Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bill Kutik's latest column

A few days ago Bill Kutik wrote a column about recent events at Authoria In a single column, Kutik manages to provide the single best and most useful overview of Authoria and Tod Loofburrow ever published, at least to my knowledge. Simply by reporting the facts and history of the company as they are, any organisation looking at Authoria now has a much better context of what this company is about, good, bad or otherwise.

I reviewed earlier analyst and media coverage of Authoria for the last few years, and it was overwhelmingly worthless hype or commonplace information that would not help a buying organisation really understand a potential vendor. I am on the record as being more negative than Kutik on Authoria, and it is certainly not my intention to plant my nose firmly between his arse cheeks. But, with this column and others, Kutik reminds us of why proper press coverage and informed reporting are so important, not just to HCM technology, but to business in general.

It's truly baffling that with all of the analysts and consultants out there charging organisations premium fees to help make HCM technology decisions, that a simple column by a member of the press is the person to actually deliver some goods. Best of all it was free!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Workday Mystery

Why is it a mystery? It's a mystery because no one seems to know how Workday is truly performing. Recent press releases indicate that Workday has over thity customers live, but what vexes me is that I can't say whether or not this is good, bad or in between.

Among analysts, publications, trade shows and the general industry buzz, no company is quite as well known as Workday. I guess having Dave Duffield as your founder helps that. Some of that buzz is truly deserved as Workday is making the most audacious effort possible in HCM, namely overturning the Oracle/SAP ERP hegemony in HCM. Also, having seen a few demos, there is no lack of innovation, coolness and utility from the application itself. It's definitely not yet complete though, and likely lacks polish in a number of areas, but it seems to be getting there and it has a first rate technology team.

Still, questions remain:
  • How much in revenue are they doing? Are they profitable? Do they care?
  • How happy are these thirty customers? What are they implementing?
  • Is the technology working? Is it buggy, reliable, fast?
  • Is the functionality really flexible enough for the enterprise, or are there pressures to customise?
  • How are Dave Duffield and Greylock Capital defining success for Workday?

Lucky for them, as long as Dave is paying the bills (something he can do for a long time), they don't really HAVE to answer any of these questions anytime soon. However, if they are meeting with success, one would think that they would WANT to tell the world.

Personally, I am cheering for them.