Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Extending SuccessFactors With MDF and HANA Cloud Paltform

A 3 minute video on extending SuccessFactors and building new apps that use Data from Employee Central. MDF stands for Meta Data Framework. MDF is used to make extensions to existing SuccessFactors apps.

HANA Cloud Platform is for building new apps. You can get an introduction to these concepts in an upcoming webinar.  by +Luke Marson +Chris Paine and +Yariv Zur

SAP SuccessFactors Single Sign On Supports SAML 2.0 Standard

Users of SAP and SuccessFactors can access both applications from a single portal. This single-sign-on supports a standard called SAML 2.0 Here is a nice video about SAML, which stands for Security Assertion Markup Language

There is a cook book available for SAP and SuccessFactors customers in SAP Service Market Place and the SuccessFactors Cloud Integration partner Jam group. Contact Bryan dot hart at SAP dot com if you are a partner and need access to the Jam group.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Customer Who Loves SuccessFactors Learning and SAP Jam

Almost all customers who buy SuccessFactors Learning also buy SAP Jam with it for informal learning. Here is a customer talking about it. I have personally met many customers who use these products together and derive significant value from it. You will notice that the speaker is responsible for change and training.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

SAP Jam As A Change Management Tool

Kellie , on the left, talked about the role of SAP Jam in change management
I always tell customers who consider SuccessFactors Learning that they should consider adding SAP Jam to the mix to serve the informal learning needs of their employees.

In the SuccessFactors seminar. where I spoke recently, I learned something new. Kellie Fitzpatrick, the CEO of Symphony consulting talked about the role SAP Jam is playing in enabling change in an organization implementing SuccessFactors products.  She talked about the experience of a project manager at a current customer who uses collaboration tools to talk about the project status, engage project team members and train future users. She said that the video creation features of Jam, the groups feature, the document collaboration features and the mobile access of Jam make it an excellent tool for change management.

Kellie's observation, based on real world experience is a very valid one. In fact it might help to implement SAP Jam first and use that as a collaboration, learning and change management tool while implementing other modules of SuccessFactors.

How Social Media Helped A Career Change

Recently at the SuccessFactors seminars in Las Vegas and Orlando, my fellow speaker, Venki Krishnamoorthy and I were discussing his days in the city of Doha, Qatar. Venki spent a couple of years in the Persian Gulf area and was talking about the culture and work environment there.

Venki at the SuccessFactors Seminar
He told me that, while away from his home base of US, where most of the SuccessFactors related events were happening, his main source of reliable information was social media channels such as SCN, LinkedIn Groups, personal blogs of SAP HCM Mentors and twitter commentary from SuccessFactors and SAP events by people he knew and trusted. He told me that while he took the standard press releases from SAP and SuccessFactors with a grain of salt, he trusted the experiences shared, opinions voiced and practical insights highlighted by his peers who were active in the social media channels.

He added that such reliable insight via social media channels nudged him to explore the opportunities provided by SuccessFactors seriously and eventually move back to the US, get trained in SuccessFactors and join Deloitte Consulting. He did this despite the numerous opportunities he has in the Persian Gulf area. Today, he is a well respected SuccessFactors expert with some implementations already under his belt.

I believe that every one who takes the time to share their knowledge, experience and insight on the SAP SuccessFactors topic, including Luke Marson, Jarret Pazahanick, Jeremy Masters, Yannick PeterSchmitt, Kouros Behzad, Paru Shankar, Franz Smolders, Heike Kolar and Martin Gillet will be pleased to hear Venki's career change story. For many of these colleagues, social media sharing is not their day job. They do it because they want to make a difference, influence the future and give back to the community that helped shape their career.

Venki did not stop utilizing social media once he made his career move. He continues to use such channels to take day to day decisions, make recommendations to his customers and even convince his customers about a project direction.

Monday, November 11, 2013

SuccessFactors Employee Central Integration With SAP ERP and SAP Payroll

SuccessFactors Employee Central enables organizations to run employee administration in the cloud. Employee Central is integrated with SAP ERP and SAP ERP OnPremise Payroll via standard integrations. Although there is a lot of documentation available on this topic, I wanted to put together a simple, may be even oversimplified, picture to convey what is available today. I did this while I was preparing for the SuccessFactors Seminar series scheduled for November and December 2013.

I put together this scene, which is part of the Full Cloud HCM story, to convey the available integrations from SuccessFactors Employee Central to SAP ERP.

The next scene is about the integration of SuccessFactors Employee Central with on-premise SAP Payroll. This is a very valid scenario because there are over 7000 SAP Payroll customers.

I have over simplified the integration diagram on purpose. If you believe key information is missing and must be conveyed in this basic diagram, please let me know and I will add it. If this diagram is clear, please let me know that as well.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Employee Central Is Not A User Interface for SAP ERP HCM OnPremise

I had a lunch conversation with two program managers who are leading a project to move human capital management from on-premise to the cloud. Over the course of our conversation we sketched out their current landscape which involved SAP HCM on-premise, time management on-premise, travel management on-premise and talent management applications from multiple vendors in the cloud. They have more than 7 file based integrations today with about 10 systems.

On a piece of paper, we drew a simpler future state where all people management is done in the cloud and connected to on-premise ERP using Dell Boomi as the integration middle-ware. We spoke about the dos and the dont's. We also discussed the phases of the project and the steps they can take to significantly reduce their risk and save millions of dollars in project costs.

At this point one of the program managers asked me if he can use SuccessFactors Employee Central as the user interface for SAP HCM Core HR on-premise. I explained to him that Employee Central is a replacement for SAP ERP HCM, not a user interface. I also explained to him that such a thing is probably never going to happen for many reasons.

1. It would unnecessarily complicate the functionality in Employee Central.
2. Customers would end up paying for two different systems, implementations and upgrades.
3. It will also create a dependency that could become cumbersome, costly and diminish the benefits provided by cloud software.

He was convinced and told me that he did not want to go down that path.

The conversation was very productive and, I believe, set the stage for a successful move of their people management software from  on-premise to the cloud. If you are a current on-premise  human capital management software customer planning to move your software to the cloud, insist that your SuccessFactors sales executive arrange a session like the one I described above. It will bring clarity, save you a lot of money and significantly reduce the risk and duration of your projects.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Four New iFlows In the November Release

I had a chance to get an update from my integration product management colleague Jean Handel-Bailey on the what she and her team are releasing in November 2013. Jean handles the integration between SuccessFactors Employee Central and third party cloud applications. Jean was very excited about four new integrations planned for release this month.

These iFlows move data from Kronos, Workforce Software, Benefitfocus and Aon Hewitt back to Employee Central Payroll. Keep an eye open for more on these integrations in the coming weeks.

In the diagram above, the black lines connecting Employee Central to Workforce Software, Kronos, Aon Hewitt and Benefitfocus are all available. The blue ones moving data from Workforce Software, Kronos, Aon Hewitt and Benefitfocus are planned for release in November 2013 - this month.

The New And Modern SuccessFactors Compensation User Interface

Recently my friend and colleague Anup Yanamandra, who heads the compensation product management team told me about the exciting stuff he and his team is working on for the November 2013 release of SuccessFactors. He and his team have followed the principle of "Faces and Names On Every Screen" and have made the compensation screens more friendly, human, easy to use and more insightful.

He said that the team focused on making the job of the compensation analyst a lot less stressful by surfacing information in a graphical view rather than just a tabular view. I have shared a sample screen below. Expect to see more when the product is released later this month.

I will be talking about the direction of the compensation team and their plans for the next few months at the SuccessFactors Seminars this month.

I believe that this innovation is compelling enough to nudge even more customers to move Compensation to the cloud.

Fiori Could Be A Unified User Interface For Select SAP and SuccessFactors Functionality

Earlier this year at HR Insider Las Vegas and HR Insider Amsterdam I showed a demo of SAP Fiori apps for SAP HCM. Since then over 200 customers have enthusiastically adopted Fiori apps. One of the main reasons is that Fiori apps provide a simple, device agnostic interface to SAP applications.

At TechEd Las Vegas Vishal Sikka outlined his vision of Fiori serving not just the Business Suite users, but also users of cloud applications.

Vishal outlined his vision for Fiori for Business Suite and Cloud apps at TechEd

Today I had an informal chat with some colleagues about what might be a first step towards a collection of Fiori apps that might derive functionality from both SAP OnPremise and SuccessFactors cloud applications. These are some notes from our coffee conversation.

There are a few Fiori apps available for SAP Core HR OnPremise. It makes logical sense to build more apps that empower users by providing them with device agnostic access to more OnPremise core HR functionality.

Fiori apps could highlight many of the high value functionality that is not yet exposed in the current SuccessFactors mobile apps. Fiori apps could liberate the SuccessFactors mobile team from building native apps for multiple platforms and devices. Fiori apps team can augment the strength of the talented SuccessFactors engineering team with even more engineering fire power and make the products even more successful.

Fiori apps can co-exist with current SAP and SuccessFactors User Intefaces
There are some practical considerations. The SuccessFactors web user interface has hundreds of screens that tens of millions of employees, managers, compensations analysts, recruiters and administrators use. SuccessFactors also has existing native mobile applications for smartphones and tablets. Everything cannot be in Fiori on day one. It will have to be done in multiple steps with select functionality that customers want device agnostic access to.

Another consideration is price. Since Fiori apps have a price tag associated with them, there should be a way for users to access all SAP and SuccessFactors functionality even without Fiori.

I see interesting possibilities where A Fiori product team can augment the SuccessFactors team by building micro people and talent management apps that bring out the beauty of SuccessFactors and provide such functionality to users along with their other business apps. Interesting stuff.

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