Tambellini Top 10 Observations from Oracle OpenWorld and Workday Rising

Vicki Tambellini |

Tambellini Analyst

Top of Mind: Top 10 Observations from Oracle OpenWorld and Workday Rising
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Tambellini Group has been busy this fall connecting with vendors and institutions about the latest technology updates. These past couple of months we have attended several market events and took away some insights for our future work.

Oracle OpenWorld took place in September in San Francisco, and Workday Rising was held in Orlando in October. Oracle OpenWorld featured over 2,000 sessions and focused on higher education more this year than in the past. Workday Rising had over 13,000 attendees and reflected on the achievements of the past year and announces anticipated innovations.

Top 10 Observations from Oracle OpenWorld

  1. Mark Hurd was noticeably absent, and the only person that could acknowledge it was Larry Ellison. In a particularly touching, unscripted moment, Ellison stopped his keynote address to say that he missed his friend.
  2. Larry Ellison is determined that Oracle compete with Amazon cloud services.
  3. Oracle has rebranded, and the branding extends to the user interfaces/usability for clients. Under the direction of Larry Ellison, Oracle wants to work with customers as a person-driven company. Oracle hired top branding and user-interface designers and worked with clients to ensure that the new user experience improves the user experience.
  4. Oracle is committed to developing solutions to meet the needs of higher education institutions. Product announcements were plentiful, and the roadmap is robust.
  5. Oracle customers using PeopleSoft are largely content with the solutions from Oracle.
  6. Oracle is delivering autonomous databases, operating systems, and applications.
  7. Higher education sessions were in a convenient location. Tambellini observed more prospects and customers in attendance in 2019. In prior years, higher education sessions were not convenient to most other sessions, but this year, they were held in the main conference location.
  8. The sentiment of Oracle higher education customers was positive. Customers expressed particular excitement about Student Financial Planning (SFP), a stand-alone solution. One of the first customers is a private, not-for-profit, four-year U.S. institution.
  9. R1 institutions such as Rice, Baylor, and Rutgers have recently become Oracle Cloud clients.
  10. Oracle wants to do the right things for customers. The company is big, and higher education has the attention of Larry Ellison.

Top 10 Observations from Workday Rising

  1. Jerry Seinfeld’s kick-off keynote elevated Workday’s value of fun to a new high. Seinfeld’s jokes about everyday things from cell phones to bucket lists were the perfect way to start Rising.
  2. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are infiltrating the Workday product stack in meaningful and predictive ways. Ensemble algorithms, enabled by the Power of 1, enable the aggregation of predictions from multiple machine-learning algorithms to make more accurate predictions within Workday.
  3. One of the offshoots of Workday’s use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is the Workday People Experience, a revolutionary employee experience that is personalized, intelligent, and focused on improving knowledge sharing, collaboration, and efficiency. Workday’s People Experience is now available to early adopters and features a smart search; knowledgebase and FAQs; Workday Assistant for on-demand help, task management, and HR case creation and management; and integration with Microsoft Teams. General availability is anticipated for spring 2020.
  4. Workday Skills Cloud uses machine language to mine an employee’s skills by looking at performance reviews, skills endorsements, suggestions, and talent profiles. Workday Skills Cloud is now available to early adopters, with anticipated general availability in spring 2020.
  5. Workday Talent Marketplace allows users to identify internal growth opportunities using artificial intelligence and machine learning that looks at skills matching, job history, and areas of interest. Employees can be alerted of new career opportunities.
  6. Workday Cloud Platform is in limited general availability in 59 client institutions with 60 live applications. General release is scheduled for 2020, and Workday anticipates the availability of partner applications in the near future.
  7. Workday Wayto is the first application that is separate from Workday. Leveraging open standards and blockchain technology, Workday Wayto is an individual application designed to issue, track, verify, and share certifications and credentials. Availability of Wayto is anticipated for 2020.
  8. Workday has made significant enhancements to Workday Planning in the area of Discovery Boards and People Analytics. Workday has taken its drag-and-drop data-discovery technology from Prism Analytics and has incorporated it into Workday Financial Management in the form of Discovery Boards, which are used to visualize data so that users better understand financials data and identify patterns and insights. Discovery Boards are available to early adopters. People Analytics uses augmented analytics to continuously look at patterns across huge data sets to find trends and ranks. People Analytics is available to early adopters, with general availability anticipated for 2020.
  9. Workday’s Aneel Bhusri emphasized higher education and its strength as one of the company’s four strategic verticals. Enhancements to Workday Student continue with stackable programs of study, stackable credentials, competencies skills, financial aid, and more.
  10. Workday is changing its version number nomenclature starting in 2020. Releases will be identified by year and release number (e.g., 2020R1, 2020R2).

The Tambellini Group is the world’s leading independent technology research and advisory firm dedicated exclusively to higher education. Tambellini offers direct interaction with the top industry analysts and provides custom, data-driven advisory services. If you are not a member and would like to learn more about our services, check out thetambellinigroup.com or contact Client Services.

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Vicki Tambellini |

Tambellini Analyst

Vicki Tambellini
Vicki Tambellini, President and CEO for The Tambellini Group, has more than 30 years of experience and is an award-winning software company executive, author, blogger, consultant, guest-speaker, and entrepreneur. She has received numerous awards and honors from companies including PeopleSoft, Oracle, and NCR. She has been a guest speaker at SACUBO, the Oracle HEUG, ELearning! Summit Events, Smart Woman’s Network, Richmond Venture Forum, and numerous private venues. Ms. Tambellini founded The Tambellini Group in 2001.

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