Workday’s Giant IPO Takes Cloud Recognition Beyond Comms Industry

Lest you think "cloud" is just a big deal within the communications industry, think again.

On Friday, shares of Workday Inc., a developer of HR software for companies, debuted at $48.05, up from the initial proposed range of $21-$24, amid clamor for cloud-based applications. Investors and analysts see Workday as a prime example of organizations’ demand for alternatives to pricey in-house data centers and the need for SaaS applications. With Workday’s model, customers buy computing capacity as needed, rather than paying big licensing and maintenance fees.

Workday has experienced comms industry executives behind it. The founder is Dave Duffield, who ran PeopleSoft before the hostile Oracle acquisition. Duffield also brought on other PeopleSoft alums when he started Workday.

The company’s surprisingly large IPO underscores investors’ appetite for alternatives to traditional computing methods as cloud grows in recognition outside of the communications field. In turn, Workday’s success on Wall Street on Friday brought attention to Oracle, SAP and Citrix, all of which were trading higher as well.

At 1:01 p.m. Eastern, Workday shares had risen 78 percent to $49.84.

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