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High-Performing Workday Veers Toward Machine Learning

Posted on Monday, Jun 5th 2017

SaaS-based enterprise application services provider Workday (NYSE: WDAY) reported an impressive first quarter performance. The company attributes its performance to a “great product” and customer satisfaction.

Workday’s Financials

Workday’s first quarter revenues grew 38% over the year to $480 million. It ended the quarter with an EPS of $0.29. The Street had forecast revenues of $468 million and an EPS of $0.16 for the quarter.

By segment, subscription revenues grew 43% to $399.7 million and professional services revenues grew 19% to $80.1 million.

Workday forecast revenues for the current year at $2.04-$2.05 billion, up from a prior forecast for $2.005-$2.025 billion. The market was looking for revenues of $2.02 billion for the year.

Workday’s Product Expansion

According to Realright consultants, the market shares of Oracle PS and SAP HCM are expected to shrink this year by 3% and 8%, respectively. They estimate cloud solutions like Workday to eat into their market share. Workday is turning on the heat by releasing newer offerings to expand its market share.

As part of its effort to diversify into other enterprise services, it recently announced the availability of Workday Financial Performance Management (FPM). The FPM suite enables organizations in financial reporting, analytics, and planning while maintaining their general ledgers or accounting systems of record. The cloud-based offering integrates data from third-party general ledgers with automated data mapping, translation, and validation. It helps to securely manage financial performance using KPIs and scorecards on any device and also collaborates between FP&A and business unit resources to facilitate the organization’s planning process.

It also released Workday Prism Analytics, a solution that will enable customers to blend and analyze Workday data and non-Workday data from multiple sources to better visualize and analyze critical business information. The analytics solution will be available by the end of the year. It will allow organizations to connect, store, and process data from any source, use intuitive capabilities to prepare information for analysis, govern data assets using existing Workday hierarchy structures, share insights, and visually explore, analyze, and drill down into data.

Workday is also focusing on machine learning technology to help improve its product offerings. It is developing machine learning software that will be able to predict scenarios such as employee attrition. For instance, to predict whether an employee will continue to remain in an organization, it will be able to leverage information such as current salary, previous merits and promotion details, and job opportunities outside the organization to predict if an employee will leave within a year. Such detailed information can help HR manage attrition, retain talent, and keep employees motivated.

Besides its products, Workday’s impressive performance is also attributed to its customer experience. According to Workday, it has a customer satisfaction rate of 97%. It believes that this metric is helping it attract big labels. During 2016, Workday added brands like Amazon, WalMart and Target to its customer portfolio.

Its stock is trading at a 52-week high level of $104.4 with a market capitalization of $22.1 billion. It has recovered from a 52-week low of $65.79 in December last year.

Photo Credit: Fabrice Florin/

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