Workday rising – and dancing – with EMEA industry takeover

Workday Rising EMEA highlighted sustained growth and influence in EMEA for the company, with over 100 European-headquartered companies from more than 35 different industries having selected Workday in the current fiscal year.

The news comes out of Barcelona, where the European leg of Workday’s Rising event is currently being held. The show kickstarted with a mixture of dubstep and dancers in neon-clad robot wear, which was all rather Daft Punk but fitting considering the common theme of AI at Rising (robots and AI often going hand-in-hand in the public imagination).

Not that Workday wants to make robots out of enterprise workers; to quote the keynote from Emma Chalwin, chief marketing officer at Workday, “none of our products are intended to replace what a human does. They’re intended to make a person better at what they do.”

The EMEA outlook

Workday’s customer wins for the current fiscal year of 2023 include British home furnishings retailer Dunelm, Norwegian energy company Equinor, and Spanish open mobility company astara. Also revealed earlier in the week at Rising was an EMEA expansion when it comes to medium enterprise customers, with more than 130 new ME companies from the region added to Workday’s customer roster over the last 12 months. These include British retailer Crew Clothing, German football club Borussia Dortmund, Italian chocolate and gelato retailer Venchi and Norwegian insurer Fremtind Forsikring.

Workday’s EMEA customer base spans across financial services, manufacturing, media, public business services, public sector, retail and technology. The common thread, in Workday’s view, is a demand for agile solutions that “enable organizations to navigate complex environments, and to harness AI-driven insights for improved business outcomes”.

“Workday continues to support EMEA companies in digital transformation by harnessing the power of emerging technologies like AI to guide organizations through dynamic change and boost business results,” explained Angelique de Vries-Schipperijn, president, EMEA, Workday. “We are committed to a human-centric AI approach, ensuring responsible use that prioritizes the needs of every user and safeguards their data privacy, making the worklife of our customers smoother and safer.”

Accenture rising

Workday Rising EMEA also saw the expansion of Workday and Accenture’s collaboration to help companies accelerate their adoption of skills-based talent strategies and help unlock greater agility and potential.

Leveraging Workday Skills Cloud, an open and interconnected AI skills intelligence foundation, Accenture and Workday aim to help organizations understand the skills and proficiencies within their workforce, identify the skills needed for future growth, and uncover reskilling opportunities in the areas that will have the most meaningful business impact. The new offerings from Accenture, utilizing Workday Skills Cloud, are said to streamline the implementation of a skills-based talent strategy from “years to weeks” with a pre-built worker skills journey that consolidates skills analysis, insights, and actions.

“To enable the workforce of the future, companies need to begin to organize work around skills – where skills are the currency that enable people to learn new things, change roles, find projects, and grow their career,” said Penelope Prett, senior managing director and Workday Business Group lead at Accenture. “Many companies don’t know what skills they have, nor do they believe they have the data to figure it out. With Workday’s software and data and Accenture’s skills capability and services, we are helping organizations crack the code to becoming skills-driven.”

The new offerings include Accenture’s skill proficiency calculator, built on Workday Extend, that leverages native and non-native Workday data and Workday Skills Cloud to help identify and validate the skills and associated skill proficiency of employees. As part of Accenture’s own journey to become a skills-driven organization, the skill proficiency calculator was built and tested on its global, diverse workforce of more than 733,000 people. Accenture is using the solution to assess what skills its people have and conduct intelligent skills matching to help address business needs. These data-driven insights are hoped to inform Accenture’s practices across recruiting, talent marketplace, learning, and performance.

Workday is also committed to being an early adopter and is currently prototyping the Accenture solution in conjunction with Workday Skills Cloud to support Workday’s skills-based talent strategies and the evolving needs of the business.

“Nearly 2,000 organizations use Workday Skills Cloud to inform decisions around talent and staffing,” commented David Somers, group general manager, OCHRO products, Workday. “This expansion is an exciting step in our ecosystem partnership with Accenture and the skills-focused solutions we’re offering. By combining data from Accenture’s skill proficiency calculator with the AI in Workday Skills Cloud, we’ll help customers upskill and prepare their people for the future of work.”

Other offerings from the expanded partnership include an integrated skills accelerator that leverages Workday Learning, Workday Journeys and Workday Prism, and is preconfigured with Accenture talent transformation capabilities to support closing workforce skill gaps. Accenture consulting services are also available to help organizations understand industry-relevant skills, sources of skills, and leading practices for skill transformation. Finally, an exclusive joint software and services bundle is offered to facilitate a cohesive and agile customer adoption journey – befitting the rising demand for agile solutions that Workday is seeing in the HCM space.