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The Experts Agree… The Future of HR is in the Clouds

While on garden holiday earlier this year, one I planned to extend, I found myself with time to take a close look at the HCM market worldwide. I’d been in the industry for some time, but as a busy executive, I found little time to really assess my own industry.

/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/cloudy3_555238.jpgAlready convinced that the future of HR is in the clouds, and believing that today’s technology has the potential to allow HR to address the CEO view that talent management has not yet been solved, I took a keen interest in SuccessFactors and SAP.

SuccessFactors has for over 11 years been considered the leader in the talent management suite. So what truly impressed me was the progress that had been made since SAP’s acquisition with the core HR in the cloud solution, Employee Central. I had seen a demo of the product two years prior and the product demo I saw last summer was a complete transformation. In the software industry, usually we see marketing far out ahead of the product. This was a case of product ahead of marketing.

I was hooked. This is a company I felt could uniquely deliver a mile wide, and a mile deep. I had to say goodbye to the garden.

This week Forrester Research published The Forrester Wave:  SaaS HR Management Systems, Q4 2014.  I am really pleased to share that SuccessFactors/SAP is positioned as a Leader based on our scores in Strategy and Current Offering. It’s one thing to have my own conclusion validated; it’s another to have one of the premier industry analyst firms share their conclusion with the marketplace.

For the past few years, analyst research has focused primarily on Talent Management solutions, like Recruiting Marketing, Recruiting, Onboarding, Learning, Performance Management, Succession Planning, Social Collaboration and Compensation.  SuccessFactors grew up in this segment and has been consistently ranked a leader across the Suite for several years (Gartner TMS MQ, IDC MarketScapes). There has been much less third party research focused on Core HR and its position in the suite.

Forrester Research last published their Forrester Wave on Human Resource Management Systems in Q1 2012, and SuccessFactors cloud talent suite was not included in that review.  The focus just those two short years ago was Core HR — both SaaS and on premise solutions. Today, the on prem market’s winners and also-rans are clear. Realizing how significantly the HR market has shifted to the cloud globally, Forrester analyst and lead author, Paul Hamerman, Vice President, Principal Analyst, serving Application Development & Delivery professionals, decided the this year’s research would evaluate SaaS solutions exclusively.

I believe being recognized as a leader in this research is incredible acknowledgement of the teams at SuccessFactors and SAP, and of our customers who have given us their trust, partnership and invaluable feedback. Without the backing of SAP and the vision of our customers I doubt we’d have come so far so fast. And we are not slowing down. I made a bet from my garden to lead this bullet train full speed ahead. This really is the best time to be in HR and the best time to be in HR Tech.

You can download the full report here.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      Great job of bringing together the experts view and the direction that HR is heading towards. Thank you for concisely painting a canvas that started changing dramatically over the past three years and the picture today and the one in the near and mid term future looks very attractive.