Written by Steven Garone

Workday® Integrations – The Simple Beast

Workday has created a way for applications and resources to be easily connected via the Workday Integration Cloud. The world today requires systems to be easily connected. Whether it is through an Enterprise Interface Builder(EIB) or Workday Studio, Workday has made it easy for all users to manage and monitor Workday Integrations – THANK GOODNESS!  There are so many applications needed to accomplish the data-driven goals within a business and it is essential for these data-driven businesses to be able to provide the best user experience for all employees, clients, partners, and suppliers. That is why integrating Workday with these other systems will save you time and energy. Whether you are running Workday HCM, Workday Financials, or any combination of Workday products – integrations are vital to streamlining processes, optimizing workforce planning/execution, and providing a unified system of record. 

Workday Integrations, for those who aren’t elbows deep in them every day, can seem daunting and too technical for anyone to learn, let alone understand. However, this is one of the most common misconceptions about Workday Integrations. Truly you just need a well-versed trainer to help you understand how they work and their potential. At a high level, integrations are just tools to complete a goal and Workday makes them pretty simple to set up and maintain. While there are complicated Integrations that require vast amounts of technical knowledge, 80% of what you need is going to be simple as long as you have a solid support system to teach you along the way.

The best way to start your integration journey is to have a solid grasp of the most common stumbling blocks that trip even the experts. Mapping, for starters, is one of the most common issues. Somewhere, somehow, someway, someone is translating a value in Workday into the associated value for your vendor. Often, these translations go through overly complicated processes that can either cause the wrong value or be nigh impossible to maintain. One might compare this to translating from German to Chinese by way of Latin and Greek. It’s possible that someone will get the right answer, but something will be lost in translation and no one will understand why it was done.

Let’s take a look at a few specific examples. Often, Benefits Integrations cause the most distress. Workday may have one specific kind of plan that could translate into different plans on the vendor system due to location, job codes, etc. This necessitates the creation of calculated fields to moderate this minefield of mapping. A poorly trained Integrationist may not take all the possibilities into consideration and create what can only be described as a rat’s nest of evaluations and conditions that contradict each other. Payroll Integrations, on the other hand, are a completely different animal. The mapping in a PECI is going to, generally, be done using pre-built Workday setups, negating the need for the rat’s nest previously described. When done properly, they can be described as a well-oiled machine. When done poorly, they evoke an image more of Mickey Mouse’s Jalopy, slowly grinding their way to the output file on half-flat tires and inefficient XSLT. HCM Integrations, warriors of worker data, end up with missing data or poorly defined effective date fields. Imagine a knight without a shield, or a joust, but no one thought to bring a horse. They can be made to work, technically, but HRIS will spend a bulk of their days chasing down the missing pieces and correcting things manually on the vendor system. 

Now that the common issues have been defined, the best thing to do would be to learn the basic steps of troubleshooting to resolve the existing issues. The beacons of hope, of course, are the written error codes. These are readily defined and easy to find on Community. For these, one only needs to do a bit of research and take good notes should they return. Move, then, to reviewing the file, if the error comes from the vendor side and not the Workday side. Take note of what piece of data may be causing the issue with the vendor and ensure that the issue is either data-related or format-related. If the issue is data-related, you need to alter the data in Workday and rerun the integration. If the issue is format-related, confirm the proper format and adjust the integration accordingly. Of course, reach out for assistance should the alterations be complicated. Most vendor systems have a way to manually enter data, which enables the vendor system to stay up to date while the format is adjusted.

Once the issue is resolved, completely, then the task is to document the journey and resolution. Solution documentation should include troubleshooting steps, results, and the ultimate solution. Be sure to include documentation of the previous configuration against the new configuration to better illustrate the difference between the two and to allow for reversion, in case the fix applied breaks something else not found in testing.

Syssero provides Solution Documentation for every single issue addressed for clients which ultimately sets them up for self-sufficiency and success. To learn more about how Syssero can help streamline processes, simplify the onboarding process, or provide solution documentation, please email info@syssero.com.


A special thanks to Steven Garone for his collaboration!