10 enterprise software companies to watch

Every vendor has a sales pitch - here are 10 worth watching

10. Workday

Founded: March 2005

Location: California, U.S.

What does the company offer? Software-as-a-service ERP, including human capital, revenue, resource and financial management. Workday began offering its services in November after having operated in stealth mode since its founding. So far, only the human capital management service is on the market.

Why is it worth watching? Workday co-founder Dave Duffield, the PeopleSoft founder and former CEO, is using the software-as-a-service model to compete with SAP's and Oracle's ERP applications that are deployed and managed by enterprises internally.

How did the company get its start? When Duffield and fellow co-founder Aneel Bhusri were working together at PeopleSoft, they decided to overhaul their product strategy while attempting to fend off Oracle's acquisition attempt, according to Workday CTO Stan Swete. After Oracle succeeded in buying PeopleSoft, the pair "came out of that situation charged up and with some real ideas about how new solutions could be written to reinvigorate this space," according to Swete.

How did the company get its name? Company management wants to make ERP software more relevant to everyone's workday. They say their products are designed to meet the regulatory needs of the back office, such as financial reports written by human resources, and to provide a more accessible user interface for regular employees. "We want our system to be relevant to both sides of the business," Swete says. "We think those two worlds can both collaborate over the same set of data."

CEO and background: Duffield founded PeopleSoft in 1987 and served as the company's CEO and chairman of the board before it was acquired by Oracle in January 2005. Before PeopleSoft, Duffield helped build two mainframe application software companies.

Funding: Primarily funded by Duffield, with some investment from Greylock Partners . Amount not disclosed.

Who's using the product? Ten customers including Salesforce.com, KANA Software , McKee Foods, and RightNow Technologies .

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