Well, 2012 was a bumper year for SAP HCM. February saw the conclusion of SAP’s $3.4bn acquisition of SaaS HCM vendor SuccessFactors, which had already given 2012 an air of excitement when it was announced in early December 2011. HR Renewal was one of the most exciting on-premise announcements of recent years and the newest Enhancement Package, EhP6, was of high interest to the SAP HCM community.
As the year progressed SAP’s SuccessFactors integration strategy became hotly debated and controversially analyzed. Mobility was an underlying area that many people in SAP HCM wanted to see SAP take some positive action on. As the year began to draw to a close, the first SAP HCM TweetChat was held and recorded a record number of tweets for a SAP TweetChat. You can read the full transcript here.
As always, there were a number of quality blogs and SAP became a leading publisher of SAP HCM content on SCN – something that engaged the community like never before. Jarret Pazahanick doubled his yearly Top 10 SAP HCM blogs to a Top 20 SAP HCM and SuccessFactors Articles of 2012. A month earlier I had published a blog on the Top 10 SAP HCM folks to follow on Twitter and SCN, an update to Jarret’s blog 18 months earlier.
I had started off 2012 with my My 2012 SCN SAP HCM Wish list and boy I was lucky because I had every single one of my wishes come true in 2012. The number of contributors to Visualization Solutions by Nakisa (VSN) blogs made a sharp upward curve in 2012, which can see along with all of the Nakisa-related news of 2012 in my recently published blog Nakisa 2012 Wrap-up.
SuccessFactors and the completion of the acquisition by SAP
In early February SAP completed the acquisition of SuccessFactors. Many analysts had already spoken out in the previous year, but Jarret pulled together a stunning Q&A piece for Cloud Avenue and followed it up by engaging with a number of experts to discuss The Future of SAP HCM Consulting and SuccessFactors – 2012.
At HR2012 Las Vegas, held in February and March, David Ludlow formally announced SAP’s strategy for SuccessFactors. Jarret was again at hand with his brief SAP and SuccessFactors Roadmap Analysis. He also published a blog consolidating a number of sources to help customers stay informed. SAP’s strategy is focused on the Hybrid model and SAP’s Jean-Bernard Rolland published a blog to clarify What is a cloud and on-premise hybrid solution by SAP?.
In June SAP announced that they would be offering a hosted payroll solution for SuccessFactors Employee Central – SAP Cloud Payroll – and Jarret blogged about the New SAP and SuccessFactors Cloud Payroll Offering.
SuccessFactors has had a lot of focus this year and Howard Marshall was one person who certainly thought that everyone was all aboard the successfactors “gravy” train. Since SAP announced that SuccessFactors is the go-forward solution for Talent Management, it has been difficult for any consultancy offering Talent Management services to ignore SuccessFactors. SherryAnne Meyer of ASUG gave us her views on the whole SuccessFactors deal in Out with the Old, In with the New?.
SAP rebranded SuccessFactors Jam to SAP Jam and also announced that SAP StreamWork would no longer be the focus of innovations for social collaboration software. Prashanth Padmanabhan showed some real-world examples of how SAP uses SAP Jam in his blog on how the Recommendations Feature in SAP Jam Makes Us Productive.
SAP HCM and SuccessFactors Integration
Integration has been a white hot topic this year. I started out with a blog on SAP and SuccessFactors Talent Hybrid Packaged Integrations: an overview. I have updated this with the links to my blogs on the Integration Add-on 1.0 for SAP HCM and SuccessFactors and also SP1 and SP2. For the release of SP2, I got together with Paul Hopkins of SAP Solution Management and wrote Integration Q&A: Managing employee compensation using SAP HCM and SuccessFactors. Later in the year SAP made the The specified item was not found., their first integration package for Employee Central.
Prashanth Padmanabhan was a serial blogger in 2012 on various topics and outlined SAP and SuccessFactors User Experience Integration in August. In September he clarified the licensing issue around customers with SAP NetWeaver PI when he blogged about Integration Technology Options and Licensing Info For Customers Using SAP HCM and SuccessFactors.
Jarret again couldn’t resist giving us his viewpoint about the confusing number of integration options and gave us the The Real Truth about SAP and SuccessFactors Integration. But Jarret wasn’t done there and had a bone to pick with SAP about the message they were giving to customers about integration. Jarret thought that the suggestions of proven integration were hype.
SAP have signaled consistently during 2012 that they will remain committed to on-premise HCM, especially in Core HR. Robert Moeller, Solution Owner for Core HR and Payroll at SAP went on the record to show SAP’s commitment to on-premise in his blog Shop Talk – Long live SAP HCM Core On-premise!. Although EhP6 was already in the works, SAP further committed to core SAP HCM with the release of HR Renewal. Both of this are covered below.
SAP released Enhancement Package 6 (EhP6) for ECC6 in mid-2012. Andrey Kulikov of SAP put together a great slide-deck on EhP6 and HR Renewal that features a lot of screenshots. The Insights Podcast team recorded a podcast on SAP HCM Enhancement Package 6 and HR Renewal, I blogged on What’s new in EhP6 for SAP HCM Talent Management and Christopher Solomon – a prolific blogger in 2012 – also blogged on the new HCM Processes & Forms: EpH 6 and beyond…..rise of the NEW hcm p&F?. Frans Smolders, Solution Owner for analytics at SAP published a number of blogs in 2012 and informed us of What happened to HR Reporting and Analytics in EHP6 and HR Renewal 1.0? .
EhP6 featured a number of nice enhancements to SAP, but the biggest advantage of moving to EhP6 is being able to use the new HR Renewal release from SAP.
Probably the biggest on-premise news for a number of years, the New SAP HCM Functionality – HR Renewal 1.0 provided an overhaul of some of the aged SAP screens, as well as introducing a new HR Landing Page and embedding a version of Nakisa OrgChart. On top HR Renewal, SAP will released two Feature Packs for HR Renewal to add additional functionality – details can be found in another blog by Jarret on SAP New HR Renewal Functionality and Roadmap. A whole set of new MSS analytics and dashboards were also introduced as part of HR Renewal, as set out in Frans’ blog above.
The Insights Podcast team was also lucky enough to have Robert as a guest in their podcast on HR Renewal.
Another major piece of functionality released by SAP – although not restricted to HCM – was SAP Personas. SAP Personas, in contrast to HR Renewal, allows the classic SAP gui screens to be enhanced to a superior UI. Peter Spielvogel gave us the details in Driving business user satisfaction with new SAP personalization options that improve usability.
Analytics and Reporting
In addition to the MSS reporting introduced in EhP6 and HR Renewal, SAP also released the BusinessObjects bolt-on SAP Executive HR Reporting RDS. This provided a whole host of analytics for HCM in a number of well-designed dashboards. I spent way too long on putting together a 4-part series on Analytics for Talent Management.
Mobility has been an underlying hot topic for SAP in general, as well as for HCM. SAP’s licensing model has been both confusing and overpriced and Jarret has been working away at SAP to try and build some change that will benefit customers. He blogged about SAP HCM Mobility and Roadmap earlier in the year and Sharon Rudock, COO Mobility at SAP had a very good stab at The specified item was not found..
As always, the SAP HCM calendar was packed with events. This year saw one new addition in the SuccessConnect event, SuccessFactors’ own conference.
HR2012 in Las Vegas was the first conference of the year and the first since SAP completed the SuccessFactors acquisition. Jarret gave his Top Five Reasons to go to the SAP HR2012 Conference and many of these reasons are still valid for the HR2013 conferences – definitely something I would recommend that customers and consultants attend. As mentioned above, David Ludlow used his keynote speech with Jason Averbook to provide SAP’s strategy and roadmap for SuccessFactors. Immediately after the keynote, the Insights Podcast team recorded a podcast with David. After the event I blogged on the 5 things I learnt about SuccessFactors and Talent Management at HR2012. It is interesting to see how this information compares nearly 10 months’ later.
The next conference on the circuit was SAPPHIRE, held in Orlando in May. This was SAP’s first opportunity to clarify the detail behind their strategy and announce the details around integration. Lars Dalgaard used his keynote speech to announce SAP’s overall Cloud strategy. Ahead of the conference Jarret outlined the SAP and SuccessFactors – Five Key topics I Want to Hear About at SAPPHIRE and afterwards I reported back on with my post-mortem and personal highlights with A new SAP Mentor’s HCM & Talent Management take on SAPPHIRE.
In June SuccessFactors held their SuccessConnect conference in Syndey, San Francisco, and London. SAP Mentor Chris Paine published his summary of SuccessConnect 2012 Sydney – a personal viewpoint and Jarret followed suit with his SAP and SuccessFactors – Mobility, Innovation, Payroll and Charity.
Next up was the more exclusive SAP Analyst Briefing, held in September in Palo Alto. Both SAP Mentor and analyst Vijay Vijayasankar and Jarret were critical of SAP’s unclear Cloud strategy, among other things, in their blogs SAP Needs A Better Cloud And Platform Story, And A Good Story Teller and SAP Briefing – Cloud, Mobility and HCM respectively.
Chris Paine was again in the action when he attended the #sapapjsummit – or SAP Asia Pacific & Japan Analyst & Influencer Summit 2012.
Finally, SAP TechEd kicked off in Las Vegas in October and followed suit in Madrid, Bangalore and Shanghai. SAP TechEd Live featured a host of live interviews, all of which can be found on the SAP TechEd Live 2012 Madrid Interviews page.
This was a brief blog summarizing the year for SAP HCM. And boy was it a year for all of those working in SAP HCM. 2012 will be tough to follow, but I believe it will be an equally interesting year – although probably not as eventful. A full year has passed since SAP announced that they were purchasing SuccessFactors and despite heavy investment, some questions still remain over their integration strategy and delivery.
Although I have mainly used SCN sources, there are a number of great blogs and videos out there. The likes of Jon Reed, Dennis Howlett, and Thomas Wailgum provide numerous excellent blogs, podcasts, videos, and Google Hangouts throughout the year and at all the major conferences covering most major and minor SAP HCM topics. I also recommend following some of the individuals in my blog posted at the beginning of this blog to keep up-to-date with the happenings in SAP HCM.