Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Tribute To The San Francisco Giants

I took this picture of a mural on a recent visit to the Giants Stadium in San Francisco.
They just won game 3 against the Detroit Tigers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SuccessFactors Jam Played an Important Role During The Merger

During SAP TechEd last week, I was invited to an analysts and influencers meeting with SAP's Co-CEO Bill McDermott. Vijay Vijayasankar, Associate partner from IBM and SAP Mentor asked Bill about the use of SuccessFactors applications inside SAP. I was not surprised when Bill singled out SuccessFactors Jam as the product that created the most impact inside SAP.

I had a ring side view of this unfolding in the weeks and months after SuccessFactors became an SAP Company. Email systems were not unified. We did not have access to each others networks. But every team inside the company, every individual for that matter, had the right to create a Jam group and invite anyone from either company to collaborate  share, create and decide. We took full advantage of that and executed with remarkable agility.

Two factors were key to the success of Jam usage inside SAP. The first one was that the product was in the cloud and was used without IT support. Second reason is the video creation and sharing tool in Jam.

I will recommend SuccessFactors Jam for this particular use case for all SAP Customers. I think every organization in the world will face M&A scenarios more often that before.

Here are some M&A statistics. Mergers and acquisitions increased 12 fold between 1985 and 2012. The total value of mergers and acquisitions in 2011 is $ 5 trillion.

A total of 43,000 M&A deals were announced in 2011. Although mergers and acquisitions slowed a bit in 2012, they remain a preferred way for organizations to attain growth.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Developer Licenses Policy For All SAP Products

Along with other SAP Mentors, I had a chance to meet and discuss the needs of the SAP Ecosystem with Chris Turner, the EVP of  HANA Partner and Developer Ecosystems at SAP and Anne Hardy, Vice President Developer Experience at SAP Labs. They were of the opinion that licenses for developers should be free for all SAP products. They mentioned that they are working with the general managers of every product group to make this happen. This is good news for all partners and developers of SAP products.  A good step forward for SAP.

On-The-Job Training add-on to SAP Learning Solution

80% of learning happens on the job. In certain industries, this on the job training is tracked for compliance purposes. This was a gap in SAP Learning Solution and some time back we requested our partner hyperCision to build a solution.

SAP Partner hyperCision has created an On-The-Job Training add-on to SAP Learning Solution. I was involved in the design discussions for this solution and I am very pleased that this solution is available for SAP Learning Solution customers. It is a very good solution for compliance driven industries. The solution is created by experts who understand SAP and the needs of compliance driven industries very well. Here is a video that explains the solution. You can buy this add-on from hyperCision.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SAP Screen Personas Looks Interesting

SAP is developing a new GUI (graphical user interface) customization tool currently known as SAP Screen Personas. Personas allows IT departments and even individual SAP users to customize their screen layouts in the SAP GUI through an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

I saw a demo of SAP Screen Personas today during demo jam and it looked very interesting. I think this tool is going to make a difference. It is going to be generally available in December 2012. You can find out more from here.

An FAQ on SAP Screen Personas is available at

HANA is the intellectual renewal of SAP

I was invited to an unplugged discussion with SAP Board member Vishal Sikka and to a separate analyst and influencers discussion with SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott. Vishal talked about HANA and the efforts around user experience design very openly with the SAP Mentors present. HANA now has more than 600 customers and 100 startups using it. At least four hardware partners were present showcasing their HANA hardware.

To top it all Bill McDermott told analysts and influencers that HANA is the intellectual renewal of SAP and he is now going to scale the efforts to bring HANA to more customers. Bill also mentioned that he believes that future technology landscapes are going to be hybrid residing on premise and well as in the cloud and HANA is going to power all of SAP's applications.

Bill also revealed a strategy for Brazil. SAP Business One on HANA localized for Brazil. Interesting thing to note is that 50% of SAP's revenue in Brazil comes from products that did not exist in the last two years.

When SAP Mentor, Vijay Vijayasankar of IBM asked about the successful internal use of SuccessFactors applications, Bill called out SuccessFactors Jam as a standout product. He said SuccessFactors Jam is making SAP employees more productive than before.

Photo Courtesy @mgillet

Monday, October 15, 2012

Moving HCM To The Cloud Saves Flextronics $100 Million

My job at SAP is to make the case for talent management in the cloud and help SAP Core HR OnPremise customers make the move to the cloud for talent management applications. I point out to customers that significant investments in talent management applications are being made in the cloud not just at SAP, but by the whole industry. I also point out to them that I believe that customers are moving to the cloud because of significant cost savings among other benefits such as faster time to value and faster adoption of new innovation.

I tell the HR and HR-IT audience that their CIO and CFO are going to demand that they move to the cloud for HCM, particularly for talent management applications because of the incredible cost savings they can get. This is going to happen sooner than we think. Here is one very public data point from Flextronics. The company standardized on cloud globally for HCM and, along with other shifts, saved $100 million in three years.

Since Flextronics employee count is public, it might be possible for most organizations to get a rough idea about how much money they can save by moving HCM to the cloud. It may not be 100% accurate. But the projected savings will be compelling enough for any CIO or CFO to give it a try.

Unlike the cost savings the BPO providers promised a few years back, the cost savings promised by cloud HCM providers is real and proven by HCM cloud software providers. I met many customers and software providers this year and asked them about their plans and level of comfort with the cloud. Based on those conversations and some savings projections that i was privy to, I believe that the movement of HCM, particularly talent management, to the cloud is going to happen sooner that we think. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

At SAP TechEd This Week

I will be at SAP TechEd this week listening to Clay Shirky, meeting the SAP Mentors who are there and attending sessions on new technologies such as HANA. As a product manager, I normally go to SAP Insider conferences, ASUG Conferences and Sapphire. This would be my first TechEd. I look forward to the interactive sessions. @finnern has already sent me more than fifteen meeting requests for the next four days. Meeting with influencers, SAP Executives, Design Thinking sessions, Technology Sessions are all on the cards. I plan to keep my eyes and ears open for HANA use cases in people management. Here is an interesting video showing a retail scenario where people are matched with products.

Monday, October 08, 2012

HR Technology Conference Social Media Panel Notes

The social media unpanel in the HR Technology Conference was brilliant. It was refreshing to hear from people who did it. Follow all three of them and you can learn some valuable lessons on how to create a community and make it work in your company. Ask them questions on twitter and I am sure you will get clear authentic answers.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Clay Shirky Is Talking At TechEd 2012 Las Vegas

I am very excited about the keynote by Clay Shirky at TechEd Las Vegas. I am a big fan. His thoughts and books influenced the design of SAP Career OnDemand which inturn is influencing the collaboration features in SAP HCM and Successfactors. Here is a video where he talks about the power of social media.

The Talent Market Is Shifting Eastward

I recently came across an interesting statistic about college graduates in the US, India and China in the Wall Street Journal. The graphic below depicts the number of students and money spent on education.

The World Economic Forum estimates that 81% of U.S. engineering graduates are immediately "employable," while only 25% of Indian graduates and 10% of Chinese graduates are equally well prepared for jobs.

Even if that World Economic Forum is right in its judgement, that still makes 8.3 million Chinese and 16.2 million Indian graduates ready to start a job and perform in a satisfactory manner.

That is a total of 24.5 million employable college graduates compared to about 23 million employable US college graduates. This does not include eligible graduates from other countries.

This info is going to be very interesting for HR Executives and business leaders looking to grow their business.
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