What Today’s Technology Consumer Market Has Taught the Cloud HR Software Market
Ever since the iPhone was introduced in 2007 we have seen a seismic shift in the consumer technology market in terms of how people buy and consume technology and how they interact with and acquire software services. The concept of the “App” was born and consumers have since demonstrated a huge appetite for the consumption of these easily accessible personalised add-ons. The smart phone consumer market has spawned a multibillion dollar app developer industry that allows the open participation of small and large development-houses through an application provider eco-system. These developers provide an almost infinite variety of tailored and specialised apps and services – consumed as required by the customer on a secure and stable hosted delivery platform. If you own an iPhone or iPad (or an android device), you already have a whole ecosystem of solution providers that are fiercely competing for your business and are continuously developing and improving their offerings and services, targeted at you and your personal interests and requirements. Customers in that market, demand choice, innovation, ease-of-use and an engaging user experience. Disruptors like Google and Amazon have further changed the way we buy and consume products and services across all markets. In many ways, today’s personal technology consumer market is much more advanced than the corporate enterprise software market and there are lessons that the consumer market has taught us.
Consumers now expect personalisation and flexibility as a standard, not an aspiration. Today’s consumer experience is now starting to bleed over into the corporate technology buyer space, changing the market forever and setting the bar way too high for many of the current providers out there. This shift is also shaping the way corporate buyers interact with vendors and service suppliers in their network for the delivery of those solutions and services.
Why HCP For SuccessFactors Makes So Much Sense
Innovation, security, and an intuitive engaging Ux is still very much a given expectation, but when it comes to Enterprise Human Capital software as a service, enterprise buyers also want some new flexibility when it comes to commercial engagement options. Today those buyers are often happy to forego a single source provider agreement approach to leverage a broader ecosystem of extension builders and app providers. Moving forward, buyers will expect comprehensive support for all of their functional and workflow requirements. This means not just a 70% or an 80% fit, or even a 90% fit … they will want a 100% fit and support for their key processes and functional requirements. The standard SaaS model of “best practice workflows and functionality” and the one-size-fits-all message, will no longer be acceptable to those buyers.
SuccessFactors SAP is not only observing these shifts and changes, we are welcoming them! To that end, we have built an infrastructure and cloud technology capability that supports these new paradigms. We have built a platform as a service offering and capability which underpins our SuccessFactors functional software extension framework. We call it HCP which stands for HANA Cloud Platform. What it offers our customers is the ability to support and extend all of their workflow and functionality requirements – requirements that in many cases will never be developed in the core product due to its localised or unique industry specific nature. HCP for SuccessFactors enables us to innovate in the cloud and bring world-class HR “Add-on” solutions to customers faster along with a partnering capability that includes an army of innovators and suppliers across the SAP SuccessFactors cloud ecosystem.
The PaaS solution provides extension capabilities for our SaaS applications, and is the link that bridges cloud technologies and on premise applications. What SaaS brought for applications, PaaS brings to the software development world – it is a set of tools and services designed to make building and deploying SaaS applications quick and efficient.
When combined with SaaS applications, a PaaS environment gives enterprises the ability to create easier-to-maintain software applications and extensions in the cloud. This powerful combination enables companies to preserve their unique, differentiated business processes and experience the benefits of the cloud – all without the need to compromise.
Innovation & Options
When it comes to SuccessFactors extensibility and enhanced functionality, HCP offers a fully enabled and secure PaaS service which supports multiple options for the development, delivery and acquisition of those solutions and services:
- IN-HOUSE: Our customers can easily build out their own bespoke applications to extend or personalise core SuccessFactors HCM capabilities as required. This empowers our customers to quickly react to changing regulations or market conditions and rapidly align to and support new processes and functions.
- PARTNER: Customers can access our partner eco-system of certified application developers to find specialist app development partners to build new functionality apps for them. These are fully certified and qualified SAP service and development partners who are recognised as leaders in their fields. Customers can engage directly and collaboratively with these 3rd party developers without needing to involve or engage SAP.
- BUY: They can search for and buy off-the-shelf applications that already align to their needs and are already available in the SAP app store. Customers can buy these services and enter into subscription agreements with our certified partner developers without needing to involve or engage SAP.
- DIRECT: SAP has its own customer-facing app development engineering team that can respond directly to customer needs and can be engaged to build, develop and support new extension capabilities as required.
HCP: An innovation layer that future-proofs your investment in SAP
With HCP for SuccessFactors, core SaaS functionality gaps can now be quickly and cost effectively addressed. Today our HCP extension framework and partner eco-system capabilities provide our customers with a unique value proposition, offering them a robust and market-leading SuccessFactors HCM solution suite, along with cost effective extension building options. Buyers no longer have to settle for a solution that only provides a 70 or 80% fit to their functional and workflow requirements. With SuccessFactors functional extension capabilities our customers can now enjoy total alignment that fully supports the unique requirements of that customer’s organisation. Our HANA cloud platform (HCP) extension capability in effect delivers a bridge to the customer’s “last mile” requirements and provides comprehensive flexible “end to end” alignment to the customer’s current (and future) requirements. Importantly, since these extensions exist outside of the core SuccessFactors HCM platform, they are easy to upgrade and amend and are always protected from redundancy and the impact of upgrades.
With the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, enterprises can:
• Leverage the game-changing speed of the SAP HANA database in applications
• Rapidly innovate with comprehensive mobile, collaboration, Big Data, and analytic services
• Easily extend business processes to the cloud with native integration to on-premise systems
• Dramatically increase developer productivity with an easy-to-use development and runtime environment
• Drive adoption and maximize alignment and agility with the SAP Marketplace