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Workday appoints former SAP exec to lead European expansion

Matthew Finnegan | Jan. 21, 2014
Workday has appointed a new EMEA president to capitalise on "accelerating" growth in cloud ERP spending in Europe.

Workday has appointed a new EMEA president to capitalise on "accelerating" growth in cloud ERP spending in Europe.

Chano Fernadez joins the software vendor from rival SAP, where he was employed for seven years as senior vice president and head of innovation sales for EMEA. Fernandez will replace Workday's previous EMEA president, Andy Leaver, who will remain within the business, stationed at the company's headquarters in California.

Fernandez told ComputerworldUK that following previous investment in the region, Workday is well positioned to capitalise on "double digit" growth expected for spending on cloud ERP in Western EMEA, citing stats from analysts IDC and Gartner.

"A significant amount of our business is coming out of UK&I, our largest developed market, but definitely Benelux, France, Nordics will be contributing more going forward, and we have already won some flagship customers there," he said.

"I also see growth coming as we expand from being not just an HR business to more of a platform business, where we will be covering finance and procurement to compliment the offering."

The appointment comes after Workday has attempted to increase its presence in Europe, with a number of notable customer wins in Europe in the past 12 months.

This has included auction house Christie's International, Swedish music streaming service Spotify, insurance company Direct Line and law firm Hogan Lovells.

The company currently has 250 staff in offices across Europe, which will expand by around 100 this year, Fernandez said. The company is also currently considering adding to its current data centres situated in Dublin and Amsterdam, with the possible introduction of one in Germany.

The cloud ERP firm, which focuses on human capital management and financial management software, is coming up against competition from Fernandez's previous employer, SAP, and others such as UNIT4, which are moving towards cloud sales models.

Fernandez claims that despite the momentum behind its rival SAP's cloud strategy, Workday offers customers advantages in that its technology is built for the cloud from the ground up.

"SAP is a formidable competitor because it clearly has a cloud strategy priority," he said. "Where I believe we are different is that, from the UI to the flexibility, the solution has been built since the beginning on modern technologies to be able to solve customers' business problems.

"That is where Workday's competitive advantage is towards our competitors: having no legacy [issues]."

 

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