Workday to build industry's first student application developed in last 20 years

Lauren Williams's picture
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Workday, Inc. (NYSE: WDAY), a leader in enterprise cloud applications for human resource and finance, today announced plans to build Workday Student, the only end-to-end student application built this century for the needs of modern-day higher education institutions. Working with forward-thinking colleges and universities to design the application, including Broward College, Yale University, Tallahassee Community College, and Southern New Hampshire University, Workday will take a new approach to the traditional student system, bringing together a system of record, a mobile-first system of engagement, and a big data analytic foundation, all unified with Workday’s administrative solution and delivered in the cloud.

Today’s higher education institutions face increasing pressures due to political and public dissatisfaction with rising tuition costs, increased student debt, and declining job-placement rates. Funding models for these institutions are shifting from enrollment-based to outcome-based, placing more emphasis on students getting the relevant job skills they need to compete in the global economy. Higher education institutions are tackling these problems with 20-year-old legacy student applications and bolt-on solutions, resulting in complex and disjointed systems that are extremely costly to maintain.  

Starting with a clean sheet of paper, Workday plans to leverage modern technology, cloud delivery, in-memory technology, object modeling, and big data analytics, to create a natively built mobile student application that transforms the way colleges manage their students—from prospecting to graduation and beyond. In addition, the application will be designed to provide institutions with the data and insights they need to demonstrate accountability with the ability to scale and easily configure to changing needs.    

A Modern System of Record to Support Traditional and Non-Traditional Educational Models

At the heart of Workday Student will be a system of record that assists colleges in the recruiting, admitting, awarding, enrolling, advising, retaining, billing, and placement of students. Workday Student will address the complex and diverse requirements facing today’s institutions by supporting each of the traditional, non-traditional, on-line, and competency-based education models. 

With this offering, colleges and universities will be able to create individualized learning and success-guided pathways for students based on their unique education goals, and track progress from start to completion.       

A Mobile-First System of Engagement for Students, Faculty and Staff

Embedded in Workday Student will be a mobile-first system of engagement designed to help students make informed decisions at each step on their educational paths and accelerate progress toward their desired outcomes. 

Using Workday, students are expected to receive course recommendations based on personal preferences; optimal class schedule options based on their calendar availability; what-if models and virtual advising from faculty and staff; and enrollment updates on friends and cohort groups in the delivery methods they prefer, including mobile phone, tablet, social media, or email. Faculty and staff may create retention strategies and mobile alerts to enable them to directly connect with at-risk students. Applicants, students, faculty, and staff will each have individual portfolios that house their artifacts, including: academic and student life transcripts, certifications, course work, competencies, badges, job related experiences, and published research.  

A Big Data Analytic Foundation for Data-Driven Decision Making 

Supporting Workday Student will be a Big Data Analytic foundation that will empower institutions with instant access to real-time data and analysis, helping to guide decision-making and demonstrate accountability. Institution researchers, executives, front-line managers, and even trustees can receive operational analytics of real-time information presented in personalized dashboards in any browser or mobile device.

Workday Student is also expected to deliver predictive analytics on executive and trustee dashboards, illustrating future enrollment patterns, optimized schedules (for course enrollment and demand planning), peer institution comparisons, at-risk students, financial aid needs, and receivable models. The goal is to better support organizational modeling, resource planning, and recruitment and retention strategies. 

Availability

Workday is scheduled to make initial components of Workday Student generally available to Workday customers in the second half of calendar year 2014, as an add-on application, sold separately. Release of the full product is expected to be completed by the end of calendar year 2016.

Comments on the News

“Higher education is an important global industry that is facing some significant challenges right now.  Workday has a passion for higher education, and we are continuing to build upon the success of our enterprise applications in this industry to help institutions tackle these issues,” said Dave Duffield, co-founder and co-CEO, Workday. “Workday Student, unified with our entire administrative solution, will empower everyone on a college campus—from administrators to students to faculty to trustees—so all can achieve greater success.” 

“We are partnering with Workday on this project because our current system does not come close to helping us serve our students. Many other higher education institutions face similar challenges, and we believe Workday’s vision is going to help solve some big problems in higher education,” said J. David Armstrong, Jr., president, Broward College. “This new application is focused on student success and will be built not only for today’s needs, but also for our constantly changing environments. With Workday Student, we are going to be able to serve students in ways we can only imagine today.”

“We are focused on delivering a world-class education to our exceptional students and want to engage with our students in a modern, state-of-the-art way,” said Ernst Huff, associate vice president for Student and Faculty Administrative Services, Yale University.  “As part of the initial group of influencers, we are thrilled to help develop the next-generation student solution for higher education.”

“Current systems are like a filing cabinet where you put data in but can’t easily use it in meaningful ways,” said Bret Ingerman, vice president for Information Technology, Tallahassee Community College. “Workday Student will be entirely different, combining in-memory technology, built-in analytics, a cloud delivery model, and a mobile-first design approach, to allow us to access, manage, and understand data in ways that weren’t previously possible. As an early adopter, we have the unique opportunity to influence the technology that will impact our college directly and ultimately enable our entire organization to serve students, faculty, and staff in new and very powerful ways.”

“Most student information systems were built for the higher education models of 30 years ago and then revised, bolted onto, and stitched together for the ways our industry has evolved,” said Paul LeBlanc, president, Southern New Hampshire University. “We are thrilled to help shape Workday Student. A clean-slate, next-generation technology, and an embrace of the emerging models of delivery for teaching and learning—that’s an innovator’s dream.” 

About Workday
Workday  is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for human resources and finance. Founded in 2005, Workday delivers human capital management, financial management, and analytics applications designed for the world’s largest organizations. Hundreds of companies, ranging from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 50 enterprises, have selected Workday.