The Successfactors buyout is old news now. It has generated a lot of interest among customers, vendors and consultants alike. I believe most of the SI’s while submitting a response for an SAP HCM implementation are including Successfactors as an option.
Here I am trying to share what I think will be the top 4 challenges that will be faced by an SI while trying to propose Successfactors as a solution in an hybrid model. The points mentioned below are based purely on my personal experience and some inputs from other people in the industry.
- Cost (Licenses): There is an additional cost involved in implementing Successfactors. It is not included within the licensing cost of implementing ECC. So if a customer has already invested in SAP Talent Management on premise, they will have to pay extra to implement Successfactors. Moreover they are not sure whether a minor tweak in the licensing model will increase their cost in the future. Remember in a cloud based application the licenses are based on subscription.
- Lack of Integration: Yes SAP and Successfactors have started in earnest the process to integrate the two products but we know seamless integration will take a good few years. There is also the precedent set by SAP while trying to integrate other products like Business Objects and Sybase. Customers are smart and they draw their conclusions based on past experience. They look at lack of integration as an additional deterrent.
- Lack of Customisation: It’s a fact that there is no ability to customize the Successfactors solution for a specific business requirement. This just makes the customers a bit uneasy when they compare the flexibility they have with on premise SAP. In this context I think some customers may be hasty in drawing a conclusion without doing a product evaluation but they do consider it as a disadvantage as opposed to what the cloud champions may want them to believe.
- Readiness: Cloud is not a fad and is becoming a reality but I am not sure whether most organisations are ready and have a roadmap for hosting their systems and applications on cloud. They know they will get there in the future but maybe not just yet.
I would like to add the usual disclaimer that the above are just my personal views and not that of my employer’s. As always I will be happy to hear from you about your viewpoints and experiences or if you would like to extend this list.