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Workday Acquires Adaptive Insights: What This Could Signal for FP&A

July 17, 2018
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The FP&A ( financial planning and analysis) world received some big news in mid-June. Corporate and enterprise performance management juggernaut, Workday, announced that it would acquire business planning solution provider Adaptive Insights.

The two companies plan to finalize the merge later in 2018, with Workday paying over $1.5 billion for Adaptive. The deal means that Workday adds more depth to its planning capabilities for its enterprise client roster, and Adaptive will be canceling its recent IPO filing.It also means changes for the FP&A space, and, more importantly, it means an impact on the customers who are looking for planning and financial software. In our view, though, these are largely positive changes for both groups.

What It Means for Adaptive’s Competitors

The Workday acquisition is great news for companies in the budgeting and planning space, especially those that shared the SMB market with Adaptive. The company was a big player in the SMB space, and we believe the acquisition will now turn their attention to larger, enterprise-level clients that are suited to utilize the entire platform from Workday.This opens the field for companies with products servicing the financial planning and analysis needs of the SMB market – both with existing products and startups. It creates space for more competition and for disruptive thinking. Competition is a boon for products as companies strive to offer new solutions and innovate to meet customers’ needs. With a healthy group of competitors, organizations are driven to create more value for their customer base.Competition, creative thinking, and a broader field results in customers having more choice. Organizations must pay greater attention to the needs and voice of the customer, resulting in better products and higher levels of customer satisfaction.

What it Means for SMBs

SMBs currently using Adaptive won’t have the rug pulled out from under them – at least not immediately. Experts are cautioning those currently using Adaptive to pay attention to contract dates and roadmap items as the transition to Workday moves to the forefront of both company’s minds.Some Adaptive customers may choose to move to a new platform and partner depending on the long term changes the company will inevitably go through as part of the acquisition. But, as noted above, the clearing of the field will mean better customer service and products more suited to SMBs, thanks to healthy competition.Even more importantly, though, the widening of the market comes at exactly the right time for SMBs to find ways to tailor all of their business software to meet their needs. In today’s API economy, easy integration between platforms allows customers to find best of breed applications to fit their business processes while still having all of those processes share data and work well together.The Workday acquisition of Adaptive is, in my opinion, an overall positive change for the industry. Workday adds more technological capabilities to their platform. Adaptive gets exposure to Workday’s enterprise customers. The new and remaining players in the financial planning and analysis space will innovate and some will flourish. And, most importantly, SMBs benefit from more customized solutions that fit their exact needs.

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