When HANA met Employee Central on the Cloud
No it’s not a movie, although the title is inspired by the classic. It is a reality that SuccessFactors and SAP teams jointly as one “family” have been working on together to make happen, and that is – extending the SuccessFactors experience by configuration and code, while using HANA as your in-memory database for the new business functionality on the Cloud Platform.
Björn and Aiaz have issued clarification in their respective blogs (here and here) about the Platform evolution in light of the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. Here we announce the next level of details, focusing on the use cases as an open extension platform for SuccessFactors. SAP HANA Cloud Platform would allow you as a customer to quickly build and integrate custom apps that connect you better with your employees on SuccessFactors. And as a first step, we focus on extending the Employee Central functionality.
Why Custom Apps as Extensions
We start first with the market view and the need for custom developments. The US Department of Labor estimates 30% increase in software development jobs – more than double the average increase for all other jobs. Custom apps are emerging as a competitive edge for companies, extending and moving beyond the “best practices” in enterprise software customers run today. And with the mass availability of PaaS, companies can focus on delivering innovation and value, not purchasing and maintaining infrastructure for custom software solutions.
When talking with the SuccessFactors colleagues, it was interesting to get their application perspective on extensibility. These are the key points on why they find it beneficial for their customers to leverage SAP HANA Cloud Platform:
And why we in the platform team are excited about this opportunity to serve customers is quite simple:
- Employee Central (EC) is the new face of Human Capital Mgmt, and we actually believe that together with Jam they have the potential to impact the enterprise world in the way Facebook did for consumers
- The success of Facebook is largely due to an amazing platform, extension aspects and ecosystem behind. We would love to prove much of that to SuccessFactors customers and partners
- And as Thomas Otter puts it well in his blog: “More broadly, HCM technology is the most dynamic place in application software now. What happens in HCM today will shape enterprise applications for the next 20 years.”
What to Expect in the Offering
Now let’s talk business and see what’s new in this overall offering:
- First, we are packaging the value-add capabilities in two, commercial Editions (Standard and Enterprise) and offer one trial Developer Edition. We are in process of enhancing the existing dev trial license with Employee Central demo / trial system, and include a Starter App as demo showcase for the integration. The Dev Edition is great for EC customers and partners to play around and see the potential value.
- In the Standard Edition, we are offering an entry level scope of capabilities to run up to 3 custom apps / modules with integrated shared services like SSO, Theming, Navigation, and Data Access. The HANA storage we allocate for productive usage depends on the total number of subscribed users and increases variably.
- In the Enterprise Edition, we are offering a substantial scope to run up to 10 custom apps / modules. The HANA storage per user is 3 times bigger than the limits set in the Standard Edition. We add UI flexibility with advanced set of the Cloud Portal offering for creating content and personalizing sites. Advanced APIs, services and tooling like extending mobility in your custom apps are part of this package.
- The Metadata Framework (MDF) extension capabilities of Employee Central will be also available in these Editions, especially for customers going over their allotment of space received for MDF as part of the standard license of EC. In addition, customers can take full advantage of the integrated value coming from bridging MDF with SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
- The Starter App shows immediate business value and serves as our integration scenario for what a custom app could look like across all the Editions. In the Standard and Enterprise Editions, the customer can actually run the app productively, and use it to jump-start more custom apps. More on this in the upcoming blog(s).
- Lastly, we want to offer a user based, subscription pricing for extending EC with HANA Cloud Platform. Today, the PaaS pricing on the market is focused on the number of technical resources and bits-and-bytes consumed, starting from CPU power, number of VMs, bandwidth… That doesn’t go well with customers who are used to think in simple terms of apps and users. Therefore we are adapting the PaaS pricing to the market we want to serve.
When and Where
SuccessFactors and SAP teams wanted to announce the overall direction this week at SAPPHIRE NOW 2013, and also next week at the SuccessFactors Connect conference. This would help us in getting early feedback from customers and partners. In parallel, we are working on finalizing the commercial and product aspects. We believe to be ready by early Q3 to onboard our first joint customers on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.