Workday makes Google preferred partner for public cloud weeks after demise of Amazon project revealed

SaaSy HR firm gets around a bit


Updated Workday has jumped into bed with Google Cloud, making it a preferred provider to run workloads for core industry in a public cloud environment - five years after talking in similarly glowing terms about AWS.

The SaaSy finance and HR application firm said the Google Cloud would be their first suggestion for customers in healthcare, financial services, and retail.

In a statement, Workday said customers will be able to deploy Workday Financial Management, Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), and Workday Adaptive Planning on Google's infrastructure.

Chano Fernandez, co-CEO at Workday, claimed the partnership would offer "an exceptional public cloud experience."

He said the pair will provide "cloud capabilities so organisations can enhance workforce productivity and accelerate their digital transformations".

Whether the arrangement is unique or not might be tested by the fact that in 2016, Workday selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its "preferred public cloud infrastructure provider" for customer production workloads.

The Register has contacted Workday for more information on the current status of that deal.

Workday and Amazon have another relationship, in that the application vendor provides software for the global ecommerce and technology giants HR functions. It was set to take on the bulk of those applications, replacing Oracle's PeopleSoft, until sometime last year when Amazon decided to pull the main plank of the project.

An AWS spokesperson told The Register: "A number of significant teams within Amazon continue to use Workday. Others have specific requirements based on their unique businesses. The partnership between the two companies remains strong."

Those among the more cynical tech sector observers might wonder why news of the project's about-turn suddenly emerged in July when the decision had been made last year. Whether Amazon had got wind of the Google deal – which was clearly already in the pipeline – and played midwife to the story is anyone's guess.

Like Amazon, Google is also a customer of Workday in a deal that dates back to 2012. Google still appears to be using Workday, according to recent job ads.

Workday also has relations with that other cloud giant, Microsoft Azure, although that platform only supports Adaptive Planning modules while the two also work together on integrations with Active Directory.

Whatever the fallout of Workday and Amazon's apparent disagreement, the SaaS application vendor is not expecting it to hit demand for its software. In May, Workday said it would hire around 2,500 workers to meet the demand expected for the post-pandemic return to work. ®

Updated to add at 09:01 UTC 13 August 2021

Workday has been in touch to add: "Our public cloud strategy includes offerings across multiple enterprise-class vendors... In addition to our own data centers, customers have the option to run the Workday Financial Management and Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) applications on AWS in the United States, Canada, Singapore, and recently announced expansion to Australia.

"We also offer Workday Adaptive Planning on both Azure and AWS. And most recently, Google Cloud was announced as a new cloud partner, which will allow customers to run Workday Financial Management, Workday HCM, and Workday Adaptive Planning in their environment."

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