Bob Evans interviews Carl Eschenbach, co-CEO, Workday, as part of the Partners Ecosystem Innovation series, in which he speaks with top executives responsible for the ecosystem businesses of the Cloud Wars Top 10 companies. This exclusive series leads up to the Partners Ecosystem Digital Summit, taking place on April 20. Click here to register for the event.
Register here for your on-demand pass to view all content from Partners Ecosystem Digital Summit. The digital event, which took place on April 20, focused on analyzing the business and IT imperatives around cloud, AI, automation, data modernization, and cybersecurity that define the future of partnerships.
00:37 — Eschenbach took on the role of co-CEO nearly four months ago. After introducing him, Bob asks about his observations, since joining the company, relating to the biggest changes at Workday and their importance.
01:13 — “My first 30 years were in the operating field,” notes Eschenbach. Within the field, he spent much time dealing with partners in a strong ecosystem. Partners ecosystems are what provide companies with “operating leverage on the go-to-market side.” Since joining Workday, Eschenbach has learned about the tremendous amount of power of Workday’s full ecosystem of partners. Workday’s partners ecosystem contains system integrators and global partners that do three things:
- Drive implementations and installations of Workday’s platform
- Leverage the Workday platform to build innovations and solutions of their own
- Offer value to customers
03:41 — Eschenbach describes how Workday is turning the implementation of its Innovation Services over to its partners, which will “drive Workday deeper into our customer base or net new customers.” How does Workday view its partners? “As part of our sales force, not an extension of our sales force.” However, Eschenbach notes that “we’re going to ask a bit more of them. But we’re also going to give them something in return for that.”
05:08 — How is Workday helping customers deal with this “new digital need”? Eschenbach says that digital transformation efforts are now in full swing, and most of it was driven by Covid. That being said, customers don’t always know what to do. “And the beauty of having a company like Workday, in our two core platforms with a strong ecosystem, we do have experience…jointly with our ecosystem.” Customers are now starting to move from a “jobs-based world” to a “skills-based world” thanks to Workday’s partners ecosystem that is helping to drive digital transformation.
07:27 — Bob explains that in the “new world” of partners, they must be “change agents” with the company. He raises the notion of co-creation, which has become a popular topic in the last several years, and asks about the role that the Workday partners ecosystem plays in engaging in co-creation.
09:09 — “The interesting part of that is the ownership of intellectual property [IP]… so it’s an interesting time for co-creation and innovation within our ecosystem.” However, when co-creating with partners, Eschenbach explains that “its not just us doing it. It’s our customers doing it with us and three of us going on this journey.”
10:52 — Workday does not want to compete with its partners ecosystem. “If anything, we’re trying to leverage the technology and our services, and share with them so they can build the practices.”
12:08 — How does Workday select its partners? There are many things, explains Eschenbach. It starts by looking at what they’ve done to date around Workday applications, such as HCM and Financials. If ecosystem partners are able to build services around Workday software, Workday continues to grow, and believes its partners will, too. Another critical characteristic of Workday partners is being able to “maintain openness, leveraging the Extend platform to allow them to innovate on top of us.” Finally, as Workday goes to market, the company is looking for channel partners that are aligned with specific industries.
15:04 — In closing, Eschenbach states that Workday isn’t a value company — it is a growth company. It’s always been a growth company, says Eschenbach.
Sign up here for the Partners Ecosystem Digital Summit on-demand pass to see all of the Partners Ecosystem Innovation interviews that aired on April 20, 2023.