I visited an SAP SuccessFactors Hybrid customer yesterday in Alberta, Canada to discuss how the solution can help them run their business better and share the SAP SuccessFactors integration strategy and road map with them. SAP SuccessFactors Hybrid customers are those who run SAP for Core HR and SuccessFactors for talent management and collaboration. The customer I visited is in the Oil and Gas Industry. I met with the CIO and the HR Leadership team to understand their company culture and policy. Their colleagues from Houston, Texas joined via video conference.
I shared the integration strategy and road map in the first 30 minutes and they were pleased with the investment and direction. The SuccessFactors business solution architect then shared his recommendations.
Facebook may be a waste of time. But collaboration is not
I learned that they block Facebook at their company because they believe that it is a drain on productivity. Adam, the SuccessFactors account executive countered that policy very effectively by suggesting that they could harvest the desire of their employees to collaborate and put that to benefit the employees and the business. In other words, he suggested that they use the natural tendency of their employees to collaborate to improve productivity. Their people-development, recruiting and IT teams were open to the idea and asked us how they can go about it. My solution consulting colleague who had joined SuccessFactors about four months ago talked about her learning experience. She said that she learned about SuccessFactors products mostly from videos posted by her peers in the internal solution engineering training Jam group.
The CIO then chimed in and asked if he can use Jam for onboarding new people into the company. He was very excited to know that SAP Jam can solve that problem for him, by automatically adding people to relevant groups in Jam and connecting them with the right people and the right content when they need it the most. I also shared the story of how Account Executives find me in the SAP HCM Exchange Jam group first even before they know who I am.
Collaboration is key to an efficient Human Resources team
The Human Resources leadership team then joined the conversation and said that, because of the energy boom in Alberta, it is very hard to find human resources talent. Their desire is to take a lean HR approach where their HR business partners serve customers face to face and use technology to automate HR processes.
I shared the example of SAP IT using a collaboration tool to improve their productivity, save money and spend time on more value adding activities. Naturally the HR leadership team was excited about the possibilities when they realized that a significant portion of learning and onboarding can be turned into peer-to-peer activities. SAP Jam and the value it could bring to the HR and IT teams not only made the conversation engaging but also highlighted the thought leadership and innovative thinking that SAP and SuccessFactors teams bring to the table.
I was pleased that an organization that blocks Facebook, not only saw the value in SAP Jam but also was quite enthusiastic about adopting it. It occurred to me that collaboration is not a novelty anymore. It has becomes a utility like electricity and water for a household. An organization without collaboration tools is like a house without electricity or running water. It looks like 2013 could be the year when this transition from novelty to utility might happen. They day when all 15 million SuccessFactors users become SAP Jam users is closer than you think.
If you are an SAP SuccessFactors account executive or a solutions consultant, please share these stories with your customers. I find that stories are the best way to convey the value that SAP Jam brings to our customers. Since most of your audience will be HR or IT professionals, these stories will resonate with them. Another way is to point them to these blog posts via email.