All of the Workday executives are former PeopleSoft executives. PeopleSoft (now owned by Oracle after a nasty takeover battle) is a great product but it has a fatal flaw - nearly all of the critical components are controlled by someone else. Database (either Oracle, SQLServer or DB2) is owned by someone else. Middleware (WebLogic) is owned by someone else. Reporting (SQR and Crystal Reports) is owned by someone else. Hardware is owned by someone else. Operating systems are owned by someone else.
Workday, starting with a clean slate, decided that they wanted to control everything. So they used an object oriented open source database. They own and control every layer of the software stack. They, since it is cloud based, control the hardware.
This gives Workday a big advantage when it comes to supporting the software. There is only one configuration to support. Oracle and SAP and others have hundreds of combinations of database, hardware, operating system, etc. to support.
Oracle has typically been able to use its stranglehold on the database platform to force customers do this or that. But they can't do this to Workday or its customers. And this has Oracle scared shitless.
Oracle is rushing to get cloud based products to the market. I don't know that Oracle is trying to strong arm their customers into using those new products but it is not without precedent.
What I do know is that internally they have this philosophy known as TOTO (Turn Off The Oxygen). That is how they destroy their competition. Their hope is to TOTO on Workday until they run out of money and fold. They know that Workday is operating at a loss and that their stock is trading at insane P/E levels (2650 as of Fridays close). Oracle will give away their cloud offerings if they have to. It's a waiting game and Oracle has the cash to wait it out.