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Debbie Landers, GM Kenexa and IBM Smarter Workforce and Mike Ettling, President: HR Line of Business, SAP

A better-prepared workforce delivers better results. So today’s successful HR organizations are looking more and more to technology, and the reason is simple: HR professionals know they can drive business results and the CEO agenda by bringing in and developing the best people available. HR technology helps companies attract, hire, onboard, engage and empower the right people who can positively impact their organizations.

One strategy embraced by many HR solutions providers has been to create a suite to manage across the entire employee lifecycle – recruit to retire. But, the reality is that HR leaders today demand choice and a way to preserve their investments, in order to deliver solutions that the business is ready to adopt, and which provide the user experiences we’ve come to expect in our applications today. 

There is no doubt that the suite has advantages, but we continually hear from customers that they want more choice and flexibility. Many customers have made substantial investments in existing systems that are delivering significant value and/or simply prefer one system over another. They want software providers who want to help them get the best for their business, including when desired, the ability to help them protect existing investments and make a choice that addresses their unique business needs. 

In today’s cloud-based technology environment, companies can easily integrate multiple solutions.

We’ve announced a new partnership between IBM and SAP that will transform how organizations approach their options for the acquisition and integration of HR technologies as they work to build and manage their workforces, and drive business results. Today, as two of the major players in HR technology we are able to join our complementary market-leading solutions, supporting organizations as they take their journey to a modern, data-driven, user-friendly HR future, enjoying the benefits of leading solution sets from both providers. This relationship builds on more than 40 years of partnerships between our two companies, and benefits greatly from our existing strong relationship around Systems Integration (SI) and Business Process as a Service (BPaaS). 

Organizations will now have significantly more flexibility and choice in selecting their technology across the entire talent management landscape, all made possible by the cloud.

The first way customers will benefit is from a connector between SuccessFactors Employee Central and the IBM Kenexa Talent Acquisition Suite (TAS). To be packaged as part of Employee Central, it will allow the seamless passing of TAS candidate data into Employee Central. Now, when a candidate is hired in an IBM system, that information will easily and quickly flow to Employee Central – simplifying processes, and saving time and money.

In the next few months, we expect to deliver a second connector enabling the easy implementation of the IBM Kenexa Learning Content Management System (LCMS) with the SuccessFactors Learning Management System (LMS), bringing best-in-breed capabilities from both leaders in Learning technology.

Additional application connectors and integrations are planned, as is work in the critical area of Talent Analytics. The combination of IBM Kenexa’s 25 years of data creation in the Workforce Sciences (Engagement, Assessment and Leadership) and SAP’s leadership position in ERP and HCM mean that together we will have more data from which to drive insights and more analytics capability than any other player in the market. SAP data will soon be available in a real-time manner in IBM’s Talent Insights (powered by Watson Analytics). 

Our expanded partnership is not just about technical integration. It will also open up options around Workforce Sciences, and will provide for an improved collaborative integration and support experience for clients using offerings from both companies. Additional new services around the solution are planned for IBM GBS (both SI and BPaaS) and from the partner ecosystem of both companies.

HR leaders expect to make technology decisions that allow them to help their business meet its goals. IBM and SAP are making sure they are successful.

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