How SAP SuccessFactors Met 2018’s Most Disruptive HCM Trends

Last year, HCM technology analyst Josh Bersin identified several HCM tech trends and disruptions he expected to show up in the 2018, summarized in this piece for Forbes.

With 2018 coming to a close, I decided to take a look back at Bersin’s projections and identify where they have intersected with the latest SAP SuccessFactors innovative technology in the past year.

Disruption 1: Massive Shift From “Automation” To “Productivity

Bersin speaks about employees “working in agile, team centric organizations.” Automation of HR processes by technology vendors is now assumed and vendors will get ”very little credit.” He asks “Can we build HR software that really improves productivity and helps teams work better together?”

SAP SuccessFactors is adept at automating critical HR processes such as hire, pay change and personal data change with the SuccessFactors Employee Central core HR product. SuccessFactors Onboarding will be revamped in the next 18 months to seamlessly shift candidates into the employee category flowing neatly from recruiting. SAP have recognized the workforce productivity angle primarily with the increasing investment in SAP Jam, which can centralize intranet solutions for global companies. It also acts as a significant collaboration platform that connects with data, processes, and other solutions. The merits of SAP Jam are described on Computer Weekly with reference to Bertelsmann, the German media and education services company.

There is increased focus on social and informal learning for which SAP Jam can provide. An example would be a specific Jam group for global assignees where they can gather the requisite social and employment related data on their host country. This will simplify the transition period and potentially enhance levels of employee engagement.

Specifically, on the “productivity” point Bersin mentions, this connects with the topical subject area of HR needed to impact the business in a tangible manner. One of our large retail customers at Rizing HCM has leveraged the SAP Jam collaboration site to encourage employees to post videos with suggestions on how to save money (Watch the full story here >). One of these ideas has increased net profit by 9% in the last quarter where the employee in question proposed the bundling of several hardware products.

Disruption 2: Moving To The Cloud Is A Significant And Challenging Exercise

Bersin notes that the migration period of shifting to the cloud can take 2 to 3 years and companies appreciate the “radical impact on the entire employee population”.

SuccessFactors has invested heavily in simplifying the journey to the HR cloud for organizations. It has established a repository of pre-built leading HCM processes to give customers a solid foundation at the beginning of the implementation called SAP Model Company for HR.

For SAP ERP HCM customers (close to 12,000 globally) SAP has developed SAP Infoporter which is a tool designed to assist companies in migrating data from the on-premise landscape to SAP SuccessFactors.

A common pain point for this group of legacy SAP organizations centers around the transfer of historical data into the cloud solution. Cube is an innovative Rizing HCM product that allows customers to transition historical data without having to stand up an older system.

From a partner innovation perspective, the automation of implementation workbooks and xml is now feasible with the Rizing HCM Blueline product. This tool will also put rigor around configuration updates post go-live and provide organizations with the opportunity to truly manage a digitized data dictionary.

Disruption 3: Huge Focus On “Set Of Employee Services” Designed To Make Lives Easier

Bersin speaks to the point that HCM “team management software is emerging” as the most important piece of the overall HCM landscape, more so than traditional “talent management”.

Mobile capabilities within SAP SuccessFactors are embedded in the solution which results in the right data in the hands of the right people. Within the Employee Central Time Management module, managers can approve timesheets and time off requests easily and seamlessly. One impressive chatbot is Kore.ai bot and this is leveraged to assist users with any time off questions. The queries/chat/voice messages are processed by Kore.ai and retrieved through SuccessFactors Employee Central Time Off.

On the Team management topic, SuccessFactors Continuous Performance Management possesses a slick mobile interface which allows managers to remain connected to their team and provide regular feedback on work activities and performance. Ultimately, organizations must create a knowledge sharing environment that allows high performing and high potential employees to be innovative and very few technology vendors can support this vision.

Disruption 4: Reinvention Of Corporate Learning Is Here

On this topic Bersin describes the trend of “experience platforms,” a new breed of “micro-learning platforms,” modernized LMS systems, and new AI-based systems to recommend learning, find learning, and deliver learning.

SuccessFactors Learning Management System (LMS) is a market leader and an adaptable powerful solution for modern businesses. Systems like the LMS have transformed the way organizations approach training and development. Employees can complete training courses anywhere whether that is on a laptop, iPhone, Android, or Blackberry. Companies can tailor specific training courses to a grouping of employees and use the training outcomes for assigning employees to projects. The benefit of technology-based training is that the bulk of your results will be tangible e.g. John Doe scored 30% in a Proficient Excel exam. If John is applying for an internal accountant role within your organization, HR will be able to actively use these data findings in a recruitment decision.

Technology based training is the overriding form of training in most sectors, which fits into the overall corporate trend of continuous learning, agility and flexibility.

Disruption 5: The Recruiting Market Is Thriving With Innovation

Bersin describes this segment of the market as being “the most dynamic and innovative”. He references the fact companies are now back in a “war for talent”

SAP in the past twelve months have rolled out the impressive Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) which empowers customer to drive a closer level of engagement with prospective candidates through creative email marketing techniques and landing pages.

This is an area where a few partners have incorporated chatbots into the standard recruitment management module offered by SAP.

Disruption 6: People Analytics Matures And Grows

Bersin reinforces that most serious HCM vendors have “embedded analytics, many with prediction engines, and all the new vendors are starting to apply AI to their offerings.”

SAP has announced that SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) will replace current reporting and analytics tools within SAP SuccessFactors. SAC possesses the ability to effectively blend data across all enterprise systems, including on-premise and cloud. We understand that modern company leaders have an unwavering commitment to report cross functionally on data coming from HR, Finance, Procurement etc. and this tool will fit seamlessly into many organizations’ analytics requirements. The potential for Total Workforce Management insights will be assisted by SAP Fieldglass, a cloud-based, open external workforce management and services procurement platform that helps organizations find, engage and manage all types of flexible resources. SAC will collate employee and contingent worker data to capture total workforce trends.

Meeting Disruption with the Right Technology

The SuccessFactors suite is constantly evolving with quarterly updates—here’s the release schedule for 2019—and expanded integrations into products such as Fieldglass. These evolutions allow for SuccessFactors customers to better meet the disruptions that Bersin notes head-on with the right technology and empowering user experiences.

About the Author:

Paul is a Practice Manager for Rizing HCM.

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