Software company Workday expanding in Raleigh

dranii@newsobserver.comMarch 16, 2014 

Workday, a business software company that is winning market share from giant competitors such as Oracle and SAP, is solidifying – and expanding – its presence in the Triangle.

The California-based company, whose revenue jumped 71 percent to $468.9 million for the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, moved into new office space in the TrustAtlantic Bank building across from Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh in late February.

For the past two years, Workday has been quietly operating locally in temporary office space. It has 21 employees here and expects to add eight before the end of the year.

The company has leased about 4,000 square feet and has an option for an additional 3,500 square feet in the TrustAtlantic building.

“We can honestly say we are looking at expansive growth,” said Patrick Buckley, regional sales director.

The Raleigh office is one of a number of new offices worldwide, including one in Charlotte, that Workday expects to open this year, Buckley said.

Workday is hiring for sales, consulting and customer service positions.

The Triangle is a good fit for Workday because of the customers it has here, including Lenovo, and the region’s high-tech focus and “great talent pool,” Buckley said.

The company was founded in 2005 by two veterans of PeopleSoft – Dave Duffield, who founded PeopleSoft and was its CEO, and Aneel Bhusri, whose positions at PeopleSoft included senior vice president responsible for product strategy, business development and marketing as well as vice chairman of the board.

Duffield and Bhusri, who are co-CEOs at Workday, founded the business after Oracle executed a $10.3 billion hostile takeover of PeopleSoft.

Like PeopleSoft, Workday provides human resources and financial software. A crucial distinction is that Workday’s software is delivered over the cloud, which the company boasts lowers overall cost.

Being cloud-based, said Buckley, enables Workday to deliver no-muss-no-fuss updates automatically to customers at no extra cost. With traditional software, he said, upgrades are installed at great expense every three or four years.

“We take care of all the upgrades,” Buckley said. “There’s no care and feeding that you have to do.”

Workday updates its software twice a year.

“Forty percent of all new product features come from our customers, because we listen to them,” Buckley said.

With high product development costs – $182.1 million last year – Workday isn’t profitable. It lost $56 million in the latest quarter and $172.5 million last fiscal year.

But investors seem to be focused on the company’s growth trajectory and the prospects of recurring revenue from software subscriptions. Its shares have risen about 80 percent from its 52-week low last April.

Ranii: 919-829-4877

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