Workday acquires machine learning start-up SkipFlag
US-based Workday, which is best known for its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based applications, is acquiring SkipFlag, a start-up that uses deep learning to help enterprises make sense of the large amounts of data they collect each day, reports Enterprise Cloud News (FinTech Futures‘ sister publication).
Joe Korngiebel, Workday CTO, notes that the deal is allowing the company to expand beyond SaaS in the human resources and financial planning fields and into more cutting-edge technologies.
“SkipFlag joining Workday is yet another step in our journey to continually invest in areas such as machine learning, advanced search, and natural language processing – further powering our products to be faster and more intelligent so our customers can access even better insights when and where they need,” Korngiebel says.
Financial details of the acquisition were not released.
Although a start-up, SkipFlag has roots in enterprise software and deep learning. Co-founders Peter Skomoroch and Sam Shah each worked at LinkedIn, which was acquired by Microsoft about two years ago.
SkipFlag uses a combination of machine and deep learning, along with artificial intelligence (AI), to organise a business’s internal data, even if it’s written in company jargon. The goal is to turn this unstructured data, whether it’s in emails, support tickets or instant messages into more useful intelligence for the enterprise.
Korngiebel notes that Workday plans to incorporate these technologies into its core SaaS offerings.
While Workday has traditionally sold its SaaS HR and financial apps to small and mid-sized firms, the company has seen that expand over the last year. In 2017, the company announced that Amazon became a customer.
One of Workday’s biggest rivals in the HR and financial applications fields, Oracle, is also busy building out machine learning and AI capabilities not only through the apps it offers, but through its cloud infrastructure as well.