On Monday, Workday announced that it was introducing a new capability into its suite of SaaS products: Worker Spend Management. I had the chance to walk through some of the capabilities and a demonstration of the application and I've got to say, it treads a fine line between crossing some of the capabilities of pure-play P2P products (e.g., services procurement, eProcurement) with those specifically designed to support, track and manage employees and all costs associated with them. As Workday explains it, "Expenses, Procurement and Resource Management have historically been financial functions aimed at tracking and controlling enterprise spending … Workday's system-of-record means spending activity is automatically tied to workers and can be linked to projects or activities via Worktags, so managers and business leaders have a complete view of total worker cost including both compensation and the resources used to get work done."
For Workday, Worker Spend Management is more of an extension of their HCM area than a full lifecycle procurement product. Because of this, Workday HR customers can license it (i.e., you do not need to license their Business Resource Management product which encompasses basic full lifecycle indirect P2P). In short, Worker Spend Management lets companies track and manage spend that is associated with talent acquisition (e.g., contingent labor, employees), equipment for working and worker initiated spend. So does this mean that it's a replacement for T&E systems or a full P2P product? Not yet. But the concept of putting a number on the total cost of an employee is pretty powerful. In Workday's words, "the ability to model resources, track them and connect them to people (like a BOM by position to provision workers as they come in the door)" is powerful indeed. But my question is simple: will it make HR any more cost conscience? I'm not betting on it since their job is to spend money, not save it. Still, I'll let you decide for yourself, as I review the product in more detail early in January.
- Jason Busch