Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The frequency of Workday's upgrades

Our move to Workday is an overall strategic direction to move applications to the cloud.  One of the major points that was highlighted in the presentations of many of our business leaders was the frequency of updates of Workday; I recall the graphic used to represent the current ERP providers was a herd of dinosaurs.  ;-)

When we started this project, WD was on version 17 and they're now on 21 with 22 just around the corner.  Thankfully WD is doing twice per year updates rather than three times a year, as the testing and re-writing of training documentation, etc. can be quite an effort.  I had written about the overall Tenant Management Process a while back.

I was reading some of the discussion on Workday Community (Workday's portal for customers, it is a helpful source of information and to connect with other customers).  The current upgrade version timing is listed, along with some tentative dates.  A lot of discussion centers around the Winter/Summer timing, as opposed to being Spring/Autumn.  So Winter is Jan/Feb Summer is Jul/Aug, if the tentative timing is any guide.  I realize that no date is perfect for everyone, but a few key points here:

  • A lot of companies are still closing out the calendar year in January, doing performance reviews, etc.  Resourcing can be a challenge.
  • For those of us in Europe, Jul/Aug are key holiday months for most of the continent.  While it can be quiet as most employees take vacation or facilities are completely closed, it can also be scarce in HR departments too.
  • WD 22 is scheduled for Easter weekend.  Back when I worked in the US, I recall system launches during holidays, to take advantage of employees not needing or using the systems.  Since I moved to Europe however, I've discovered the joy of the four day Easter holiday weekend.  Most countries over here are completely off and trying to get people to work on those days would be a struggle.  This point takes me back to a regular point:  WD still does not bring a global mindset to the table.  (But they're getting there.  I noticed some new non-US functionality--such as French government reports-- is included in WD 21 and WD 22, so pleased as punch to see that.)
  • On the other side of the coin, if you want to use functionality in your comp process let's say, you cannot want for the summer upgrade, it really needs to get there early in the year.
  • I'm continuing to see WD Tenant Manager jobs advertised, it seems that companies are recognizing the efforts that are needed in this space.


  1. It is interesting that you raised this topic because it was a recent topic of discussion within our company as well. We did a US implementation that just had its main go-live in January, so several of us have followed your blog with great interest. I know for us the surprise as the winter timeline of January/February, but it is interesting to see the summer impact in Europe. Our may concerns for the winter timeline echo some of the community conversation, it is year end for a lot of companies. For those using Workday payroll, this is possibly one of singularly most difficult times to do a major upgrade - Not simply because of resources, but also due to the possible negative impact of an upgrade during a critical time of year.

    Thank you for continuing to share your experiences!

  2. Thanks for the comment. I had not even considered the WD payroll impact (as we're on an outsourced payroll). Yikes.