Thursday, 2 April 2015

Daylight savings time in Workday

Here in Europe, we adopt daylight savings time a little differently than in the US in the springtime.  Ours only came last weekend, on the 4th Sunday in March, while friends in the US and Canada moved in the 2nd Sunday of March.  Mexico uses the 1st Sunday in April.

A few things about Workday's handling of daylight savings time:
  • The clock shifts automatically, a customer isn't needing to do anything.
  • Scheduled jobs:  when the Pacific timezone springs forward from 2 to 3 AM, any 2 AM scheduled jobs automatically start at 3 AM.
  • Overnight workers:  the system is smart enough to realize that there is a 'missing' hour in the shift, so a worker's calculated hours does not include that 'missing' 2 AM one when the clock jumps forward.
  • All of this functionality has a similar counterpart action during the autumn time changes as well.
I compare this to our current, traditional non-cloud PeopleSoft ERP world where a database administrator manually has to reset the server clock and takes the system down as a part of that process.  As we are a global PeopleSoft instance, we have people in the system from the Asian morning through to the South American evening.  Therefore our downtime is very limited--depending on the exact countries, but 9 AM in Singapore is 2 AM in London and 10 PM yesterday in Argentina so it's a rare hour in the day where someone is not online.  It's mainly the hours just after Argentina's workday ends, prior to Asia waking up.  Taking the system down at 2 AM in London to make the time change impacts the Asia daytime.  Granted it's only twice a year, but with the process re-scheduling too.

Many years ago I recall speaking to someone at RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland) and they had a global PeopleSoft instance which also ran global payroll and due to performance plus business requirements, they were constantly running someone's payroll at some point, had other processes running or had users in the system, except for a brief, weekly half hour allocated as a maintenance window where the system could be taken down.

So overall, I like this Workday functionality; I think it's clever, fit for purpose and gets the job done easily for customers and is miles ahead of the traditional ERP functionality on this front.

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