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HR2013 Recap

It’s Monday night, March 4th and just like month of February, HR2013 is a not-so-distant memory. I’m hoping that many of you have read my blog entries, and followed my tweets from @SAP_HR_Guy for the week, last week. I’m not intending to re-hash any of those posts, but I thought I’d go into a few topics from last week’s event.

Kudos to WISPUBS

First of all, as many people including myself have said, thanks to the Wellesley Information Services team, and especially Amy Thistle. When I think about everything that goes into putting this conference together, I’m amazed that it goes off so well. As you may know, I’ve presented for them, they’ve interviewed me, and I’ve written for them. They really are a great group to work with, and I always look forward to my interactions with them. As I watched the “blue shirts” pack up on Friday afternoon, I thought about all the things that they must do in such a short time, how the sessions always go off on time, how they always have sessions of interest, and how many extra events happen in the week…wow, it’s really quite amazing. Great job all.

“On Premise” or “On Premises”

If you were at the conference, you certainly heard a lot about SuccessFactors and the debate between Cloud and On Premise solutions. But first a question, one that I tweeted last week, but no one seemed to notice. At the risk of being the little boy that said the Emperor was wearing no clothes, I know that SAP has spent a lot of time talking about On Premise, but I think that “On Premise” is the incorrect term, and that the term really should be “On Premises”? I’ll pull from Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary:


a: a proposition antecedently supposed or proved as a basis of argument or inference; specifically: either of the first two propositions of a syllogism from which the conclusion is drawn

b: something assumed or taken for granted

as opposed to


a: a tract of land with the buildings thereon

b: a building or part of a building usually with its appurtenances (as grounds)

I realize it’s a minor point, and doesn’t change the intent, it’s obvious what SAP means, but it seems like it’s worthwhile to be grammatically correct. I’ll stick with the SAP term of “on premise” for now, but I’m hoping they’ll consider changing the term (or maybe someone will point out my mistake).

Floating in a Cloud or Feet Firmly on the Ground?

I heard the debate about the cloud and I have mixed emotions on the topic. The “on premise” solution has been excellent for us for the past 9 years. It’s stable, secure, and while it’s vanilla, we are very happy with it. One thing that I know from working with HR and Payroll data for so long is that the phase Primum non nocere applies-first, do no harm. There’s also one of my company’s primary tenets, “Control Our Own Destiny”. We also have full integration already established between our SAP HCM and Finance systems. All this leads me to an “on premise” solution. But of course, there is the opposite argument, that without risk, there is no reward. I do appreciate the advantages that the cloud solution will ultimately bring-more and faster improvements, lower infrastructure costs and the outsourcing of some maintenance. I think for now, the answer is to let my employer know that the cloud is here, in the form of SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP Cloud Payroll. But my guess is that we’ll be waiting for now.

I’m Back in the Office-So Now What?

So tomorrow I head back to the office, and if I’m not careful, I’ll lose track of everything I learned, and everyone I met. So how can I avoid that? Well, first of all, I’ll add all those emails to my contact list. And if anyone really made an impact on me through the week, I might even invite them to join my LinkedIn group. Then I try to take a few minutes to review the sessions I sat in last week. Just a quick 5 minute look through the slides. If I get the time, I’ll try to implement a few quick pieces of configuration that I learned right away.

Next, I’ll take the time to talk to my boss, and the rest of the HR team about some of the things that I learned. This serves two purposes-making sure I remember what I learned, and making sure that my co-workers and manager understand the value of the experience. To those who don’t go to these educational events, there is the perception that it’s a one-week party. Make no mistake, it’s certainly a lot of fun, but I learn so much in that one week.

What Happens in…..Orlando?

I’ll just close with a reminder-it’s not too soon to register for HR2014, which is being held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, March 11-14, 2014 in Orlando, Florida. Find out more at I’ll be there, hope you will too!

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