Just returned from HR Tech and SuccessConnect in Las Vegas.  We called this “HR Week” back at the office.  There were over 3000 attendees at the Mandalay convention center for HR Tech.  Exhibitors abound including SuccessFactors.  I went on the cheap securing an “expo only” pass and was able to check out all the various HR Technology exhibitors on the show floor.  I would consider myself a veteran at trade shows as an attendee – and I have a collection of squishy balls to prove it.  There is the initial “wow” feeling when you enter the expo hall where every vendor out there is putting their best face forward to get your attention.  Demo stations flourish at every exhibitor booth, along with eager representatives ready to answer questions (after they scan your badge). – And let’s not forget the marketing swag.  

At HR Tech I had a very simple goal to accomplish – to check out what is being marketed as technology to support human capital management (HCM).  Pretty much anything you develop these days can be considered as a technology “tool” to support HCM.  Games by BunchBall, can be used to support learning and development.  Videos by EPow can be used in to replace face to face interviews.  Reward systems by Virgin can be used to incentivize employees to adopt better fitness programs – kind of a stretch since I like my fitness app on my iPhone and it’s free.  

HCM has certainly come a long way and is continuing to evolve. For many organizations in the midst of adopting new systems, it must feel like remodeling a kitchen.  The excitement is quickly dissipated when your comfortable kitchen and the appliances that you have used for years are ripped out and in the front yard ready for the salvage truck to arrive.  But what if that dishwasher or that exhaust fan is fine. They were purchased a few years ago, are still under warranty, and have all the bells and whistles you need? Your kitchen designer, however, demands that you rip and replace all of your kitchen appliances and leads you to that shiny new stove with the 6 burners.  So often we are lead astray and handcuffed to a product that may not be in our best interest.    I’m sure some HCM departments may feel that way when they are handcuffed to an entire new system in order to “benefit” from whatever technology XYZ Company is offering.  Where is the freedom of choice?  The freedom is in Employee Central.   

Employee Central is the core HR system of record in the cloud by SuccessFactors, an SAP compnay. Unlike many, it does not require organizations to completely replace their existing systems in order to use. You can start anywhere. go everywhere. For example, if you have an existing core HR on-premise system and you are looking to migrate to a core HR cloud solution to a subset of your workforce, Employee Central is able to support that.  Another example is, if you have other systems like, finance and talent, and you want to implement a core HR system to support these processes and systems, Employee Central is able to support that through flexible and extensible architecture that is highly configurable to your business processes and adaptable to your changing business needs. Why did we do this? SAP, has been in the HCM business for over 30 years and in that time we’ve learned that every organization has unique needs. Organizations want solutions to meet their needs in a timeframe they need them. So we listened and built out solutions so that our customers have the options they want – when they want them. No handcuffs needed, although I did get handed a pair from one of the other exhibitor booths at HR Tech see picture.

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