I just celebrated my second anniversary here at SAP as Director of Solution Marketing for Employee Central. What better way to celebrate my anniversary than by attending the Employee Central Customer Summit which took place in our offices in South San Francisco on April 16 and 17 – one and a half days full of presentations by the who’s who in Employee Central product management and our HCM Strategists led by Todd Acevedo and Lindsay Westra.
Looking back I have zero regrets joining SuccessFactors, an SAP company. Besides the best group of colleagues one can ever want to work with and the most “real” execs David Ludlow and Thomas Otter, we also have the best HCM solutions out there.
My first blog posting in the SCN community spoke about how much we love our customers. It is here in case anyone wants to read it. I’ve been in Product Development/Marketing for over 22 years and have delivered products for some of the most successful cloud companies out there and even had my hand in some pretty nifty patents. I can say that to produce a successful product, there are no short cuts. Sorry to burst your bubble folks. Ok, so there are some fundamentals; a great product that benefits the customer, amazing developers that continues to innovate, and an organization that is dedicated to continuing the journey with customers.
We have a great product. Employee Central is a cloud core HR system of record that engages employees and managers. Still don’t know what it does? Check out this video on how it makes a difference.
We have amazing Product Managers and HCM Strategists. Attendees of the EC Summit got to meet some of the who’s who in Employee Central including, Aaron Au, Thomas Otter, Joachim Foederer, Wolfgang Dittrich, Dave Ragones, Murali Mazhavanchery from our PM team and Todd Ascevedo, Darrel Lew and Debi Suslow from our HCM strategist team. I decided to simply call them the RockStars of Employee Central and if you want to see all the ones I captured, check out our twitter page for the event #EC Summit.
With over 29 years of HCM development at SAP, experience has its benefits. In this case, we can take what we have learned, learn from our mistakes, and utilize this know-how as we develop our cloud core HR solutions for the organizations of the future. We would not be the definitive leader in delivering the most globalized solution without SAP. Our amazing globalization product managers are embedded in countries and stay on top of regional and local compliance regulations so we can deliver solutions that support companies with legal compliance. Without them, companies would have to do this complex work themselves.
We <3 our customers and they <3 us back! Did you feel the love at the summit? I sure did. So nice to have our customers share their Employee Central stories with us and the other customers. We had over 300 attendees in our small office representing over 40 companies. Marc Farrugia from Sun Communities shared how he loves onboarding and how it’s made a difference in their organization. Jane Stewart from Outerwall shared how once launching Employee Central in their organization enabled 99% of new hires to get exactly what they needed on their first day in the company. You have to love those stories!
In addition to stories shared, there was open discussion between customers and our product management team on what customers need from us in their journey to the cloud. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall listening in on the small break-out sessions we had covering topics such as: Time and Attendance, Employee Central Reporting, Side by Side Deployment, Employee Central Vision/Strategy, and Employee Central Service Center.
I left this summit with a lot of great suggestions from customers for future releases of Employee Central, great stories of their love for the product, and an overwhelming feeling that we have an amazing customer community. I think we will need a bigger venue to host the next North American Employee Central Customer summit.
Due to the great feedback from these events, plans are underway to host more of these types of events in North America and EMEA. Please feel free to contact our Customer VIP Program Manager Lindsay Westra if you are interested, her email address is Lindsay.firstname.lastname@example.org.