What to expect from SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect 2018

SAP is about to embark upon the US leg of its SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect conference series… so what can we expect?

With the European element of this conference having already been staged in Berlin this past June, SAP has the challenge of presenting what we might suggest is a ‘similar, but localized and expanded’ (Americanised Z used on purpose) version of the same kind of news, product analysis and customer references for US attendees.

But let’s go back to basics, what is SuccessConnect?

This is SAP’s devotional showcasing of its Human Resources (HR) offering, known as SuccessFactors… although it should be clarified, we are barely using the HR label these days as the term has given way to cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) technologies, which is essentially what SuccessFactors is.

Known initially as SuccessFactors, an SAP company after being acquired in December 2011, the firm was subtly rebranded as SAP SuccessFactors to exist in the form that it still takes today.

Analytics & reporting

SuccessConnect Berlin 2018 focused this year’s expansion of product features, especially in the area of analytics and reporting.

So then, what developer tracks does SuccessConnect offer?

According to SAP SuccessFactors global head of marketing Kirsten Allegri Williams, “This year at SuccessConnect, we have a track called, “Under the Hood: SAP SuccessFactors Cloud Technology.”

Attendees with a developer background can find:

Six hands on labs walking participants through how to use, develop and configure SuccessFactors software enabling them to ‘repurpose’ back at their offices.

Customer stories and panels discussing how other users are implementing SAP’s technology to run their businesses.

An overview of various technology offerings along with what is planned for future releases.

Digger deeper then, what role does Allegri Williams think these developers can play in terms of making sure HR itself helps to drive digital transformation?

People and organisational management is at the centre of digital transformation and creating an intelligent enterprise. HR is responsible for the rhythm – the heartbeat – of the organisation. HR’s role is to own the employee experience and serve as the ultimate stakeholders in whether the workforce is engaged, performing and delivering results. In doing so, they must help business leaders by giving them (and their people), the tools that not only simplify processes, but actually help people in doing their jobs – wherever their jobs take them, and whatever it is they’re working on,” said Allegri Williams

ML inside

SAP will clearly be using this conference to shine a fairly direct light on the Machine Learning (ML) capabilities (think about smart assistants and more in this area) now being engineered into the SAP Leonardo offering — how these play out for use in personnel and staffing management issues will be interesting.

The company will also almost certainly gravitate its focus on SAP Analytics Cloud.

Although an existing SuccessFactors Online Report Designer is still available, the company has already stated that its aim is to ultimately make SAP Analytics Cloud the sole query and visualisation tool in SAP SuccessFactors.

Looking ahead… what future can we predict for HR (sorry, HCM) in the era of cloud… and will cloud-based HCM systems now in fact replace most human HR managers?

Well, think about it… cloud-based systems such as SuccessFactors and others like it can provide vacation/holiday approvals, e-skills & e-learning channels, automated employee pay and remuneration analysis, workforce effectiveness analytics (and we could go on) and all those factors can be fed into digital workforce planning and management actions.

HR HCM managers who fail to embrace the new digital tools of the trade risk demoting themselves to being not a whole lot more than a human shoulder to cry on… and pretty soon there will be an app for that too.

These guys obviously REALLY like HR.

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