While Workday Solutions Marketplace is not a new concept to Workday customers, what is new is the soon-to-arrive Workday AI Marketplace. At the recent Workday Rising event, the company’s annual customer conference, Workday announced a new marketplace for its customers to find and deploy Workday-trusted AI solutions. This offers Workday customers the chance to harness the power of generative AI and other cutting-edge technologies by bringing the best of Workday AI and solutions from third-party partners together in one place. The focus remains on the highest levels of security and stability, regardless of whether applications use Workday data via APIs or are built with Workday Extend using Workday-trained large language models and AI services.

Workday believes that we are in the middle of one of the most transformational technological shifts, coming right after the cloud shift that the industry experienced in the last decade and a half. Harnessing the incredible amount of AI innovation happening today while at the same time giving customers peace of mind in proven AI solutions that meet Workday’s stringent standards is a critical strategy for Workday in ensuring that clients get an early start to bank on key AI innovations.

Responsible AI At Workday’s Core

All the available AI applications on the Workday AI Marketplace will go through a rigorous certification process, with the idea that clients get proven and trustworthy solutions. Workday deems this necessary to ensure that these solutions are aligned with Workday’s AI principles and values, such as a commitment to responsible AI, before being added to the marketplace. Responsible AI remains at the core of Workday’s AI strategy. Workday will be looking to its partners to adhere to the below AI ethics principles:

  • Amplify human potential. Workday has stated that it wants its solutions to support human decision-making, improve experiences, and put users in control to decide whether to accept the recommendations provided by its AI-based solutions — basically a “human in the loop” approach. The company iterated that respecting fundamental human rights is key and that human replacement is not a focus.
  • Positively impact society. Workday stated that it wants to focus on delivering AI solutions that tackle real-world challenges and drive positive outcomes for its customers, employees, and shared communities. It wants to only develop AI solutions that align with Workday values. As an example cited in the human capital management (HCM) space, it plans to avoid the development of technologies that enable intrusive productivity monitoring and instead focus on job-relevant skills solutions that enable more personalized experiences, nurture career development and growth, and promote internal mobility.
  • Champion transparency and fairness. Workday stated that it values inclusion, belonging, and equity, as well as open communication. It wants to act responsibly and ethically in the design and delivery of AI solutions to support equitable recommendations. Since bias can be introduced into the AI lifecycle, Workday plans to leverage a risk-based review process to evaluate whether its AI solutions are susceptible to unintended consequences and how any such risks can be managed.

2024 Arrival For AI Marketplace

Proving that the AI solutions race for core enterprise applications is a marathon, not a sprint, Workday is taking its time to have its partners build responsible AI solutions. The Workday AI Marketplace is expected to be live for customers in the first half of 2024. While Workday AI Marketplace is currently in beta phase, with 15 early adopter partners, many more are soon to arrive next year. Current partners include Accenture, Amazon, Auditoria.AI, Avalara, BetterUp, HiredScore, IntelAgree, Kainos, Kyriba, Paradox, Relish, Sana Labs, TechWolf, Vertex, and WorkBoard.

What’s In It For Developers?

Enhancing Workday Extend: Workday Extend helps organizations build customized capabilities, applications, and solutions on top of the Workday platform to address unique business needs. With the new Workday AI Gateway, developers will also be able to leverage the power of Workday’s industry-leading AI and ML services, which will include skills analysis, sentiment analysis, document intelligence, and an ML forecaster. Because AI and ML are embedded in the core of the Workday platform, developers can build and deliver trusted finance- and people-focused AI apps easily and responsibly.

Harnessing AWS: To empower developers to accelerate their app innovation, Workday plans to support several AWS AI services natively in Workday Extend to enable developers to create Workday Extend apps with advanced features derived from using these hyperscale innovations. In addition to planned offerings of event-processing capabilities powered by Amazon EventBridge, customizable functions using AWS Lambda, and storage with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Workday plans for Workday Extend to support AI services powered by AWS, including Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Textract, and Amazon Translate. With these services planned to be available within Workday Extend, developers can gain deeper insight within text, including sentiment, key phrases, images, videos, and across various languages, to rapidly build customized apps that support their unique and evolving business needs.

New Extend Feature Availability Dates For Developers:

  • In late 2023, Workday will provide customers with new ways to get started with Workday Extend with the following offerings: Workday Extend Essentials and Workday Extend Professional.
  • Workday AI Gateway will be available with Workday Extend Professional. AWS AI services are planned to be available to Workday Extend Professional customers in the first half of 2024.
  • While the code generation from data capability for App Builder is currently available as part of Workday Extend, the page builder capability for App Builder is planned to be available to early adopters in the first half of 2024 and generally available later in the year.
  • Developer Copilot is planned to begin rolling out to Workday Extend customers within the next 6 to 12 months.

We will be watching this evolving space closely to assess the AI solutions developed by these early partners, so look out for more analysis in 2024. In addition, read my Landscape report covering Workday Services, to get an in-depth analysis of the latest in the Workday services partners space and major inflection points in the Workday product ecosystem of which all customers currently considering RFPs for enterprise resource planning and HCM should be aware.

For more insights, clients can book time with me via an inquiry or guidance session.