Lessons in Localization: Workday


The Nimdzi Lessons in Localization series highlights the most innovative, up-and-coming, or successful globalization programs in the world.

In this Lesson in Localization, we look at how Workday does localization.

A lesson by Inge Boonen

About Workday

Workday, Inc., is a leading enterprise software vendor primarily known for its human capital management (HCM) and financial management applications. Workday's headquarters is in Pleasanton, California, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company plays a critical role in the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) industry, offering comprehensive cloud solutions that serve both large global corporations and, increasingly, the mid-market segment.

Founded in March 2005 by Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri, Workday has grown significantly over the years. It has expanded its product offerings beyond HCM to include financial management, planning, and analytics, catering to a wide range of industries worldwide. Workday's commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction has solidified its position as a backbone for organizations seeking to modernize their operations and embrace digital transformation. Workday's approach to business emphasizes agility, collaboration, and a deep understanding of the evolving needs of the global workforce and financial sectors.

Workday’s international expansion. Markets, Locales, and Languages

Workday's international presence is extensive, reflecting its status as a global leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources.

Its system is available in 37 languages, showcasing its capability to cater to a diverse global clientele. It supports eleven core languages plus English for user interface, which are Spanish, French, Canadian French, German, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, and Korean.

This linguistic flexibility is part of Workday's "Global at the Core" philosophy, which includes language translations, allowing users to work in their own language. Once a user selects their preferred language, the Workday user interface automatically displays in that language. Customers can also translate their customized UI, ensuring that the software is fully accessible to their users worldwide.

This multilingual support is crucial for centralizing a global human capital management system (HCM), making Workday a preferred choice for multinational corporations seeking a unified, cloud-based HCM solution. This approach not only facilitates the adoption of Workday's solutions across different regions but also reinforces the company's role as a key player in the global market for enterprise applications.

About the interviewee: Loy Searle

Loy Searle has made a significant impact during her four years at Workday. Her leadership in localization has not only led to the significant expansion and maturation of the program but has also showcased her passion and dedication to overcoming the challenges inherent in localization. With a rich background that spans content and instructional design, Loy's entry into the field of localization might have been unexpected, but it quickly blossomed into a profound love for the intricacies and challenges it offers.

Before joining Workday, Loy had already established herself as a leader in the globalization and content industry, with over two decades of experience. Her innovative work includes pioneering single-sourcing content strategies and developing integrated global CMS/terminology solutions in the ERP industry. These contributions have left a lasting mark on the practices and efficiencies of content management and localization.

In addition to her professional achievements, Loy is deeply committed to the localization industry and has been an advocate for the advancement of women within it. For eight years, she served Women in Localization as a board member, VP, and President.

While Loy has retired, her influence in the localization space remains undiminished. She plans to maintain an active presence in the industry she loves, keeping a "big toe" in the field to continue contributing her vast knowledge and expertise.


This comprehensive report explores Workday's strategic journey in localization and international expansion, spearheaded by Loy Searle. Highlighting the pivotal role of localization in driving global growth, it offers an in-depth look at the structure, culture, and technological innovations of Workday's localization team. As Loy retires, we reflect on the enduring impact of her leadership in scaling Workday's localization efforts to the new heights of supporting 37 languages and leveraging cutting-edge technology to meet diverse global needs.




Fast facts:


Included in this Lesson in Localization

  • About Workday
    • Workday’s international expansion. Markets, Locales, and Languages
    • About the interviewee: Loy Searle
  • TL;DR (Too long; didn't read)
  • Localization as a Revenue Driver
  • Program Overview
    • Culture of the team
    • Organization
  • Project and Process Management
  • Supply Chain/Vendor Management
  • Quality Control
  • Technology
    • TMS
    • MT
    • GenAI
  • Interesting Initiatives and The Future


This has been a preview. The full report can be accessed online by Nimdzi's membership clients and organizations participating in the Lessons in Localization briefings.

If you are not a client, or are interested in how your company can participate in Lessons in Localization, contact us.

Who should we feature next?

The Nimdzi Lessons in Localization series highlights the most interesting localization programs in the world. If you have a suggestion for a localization program that you would like to see highlighted, nominate it..

Special thanks to Loy Searle for sharing her insights with us.

This Lesson in Localization was prepared by Nimdzi's Inge Boonen. If you wish to learn more, reach out to Inge at [email protected].

15 April 2024 Tags:

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