How big is the 1,000?

While 1,000 users a good landmark to announces, without detailed information it is hard to analyse whether this is truly significant. SAP should have published the number of users as well, this would have shown what size its customers were as well. The press release is unclear about what makes up the 1,000 but does make it clear which modules are the most popular from the SuccessFactors suite. More than 300 companies chose Employee Central, but more than 400 selected SAP SuccessFactors Learning.

While SAP would like to take this as evidence that SAP is the HCM of choice for European firms, the truth is that the landscape is more competitive than it has ever been. Previously they have mainly battled with Oracle for the hearts and minds of larger corporates. Now companies such as Workday, Infor, Netsuite and Epicor are all fighting for a share of the market. Workday has especially has success against SAP, winning Centrica away from them in recent weeks.

Amongst those 1,000 are some significant brands that SuccessFactors have convince to come onto the SAP HCM cloud. These include Bertelsmann (112,000 employees), Computacenter (10,000 employees), Rostelecom (170,000 employees) and Telkom (20,000 employees). The latter three implemented SAP SuccessFactors Learning and SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting to help drive transformations within their HRM processes to improve productivity.

While the number of employees is interesting, the number of licenses that these companies have would be more relevant. It seems unlikely that Rostelecom has implemented self-service across their entire employee base. To really understand the depth of the SAP SuccessFactors penetration they should share some indication of those numbers.

Ettling, believes that  SuccessFactors helps companies to drive HRM transformations successfully and said in a canned statement: “Building a strong team and keeping your employees engaged across the business is critical to success today.

Expectations are different — people increasingly demand solutions that support connectivity and mobility and that are easy to use. Recognized as a Leader in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Talent Management Suites* for the third consecutive year, we meet these needs. Our ambition of providing leading global solutions is validated when top European companies, that do business around the world, select us as a partner.”


The announcements were made at HR Tech world in Paris this week. While there it is no doubt it is a landmark reaching the 1,000 customers in EMEA it is a shame that both the BAT win and 1,000 EMEA customers announcement is slightly hollow.

SuccessFactors are clearly continuing to win clients, however they need to stop other HCM firms from winning the legacy SAP clients and start winning legacy Oracle clients soon. With Oracle appearing to have upped its cloud game following the announcements at Oracle Openworld this year this will be a very competitive market.


  1. good and balanced report. On the “winning Oracle legacy”, in the past earning calls, some large Peoplesoft customers have been announced: Danone, Bureau Veritas, Alstom Transport, Alcatel-Lucent, etc.
    and that’s for the one that are public.


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