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Author's profile photo Former Member

all aboard the successfactors “gravy” train

so sf has 76 “successconsulting partners”. 76. is it me or is that too many? what is more interesting is how many of those “partners” are really legacy sap consulting companies trying to jump on the “gravy train”. what is also interesting is that when you go to their websites and read their “experiences” they say they have sf experience. what a croc of bs. i feel sorry for the “real” partners from before sap acquired sf. they have the “real experience”. individuals are no better. lots of the same here. i have 15 years of tm experience. oh and by the way, i know and have heard of sf so yes i can do that too. how is jumping on this train any different from those “freshers” trying to break into sap hcm. nothing. absolutely nothing. what is also real interesting is that now those sap legacy are touting their “business process” skills becasue they aint got sf skills. i see the go go sap 90s repeating themselves. big 4 consulting firms throwing anyone that can spell successfactors onto projects. interesting times indeed. hopefully this gracy train lasts as long as the sap gravy train. i love gravy. especially gracy at the client’s expense. long live opportunist and charlatans. you know who you are?

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      Author's profile photo J. Pazahanick
      J. Pazahanick

      Good job highlighting an issue that customers should be very aware of. The bottom line is that many of the "new" SuccessFactors partners from the SAP HCM world do NOT have any or very limited SuccessFactors expertise and are hoping to "learn on the job".  I would highly recommend customers follow some of the steps I outlined in this article Seven Tips to ensure you hire the Right Consultant as although it was written from a SAP perspective it can easily apply to SuccessFactors.

      Author's profile photo Luke Marson
      Luke Marson

      Hi Howard,

      Short but sweet. This is a big issue, but for a new area what choice do customers have? The previous SF partners (non-SAP consultancies) have no SAP experience. SAP consultancies have experience of implementing big projects - and I do believe business process knowledge is a major skill needed. SuccessFactors product knowledge alone is not enough - just like SAP knowledge alone is not enough. In fact, I would say business process experience is among the most important skills - and with your experience I thought you might know that 🙂

      I don't agree it's the same as for freshers, because freshers have no skills. Experienced consultants only have to learn features and functionality of a product to learn how to map it to customer processes. How can someone integration SAP with SuccessFactors if they don't know how the SAP system works?

      I certainly agree that every Tom, Dick and Harry have jumped on the bandwagon, but can you blame them? SAP have made SuccessFactors their go-forward solution for Talent Management so those who work in Talent Management have no choice but to upskill. If they don't, they will just remain legacy consultants on a system that most customers incorrectly think won't be supported from 2020.

      SAP have made a big deal out of SuccessFactors and Cloud being the future, so you can blame consultancies for following suite?

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Stephen Burr
      Stephen Burr


      Let me be clear that I am not defending any business who sells (and charges for) experienced SFSF consultants, when they clearly aren't.

      However, the purchase of SFSF by SAP has resulted in an expectation that SAP HCM consultancies have a SFSF capability.  Service partners of SAP are becoming (and are encouraged to become) SFSF partners.  Now they are all left with the same challenge ... how to up-skill to support this change in the SAP HCM landscape.

      As I understand it, the go to market strategy has been some partner trainings and summits to enable different parts of the organisation (not just the consultants, but sales, etc.) to engage on SFSF opportunities and projects.  Also, the strategy is to train consultants and use experienced SFSF consultants to lead the first set of SFSF projects, with assistance from the newly trained SFSF resource.  Big question is how consultancies behave at this point .... do they have 1 SFSF skilled to 3/4/5/x newbies? Or vice versa? How open with the client will they be? Will they reduce rates for the newbies?

      I heard that their is likely to be a cull on partnership agreements where there is no activity ongoing, so perhaps we'll see a dip in partnerships in 6-12mths as the market steadies out. 

      I'm sure there will be some "opportunist and charlatans" along the way, but let's hope clients will be wary and take people, like Jarret Pazahanick 's advice!


      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      Hi Howard,

      Ditto the above points from Stephen, Luke and Jarret.

      But really what SuccessFactors needs is a huge amount of partners. In a previous blog SAP HCM -> SuccessFactors: The consulting model. What about the little guys? Can we play too? I make a point that just having larger consultancies as partners is damaging for the eco-system.

      When you watch my interview with Chris Turner EVP, SAP HANA Partner and Developer Ecosystems you will see that he is very keen to allow developers and partners access into the eco-system to learn how to do things. It is only by allowing others to learn the SuccessFactors solution (and how to enhance it - that's coming) that we will be able to serve the number of customers that SAP wants to have.

      That - and I don't want to be a number in a big company.