Accenture gathers DayNine into its Workday practice

Phil Wainewright Profile picture for user pwainewright September 26, 2016
Accenture acquires independent Workday integrator DayNine to form the largest global Workday practice as it expands its Cloud First Applications group

Saideep Raj Accenture 250px
Saideep Raj, Accenture

Accenture has leapfrogged rivals to become Workday's largest professional services partner with the acquisition of DayNine, announced yesterday. When the deal closes in the coming weeks, the addition of the 400-strong DayNine team will boost Accenture's Workday practice to a total of around 1,200 professionals holding a combined 2,450 Workday certifications between them.

This latest consolidation in the Workday ecosystem lifts Accenture past other earlier combinations, such as Deloitte, which acquired Aggressor in 2012, IBM, which acquired Meteorix last year, and KPMG, which acquired Axia in 2014.

While Accenture has been working with Workday since 2008, this further expansion reflects an acceleration in enterprise adoption of the vendor's HCM offering, says Saideep Raj, global managing director of the Accenture Cloud First Applications group. The DayNine acquisition follows on from others in the past year, most notably of Cloud Sherpas a year ago, which added 1,100 professionals to the Salesforce, ServiceNow and Google Apps practices, and which heralded Accenture's launch of its Cloud First agenda. Raj told me in a phone call yesterday:

We do see this as the backdrop of a tipping point of Workday driving transformative change in our clients, this time around the employee experience.

Accenture's transformation focus helps to expand DayNine's capabilities, says CEO and co-founder Tim Ramos, who will lead the combined Workday practice at Accenture, and who joined Raj on yesterday's call.

Our clients desire this ability to transform. We've been pretty small in scope as to what people can achieve in this transformation journey.

He says he's looking forward to being able to have clients work with a single team that encompasses the Workday deployment, business transformation and any technology integration or BPO requirements.

Tomorrow, a month from now, we sit down with that client in a joint team and you're going to have a single team to achieve the transformation.

Raj pointed to Accenture's contract with commercial property services firm Cushman & Wakefield as an example of a Workday deployment where its BPO function is providing select HR and finance and accounting functions, in addition to consulting services on business transformation.

Pureplay Workday partner

DayNine was founded in 2009 as a pureplay Workday partner and has grown into a global operation, headquartered close to Workday's head office in Pleasanton, California, and with 14 other offices across the US, Europe, and Asia. It has expanded its product scope in line with Workday's product development, and recently acquired Decisif Consulting, which specializes in localization of Workday Financial Management for global enterprises. Ramos says it is one of only a handful of Workday partners that is able to apply the vendor's incremental deployment methodology (called the Lifecycle Deployment Program) to financials for medium-sized enterprise.

Its reach across Workday's product portfolio, geographies and industries was one of the attractions to Accenture, says Raj, who noted that its only gap was in public sector, where Accenture already has strengths.

That was one of the differentiators we saw in DayNine in the market. It's very much a nice opportunity and a nice complement.

Having a broadly-based Cloud First team that is seasoned in cross-cloud collaboration allows Accenture to help those clients who are now asking for an all-cloud roadmap, says Raj. He cites the example of an investment management in North America that is adopting Salesforce and Workday as well as looking at a cloud content management solution, along with Amazon IaaS brokered by Accenture.

They've come to us and they're asking for an end-to-end cloud managed services solution.

Their aspiration is to try and manage as much as possible leveraging the public cloud.

What you're seeing is a company saying, 'We want you to manage this end-to-end cloud journey for us.' They're looking for us to broaden across their cloud footprint and integrate it.

My take

Accenture continues to expand its cloud footprint impressively. This move will make a big stir in the Workday community, but DayNine is well respected and the Accenture cloud team are fully on-board with Workday's cloud-centric message. It bodes well for further expansion in the Workday customer base.

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