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SAP-SuccessFactors roadmap takes shape

Just months after SAP purchased SuccessFactors, the company is shedding light on what its new human capital management roadmap will look like.

Less than three months after SAP’s announcement it was buying the on-demand human-resources software maker SuccessFactors,...

the two companies Wednesday provided some initial details on what that combined SAP-SuccessFactors portfolio will look like and what the implications are for customers now that the acquisition is complete.

The new roadmap includes adding functionality to SuccessFactors’ core human capital management (HCM) software. SuccessFactors’ talent management applications will also now serve as SAP’s “go-to” applications in that area of functionality. Additionally, SuccessFactors’ applications will get in-memory analytics technology.

SAP announced its plan to buy SuccessFactors, based in San Mateo, Calif., for $3.4 billion in early December. Company officials said it would lead to an “end-to-end offering of cloud and on-premises solutions for managing all relevant business processes.” 

SAP’s HCM roadmap calls for building out SuccessFactors’ main HCM application, Employee Central, but continuing with SAP’s core on-premises HCM.

That was welcome news to Cindy Jutras, an independent analyst. “They’re continuing to invest in the on-premises, core HCM solution that they already have,” Jutras said. “They’re not going to turn their back on that.”

At the same time, Jarret Pazahanick, an SAP HCM consultant with EIC Experts, a Houston-based IT consulting firm, applauded SAP’s decision to enhance the SuccessFactors’ core product.

“When you hear ‘bold investment’ I equate that to a major commitment, and it will be important to get clarity on the timelines on when customers can expect enhanced functionality,” Jarret wrote in a blog post Wednesday morning. “For SAP to truly have a full HCM cloud solution they will have to build out or partner in areas such as payroll, time management and benefits.”

Indeed, SAP’s experience with and development on financial software will add to SuccesFactors’ capabilities as well.

“They support 51 different countries for payroll themselves, in addition to partners beyond that. That’s an area we haven’t built out on Employee Central yet,” said Jeff Kristick, vice president of global product marketing for SuccessFactors. He added that the increased functionality would come from SAP’s help in accelerating the Employee Central roadmap. 

SAP-SuccessFactors takes on talent management

SAP is also making SuccessFactors’ talent management software -- its “go-to” applications in performance management, compensation management and learning management. But SAP said it will continue to enhance some of its own on-premises talent management applications in the coming decade with in-memory technology and mobile functionality, among other updates. 

While the goal is to make good on existing roadmap commitments and give customers a choice, Kristick said the hope was that most on-premises customers would make the change over time.

“I think customers will be interested and want to move to the cloud when it makes sense,” he said.

The two companies also announced they would be leveraging SAP’s in-memory technology across SuccessFactors’ analytics applications, namely SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics and Workforce Planning. That means that SAP will abandon its in-memory Strategic Workforce Planning application.  The application was available for pilot projects only, according to SAP, and had not yet been generally released.

SAP’s Career OnDemand, which had been in development but not released, will not move forward.  However, some of the product’s functionality, specifically the ability to incorporate peer reviews into the evaluation process, will be folded into SuccessFactors software in the future.


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