Three years ago, I observed in my first blog for Adaptive Insights that uniquely relevant companies are built on great products and amazing teams. Plenty has changed in the past three years, but those two defining characteristics haven’t. And today, as we mark the completion of Adaptive Insights becoming a Workday company, I can point to our innovative products and amazing team and say with confidence, “This is how we got here.”
We didn’t set out to be acquired. In fact, we were days away from an IPO when the Workday opportunity arose, and it was so compelling that we considered a different path forward. As you might imagine, this represented quite a pivot. By that point, we’d already achieved the critical milestones needed to bring us to a public offering—surpassing $100 million in both revenues and annual recurring subscriptions, demonstrating consistency in our business, and achieving and maintaining reliable growth.
But as I’ve observed many times over the years, we live in an unpredictable world, and the marketplace rewards companies that operate with agility. That certainly was the case with us and Workday. Instead of fueling our growth through a public offering, we found ourselves envisioning an accelerated path to planning leadership as a Workday company.
It had to make sense
Since being acquired is substantially different from going public, we studied it closely. For it to make sense, the opportunity had to satisfy several critical criteria:
- Do the financials add up? Do they promise the best outcome for our employees and investors?
- Do we have a real synergy with the acquiring company? And not just on paper—that part’s easy—but in person? Does its culture align with ours? Does it meet our high expectations?
- Will the acquisition bring more net benefits to our customers, team, and ecosystem? Will it fuel, rather than hinder, innovation and growth?
In evaluating the Workday opportunity, we weighed all these questions. Our founder, Rob Hull, ably addressed many of them in his blog exploring the numerous reasons this acquisition makes sense. Both Workday and Adaptive Insights share similar core company values, with intensely customer- and employee-centric cultures. We’re both focused on delivering easy-to-use applications that customers love. We share a vision to accelerate finance and business transformation in the cloud.
Workday has demonstrated how it lives up to those values every day since the company started in 2005, when Aneel Bhusri and Dave Duffield met at a diner in Truckee, CA, and decided to put people at the center of enterprise software. (Talk about a perfect fit for us.) Workday went on to become a globally recognized software-as-a-service (SaaS) leader and a force to be reckoned with in the ERP market. It started by revolutionizing human capital management and has maintained its own unique relevance by doing the same for financial management, recruiting, higher education, and more.
It’s hard to find a more successful example of a company doing all the important things right. Even 13 years after its founding, Workday remains one of the 10 fastest-growing companies in the United States, with revenues of $2.1 billion for fiscal 2017. Workday is No. 2 on Forbes’ list of the world’s most innovative companies and is recognized as one of America’s best corporate citizens. And its acclaimed culture, which organically stems from its DNA-level focus on people, was a must-have for our team of innovators, who deserve nothing less than to go to work this morning at a Fortune Best Places to Work company.
It’s an honor that a company this extraordinary turned to Adaptive Insights to help it accelerate finance and business transformations for customers of all sizes. We’re delighted to be an important part of that future and to work with our new colleagues to unify our Business Planning Cloud with Workday.
This is just the beginning
We chose this path because we believe it offers the best opportunity to accelerate our vision that in business, everybody plans—so they should have access to powerful, flexible business planning software that everybody can use.
Becoming a Workday company dovetails beautifully with our long-held belief that modern business planning can be a true strategic advantage. It provides us with even more resources to deliver groundbreaking innovations that have eluded software providers for years. It equips us with the flexibility and talent we need to further scale our SaaS planning solutions in ways that meet the needs of every customer—from small and medium-sized businesses that want self-service solutions that don’t require IT intervention, to a Business Planning Cloud that stands up to the demands of enterprises. And it preserves our common-sense commitment to an open, ERP-agnostic cloud platform.
More than anything, becoming a Workday company offers an opportunity to help organizations transform planning even further, and it supercharges our ability to become the undisputed market leader in modern financial planning solutions. It’s a chance to infuse sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning into planning. It gives us even more room to continue to push planning to more parts of the business. And it offers more resources for even greater automation, so we can free teams in organizations small and large to do their best possible work.
Three years ago, I wrote about what it takes to remain a uniquely relevant company. Now that we’re a Workday company, we’re not only preserving our relevance. We’re putting it into overdrive. And we can’t wait for you to see where we’ll take planning next.