While building a team, the question of who should be trained and/or certified, in what area, and at what cost is often first in our mind. In the last couple of years, this have been made more difficult by changing standards as the SuccessFactors certification approach adapted to SAP’s different one; by a growing set of courses; and by a customers’ demand exceeding expectations, meaning that often we had to skip the certification just to get the work done, only to find ourselves in catch-up mode.
PAST: Up to recently, only partners and customers could attend SuccessFactors trainings; and only SuccessFactors could deliver the trainings valid for the certification. To be certified, you would have to attend the training, and then add two successful projects. Certification trainings could be attended in person, or in virtual classrooms, and carried a significant cost: from 3 to 6k dollars per training, bringing the grand total of certification for all the Suite modules to more than 50’000US, plus potential travel expenses.
PRESENT: two major changes have been introduced.
First, In March 2014, the certification process was modified, creating a double level approach. After training, a first Associate Certification is now delivered (after passing relevant tests); then after 2 successful projects, an additional test allows the proud consultant to become Certified Professional. To be noted that each training course will eventually deliver its own Certification, but some of the certification tests are still in development. See below for the availability schedule in the picture attached.
Then, while I was attending SuccessConnect in September 2014 in Las Vegas, a new announcement proclaimed that all trainings now could be completed through the SAP Learning Hub.
This is a major change in the mode of delivery. Moving on from the traditional classroom or virtual classroom environment, requiring a commitment of several weeks away from projects (and with a high price tag), the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) approach is a real winner.
An additional training (THR99E-MDF) has been announced to cover the Metadata Framework foundation, but dates are not available yet.
While going forward there isn’t anymore a strict requirement to be a partner to attend the training delivery, one still has to be one to have access to a provisioning ID and be able to help a customer with configuration of their SuccessFactors platform.
SAP Learning Hub details:
- It has a tile visual UI approach, similar to the SuccessFactors UI, and its engine is based on the Plateau tools.
- Different versions are available for purchase for different target audiences:
- for Business Users and executives, covering overviews and accelerators;
- for Partners, with a full list of content to cover the partners’ training needs;
- for Customers, addressing the needs of consultants, customers COE and IT, Admins and super users;
- FREE Discovery version, providing a complimentary access to a subset of learning materials, allowing to evaluate the tool
- The cost is per year, per user, scalable depending on the number of users and the type of version you wish to access.
- The e-learning materials required for all trainings for certification preparation
- New Release training materials
- SAP Live Access (extra fee per 20 hour blocks) provide access to a platform for exercises and live interaction
- Each Certification exam has an additional cost of 500$.
I have started using the Discovery edition to get a feel of how the e-learning is being delivered, and I am quite pleased by the flexibility and self-evaluation features. Note: after registering, you have to activate it by going back to your email, and clicking on the link provided. Up to that point, you will be able to access the platform, but not to see any trainings!
As we progress in the usage of the tool, I will plan to share further some of our observations, so stay tuned either here, or on my LinkedIn channel.
Mine is not the first blog trying to summarize the current state of the union (SAP+SFSF, small u intended); Luke Marson’s in Dec. 2013 has been considered gospel for many consultants 🙂 (Luke, you know it is true).
Robert Thompson pondered about what the value of certification is in the process of finding the right implementation partner in March 2014, right after the HR2014 conference; you can read his excellent blog here.
In May 2014, Regina Gama added a list comparing what is planned and what is available. As I write, only the Employee Central Associate certification exam is available (Sept. 2014), and Learning will be available in December. For all others, we’ll have to wait for release in 2015, although the e-learnings will be available on the hub before end of 2014.
There is also a specific curriculum for the hybrid; no certification related, but it is online only.