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Applying SAP co-innovation practice to the SuccessFactors portfolio

In a previous blog, we outlined the importance of co-innovation in designing next generation talent management solutions. Co-innovation@SAP isn’t just white paper theory, we actually put it into practice. When you need to rethink and deliver something new to the market, making the customer part of the product management team is definitely the best strategy.

With the acquisition of Success Factors by SAP, the game has changed.  Now we are able to refocus on applying co-innovation to a robust portfolio of SuccessFactor products .

We are currently managing three co-innovation projects with SuccessFactors:  Talent Management, Employee Central (core HCM) and Integration to SAP HCM.

In addition, we are applying the intellectual property from SAP Career OnDemand into the talent management portfolio of SuccessFactors. The concepts that we co developed with customers in more than 250 hours of co-innovation sessions are now leveraged by the product management teams from both SAP and SuccessFactors.

When thinking about which customers we should reach out to, we have added a new angle to the traditional segregation by industry and region namely by type of customer.   This yields the following groups:

  • Former co-innovation customers for the people-centric approach to Talent Management.  We are coming back to these customers to discuss how to incorporate SAP Career OnDemand concepts into Success Factors applications.
  • SAP customers that are not Success Factors customers: Here we are co-innovating with customers to understand their main pain points and how our cloud solutions map to these points. Here, a key point is the integration between SAP and Success Factors.
  • SuccessFactors customers that are also SAP customers: We are co-innovating with respect to Talent Management issues as well as integration to the SAP Business Suite.
  • Success Factors customers that are not SAP customers:  Here we are co-innovating on topics related to Talent Management and Employee Central.

Last but not least, a mature portfolio requires a deep understanding of end-users. We are bringing under the umbrella of co-innovation our user researchers.  They are conducting interviews and feedback sessions with employees, managers and other business stakeholders to serve as an extension of the product management team. We recognize that a customer may be overwhelmed by too many requests so respecting a customer’s time is key to successful engagements.

SAP co-innovation is an excellent opportunity for customers to partner with product stakeholders.  SAP co-innovation will make sure that the customer voice is heard. If you are a customer interested in engaging with SAP, please contact me, or one of my colleagtues, in the co-innovation team.

Let us know what you think. Regards Eduardo (@esdediego) and Sven (@SDenecken)

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  • Hi Sven,

    Thanks for sharing the news about the initiative. For SAP partners, who is the best person to contact to be part of it?



      • Hi Kai,

        Thanks for getting back.

        I work for one of SAP global (Services, Technology, Software) partners. Customer/Partner engagement initiatives are quite effective in getting first hand knowledge about the products, roadmaps, implications, etc. So I wanted to ask about the possibility of being part of the initiative Sven talked about.

        FYI, I have previously worked with the Architecture and Innovation team at SAP AG on the NGSA initiative. Currently, I am part of our cloud enablement team and looking to understand nuts and bolts of cloud offerings from SAP, especially the acquired ones. This is to be able to position the right products as part of strategy and architecture discussions with our customers.

        Hope that gives the background behind my request. Please let me if you need further information from my side.



        • Hi Shehryar,

          thanks for providing the additional background, this is helpful. A co-worker of mine will reach out to you to discuss this in greater detail upon his return from vacation.

          Thanks and best regards


          • Hi Eduardo,

            Thanks for the follow up. I work for IBM UK and have been informed by our SFSF Alliances Manager that we are already signed up to the Co-Innovation program and have a communication channel with HCM product management. So it probably makes sense to continue to use the same channel. But happy to discuss. Email is first name DOT last name AT UK DOT IBM DOT COM