our human capital management capabilities got to parity with a lot of the on-premise vendors that we compete against," said Swete. "We're not there yet for financials, but we're moving very quickly in that area." Swete added that project management, cash management and accounting are among the financial capabilities likely to be enhanced.

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