US software firm's Irish unit in recruitment drive


THE IRISH operations of US software company Workday, formed through the acquisition of Cape Clear last February, has been hiring staff and taking on more responsibility from its US parent since the deal has been completed.

"Everyone who was here at the time of the acquisition is still here and we've been hiring in the US and Ireland," said David Clarke, co-founder of Cape Clear and now director for enterprise services and integration products at Workday.

"We also have a dozen developers in the US headquarters who are part of our virtual team."

The Dublin office now employs 35 staff out of Workday's total of 300 and has relocated from its Dublin 4 premises to a new office block in The Liberties. Clarke says the "new digs" could ultimately accommodate up to 70 staff.

Cape Clear was a pioneer in the area of application integration using an approach known as service-oriented architecture.

Workday, which was founded in 2005 by former Peoplesoft founder and chief executive Dave Duffield following that company's hostile acquisition by Oracle for $10.3 billion, provides human resources, payroll and financial management software. It uses the "software as a service" model so customers do not have to install software and pay a monthly fee to access the applications online.

Cape Clear was acquired to enable Workday to communicate with the systems of health insurance companies and other benefits providers that its customers use as well as with other systems within their organisations.

"There are 90 or so benefits providers we have integrated to at least once now," says Clarke. He says typically 25 per cent of the deal value with a new customer can be related to integration costs.

The Dublin office has also added a support function so Workday can more easily provide out of hours support to US customers. Clarke and former Cape Clear chief executive Annrai O'Toole have been involved in some initial sales calls to potential European customers.

Although its technology was well-regarded in the industry Cape Clear had retained losses of $36.9 million at the time of the purchase. "We are now a critical piece of infrastructure for an application that sells itself," says Clarke.