The conference is now history, and if there is one thing that I took home: EMEA is the hybrid market. All the customers I spoke with told me that they were considering moving at minimum some talent applications to the cloud. It’s great when your customers tell you you’re doing the right things at the right time with the “talent hybrid” model. This model helps our customers protect and expand their HRIS at the same time. That is unique in the marketplace (others advocate a “rip and replace” approach which we do not feel is respectful of customers’ wallets) and leading analysts Josh Bersin and Katherine Jones confirm how valuable our work has been to our customers stating that “SAP clearly understands this complexity, and the company now has a well thought-out strategy to address nearly every possible scenario”, from an article published recently.
The road behind us, plus a few small jewels
- Workflows: we have never been very vocal on this one although workflows truly complement the talent business processes themselves. They are enabled by the initial integration add-ons delivered over a year ago. Business workflow in SuccessFactors – like a workflow between employee and manager in Performance, the approval for the booking of a class, or the workflow behind the compensation worksheets – are mainly based on the reporting lines. This is fairly simple, but mandatory.
- Permissions: this is another topic we’ve been discussing with many customers. Permissions in SuccessFactors are support by SAP objects like Country (the famous “MOLGA”), Personal Area, Personal Group,… and this crucial data is provided by the first add-on and speeds up tremendously the deployment of permissions in the talent suite. Of course, you are not done after this, but the foundation is set up though.
- Reporting and analytics: application data get their meaning only when you can analyze them. The integration allows consumption of the data in all the SuccessFactors analytical solutions; from Dashboards to Analytics to Reporting. You can run a report or build a dashboard with SAP HR data and SuccessFactors Talent data out of the box thanks to the integration add-ons (you will more details on Workforce Planning and Analytics)
- Performance and Goal management: we have not mentioned it enough as it is obvious for most of us, but for completeness of the list I wanted to add it. To run SuccessFactors Performance and Goal on top of SAP ERP HCM you do not need anything more than the data provided by the first integration package.
So, what lies ahead?
- Compensation Management: these are actually 3 components: fixed pay, variable pay and compensation calibration. Fixed pay integration – component like base pay, bonuses, lump sums or LTIs – has been shipped end of last year and very well explained in last year’s great blog from Paul Hopkins and Luke Marson.We are currently examining the global need for variable pay integration, as it really varies from customer to customer. Here I’d like to hear from you: how important is SuccessFactors Variable Pay integration to SAP for your customers? Is variable pay too “customer specific” to become part of a standard integration package?
- Recruiting Management: we are just about to exit the ramp-up for the phase one “from SuccessFactors to SAP”. Recruiting phase two will close the loop and give our customers a competitive advantage with a hybrid end-to-end process running like in an integrated suite.
- Learning Management: this is one of the most asked-for topics right now, in a market with its own dynamic. The first shipment is planned with the 1311 release, and is planned to include “Skills and competencies” and “learner history” integration. This will set up the foundation. In the subsequent releases the first half of 2014. We plan to ship the cost allocation integration with SAP Financials, and are thinking about scenarios with other SAP solutions like SAP Environmental Health and Safety ManagementSAP Sales on Demand
- Succession Management integration: this is under discussion but I think we are almost there. The first add-on brings employee and the organizational data over to SuccessFactors. The skills and competencies for an open position are managed in SuccessFactors already. The only missing piece of the succession domino is the “position” and its attributes (like Name, Core, Incumbent…). We plan to consider Succession in a 2014 release. Until then consulting organizations should be able to leverage existing technical integration options (like CSV). This is summarized here:
- Hybrid models will evolve by nature, as customer will bring more and more applications to the cloud. SAP has been working on in another crucial scenario: the integration between SAP HR core and SuccessFactors Employee Central. Those integration points are key for any customers that want to quickly connect subsidiaries, acquired companies, etc, to a SAP HR core backbone typically owned by the headquarter. This complements the “talent hybrid” as shown in the “two tier HCM” depicted here.
We are never done in HR, and Professional Services firms will help you go even beyond
I would argue that the SAP and SuccessFactors “hybrid talent” integration would be complete when those business scenarios are all shipped: performance & goal, compensation, recruiting, learning (planned) and succession (planned). These are the talent management processes for which our customers are asking for a standard integration with the SAP ERP HCM core system. In addition, from a technical integration perspective, our customers can benefit from 4 integration options: CSV, SAP NetWeaver PI, SAP HANA Cloud Integration, or another middleware. Here again, this is giving our customer a lot of choice and flexibility.
Nevertheless, I see a great potential for Professional Services organizations and consulting packages, and especially for new RDS opportunities. Just to give one example that I discussed recently with an industry expert at SAP: think about industry specific components like SAP Incentive and Commission Management and how it can complement SuccessFactors Compensation Management, just to name one. Target group: a couple hundreds of customers! What do you think? Do you see the need for Any particular industry, or region, maybe your own country?