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Are SAP's Cloud applications right for your business? (Part 3)

SuccessFactors – the SAP HR solution for non-SAP customers

In this three part series, Soltius Cloud Line Manager Shay Lambert takes a look at SAP’s Software as a Service (SaaS) portfolio and discuss where the product set fits, for both current SAP customers and non-customers evaluating cloud options.

While SAP’s strategy has always been to be design its cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to be completely vendor agnostic and run just as well as best of breed solutions, in many cases the real value comes from the native SAP-to-SAP integration. Applications such as Cloud for Customer mean enterprises can plug gaps, extending and enhancing their SAP landscape quickly with SAP-developed cloud solutions that integrate seamlessly with the core systems.

SuccessFactors, however, is a slightly different proposition. The genuine market leader in talent management and cloud HR, SuccessFactors was acquired by SAP in 2012. But rather than fold it into their existing HCM portfolio, SAP has kept SuccessFactors largely independent to protect its position as the world’s leading best-of-breed talent management suite. Out-of-the-box integration certainly adds to the value for SAP customers, but the suite is so clearly ahead of the pack, as an enabler for aligning talent with business strategy, that it is favoured by HR departments globally, regardless of the ERP the enterprise runs.

The beauty of SuccessFactors, other than its user-friendly consumer-grade look and feel, is in its scope with functionally rich modules for everything from performance and goals management, to on-boarding and remuneration, to an enterprise Learning Management System.

Each module can be purchased separately based on the organisation’s priorities, and since all of the modules work off a common platform, they instantly integrate. As far as the end user is concerned, a new module added to the organisation’s SuccessFactors instance looks like it has always been there, seamlessly sharing information from one piece of functionality to the next to provide a comprehensive, multi-layered view of the employee.

As for what sort of organisations can benefit from this alignment of company vision and goals with an individual’s performance and career development path, the answer is pretty much any organisation with a vision and company objectives. Globally, SuccessFactors is providing a platform for talent management to everyone from Coca Cola to Cirque Du Soleil. In New Zealand, the suite is being used by a number of the largest Government departments and public sector organisations, down to mid-size organisations in a range of industries. In some cases they have started with the full suite, and in other instances they have started with just one module to address the biggest issue facing their HR department, such as an inefficient or inconsistent performance management process. In such cases, many then go on to roll out more functionality over time.

To discuss any of this in more detail or if you have any questions, please email Shay Lambert at or call him on 0275007660.

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