In my experience, I’ve learned that job pressure is a fact of life for most of us. But I found out about a new level of business pressure when speaking with France Lampron about EIR Compensation Analytics, an app available on SAP App Center that’s designed to make life easier for HR and compensation professionals. In fact, their stress stems from something that may be near and dear to a lot of companies: annual bonuses.
The demands of “pay for performance” – for HR
France, the president and CEO of Enterprise Information Resources, explained it this way. “Twenty years ago, there was a major shift toward ‘pay for performance,’ and today, most organizations award bonuses as a significant element of employee compensation. However, bonuses are awarded not on anniversary dates, but at year-end, and the bonus amounts are typically determined over just a two-week period. It happens one time during the year for the entire organization!”
Complicating matters, she added, are the many stakeholders involved in the process, reviewing and adding and then acting on the final information. Meanwhile, execs and managers want to see current, on-time reports. And then there’s a race for the HR people to get everything done accurately and ready for the tax filing deadline, which in the U.S. is April 15.
That’s a pretty tight window. Imagine trying to do this manually with spreadsheets. And I’ll bet you didn’t even think about all the heartburn behind the scenes for the HR folks when you got your last bonus (assuming that you got one, that is J).
Reporting – once a tough job
Luckily, France is a longtime expert in compensation and variable pay, with a background as a software entrepreneur. In 2010, after her company was acquired in a series of mergers, she was invited by SAP SuccessFactors to help customers with implementation. “But product development was in our DNA, and I began to analyze this space that I love,” she remarked. “I discovered that, while SAP SuccessFactors had nailed the overall process, the software couldn’t generate the stats as individual companies required. HR managers were creating these reports, taking care of it themselves in accordance with their corporate guidelines. But it took hours, and sometimes they could not respond to changes.”
Then along came SAP Cloud Platform. “I said, ‘Yes! This is unbelievable!” added France. “Now, with the flexibility of this platform, we can help customers with their specific needs. We began to build a whole array of data and analytics tools for automating compensation cycles.”
Access to data and analytics – regardless of role
As its name illustrates, EIR Compensation Analytics comes to the rescue by providing access to compensation data analytics for every user involved. In short, it integrates with the SAP SuccessFactors Compensation platform through SAP Cloud Platform to deliver real-time data. The SAP HANA database does a lot of work on behalf of the customer; you just hit a button and regenerate a report that incorporates all the latest changes.
Fast approval – as IT can meet its responsibility for security
I asked France about her choice of SAP Cloud Platform rather than another cloud offering. “It really was not an option,” she said. “We do business with very large corporations. Security is paramount, not least because the data involved is personal and highly sensitive. Our clients are compensation professionals, not IT specialists. They don’t care about the technology, but they trust us to take care of them. They have a need that we can meet, and it’s a heck of a lot easier for them to get IT approval for our product because it’s built on the same security framework they are already using with SAP SuccessFactors software. And our solution is certified by SAP.”
It’s gratifying to France and her team that clients absolutely love the product, and that IT departments can skip over the rigorous vendor analysis process and sign off quickly in time for the next compensation cycle.
For EIR, a partnership with SAP
As EIR continues its growth trajectory, offering implementation and consulting services as well as product development and customer support, the team has expanded to about 20 people, based in the Greater Boston area. France told me that she’ll travel from there to Orlando in a few weeks to attend SAPPHIRE NOW and the SAP Global Partner Summit on June 4-7. In fact, she attends the conference every year. “As an SAP partner involved with SAP App Center, we get so inspired there!”
And if you’re a compensation professional, I hope you’re inspired to try EIR Compensation Analytics directly from SAP App Center. Please let me know what you think in the comments box below.