Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SaaS provider Workday extends HR business processes to iPhone, mobile tier

Managing your workforce processes and workflow is now no further away than your iPhone. Workday, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) human capital management provider, this week announced new mobile capabilities, with an iPhone application that allows users to search worker directories and complete basic management tasks.

The Pleasanton, Calif. company also announced that it plans BlackBerry support for later this year, with other mobile tier support in the works. [Disclosure: Workday is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

With the new mobile application users can review, approve, deny, and revise tasks from the Workday workforce management applications, and view the status of ongoing business processes. They can also search for worker contact information and phone or email directly from the smartphone.

The streamlined mobile application includes password and role-based security, along with time-out and sign-out preferences aligned with the user's security requirements.

The mixture of SaaS-based business applications as full web apps or mobile apps that allow the interfacing with the processes is the way of the future. Look at how many of us do email now ... we check on urgent and time-sensitive communications using iPhones and the like. Then we do more asynchronous and "fatter" processes on the PC.

For busy managers flooded with expense report sign-offs and hiring and firing minutiae, the mobile access can be a godsend. It prevents slowed up processes, and also prevents the overloaded email in-box. Making SaaS apps reach the mobile tier -- but in an appropriate way that recognizes the use requirements for "on the go" work -- will become a general business requirement, I expect.

The mobile solutions are built with a platform-independent core. Workday plans to continue updating its capabilities to allow all devices to take advantage of the solution, either through platform-specific client applications or mobile HTML.

The new application will be available from the iTunes App Store. Workday is hosting a webinar on the new mobile capabilities on March 25. Anyone interested can register at http://www.workday.com/update7. More information on the iPhone app is available at http://www.workday.com/mobile.
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