Workday like TOC

Here is an announcement about the new ERP from Workday – Workday’s ERP-Like Software Gains Financials Beta . This is Dave Duffield’s new venture and some of the press are giving it a good pitch as a kind of “new ERP for the 21st century.”

Josh Greenbaum raises the relevant issue that “Workday is pitching potentially revolutionary ideas to a fairly conservative bunch. At the end of the day, particularly when it comes to CFOs and controllers, cool technology—even as significant as model-driven [technology]—isn’t what’s going to sell.” His comment reminded of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) approach to business, which sounds very plausible and sensible, but which hasn’t taken off in any big way in business.

Workday is also getting attention purely because Dave Duffield started Peoplesoft (now part of Oracle) in the 1990s. But there were a number of hi-tech founders of the 1990s who made a name starting one company then tried to repeat it elsewhere without the same result. Monte Zweben who founded Red Pepper Software comes to mind; after Peoplesoft acquired the company Zweben went on to start Blue Martini but that company never achieve significant profitability and was eventually taken over by a private equity company.

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One thought on “Workday like TOC

  1. And Red Pepper was a Duff’er.

    It’s more about the business model than the technology and if they can make that play stick then they’re in the money. Aneel and Dave are pretty shrewd people so I’m prepared to give them a shot at this. Might take time but they can afford to tough it out.

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