The world is much smaller place these days thanks to SAP partners like KPIT, which delivers cloud solutions and consulting services to companies across the globe. They work with companies in industries ranging from automotive, transportation and manufacturing to energy and utilities. Their 10,000 employees operate out of 34 offices in 16 countries. Steve Bradley, KPIT’s Global Director of Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud Solutions, sat down with Carolyn Horiel from SAP’s Cloud Global Partner Operations team to outline some exciting trends he’s seeing in his travels, as well as what’s coming down the pike over the next five years

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Can you tell me about your history with partnering with SAP?

I’ve been working with SuccessFactors from the very beginning. Before I sold my company, Learn2Perform, we were among the first SuccessFactors partners. I’ve seen just about everything over the course of 500+ customers and almost a thousand implementations.

What do you see as the biggest trend in HCM now?

Today, my responsibilities take me to different places around the world, and the cloud is everywhere I go. It’s almost a fait accompli. In the United States, where there’s more competition and different products, the market is quite mature, but the rest of the world is just going nuts about what the cloud can do for HCM.

We’ve been extremely busy in places you wouldn’t expect, such as the Middle East and China. These two places in particular are very interested in SuccessFactors and aspects of talent management that they never thought about before. It’s fascinating to see that evolve.

What is it specifically about talent management that is driving this global interest surge?

It’s because how you handle talent management is a strategic decision. In my presentations, I always ask: What is the single biggest challenge that every company faces, no matter how big or small; no matter how long they’ve been around; no matter where they are in the world?

Money?  No, it’s not about money, although that’s part of it. It’s the people.

You want to have everybody rowing in the same direction. The question is, “How do we become as effective and efficient as possible?” The only way to do that is to have everybody aligned, which requires a talent management solution supported by technology. Talent management is not just nice to have. It’s a mission-critical business need. Our company has carved out a separate unit just for cloud to support demand in this area.

In what way does the cloud impact talent management?

The two biggest ways are extensibility and collaboration. First of all, what’s really great about the cloud is that people can work when and where they want to work. You gain effectiveness and efficiency when you distribute tasks to the workforce, minimize the burden on administration, and become more strategic. If someone is on a plane and needs to approve a hiring requisition right before the doors shut, they can do that now. Companies around the world get that message.

The second involves collaboration. Especially for the younger workforce, this is really important to them. For a company that’s geographically dispersed, duplication of work is extremely inefficient. SAP Jam helps companies mitigate duplication of work by sharing information. It drives diversity, fosters innovation from different parts of the world, and helps companies operate more efficiently.

Looking in the future, if you had a crystal ball, what are the challenges that you see emerging over the next five years?

I’m seeing that the next challenges will be in performance management, recruiting and analytics. Performance management is a foundational tool, so you  need to have that nailed down to drive a lot of other changes.

The interesting thing about SuccessFactors Employee Central is that it has evolved faster than anything else in that line. Many Core HR systems are designed to be used by super-users and specialists. They are hard to use, expensive to implement, require extensive training, and don’t deliver innovation. Employee Central is the exact opposite.

There are actually two sides to what HR software has to do. There’s a compensatory side and a talent side. Traditionally, people spend the most time on compliance and payroll. They don’t spend as much time on the talent side, but that’s where the ROI is. So I talk to people about shifting that balance. One way to do that is having a single platform where the core HR compensatory side is coupled with talent management. That’s a big change.

Any final thoughts you want to share with our readers?

I’m passionate about common sense.  I love my job, because I get to show organizations and others how to be successful by using it.

Thanks Steve!  We appreciate you spending time with us today for a glimpse into your globetrotting world.   With your passion at the helm, today’s 21st century workforce will be rowing in the right direction.


To learn more about KPIT and their global customers, check out their site.  Additionally, KPIT will be exhibiting at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual  Conference as a diamond sponsor on May 5 – 7th at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.  To learn more about the conference, visit www.sapandasug.com.

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