Customers of ENMAX count on electricity access to be as simple as flipping a switch. Behind the scenes, the company’s application support teams in charge of data integrations and app development wish their jobs were so easy. Fortunately, in recent years, they’ve made a lot of headway in that direction with successful deployments of Workday Financial Management, Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), and Workday Adaptive Planning for enterprise planning.
From a business perspective, the seamless integrations we’ve developed with Workday and various other systems has been very successful.
Director of Business Systems Process and Strategy
Now, with Workday Integration Cloud for integrations and Workday Extend for app development in their toolkit, teams are starting to gain more speed, flexibility, and agility in managing diverse data flows securely within the Workday environment, especially financials and accounting. Because ENMAX needed to share information seamlessly and securely between finance and HR functions, it chose to standardize on one data model in Workday that would also provide opportunities to optimize data and processes.
According to Norm Lau, Director of Enterprise Solutions at ENMAX, his team’s integration strategy is straightforward. “We keep our middleware layer as thin as we can, putting the business logic in either our source or target systems,” he says. “This way, we avoid having to build that logic elsewhere, which wouldn’t make as much sense and would be complex to manage.”
When ENMAX went live with Financial Management, the company successfully integrated Workday with several workflows outside of Workday. “We needed to integrate these data operations into Workday,” says Ray Alwani, Director of Business Systems Process and Strategy at ENMAX. “We’ve found Workday’s business object model easy to work with, especially when it involves integrating Workday with multiple external systems.”
Short-circuit complexity and risk.
Alwani explains that the Workday Foundation Data Model (FDM) does a great job of seamlessly integrating inbound data regardless of how that data is represented in each source system. “The Workday FDM provides a single, consistent target data model. All of the data we integrate from our different billing and work management systems flows into one Workday repository,” he says. “This has many benefits, especially when integrating large amounts of external financial data into Workday and reporting on that data using a consistent data model. As an example, we invoice hundreds of thousands of customers using an external billing system, and we’re able to send a unified aggregate journal entry into Workday each day.”
In addition to accounting journals, ENMAX integrates several other operational transactions into Workday, including customer invoices, supplier invoices, and ad hoc payments. “We like being able to originate a source transaction outside of Workday, integrate it in, and still trigger the Workday-delivered business process,” says Alwani. “This gives our Workday users the ability to review and approve transactions within their familiar Workday digital workspaces, even when the transaction originated in an external system. That flexibility has been great and enables us to deliver a consistent end-user experience.”
Data synchronized across systems.
So far, ENMAX has used Workday to facilitate over 40 integrations. That’s in addition to many internal business processes that Lau considers to function, in effect, as integrations. “We drive a lot of data across our various systems, an even mix of inbound and outbound, so integrations are how we ensure the data stays synchronized across all of them,” he says. “We often leverage Workday’s point-to-point system integrations with a simple web-service call, which works well for us. It’s easy and very secure.”
Leverage templates for speed.
To expedite the development, deployment, and management of new apps that run in Workday, ENMAX chose the Workday Extend platform and tools, backed by Workday Professional Services.
One of the company’s most pressing needs during the pandemic’s return-to-office phase was protocol attestation across its workforce. By adapting a delivered template within the Workday Extend app catalog, the company rolled out its protocol and return-to-office program, including all the required functionality and security, in a fraction of the time compared to a do-it-yourself approach. Lau says, “For developing apps with sensitive data where Workday is the source of truth, Workday Extend is perfectly suited in helping us complete that development, while adhering to the data security model that the Workday FDM provides.”
By using Extend, we can be sure sensitive data stays secure in HCM and Financial apps developed for our Workday landscape.
Director of Enterprise Systems
ENMAX is also using Workday Extend to develop a customer invoice request app that will improve company cash flow. Alwani explains, “We’re tailoring all the input screens for exactly how our users want to see them and developing a custom business process with more efficient approval workflows. For some of our business lines, the cycle time to create and issue invoices used to take months, but our new app will enable us to lower that time dramatically.”