Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dave Duffield debuts new on-demand ERP

It's been almost two years since David Duffield resigned from PeopleSoft, the firm he founded, in the middle of its hostile takeover by Oracle. Since that time, in addition to building a home bigger than the White House, Duffield has been working with a small startup, Workday, more or less in stealth mode. The buzz was that it had something to do with HR, and something to do with on-demand and open source thrown in the mix.

Well, the firm has finally announced its product line: Workday Enterprise Business Services, which it calls an on-demand ERP solution, although its roadmap falls far short of comprehensive ERP functionality. The first offering is Workday Human Capital Management, which is now in general availability, after successful implementation at Biosite, a medical device firm, and Kana Software, a software development firm. Future offerings will include Financial Management, Resource Management and Revenue Management, scheduled for release beginning in 2007.

Workday's press release points out the technical architecture of its on-demand services, which includes a multi-tenant architecture, built-in auditing to comply with increasing government regulations, and web services integration. According to Computerworld, the product makes heavy use of Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), a web development approach for creating interactive web applications.

There are competitors to Workday, such as NetSuite, that come closer to offering complete ERP functionality. But with Duffield's involvement, the 65-employee Workday is getting a lot more publicity right now. Major technology product and service providers, such as Accenture and ADP, have already formed partnerships with Workday, and Microsoft is working with Workday to provide integration with Microsoft's Outlook, SharePoint Server and Exchange Server products.

So, will Workday be a serious competitor in the enterprise systems marketplace? If it is, Duffield says it will be because of Oracle's hostile takeover of PeopleSoft. According to Computerworld,
Toward the end of the 18-month hostile takeover bid that Oracle waged to acquire PeopleSoft, Duffield came out of retirement to rejoin PeopleSoft. "We worked like crazy for several months to keep PeopleSoft from the clutches of Oracle," he said. "When Oracle prevailed, it inadvertently opened a door for us." Duffield and former PeopleSoft colleague Aneel Bhusri founded Workday in March 2005.
Duffield gets a lot of sympathetic press because of the people-friendly culture he built at PeopleSoft and his charitable activities, such as his fund to help unemployed PeopleSoft workers after the Oracle takeover and his pet rescue foundation.

Everyone wants to see Dave succeed. Whether that translates into market share for Workday remains to be seen.

Computerworld has more on Workday's debut.

Related posts
Dave Duffield's next thing: bigger than the White House
Duffield comes to aid of former PeopleSoft employees
The ax begins to fall at PeopleSoft

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