2017 has been quite a year for Houston, Texas. At the end of August, Houston was hit by one of the country’s deadliest hurricanes, Hurricane Harvey, which brought close to $200 billion dollars’ worth of damage. Government relief efforts, donations, incredible heroic and just plain neighborly acts have helped Houston remain strong. Houstonians have held their heads high and taken pride as they have continued to rebuild this amazing city. And with a little twist of magic and talent that courage, strength and team work paid off with a first-ever in franchise history November 1st World Series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers!
While we weren’t quite sure that SuccessConnect Houston would coincide with the celebration for this huge win, what we did know is that we take seriously our mission to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. The idea for this event was hatched at SuccessConnect Las Vegas – where, knowing that several hundred registered attendees would not be able to make the trip due to Harvey, we partnered with attendees and our own employees to raise money for rebuilding efforts in Houston. And of course we were also inspired to partner with the SAP Americas User Group (ASUG) and its local Houston chapter to bring SuccessConnect to them.
KEYNOTES & SESSIONS – PUTTING PEOPLE AT THE CENTER OF BUSINESS
At this one day event, over 360 attendees had the opportunity to hear from keynote speakers: Robin Manherz, COO, SAP SuccessFactors; Dr. Gabriela Burlacu, Principal Human Capital Management Researcher, SAP SuccessFactors; and Doug Ereon, IT Business Partner – HR, ConocoPhillips. Robin opened the event reminding people why we do what we do, which is to ensure our customers are able to put “People at the center of business.” Robin encouraged the audience to rethink and reimagine HCM by focusing on not just technology, but people – including their health and well-being. “We want our employees to provide value to their organization and that starts with employees having good health and a good well-being.”
During the keynote panel discussion, Gabby Burlacu and Doug Ereon discussed why change is important and why we need to embrace it. “Everything is changing. Especially how technology is connecting us to the world,” according to Gabby. Doug continued, “We need to listen differently, even if people don’t agree. This is leadership for change.”
Throughout the rest of the day, attendees explored the new products, solutions, customer stories and best practices offered by SuccessFactors, and were guided on a journey to experience the future of HR. During Dolby Labs session, Randy Stenberg shared lessons learned from their 23-country roll out of SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. Randy candidly shared real-life examples of how the project team overcame issues with standard delivered functionality.Furthermore, Randy noted that moving any workforce to the cloud can be difficult but was made easier by using extensions created with the SAP Cloud Platform. Customers are able to take advantage of SuccessFactors solutions while maintaining a personalized experience that meets the customers’ needs.
ALL WORK AND NO PLAY IS NOT THE SUCCESSFACTORS WAY – HAVING FUN & GIVING BACK!
During the break, attendees had the opportunity to explore the show-floor and check out our cool demos including the Digital Boardroom. Lunchtime was time to network and take fun selfies of in front of a SuccessFactors backdrop. The selfie was then printed on a cookie to take home for dessert!
Students from START, a non-profit serving students at high-risk of dropping out of high-school through a Mentoring Program, Scholastic Opportunities, Health & Wellness and Public Development in STEM areas were on site and got a chance to meet attendees and many of our speakers. START has partnered with St. Michael’s Learning Academy to provide students with STEM opportunities by exposing them through field trips, STEM mentors and new technologies. Additionally, SAP contributed grant money to support the START STEM Lab, which allows students to interact with technologies without leaving school.
SAP raised sufficient funds through SAP’s gift matching program and employee donations to assist with Houston’s rebuilding. Additionally, we partnered with St. Michael’s Learning Academy to continue ongoing support with rebuilding efforts and volunteer projects.
ASUG and SAP SuccessFactors could not have chosen a better day for this conference. The energy was high from SuccessConnect, as well as the Astros’s World Series Parade. As the streets were being blocked off, thousands of Houstonians were ready to cheer their baseball team for their victorious win. Go Houston!