Are you in the market for a partner to help you get the most out of Workday? Figuring out how to truly reap the benefits of this amazing software solution can seem like a daunting process, especially since there are many options. But don’t worry — we’re here to help. In this guide, you will discover the top questions you should ask to find the right partner — plus tips for evaluating Workday Services Partners.
How to Determine Your Team’s Needs
Before you start researching Workday system integrator (SI) partners, your team must determine its needs and priorities. What challenges are you looking to solve with Workday? What are you looking for in a deployment partner? What is the most important factor — timing, quality of service, or cost? Budget is certainly a consideration, so it’s important to figure out what exactly you want — and what you can afford — ahead of any conversations. But there are many other aspects to consider. Is the company flexible enough for your needs? Are they a good fit? What is their level of experience with Workday? Do they seem like genuinely nice people with whom you’d enjoy building a client-partner relationship?
Here’s a tip: Create a spreadsheet that lists everything you want to evaluate. Prioritize what’s important and decide on a universal rating (we recommend either 1–5 or 1–10 to keep it simple). This will make it easy to compare partners after you’ve done your homework.
Now that you have a list of priorities, here are some questions you should consider asking.
- Do they understand your business?
It seems simple, right? You want a deployment partner that understands what you do. Even if they get your industry, they should also be asking you questions to ensure they fully understand what makes your business unique.
- What is their business model?
Some Workday Services Partners focus only on deployments, while others offer full-platform lifecycle support and can continue to provide support services after your system goes live. Some are 100% Workday-focused, while others may support various other enterprise platforms.
- What kind of experience do they have?
You want a well-established company with a solid track record — in other words, someone who is ready and able to meet your needs. It’s important to ask how many successful Workday deployments they have completed and any key lessons they have learned from their experience.
- Has the company supported similar customers in your industry?
Technology, financial services, retail, hospitality, professional services, media — every industry comes with its own nuances and challenges. That’s why industry-specific experience is so important.
- Is there executive-level engagement?
What does the company’s org chart look like? Will you ever be in contact with any top-level individuals, especially if there’s a pressing issue you need to discuss?
- Is the company using contracted employees?
Does the company contract employees, or are they full-time professionals who work directly for them? You should be looking for a company that invests in its own employees and resources.
- What size is the partner?
If you’re a big company, you might think that a larger, more formal and established firm is the way to go as opposed to a boutique shop. However, smaller companies often offer more flexibility, innovation, and high-touch client experiences. While it’s true that some smaller-sized firms might be challenged to handle a Workday deployment for a global company, there are many boutique SI partners quite capable of stepping up to the plate with experience and referenceable customers to give you comfort. Your goal is to find a partner that is established enough to handle whatever you throw at them, but also one that is flexible, quick, and nimble.
- Are the contracts flexible?
The nature of business is that it changes — sometimes quickly. Does the SI partner have the ability to scale up or down? How flexible are the contracts, and if you need to modify one, is there a penalty or fee? And how quickly can the new contract be signed and implemented? These are all important questions to ask.
- What percentage of their annual revenue comes from change orders?
Some providers receive a large portion of their annual revenue from change order fees, meaning they’re charging a lot if customers want to modify services. Changes are inevitable during the deployment process, so you’ll want a partner that makes every effort to work with you to adapt to your needs when modifications arise, rather than one that aims to take advantage of every twist and turn on your journey to getting your Workday system live.
- How innovative is the company?
As online educator MasterClass explains: “Successful innovation allows you to add value to your business so that you can increase your profits — if you don’t innovate well, your business will plateau.” If an SI partner is embracing innovation, it means they are looking to continually improve and learn and embrace new technologies.
- Are they considered a successful deployment partner?
What is their reputation in the ecosystem? Ask for a company’s customer satisfaction data. They should provide it to you with no questions asked, and it’s a red flag if they don’t. References should also be readily available from customers and past projects that are similar to yours.
- What does your informal network have to say?
While it’s important to review a company’s customer satisfaction scores, it’s also equally as important for you to leverage your own network. Ask your colleagues and connections on LinkedIn for the names of Workday partners they have worked with — good and bad. Do you have friends or family members who might be able to offer some input? Consult them. The more information you have, the better educated you will be to make a decision in the best interest of your company.
- How many customers has the SI partner “gone live with” that are still partners with them today?
The answer to this question illustrates the client-partner relationship after deployment. For example, if a firm retains 85 customers out of 100 after deployment, it’s a good sign. On the other hand, if that number drops to only 30 or so, it’s cause for concern.
- Does the company continually educate its customers?
A good partner provides ongoing support, but a great partner will also continually educate its clients so that they become more capable of optimizing and managing their workflows as the engagement goes on. This includes discussing best practices and strategic education so that the customer can become more confident and self-sufficient in the day-to-day management of Workday.
- Is the company a good fit?
This is an all-encompassing question that includes everything from personnel and culture to company values and goals. Do you have compatible communication styles and expectations? Are the behaviors consistent with your set of behaviors? Do you get along? Do they respect you and your business or organization?
- Does the company seem … fun?
It goes along with the previous question about fit, but we think this one is important. At the end of the day, you want a Workday partner who can help save you time and money. You want someone who is efficient and innovative. But you’re also going to spend a lot of time with your service provider during deployment, so it’s important that you enjoy each other’s company — and hopefully have a bit of fun along the way.
After talking with multiple companies and asking the same questions, it’s evaluation time. This is when you should consult your spreadsheet that contains the info you have compiled. Here are some questions to consider as you take it all in:
- How do the companies stack up against each other?
- What does the data (aka customer evaluation metrics) say?
- How did you feel after speaking with each potential partner?
In the end, it’s your decision about which aspects of the partnership are most important. It’s a big decision, so take your time and don’t be afraid to go back to a particular partner with more questions.
As you research potential partners, we invite you to give us a call. We’d love to make your shortlist, and here are a few reasons why we hope you’ll consider us:
- Fixed-time, fixed-price business model. We provide deployment services and flexible, on-demand Workday support.
- SmartLoader technology. By automating processes with our one-of-a-kind SmartLoader technology, we make it possible for you to focus on other responsibilities by minimizing clerical tasks.
- Leading Workday Services Partner. We’ve been one of the leading Workday Services Partners since 2018.
- Experience on all levels. We’ve completed more than 150 Workday deployments in the last 5 years, and we have more than 300 Workday-certified consultants.
Contact us today if you have any questions or would like more information.