Why I’d put more money on Workday than Facebook

Dave Duffield
Dave Duffield, co-founder and co-CEO of Workday

News that Workday is now pricing 22.8 million shares for its IPO within a range of $21 to $24 – giving it a valuation of $3.6bn – doesn’t surprise me. Not only has the cloud-based human resources specialist been announcing seriously big wins left, right and centre, but it’s got some great leadership credibility in the form of co-founder and co-CEO Dave Duffield, who you’ll remember was the founder and CEO of PeopleSoft.

I’ve also heard at first hand from CIOs who called the company in to talk about becoming a customer, only to be told by Workday that they already were – human resources departments have been bringing them in under the radar, so to speak, and I can see why.

You see, a cloud-based approach to human resources is one of the better ways of getting some real visibility over staff, which has traditionally been tricky as HR struggles to collate information across multiple systems – especially larger organisations with operations in numerous sites or geographies.

Then there’s the fact that Workday is able to integrate with on-premise systems thanks to its clever purchase of enterprise service bus (ESB) firm Cape Clear back in February 2008.

Cape Clear and its ESB rivals like Iona and FuseSource weren’t addressing quite a large enough market to become large ISVs in their own right perhaps, but the Cape Clear technology gives Workday its Integration Platform as a Service and Integration Cloud Connect. Workday does most of the integration work for you, removing a serious concern about going down the cloud path.

There’s further credibility given to Workday’s likely valuation by the fact that one of its nearest rivals, SuccessFactors, was bought by SAP for $3.4bn.

So while Facebook may have peaked at over $104bn and is clearly doing something very different to Workday, I’d still put my money on Workday if I was going to invest in a tech stock. Wouldn’t you?

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