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SAP has revised the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite Product Road Maps – the 13th of September 2017 they published a short overview containing “only” 187 PowerPoint slides. It now also includes the planned Q2 2018 innovations.

The SAP SuccessFactors community has experienced a great deal of discussion her among discussions where a great deal of commentators think that all answers and solutions to issues are equal to WorkDay. I am kind off opposite Workday. Do not hate WorkDay, they just sometimes happen to oversell.

I am of the opinion that SAP after the acquirement of SuccessFactors have had a major task of integrating the different Graphical user interface and a lot more. The task at hand must have been ginormous – I am impressed what SAP has accomplished since 2012. The not so positive readers will say – WorkDay has accomplished more.

SAP have by publishing the roadmap for SAP SuccessFactors made it very public that there is a strategy and a plan to support it. The importance of this can be underlined by SunTzu

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat

But where is the SAP SuccessFactors product heading – I will go through the SAP SuccessFactors Product Map, but only include the takings that I find value adding for you as a partner or SAP SuccessFactors Customer.

If you are sitting out there and still is very convinced of that SAP HCM On-premise will be the one and only HR System of Record, then you will have a job in the short run….. But going forward the SAP SuccessFactors Suite will be able to deliver functionality that support the processes current supported in the SAP HCM On-Premise system and much more. So prepare yourself.

Overall SAP SuccessFactors states the following approach for the SAP SuccessFactors Suite, the approach is as I see underbuilding the overall SAP strategy. So not much news here, but still different compared to other Cloud vendors in the market:

Innovate, existing solutions and extend with new capabilities

Acquire unique and targeted capabilities that complement our existing solutions

Team with a selected number of best-in-class vendors

Facilitate and encourage an ecosystem

As SAP states »No single vendor can own a monopoly on innovation«, SAP happens to have been acquiring companies for as long I can recall. Is that a bad approach – some will say you can do everything in-house and much better. I support the SAP approach – there will always be someone smart sitting in garage, basement etc. that creates the innovative product that changes the market dynamics completely.

Do you agree with their approach - should they build instead of buying?

To support the approach – SAP has stated the following SAP SuccessFactors Strategy:

Encourage usage as part of everyday work life; create an “all-in” workforce

Use data to intelligent suggest, recommend, and guide

Quickly realize new ideas; easily incorporate ideas from others

The above seen from a strategic level – but how do SAP expect to deliver to the costumer – that is stated in the Product Road Maps for SAP SuccessFactors Suite – last revised the 13th of September 2017.

Be advised – as SAP states in the slide deck:

»This is the current state of planning and may be changed by SAP at any time«
Just love disclaimers from SAP.

I will only look into relevant Q4 2017 and Q1/Q2 2018 areas – enjoy:

 The approach for the area is as follows:

Empower your workforce with the best mobile experience to ensure they are engaged and productive

15 second tasks
Use any occasion to get things done quickly and efficiently

 Bring HR processes to your workers
Critical HR tasks and approvals are pushed to the employee

Employee self-service
Enable your employees to access and update their HR information on their own

Manager self-service
 Empower your managers with tools and deep insights to bring out the full potential of their organizations

But how will SAP support the above list – I have selected the most important areas seen from my perspective:

  • Most important one is showing attention to align the current differences between the Android and iOS ecosystem for the different SAP SuccessFactors applications used. Hope to a further alignment for the coming releases

  • For Q4 I look forward to the default analytics metrics for mobile, headcount, recruiting, terminations etc.

  • For Q4 2017 / Q1 2018 I look forward to the redesign of the Pay statement, and the impressively new planned timesheet functionality for mobile. Time registration on the fly is the way forward, no more the transaction CAT2 for time registration.

  • And a lot more

The approach for the area is as follows:

Engage 100% of your employees, not just HR professionals

Designed for you, your needs and how you work

Obvious and delightful
Applications that are understandable and make an emotional connection

Supports how and where you work, at any time


But how will SAP support the above wish list – I have selected the most important areas seen from my perspective:

  • Further support of hybrid scenarios – one single point of entry for all your business processes, SAP will continue to add scenarios

  • Further conversational HR scenarios for the planned Q2 2018


The approach for the area is as follows:

No more isolation
End-to-end HR processes work smoothly across modules and organizations

No more guesswork
Intelligent services are designed to connect and predict transactions resulting from a change and automatically adjust them for the user

No more gaps
End users are empowered, having more control over end-to-end events with easy to use tools - the involvement and expense of HR shared services are significantly reduced

But how will SAP support the above wish list – I have selected the most important areas seen from my perspective:

  • One of the most awaited things from me is the machine learning and how it can change the often not so funny HR tasks that hopefully can be automated. As SAP states the machine learning can recommend actions, trigger other intelligent event and provide HR insights. As a former clerk I would have loved to have had the above 20 years ago.


The approach for the area Suite-Wide Technology – admin -security & permissions – Identity Management and Provisioning

Extension Center, the next generation extensibility offering;

SAP is really delivering functionality within the extension center – I see that the extension center will be the enabler that a lot of customers have been looking for when been in doubt if SAP SuccessFactors could support the same requirements as their current on premise HR system.

A really large concern for many European based customers is the much expected and for some feared EU Global Data privacy legislation coming into effect 25 May 2018. SAP has planned a great deal supporting functionality from Q4 and forward, I will come into more detail later.


Suite-Wide Technology – admin;

The area might not seem being very relevant or having a huge effect on the regular user of SAP SuccessFactors, but it will have a great indirect effect for all current and future users of SAP SuccessFactors. One thing that can annoy a user is unavailability of the system; a great effort is being put into to support the SAP SuccessFactors administrator and the different functional consultants out there. So downtime is reduced.


Suite-Wide Technology – security & permissions;

I do not see a great deal of functionality that I have been longing for – but one thing is anticipated further support for EU Global Data privacy legislation coming into effect 25 May 2018 her among:

  • Enable Blocking for Data Privacy Configuration

  • Deliver Data Privacy consent statement via ODATA API


Suite-Wide Technology – Identity Management and Provisioning

I am looking forward to this one – which is the two-factor authentication. The setup is expected to be available in Admin Center by Q2 2018.


Suite - Wide Integrations - Integration Center - Cloud-to-Cloud Integrations – API

The functionality delivered for the integration center is not an area I look forward to, but the Cloud-to-Cloud is an area I expect a lot from. SAP will start to further integrate acquired companies into Employee Central, here among further enhancement to the SAP Fieldglass vs SAP SuccessFactors integration. For Concur it is expected to have general availability of Employee Central vs Concur integration for the Q2 2018.  Same quarter also contains Concur integration that supports contingent workers.

Regarding Fieldglass and the Partner network I still miss Partner models – which will be worth the effort for the partners to sell and implement Fieldglass. I am still waiting, but I am not the most patient person.


Workforce Analytics & Planning

Embedded Insights

For the embedded area SAP has prepared for customer driven innovations for Q4/2017 and Q1/Q2 2018. Personal I look forward to more pre-defined tiles, tiles which is built on the basis of a customer need. And more pre-delivered metrics.

Workforce Analytics

Interactive analytics tiles is expected for the Q2/2018 in a beta version, still looking forward to see the first version. Stay tuned for a video update.

 Workforce Planning

SAP is also open for customer innovation for this area for the Q4/2017 and Q1 2018, remember to submit your suggestions for SAP through the SAP SuccessFactors Community.


Area Recruiting – Recruiting Management Recruiting Marketing – Recruiting Posting

I have two prayers for the Recruiting Area – could we not get consistence in the naming for SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting area, naming conventions has changed so often. Please be consistent. Second prayer – please provide demo systems for the whole process, including advanced analytics and Recruiting Posting for Recruiting.

But which areas will deliver the most value seen from my perspective:

  • Q1/2018 anonymous recruiting – which will open up for from my perspective to get a more diverse and value adding workforce

  • More customer ideas for improvement of SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting

  • Further improvement of the customization option for Career Site Builder, moving more towards aligning that the Recruiting Marketing Site is more alike the rest of Customer sites

  • For SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Posting I look forward to the Candidate Relationship Management, building a strong relationship to the talent base


Area Onboarding:

Onboarding is an area that I have found to be the application area which has looked the most different from the other SAP SuccessFactors applications. SAP is aware of this and will continue to unify the user interface. It might be from here the SAP SuccessFactors – Frankenstein comparison come from.

But which areas will deliver the most value seen from my perspective:

  • In Q2/2018 Mass hire and auto hire is work in progress, it does not seem clear what lies behind the naming

  • For Q2/2018 SAP SuccessFactors mentions configurable process using business process engine, what lies behind this is very exciting. Will it be possible to model the onboarding process in the Business Process Management Notation technic? Which then will be the customized process

  • A further update of the dashboard


Area Learning:

Not a lot of new functionality coming but still some.

 But which areas will deliver the most value seen from my perspective:

  • Q1/2018 to unify the user interface across supported devices

  • Q2/2018 get recommendation to your learning based on interest, job profile etc.

Area Performance & Goals

 But which areas will deliver the most value seen from my perspective:

  • Q4/2017 360 multi-rater phase I for both Android & iOS, which will be followed by more functionality in Q1/Q2/2018

  • Further development of the Continuous Performance in the Q4/2017 and Q1/Q2/2018 ad hoc which I look forward to and further user interface improvements.

Area Compensation Management

 But which areas will deliver the most value seen from my perspective:

  • Q1 2018 will enable the possibility for a worksheet guide tour – which will enable the users fast because it is not a module which is utilized every day

  • Q2 2018 a total compensation Planning template will be available covering; Base salary, bonus and equity

Area Succession & Development

An area that I find too few use – and the benefits by having a well-functioning succession is too underestimated. Do let your best employee go to the competitor – keep them and develop them.

But which areas will deliver the most value seen from my perspective:

  • Q1 2018 Further integration with Job Profile Builder, it is mentioned as the first phase so I presume more will come

  • Q2 2018 support of Employee Central and multiple incumbents on one position


An area that I am seeing will differentiate SAP SuccessFactors further compared to the other vendors in the marketplace. Will we be able in the future to “eliminate” the SAP On-premise solution that so many costumers still are reliant on? Even though they have implemented SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central!

Short answer is yes; in the long run I see that the functionality we pass by SAP HCM On-premise. This includes time management – which still is an issue.


Area Core HR and Payroll

 But which areas will deliver the most value seen from my perspective:

  • Q4 2017 & Q1 2018 Enhancements for the Data Privacy & Protection area

  • Q2 Enhancement for the mass change for positions

  • And a lot of localization for Q4 2017 Q1/Q2/2018

  • Time Management SAP is delivering continuously for the Q4 2017 Q1/Q2 2018,

    • And I know you have been looking forward for this one – Terminal Integration Q2 2018

    • Further mobile time registration; time off


Area Total Workforce Management

Further integration of SAP SuccessFactors – SAP Fieldglass and SAP S/4

But which areas will deliver the most value seen from my perspective:

  • Planning of the total workforce

  • Onboarding of Contingent workers


Employee Central Service Center

 But which areas will deliver the most value seen from my perspective:

  • Further enhancement based customer feedback

  • And mobile enable for the SAP SuccessFactors mobile app

  • Launch of the Rapid Deployment solution for the service core

Best regards

Anders Bang Christoffersen, SAP SuccessFactors Consultant, Center of Excellence SAP SuccessFactors Zalaris HR Services

Anders Bang Christoffersen, I did it my way. Started as soldier and later HR clerk in the Danish Army, so I know what the HR admin tasks are.Ended my education with a Master in IT, is working with SAP SuccessFactors at Zalaris HR Services. If you have questions – please reach out.

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