To the cloud and beyond with SAP and my ASUG family
I’m excited to see Seth Godin tomorrow when he speaks at the ASUG-SAPPHIRE keynote address. His book Poke the Box is a epithet for what I do each year at this annual conference: listen, examine, poke, prod, question, challenge and try to influence the shape of the technology I am now using or will be using in the next five to ten years.
Tomorrow, I will be speaking about my recent experiences inmaking an impact on the usability features of SAP HCM when I speak about Customer Validation of HCM Renewal 1.0,Feature Pack 3, which is now released by SAP for general availability.
This morning, I participated in the pre-conference,“SuccessFactors Employee Central, Cloud Payroll, and Integration to ERP”. Employee Central takes what is best out of SAP’s strengths in localization and globalization and applies it to the best usability features of SuccessFactors. There were a few features I was just itching to get my hands on. Take, for example, the ability for a manager to initiate a change in an employee without having to know about the object, Position.” He/she can execute the change simply by providing the necessary information. There is no need for the manager to know there is a position in the background. This is genius. We have long struggled with how to educate managers on the importance of the Position and what that data element means – both separate from the employee record and in relationship to the employee record.
Yet, many tquestions remain n my mind about SAP HCM on premise and SAP SuccessFactors (HCM cloud). At the moment, the “full cloud” HCM deployment appears to be a cornucopia of SAP, EC and partner solutions. Flash back to a time when we had multiple vendors and separate and disparate systems that did not talk to each other in a synchronous language or real time. We in the HCM Community have often joked, “The good thing about SAP is that it’s fully integrated. The bad thing about SAP is that it is fully integrated.” What if we got what we asked for — that is, less integration — and really did not want that to begin with?
Moreover – what intrigues me about the cloud versus on premise model is this: Is the cloud model merely prettier than what we’re used to seeing in on-premise? What’s the value equation? I heard enough confused attendees at this morning’s pre-conference to know that the attraction is the UI of SuccessFactors. But – what if your on-premise solution could have the same or similar UI? And I do believe that’s possible with EhP6, HCM Renewal 1.0, Feature Pack 3. Trouble is – no one is selling that as hard as SuccessFactors software; so, sometimes it’s a little bit harder for customers to sift thru the muck to find what is actually best for their own company: full cloud, full on-premise or hybrid?
It’s a complicated puzzle to solve. None of us have all the answers. But, I’m confident that together, in our community of HCM users, we will ask the right questions, challenge the status quo, and generally influence the future course that SAP/SuccessFactors charts. In the meantime, I plan to use the next four days to soak up information, reconnect with colleagues and friends, and generally come away with more ways to “poke the box” with SAP.