Faster integrations make tasty profits and position company for growth.

Mondelēz has made HR data and organisational agility key ingredients in its global operations.

Simplifies system data sharing with API integrations

Cuts integration times up to 75%

Automates secure data flows, which can be event-based

Reduces data transfer errors, aided by prebuilt connectors

Oreo biscuits. Ritz crackers. Cadbury chocolates. These snacks are staples in household pantries and cupboards in more than 150 countries. As brands, they’re much better known than their manufacturer: Mondelēz International, a $29 billion Fortune 500 firm that was originally a branch of Kraft Foods.

Behind the scenes, Aaron Colley, Workday technology lead and HR solution architect at Mondelēz International, is part of a five-person team in charge of the company’s HRIS. They’re also responsible for more than 90 automated, mostly outbound integrations with other systems around the world, including 25 for payroll processing. “Before deploying Workday several years ago, we used an internally hosted HRIS from a major ERP vendor and avoided middleware to keep integrations as simple as possible,” Colley says. “A lot of our integrations involved traditional, encrypted flat-file transfers. We mimicked these in Workday to facilitate the migration of non-payroll integrations during our deployment and reduce go-live disruption risks.”

Payroll systems: the most challenging integrations.

The company’s non-payroll integrations share Workday data with a host of systems that handle identity management, travel (both booking and expenses), factory time-clocking and North American sales. “We also send data to recruiting systems, an expat management system, a stock and equity management system and many others,” says Colley. “But migrating our payroll integrations was the most challenging. We used to have significantly more payroll systems than we do now. For help, we delegated this to Deloitte, our Workday deployment partner, and the team was fantastic.”

The Workday integrations interface allows us to make relevant employee changes within specific pay periods.

Workday Technology Lead and HR Solution Architect

Deloitte had an expert in Workday Payroll Effective Change Interface (PECI), a full-stack integration that improves the visibility of payroll data exchange between Workday and third-party systems, especially status changes during pay periods. “Although Deloitte did all the work on the payroll integrations, we followed what they did closely and learned how to build and manage the integrations ourselves by the end of the deployment project phase,” Colley says. “This has ensured timely updates in downstream payroll systems and provides more business and organisational agility worldwide.”

More and more, Colley and his team are using API-based integrations enabled by the Workday Integration Cloud toolkit. He prefers using this integration approach over batch file transfers for data exports and imports. He finds API integrations a totally different experience. “With traditional file transfers, we do the heavy lifting by creating, transforming and sending the data to whoever's going to consume it,” he explains. “With API integrations, we open the doors to our Workday data – although in a totally secure, privileged way – and give users a key to specific data elements. They take the data, then change and load it however they want to.”

Built-in security ensures data privacy.

Colley emphasises that although the Workday API integrations can enable a more dynamic, self-serve subscription model for connected systems, his team retains strict control over the data at all times. He attributes that capability to the security model that’s core to Workday, the company’s system of record. “We work with sensitive people data, which is confidential and personally identifiable, so we have to guard what others can see,” he says. “Workday helps us do that. In addition, its automation ensures that updates and reporting come from one source versus having it in many different places, which may have different security levels and potential vulnerabilities.”

Having one source of truth is powerful to the business because it ensures the integrity and consistency of all reporting instead of piecing reports together from different data sources.

Workday Technology Lead and HR Solution Architect

The advantages of API-based integrations are many, according to Colley. “First, it’s a far simpler and faster deployment. Flat-file integrations can take us up to eight weeks, while we can do API ones in as little as two weeks, so that’s a big efficiency improvement for us as a team,” he says. “Second, data flows far more quickly and can be event-based, so connected systems can consume our data and fire up their business processes sooner.”

As an example, Colley mentions the identity management system, which now operates on a daily file transfer feed from Workday. “This means the quickest a manager can get an identity back for a new hire is 24–48 hours,” he says. “It would be great to fire that off faster, get a response back and get people up and running quickly. Lots of our legacy flat-file integrations can benefit from upgrades to an API model. Our processes can run much faster and more dynamically, and this can ultimately improve our operational agility.”

Fewer errors are a third significant benefit of API-based integrations, in Colley’s view. He also sees the value of prebuilt Workday connectors. “If errors occur in our integrations, we have to troubleshoot and fix the cause, then resend the correct data,” he says. “But with our API-based integrations, errors are minimal, which saves us time. And in the prebuilt connector model, if connected systems want an enhancement, it’s on their owners to do it, which also saves us time.”

Goodbye technology barriers, hello new acquisitions.

With the time savings and efficiencies Workday API integrations have delivered to his team, Colley looks ahead to further development and migration of legacy integrations to API-based models. “By securely sharing Workday data more dynamically and in real time with connected systems, we remove technology barriers,” he says. “It will also improve our business agility.”

In future acquisitions, we’ll use Workday to automatically assign new employees their proper organisations and reporting structures instead of taking weeks to do it manually.

Workday Technology Lead and HR Solution Architect

In addition, Colley sees Workday API-based integrations as a means to facilitate future mergers and acquisitions. Currently, his team is working on tasks from the acquisition of a major European bakery. Their job is vital: onboarding more than 5,800 employees from over 30 nations and ensuring the proper organisational structure and corresponding approver hierarchy. “Doing this manually would be a nightmare and take many months, but with Workday API integrations and the resulting automation, we can reduce that to weeks,” Colley concludes. “We might not achieve peak efficiency on this acquisition because we still have to build our model, but for future ones, we will.”

More Customer Stories

See All Stories

Ready to talk?
Get in touch with us.