Key Insights from SAPinsider HR 2017

14. november 2017

af Mathias Iversen

Key Insights from SAPinsider HR 2017

Coming home from probably the last SAPInsider conference, I have decided to share the headlines and key takeaways as I saw them – and the first and in some ways the least surprising news was that SAPInsider, in the future, will be “part” of SuccessConnect. This makes perfect sense as 80-90 % of the sessions were regarding SuccessFactors rather than HCM on-premise, which again shows the difference in innovation pace between the two systems.

Headlines from SAPinsider HR 2017

  • The possibility to compare tenants. You can now see where your staging and productive system differ. We also heard rumors about a transport management system, but I guess that’s like spotting a unicorn for an old SAP HCM consultant 😊
  • Employee Central Service Center – this is an HR shared service feature that has been released.
  • The onboarding module is getting a massive overhaul in 2018 (it should be Q3-Q4). If you are considering the onboarding module, I would recommend that you wait. The 2018 version should include some kind of document handling center.
  • SuccessFactors Time & Attendance is getting better, but there is still a lot of functionality missing (eg. can’t handle shifts over midnight).
  • Employee Central is now a mature product and the EC implementation sessions were very popular.

Employee Central

Employee Central was “talk of the town” and close to 50 % of the sessions were related to EC – either case studies, build a business case, or feature presentations.

A good takeaway from one of these sessions was, that by now you can do almost anything in EC compared to HCM on-premise. The cost is significantly lower if a feature is possible to setup in SF compared to HCM on-premise. And a question that you should ask yourself as an on-premise customer – why spend money developing your HCM on-premise solution? As it is a dying product anyway.

The localization packages got mixed reviews in the case studies. One example was Personal ID in India which apparently can be one of two fields that wasn’t working when the company in question implemented in India.

Translations are now so much easier than SAP HCM on-premise where its more than 10 different places you have to look. In SF, it’s one of 3 different places.

EC Integration center was praised a lot, as its truly possible for non-technical employees to setup integrations and mapping between SAP HCM and SF. Watch this introduction to Integration Center.

The same basically goes for EC Business Rules. They don’t require any coding. The suggestion however is to ally yourself with a technical person. Just because you can create a rule or integration doesn’t mean you should. So, remember to consider the technical and business implications. A drawback for Business Rules that should be mentioned is that it’s difficult to do an error search if the system is behaving differently than what you expected from your business rule setup – so try to keep it simple.

Another strong addition to the wave of solution enhancements coming out over the past years is the EC Extension Center which collects all the bits and pieces required to build custom transactions.

EC Extension Center was formerly known as the Metadata Framework. The tool helps customers and implementation partners make sure that all building blocks for each transaction have been built.

Here is much more on SAP SuccessFactors Extension Center.

An honorable mention when talking about EC is position management, which is better than what is delivered in SuccessFactors Foundation. It’s offers similar functionality to SAP HCM position management which I am missing in SF.

Other modules

As EC was such a big part of the agenda, I have grouped the other modules into “other”. These modules have been given a lot of attention if you look at the quarterly releases, but the focus of the conference was mostly EC.

Continuous Performance Management (CPM) is becoming increasingly popular and more and more companies are moving away from the yearly evaluation and calibration model and are instead seeing it as an ongoing process which is exactly what CPM offers. For example, a global company that has changed its business process from yearly appraisal to CPM conducted a survey revealing that 80 % of the managers would rather have CPM than going back to the yearly performance assessment. Watch this overview of SAP SuccessFactors Continuous Performance Management.

SuccessFactors LMS has become more user centric and user driven in its approach to learning rather than being mostly about compliance. All the features to track compliance are still there, but as a user you will now have a more engaging experience when looking at the LMS module. Learning Accomplishments have been introduced in 1702 and it’s a way for users to set target learning goals against topics that interest them, and be able to track their training over time against those goals.

Another user friendly LMS feature is the collection, which is “like a spotify playlist”. You can create collections of web links, links to courses, jam groups etc. – which you in turn can share with others.

As a consultant, these are a few takeaways from SAPinsider that I would like to share:

  • You should go live with 2-3 countries and not a single country as it has tendency to drive the global template. By adding additional countries, you should be mitigating that risk.
  • When implementing talent modules without Employee Central you should ally yourself with a certified EC consultant in order to validate your data model for an easy fit when the time comes for you to implement EC. There are examples of companies having to almost reimplement completely due to a poor fit.
  • As a consultant, you can help your customers by asking “What is your vision? and what is your strategy?”. As a consultant who have worked both in the HR business and in IT, I can confirm that you really can bring value to the table by being able to understand business vision and strategy and translate that into features in SuccessFactors.
Mathias Iversen

Mathias Iversen

is an HCM and SuccessFactors Senior Consultant at 2BM. He has worked with HR for more than 10 years – both as an HR Consultant in the business and as an HR Solution Architect. This has given him a unique understanding of HR business needs and an ability to translate and implement these needs in either SAP or SuccessFactors.

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