I couldn’t be more excited about becoming part of the Workday family. The alliance will enable us to innovate even faster than before, while our customers continue to receive the same world-class service and support from the team they know and trust.
With change, of course, there are always questions. Let me address a few here:
Will the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud remain open? Will it continue to work with ERP, GL, CRM, HCM, or other transactional/backend systems beyond those from Workday? Yes and yes.
Will the Business Planning Cloud now focus only on enterprise customers? No. Our plan is to continue to support (and design solutions for) customers of all sizes. Regardless of size, you’ll continue to be just as important to our community tomorrow as you are today.
Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and CEO of Workday, had this to say about the same questions: “We plan to keep the formula that has made Adaptive Insights the success it is today. That’s why we are committed to maintaining an open ecosystem that enables seamless integration to transactional systems of all kinds, regardless of vendor—for customers of all sizes, including small, midsize, and enterprise organizations.”
He added, “Just like our HCM solution integrates with a wide range of ERP systems, so, too, will the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud.”
Modern businesses need systems that play nice together
Today’s businesses are built around open systems. That’s because closed systems create silos, and silos don’t produce the right outcome where it’s essential to maintain agility and collaboration in your business.
I remember, though, when silos were common in IT. Businesses bought a collection of point solutions that rarely, if ever, talked to one another. Some applications couldn’t access certain databases, particularly (though not always) if those products came from competing vendors. Left with few options, frustrated users resorted to spreadsheets as a way to shuttle information from back-end ERP and GL systems to CRM, HCM, or sales force automation platforms.
And when your systems don’t play nice together, there’s a good chance your work groups won’t either. Disjointed, disparate systems stand in the way of collaboration. They prevent you from knowing what’s happening with the entire business. They force you to make decisions on gut instinct instead of data-driven insight.
Just as bad, silos make it impossible for software providers to deliver a seamless experience across all the solutions a business runs, which is a problem because many business processes involve more than one solution.
Years ago, solution providers were convinced that to deliver a plug-and-play experience, they had to limit the number of solutions and data sources you could access. Then a shift occurred. Providers started realizing that openness benefited everyone—not just their customers, but themselves as well. Oracle acquired Hyperion, and SAP snatched up OutlookSoft (now SAP Business Planning and Collaboration), in part because these systems allowed customers to integrate with an array of platforms, including those that compete with Oracle and SAP.
In the modern era, a closed ecosystem holds no future whatsoever. With the right architecture and integration framework, you can plan using any source data you want—from any ERP, GL, HCM, CRM, or other system—and present it in an integrated experience that’s easy, intuitive, and seamless. Just one (very relevant) example: Workday built its Workday Prism Analytics solution around technology it acquired from Platfora, so Workday users can analyze data sets from multiple sources.
Size doesn’t matter when you have the right architecture
It’s hard to be open, and it’s just as hard, if not harder, to deliver a solution that companies of all sizes can afford and be delighted by. That’s why most solution providers tend to focus on specific segments and target their solutions at businesses in only those segments.
A small nonprofit that is strapped for cash and has limited resources wants a solution that’s easy to use and maintain, while a large enterprise is willing to spend more money to acquire the power and flexibility its business needs. Historically, that’s been a trade-off—smaller companies had to live with less powerful solutions, while larger enterprises had to live with solutions that proved difficult to use and maintain. This trade-off was an artifact of outdated IT models.
While it’s no easy feat to achieve, a well-designed solution can eliminate the trade-off between SMB and enterprise needs. We are proud to deliver our Business Planning Cloud equally well for customers of all sizes, across all industries, and in all geographies.
Whether you’re a small business using Sage Intacct, Oracle NetSuite, or Microsoft Dynamics, or a medium or large enterprise using Oracle, SAP, Workday, or some other ERP system, we want everyone to benefit from the Business Planning Cloud.
Modern planning and analytics solutions break down silos between solutions and people. That’s what we’ve always designed for. We’re excited to join with Workday. And as a Workday company, we plan to continue to innovate by remaining open and by staying laser focused on providing all customers with the seamless, market-leading experience they expect and receive from us.
After all, it’s just common sense.