SAP SuccessFactors 2020 Year in Review: Virtual Events, Product Release, and HR’s Importance

SAP SuccessFactors 2020 Year in Review: Virtual Events, Product Release, and HR’s Importance featured image

When conducting an SAP SuccessFactors 2020 Year in Review, it’s hard not to notice how HR and HCM software’s critical importance came to the forefront. Let’s look back at the year that was in the SAP SuccessFactors ecosystem.

SAP SuccessFactors 2020 Year in Review

The COVID-19 Impact

It’s a cliché at this point to say it, but we’ll say it anyway: The COVID-19 pandemic created a truly unprecedented set of circumstances for the world. Businesses had to make difficult personnel decisions, and for many, it’s been a struggle to survive. The move to remote work at many organizations necessitated the need for new processes and systems. Once a niche video chat tool, Zoom ascended in the lexicon to verb status, next to Google and Uber.

As the pandemic hit, we looked at ways to adapt SAP SuccessFactors to track and trace employee exposure. We also sought solutions for managing risk and employee wellness through analytics and ways to configure talent pools to help bring employees who may have been let go for COVID-19-related reasons back in possibly new and different roles that fit their skillsets.

Payroll teams also had to adjust to new stimulus payments, sick leave rules, and other rules and regulations.

Still, amidst all the turmoil, many companies attempted to move forward. For example, Australian waste management company Bingo launched SAP SuccessFactors this year, which will provide benefits going forward and help them better meet future HR challenges.

There may be a new normal created during the pandemic, with remote work becoming more prevalent. Still, many are waiting for face-to-face contact to return. One place that we missed that in-person interaction this year was with events, which needed to adapt along with the rest of us.

Moving to Virtual Events

There were actually in-person events early this year, including NRF 2020. At the big retail event, SAP discussed how it is using technology to eliminate bias in recruiting. Diversity, inclusion, and equality were important topics brought to the forefront in 2020. Many companies like ourselves have taken a hard look at eliminating inherent biases in our own businesses.

By spring, in-person events had been canceled for the year. That meant Sapphire 2020, SAP’s biggest event, was conducted virtually. The hot topics discussed on the HCM side included remote HR work and protecting employees (of course), quicker time-to-value on HR transformation projects, expanded integration of the SAP Digital Assistant, and the growth of Human Experience Management (HXM).

SAP SuccessFactors took center stage for SuccessConnect 2020, with SAP again focused on the human experience with Qualtrics and enhanced UX with a new homepage and SAP Workzone for HR. Actress Viola Davis also knocked it out of the park in an unforgettable guest keynote.

The virtual events seemed to improve as everyone adjusted to what works best in those situations as the year went on. Still, many are hoping for a return to in-person events sooner rather than later.

Highlights from 2020 SAP SuccessFactors Releases

Events are great places to find out the latest in SAP SuccessFactors, and we saw that with the announcement of SAP Workzone for HR. However, with cloud software, changes are happening throughout the year.

In 2020, SAP moved from a quarterly release schedule to biannual. This meant bigger releases in each half, and that required some adjustment for both partners and customers.

One of the biggest upgrades in the H1 2020 SAP SuccessFactors release came in Continuous Performance Management (CPM). This update required an Admin Opt-In, so there are a few things to consider before moving to the latest, greatest CPM.

Onboarding 2.0 saw some major compliance updates in the H2 2020 release, enabling adoption for customers in new countries. It’s important to remember that Onboarding 2.0 has many key differences from Onboarding 1.0 and requires new certification by partners. Certification helps ensure your organization is getting quality SAP SuccessFactors project work.

Another key highlight from H2 2020 was the deprecation of the “CDP Lite” option in SAP SuccessFactors Performance and Goals. If your organization has been using that feature, there are other options for Career Development Planning.

These are just a few of the many updates to SAP SuccessFactors in 2020, and we expect much more in 2021.

Looking Ahead to 2021

Now that we’ve finished this SAP SuccessFactors 2020 Year in Review, we’ll all be excited to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. The early parts of each year typically bring news from SAP SuccessFactors—you might remember that SAP announced an extension of mainstream maintenance back in February. We already know that SAP SuccessFactors Time Tracking is coming in January.

Here’s to a better 2021, full of the best product upgrades and announcements, the coolest events, and finally moving forward again.