HR in the Cloud: Upping the Talent Management Ante

Sapphire, the SAP annual event for its customers and partners, provided the debut of SuccessFactors as a SAP company. In a newly created division called Cloud Computing, Lars Dalgaard, founder and CEO of SuccessFactors, is now the king of the cloud, overseeing a team of 5000 employees devoted to executing SAP’s cloud strategy. 

Update from Lars on the SuccessFactors’ end of the business: there are3500 customers with 15.6 million unique users, making it 15 times the size in user count of other cloud companies. It is used in 60 different industries in 168 countries (with 34 languages).

Those 15 million users have used the SuccessFactors suite to accomplish 29 million performance reviews, process 23 million job applicants, commit 61 million goals and complete 45 million learning items.

Developments announced?  There were plenty.

As SAP runs on SAP products, the SuccessFactors division now runs on the SAP cloud solution, Business ByDesign (BBD), replacing all its previously installed business applications. The deployment was an example of rapid implementation, going live into production in ten days. With the move to Sales OnDemand, 600,000 accounts were moved within that time frame. The result: Lars reports that he has clean data for the first time with Business ByDesign.

This implementation in itself should calm users concerned about the fate of SAP’s current cloud product Business ByDesign. In a session at Sapphire, Lars assured those customers that the product was not going to disappear under his regime.  Though he admitted he intended to kill the product when he walked in the Walldorf door, his realization that 350 customers were running their companies with the product nixed that idea.   BBD will continue to be supported by SAP.

Another Core HR in the Cloud Entry

The SuccessFactors talent management suite is now presented as an HRIS product, with plans to build on the Employee Central module as a core HR solution.  The first addition is the global financial application, Financials OnDemand, ported from the Business ByDesign suite.  The second addition, to be announced in July, add multinational support in an area required by many (details to follow!).  One might guess that other BBD modules such as Sales OnDemand might be added in the future.

As a likely future ERP solution, right now SuccessFactors is competing head-on with Workday, as both present integrated financials, HR and talent management. SuccessFactors also adds inherent learning management and could conceivable add sales support; Workday partners with Cornerstone for learning and Salesforce.com for CRM.

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