By Michelle Ziegmann, Director of Customer Solutions, California College of the Arts

In Part 3 of this “Challenging the Status Quo” blog series, Michelle provides a customer view of Alchemy’s cooperative approach to implementing Workday applications. Read Part 1 and Part 2 for more information about how we developed and executed the approach, conceptually and technically.


California College of the Arts (CCA) was proud to have been one of Alchemy’s Design Partners as they sought to design and build a baseline preconfigured tenant to support Workday Student deployment projects.

CCA has been through many Workday implementations. We are currently live on HCM, Payroll, Financials, Student Recruiting, and Student Admissions. The first stage of a project has always been somewhat challenging, with numerous configuration decisions to make and a limited point of reference to guide those decisions. Making configuration decisions having only sample and empty tenants as reference can be challenging and abstract. Subject matter experts have to imagine what the impact of those decisions will be, which often involves guesswork that may be costly to change in later stages of the project.

With the Alchemy pre-configured tenant as the starting point for our project, CCA will be able to make more informed configuration decisions during the Architect (or “Design”) stage of our project. With a baseline set of configurations in place at the start, much of the guesswork will be eliminated, and the team can focus on confirming what works for our school instead of guessing by looking at a blank slate. We are now in the Architect stage of our Student deployment and will be going live later this year and in early 2019 in support of our 2019-2020 academic year.

We also appreciate the power of community that the Design Partner Program has afforded us. We want to learn from those who came before us and contribute what we learned to those who will follow. By solving challenges with others, solutions are always more effective than if we solve them alone.

Alchemy is the first implementation partner we’ve worked with that embraces this collaborative approach, and they’ve built processes and services that support it. By partnering us with other baseline tenant design partners, we were able to form alliances with those schools as we embark on our Workday Student implementations together. And by establishing a model that involves a core team of Workday Student consultants working across schools, we can trust that what is learned from one implementation will inform others.

Additionally, by investing in a configuration library, Alchemy is pioneering a model where solutions built for one school can be made available to other schools, instead of building them from scratch over and over.

CCA believes Alchemy’s approach to collaboration and sharing of resources will empower schools to more efficiently offer effective, scalable, and sustainable Workday solutions to their campus. CCA was honored to participate in this process, and we look forward to seeing how our collective work impacts the success of other Workday and Alchemy customers.

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