PeopleSoft Founder Duffield Launches Workday ERP Today
November 6, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Revenge is a dish that is best served cold, and Dave Duffield, the founder of the formerly independent software company PeopleSoft, which was acquired in January 2005 in a hostile takeover by Oracle, has not forgotten how Larry Ellison beat him. Since May 2005, he has been working on a follow-on company and ERP software suite, and today the company, Workday, and its products, Workday Enterprise Business Services, will come to market.
The Workday suite was created using Web technologies and will apparently be sold as a service rather than as a licensed product that companies install on their own machines. The exact technologies that the Workday suite uses have not been divulged as yet, but last year, when Duffield first started hinting about his plans, he said that the project he was working on would use open source and Web services technologies, object-oriented programming techniques (probably Java but possibly C#), and XML. Aneel Bhusri, who is being billed as a co-founder and chief vision officer at Workday, was in charge of product strategy and business development at PeopleSoft from 1993 to 2004, when PeopleSoft expanded from human resources software and moved into the wider ERP market. (Bhussri is also a general partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners.) Duffield and Bhussri have a top-not technical team (which it they bragged about a little in 2005).
In terms of modules, Workday will consist of four core products at first. The human capital management module will deal with the hire-to-retire process, including employee compensation, performance, areas of expertise, succession grids mapped to skills, and employee development. The financial management module will do the normal accounting, cash management, expense management, and budgeting. The resource management module takes care of all physical resources (those not related to people) that a company manages, including sourcing, supplier management, procurement, and settlement and payment. The revenue management module does the other part of the typical financial system, coping with sales, billing, customer accounts, and revenue recognition.
It looks like the human capital management module will be done first, with the other modules to follow in 2007. Given Duffield’s expertise in personnel management software (hence, the name PeopleSoft), this stands to reason.
In any event, we’ll keep you posted on what Workday is all about.