With dizzying changes in technology to be found across the payroll landscape, financial software vendor Workday had a playful yet informative take on the phenomenon at its “Evolution of Payroll” experience.
The theme of the innovative booth was based on the past and future of payroll, as shown on opposite sides of a wall. On the “Payroll’s Prehistoric Past” side were rocks, acorns, and an abacus.
On the other side, visitors could experience the “Future of Payroll,” where projects being explored at Workday labs were demonstrated.
“Back in the day, there was not a lot of innovation and payroll was left behind,” said Rose Senior, Principal Product Marketing Manager for Payroll for Workday. “Now we’re seeing more efficient processes that can be used as strategic financial tools.”
Jaden Garcia, a Software Developer, demonstrated a prototype for a system where—through various voice recognition systems such as Siri or Alexa—people could connect with their Workday accounts and conduct transactions such as requesting days off or receiving information on vacation availability. Another innovation being explored is facial recognition for certain projects.
“I can work with Siri and Alexa like I do in my personal life,” said Rahul Lakhanpal, Product Marketing Manager for Workday. “This is important, especially for millennials.”
None of the innovations Garcia demonstrated are yet available, nor necessarily will be. According to Garcia, management and other groups need to test and vet the systems before deciding whether to advance.
Angela Pettus, Payroll Coordinator for the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., saw a lot of promise in interacting with Workday.
“I’ve collected a lot of stuff to take back with me,” she said. “It’s a whole other world, and everything is a step above what it was last year.”
The most popular person at the exhibit for attendees, however, was a portrait artist who did sketches of visitors that were converted into prehistoric “Flintstones”-like animations. The ultimate marrying of old- and new-school.