SAP SuccessFactors has held its annual European user convention in Berlin this week. While there were few product announcements Enterprise Times had the opportunity to talk to various customers, partners and other media and analysts.
What became clear as the hours passed is that SuccessFactors is leveraging some of the strengths of SAP. SAP has also woken up to the cloud and is starting to regain some of the momentum it has lost, especially against Workday.
Leveraging rapid implementation techniques
One of the announcements during the show was that Arvato had leveraged the SAP Model Company service for Human Resources to deliver SuccessFactors in under 100 days. While the company rolled out 3,500 users across UK, Eire and the Netherlands for SAP SuccessFactors this was not too surprising.
Arvato are part of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. It is in the midst of rolling out the software across the whole organization to 190,000 employees. It started the process two years ago. As a result, many of the business processes required will already have been created. However, the Model Company for HR helped the process to run smoothly.
Kai Burr, CHRO, Arvato Financial Solutions commented: “Shorter implementation times and easy harmonization of global processes, including employee and manager self-services and organizational charts for mobile devices provided by SAP Model Company for HR, was exactly what we needed. We’ve been able to accelerate our digital HR transformation and deliver the consumer-grade tools and personalized experiences our employees and managers expect. The end-to-end capabilities of SAP SuccessFactors solutions have enabled us to truly simplify and transform our HR processes, driving significant improvements in efficiency and employee engagement.”
Enterprise Times also spoke to Mark Brandau SVP and Head of Cloud solutions at SAP. He revealed that there are other companies that have also used the SAP Model Company process with great success. The system simplifies implementation by breaking it into stages. It also uses predefined templates and processes that companies can adopt rapidly.
Brandau also stated that the framework may in the future be verticalized. This will not be for every vertical that SAP operates in but initially to a few key ones. The benefit, as Arvato found, is that SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central can be deployed faster and with better adoption. For multinational companies localization is automated as part of the process. It cuts out much of the delays to standard implementations.
The Intelligent suite.
One of the other messages is that SuccessFactors cloud services will have migrated completely off its legacy Oracle database by the end of the year. This means that SAP SuccessFactors can start taking full advantage of the SAP Analytics Cloud. It is also looking to standardise the data model across the SAP application portfolio. This will see SuccessFactors becoming the core of the employee record. It also means that the SAP applications are slowly coming together for the purpose of analytics and integration. Seamless integration this is still some way off. However, customers we spoke to are looking forward to the promised Intelligence Suite that SAP spoke about.
Integration between SAP Concur and SAP FieldGlass is closer to reality. Brandau spoke about the future of SAP CRM as utilising data from within FieldGlass for freelancer worker.
What does this mean
For a few years SAP SuccessFactors has been an application that SAP bought. SAP SuccessFactors was once the leading HRM solution on the Gartner quadrant. More recently it has slipped behind Workday. The race is now on. While Workday will look to improve its rating through its recent acquisition of Adaptive Insights, SAP SuccessFactors, and more importantly its customers and prospects, are starting to see the potential that it is starting to realise through being part of the much larger SAP landscape.