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Author's profile photo Susan Galer

SAP Follows its Own Advice to Cloud-based HR

When SAP acquired SuccessFactors, most people viewed it as a quantum leap forward for the company into the cloud, and rightly so. As an SAP employee, I’ve been an active participant in this transformational journey along with our partners and customers. Last week I blogged about several companies—Kawasaki, Triumph Foods, and Owens Corning—that are using SuccessFactors for performance advantage. These are just a sampling of the thousands of customers that have figured out how SuccessFactors can strategically change the role of human resources (HR), and in doing so, impact employee engagement for the better.

It only makes sense for SAP itself to adopt SuccessFactors for its 67,000 employees in 60 countries. In this video, Brigette McInnis Day, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at SAP, spotlights the results of SAP’s implementation of SuccessFactors. Here’s how she describes the company’s rationale for the move and manager response.

“Our business was at a critical time of change. We were on a very old version of technology from an HR perspective. Our acquisition of SuccessFactors allowed us to leap forward to all the things we knew we wanted to do. It’s really about understanding the workforce analytics for the future.”

After the initial six-week pilot, SAP executives saw results that immediately support the company’s overall “run simple” mantra. Replacing spreadsheets with real-time data, leaders have been empowered in entirely news ways says McInnis Day.

“With SuccessFactors, I’m able to identify all my talent, I know what they want, when they’re able to move, when they’re actually able to take on a new role. I’m able to match the learning solution right with them on all of the learning maps whether on SAP JAM, Performance, Employee Profile, Talent Assessment, Succession Planning, or Compensation.”

As always, the bigger story lies beyond the technology. McInnis Day emphasizes how SuccessFactors has allowed SAP to evolve HR by shifting more processes into the company’s shared services organization. This is turning HR into a business partner providing strategic consultative support for the business.

Perhaps most important, since the implementation of SuccessFactors, overall employee satisfaction with the HR organization has increased in some countries by up to 30 percent. McInnis Day says this jump is directly correlated to the technology they’re using every day. “The only thing you’ll get out of an engaged employee is passion, productivity, and a win for SAP.”

As for advice to customers that aren’t certain where to begin the move to cloud-based HR solutions, McInnis Day says that alignment between the business and employee strategies is crucial. “Base your decisions on your business strategy and also the employee lifecycle. Match it up so it doesn’t feel artificial. The important thing is, you can start anywhere and go anywhere, and that’s what you want.”

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