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A large contingent of the SAP world is preparing for a trip to Las Vegas next week for TechEd, but HCM was first to paint the town SAP blue at SuccessConnect last week, the SuccessFactors user conference.
A major theme of SuccessConnect appeared to be SAP’s hands-off approach to SuccessFactors. Jessica Dues of AltaFlux put it this way in her event recap: “Even though SAP acquired SuccessFactors, they still have allowed them to keep their individuality and look after them more or less like a big brother, embracing and allowing extreme growth segments within the organization.”
Josh Bersin of Deloitte agreed with Dues’ sentiment, writing: “With 25 million users and the ‘feel of a startup’ still in place, SuccessFactors is innovating as if it was a standalone company.”
SuccessConnect also inspired HCM consultant Jarret Pazhanick to end a four-month blogging sabbatical with an excellent rundown of SuccessFactors’ Employee Central product. Pazahanick contrasted Employee Central with many other current Human Resources offerings, including SAP HCM. His key takeaway: “It was made very clear that SuccessFactors does not plan to duplicate every feature function that has been built into SAP HCM over the past 20-25 years which in my opinion is the right strategy.”
Constellation Research’s Ray Wang attended SuccessConnect, as well as the HR Tech Conference that took place earlier in the week. He observed that HR has made its way into the boardroom, saying companies are starting to see the “strategic value” in HCM.
That complements a recent Fortune 500 study that showed the financial benefits of have having a chief human resources officer.
Pepsi was prominently featured at SuccessConnect as an example of how an SAP HCM customer can go hybrid with Employee Central. Jim Lundy of Aragon Research cautioned that it might not be so simple for other companies, noting that Pepsi uses SAP HCM applications with no customizations and saying: “Most enterprises customize, and that is one of the reasons that it will take them time to go to the cloud.”
Finally, what would an event be in this day and age without Twitter? Here are some of the best Tweets on the #sconnect hashtag:
I've noticed recently that the "expertise by assocation" model for #SuccessFactors has become popular. Genuine experience is a better model.— Luke Marson (@lukemarson) October 10, 2013