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Workday Has Not, Repeat Not, Left Amazon

CRN captured the moment, but didn’t check it out

Last week, on the last day of HP's Discover conference in Las Vegas, HP software chief Bill Veghte stood on stage and said that Workday, the promising HR SaaS company started by David Duffield, who also started PeopleSoft only to lose it to Oracle' ravenous appetite for acquisitions, had left Amazon Web Services for HP's OpenStack-based Public Cloud because enterprise customers need real support and stronger SLAs than Amazon offers.

CRN captured the moment, but didn't check it out.

Veghte's statement made tweeters sit up and take note, and Amazon denied it.

It said, "Workday is not moving its cloud operations from AWS to HP. They remain an active and happy AWS customer and our relationship with them continues to deepen." Workday also said it was a "happy AWS customer."

Aware that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was a pre-IPO investor in Workday, the press made some calls and came away with an oddly worded apology from HP saying, "During our HP Discover event, HP was very pleased to announce Workday as a customer for HP's public cloud. However, we misstated the impact of that announcement on Workday's relationship with Amazon Web Services. We apologize for the mistake."

As it turns out, HP had just signed a deal to use Workday's software - well, it can't very well go to Oracle, now can it - and wanted a little fillip - like getting a piece of Workday's cloud business.

Apparently Workday agreed but doesn't quite know what it'll do with the capacity - and there's reportedly no minimum commitment.

SiliconAngle came back to say that Workday never ran its SaaS service on Amazon. It uses AWS for test and dev and will house a Big Data service that supplements its core HR and financial applications on Amazon when it's available.

It actually runs its core SaaS service on third-party private clouds, apparently unconvinced of the security and reliability of public clouds.

Veghte, meanwhile, turned up at a UBS conference Wednesday where he said HP has "very few customers on OpenStack." Ostensibly HP wanted the last release, Grizzly, to get out first. Presumably that's what Cloud OS, which HP released last week, is based on.

All evidence of Veghte's remarks about Workday has been eradicated from the Internet. Oh, yes, and HP Public Cloud SLAs aren't much different from Amazon's.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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