Workday Adaptive Planning

Workday is a cloud-based enterprise software and ERP vendor with a particular focus on human capital management, financial management and enterprise planning. The company has a turnover of $3.63 billion and employs 13,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Workday acquired Adaptive Insights, a planning and CPM software vendor headquartered in Palo Alto, California, to extend its performance management offerings. Workday Adaptive Planning is used by more than 5,400 customers of various sizes from a wide range of industries in over 50 countries worldwide.

Workday Adaptive Planning is a business-user-oriented CPM platform with functionality for various performance management processes. As a flexible and scalable solution, it supports planning, budgeting and forecasting processes including modeling, scenario planning, monitoring, reporting and analysis. In addition, financial consolidation and close are also supported. The creation of models is business-user-friendly and mainly done by drag-and-drop or point-and-click so does not require technical coding. The flexible and scalable planning platform enables continuous, active planning across the organization – from enterprise-wide financial planning and analysis to detailed planning for specific functions such as sales, marketing and operations. Workday Adaptive Planning offers built-in financial intelligence with a native understanding of account types such as assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses.

Workday Adaptive Planning can be used together with the Workday suite of applications or with non-Workday solutions. Workday’s marketing and sales strategy focuses on positioning it as a standalone product as well as offering it as a part of the suite to Workday HCM, Workday Financial Management and Workday Prism Analytics customers. In particular, positioning the product within its existing customer base is a strategic future direction for Workday. Customers who deploy Workday Adaptive Planning with Workday HCM and/or Workday Financial Management leverage a unified security and user experience, as well as native data management with the ability to drill back to data and master data in the ERP system or publish plans back to Workday core transactional systems.

Workday Adaptive Planning is a purely cloud-based CPM platform that can leverage Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure as its hosting provider. The product is used via a fully web-based application (HTML5), which is compatible with popular browsers and can also be run on browsers on mobile devices. Supplementary Microsoft Office add-ins are also available. Workday Adaptive Planning is based on a patent-pending multidimensional in-memory engine (Elastic Hypercube Technology). All calculations and aggregations are performed in-memory. Workday Adaptive Planning’s Elastic Hypercube Technology includes a machine learning (ML) module, which provides advanced meta learning, optimization and simulation algorithms. The ML module surfaces insights to non-technical users that are incorporated in the planning process. Generally available capabilities include anomaly detection and outlier reporting and limited availability (i.e., beta) capabilities include demand forecasting and sales territory recommendation. Data integration capabilities are available within Workday Adaptive Planning. Alternatively, third-party solutions such as Dell Boomi and Informatica can be used.

User & Use Cases

Besides planning, customers mainly use Workday Adaptive Planning for ad hoc query and reporting (91 percent), standard/enterprise reporting (82 percent) and financial consolidation (67 percent). 52 percent of respondents plan to use it for dashboards/scorecards and 48 percent for advanced analysis in the future. Workday Adaptive Planning targets companies of all sizes across all industries. 70 percent of our sample of Workday Adaptive Planning customers come from mid-sized companies (100-2,500 employees) with a median of 15 users (including 15 using planning functionality), but the mean of 32 users (28 for planning) indicates there are also some larger implementations. 79 percent of Workday Adaptive Planning users are planning users – significantly above the survey average of 66 percent – reflecting the fact that Workday Adaptive Planning is essentially an integrated planning and CPM tool with supplementary analytics functionality.

Current vs. planned use (besides planning)

N=33

Percentage of employees using Workday Adaptive Planning

N=33

Planning users (as a percentage of all users)

N=33

Total number of users per company

N=33

Planning users per company

N=33

Company size (number of employees)

N=33

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Workday Adaptive Planning

Peer Groups Business Software Generalists, Financial Performance Management Products, Global Vendors, Integrated Corporate Planning Products, Midsize/Departmental Implementations
VendorWorkday
Number of responses33
ProductWorkday Adaptive Planning
OfficesWorldwide offices in the United States (HQ), Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific
Employees13,000 (Workday)
Customers5,400 (Workday Adaptive Planning)
Revenues (2020) $3.63 billion (Workday)
Websitewww.workday.com