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Olympics July 30 2012 025.JPG 
Well, as if you hadn’t guessed already ‘Olympics-mania’ has well and truly taken over in the United Kingdom after what was a terrific, slightly quirky in places, Opening Ceremony. It was entertaining and interesting, but I am sure that the presence of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (actor Kenneth Brannagh), arguably Britain’s greatest engineer, the smoking chimney stacks and the salute to the National Health Service was a little bit of a mystery to those not quite so conversant with British history. But excellent overall and I know that The Queen and James Bond, Mr. Bean and the music pieces were universally appreciated.

As for me, I had a great trip with my family to the Horse Eventing at Greenwich Park, on a beautiful sunny day, by means of a wonderful boat ride from the London Eye Pier to Greenwich (see picture above of Tower Bridge). Whilst I still think the backdrop of Horse Guards Parade for the Beach Volleyball is the most iconic one, the views of London from Greenwich Park were absolutely stunning. The organization of security, which we were all concerned about here, was superb – We only queued for 5 minutes outside and we breezed through security, which was managed, with a friendly but firm demeanour, by sailors and officers from The Royal Navy and Royal Marines – which is very fitting as Greenwich is the home of the Royal Navy College. It was a great day and congratulations to our German friends for a well deserved win – Team GB took it to the wire but Germany managed to slam the door firmly shut with great horsemanship. 

But lets get ‘down to business’. This has been an eventful week in relation to SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions. There is an enormous appetite at the moment about SAP HCM solutions – both SAP ‘on-premise’ and SuccessFactors ‘in the cloud’. Gavdi have been inundated with requests for more information on both and, as a SuccessFactors partner, we provide guidance and advice on both solutions and delivery models. For me, both solutions provide individual benefits in terms of what they offer – but it really does depend on the particular circumstances an organization finds itself in as to what solution fits best. There are questions that must be asked before any determination can be made:

  • What HCM software is the organization currently using?
  • If it’s SAP HR, what version are they using?
  • If they have made an investment in SAP HCM, what modules have been implemented so far and what modules are planned for the future?
  • If the ‘core’ elements of SAP HR are implemented, what is the attitude toward ‘cloud-based’Talent Management processes and how will this impact SAP licences held but not yet deployed?
  • Are there any legal/regulatory restrictions on the use of ‘cloud-based’ solutions?   

And so on and so forth….there are many more questions that organizations are asking both us and themselves in order to map out a clear roadmap for their HCM solution now and over the next 5 years. However, from having attended many sessions with SAP (including SuccessFactors) over the past few months, we know that:

  • SAP are supporting and enhancing the ‘on premise’ HCM modules until at least 2020 – more than enough time to fully utilize SAP ERP HCM ECC6.0 and its component parts.
  • Whilst there is a lot of interest in SuccessFactors’ cloud-based solutions, many organizations are not currently considering, or able to consider, these fabulous solutions at the moment.
  • For those customers who still want full integration amongst all HCM components, SAP ‘on-premise’ still provides proven integration between modules – though we know SAP are putting a lot of time, energy and money in to providing the same full integration between ‘core’ HCM and SuccessFactors’ talent management suite.What some call the ‘hybrid’ model – which is creating a lot of interest from SAP HCM customers.
  • SAP and its partners have recognized that whilst demand for ‘on-premise’ solutions remains high, we have also had to come up with more cost effective deployment methods to reduce time and costs of implementation – with SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions, we have a proven template to achieve both these objectives.
  • Over time, organizations that can move to the cloud probably will – however, in the interim, HR processes still need to managed more effectively in a streamlined and integrated way – using one set of data that is maintained in one system or record, not many.

I believe the key to all this is that we, as SAP HCM experts, are consistent in our messages to clients. Contrary to some opinions and rhetoric emanating from ‘unoffical’ sources at HR2012 in Las Vegas, Sapphire and various social networking forums, SAP ERP HCM ‘on-premise’ solutions are very much alive and kicking, some might say thriving. Of course, we all welcome the acquisition of a ‘best of breed’ solution (I use that particular overused term very rarely!)like SuccessFactors – it now gives us the option of a cost effective, multi-tenanted, cloud-based HCM solution within the SAP family. But, through consistency in our messages and approach to existing and prospective clients, we’ll ensure that they get the right solution for them according to what they need and how we guide them.

Well, I am going to go back now to watching the Olympics round up on the BBC……yes, Olympics-mania has overtaken the Hodges household – my wife and boys now have me going online every night to bag some more tickets – which is not easy I can assure you. However, my wife is competing in a 3 day horse event this weekend and taking the boys away with her. I, on the other hand, will be actively surfing the London2012 website to bag some tickets for the Beach Volleyball on Saturday, which are the hottest tickets in town! We’ll see and, all things being equal, I’ll inform you of progress next week.

Please feel free to comment on my thoughts around ‘on-premise’ and ‘cloud-based’ SAP HCM solutions via this blog – I am always interested to get feedback and opinions.

Thanks for reading – I hope you’re enjoying the London Games as much as we are here. 

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4 Comments

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  1. Mark Chalfen

    HI Andrew – In terms of RDS’s they can be consumed on premise or via the cloud.

    SAP has a few large cloud providers that can host RDS solutions.

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    1. Andrew Hodges Post author

      Mark,

      Hi, thanks for the comment.

      I’d be really interested to hear more about large cloud providers providing hosted ‘traditional’ SAP HCM solutions. From my own experience I have not yet found a vendor who provide a cost effective, multi-tenanted, cloud-based solution that can compete with pure cloud solutions like SucessFactors. I tried to do this a few times in the past (a hosted E-Recruiting system based on an existing E-Rec template) and just could not get the price point down to the same level as cloud-based vendors – even at ‘break even’ rates.

      Also, do you have any views on the SAP strategy that, for the cloud, SFSF is the ‘Go To’ solution?

      Thanks again for taking time to comment – look forward to hearing back from you.

      Kind regards,.

      Andy.

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      1. Mark Chalfen

        Andrew – I dont work for SAP so I dont have all of the answers – but in terms of cloud based vendors for RDS they have the likes of Amazon and HP.

        I dont know anymore details than that.

        There is a RDS section to SCN now – so perhaps you could post a question there.

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