SAP TechEd 2018: 10 Takeaways for SAP SuccessFactors and HCM

When thinking about the development-heavy nature of SAP TechEd, SAP SuccessFactors and HCM aren’t the first things that come to mind. That may be true on the customer end—much of the technical work is taken out for a company when adopting cloud software. However, as a SuccessFactors partner, we want our consultants to be up on the latest technology driving innovation in and alongside SuccessFactors so that we can best serve you.

Rizing HCM had several consultants on the ground in Las Vegas at SAP TechEd last week, learning about the latest developments in technologies and integrations that impact the SAP SuccessFactors suite. Three of those consultants—Jamie Bullen, Jean-Philippe Tremblay, and Wade Poe—put together a top-10 list of their most important observations from the event.

  1. The major theme from SAP was Intelligent Enterprise—that’s SAP’s new term for a fully integrated product suite, including SuccessFactors.
  2. To accomplish the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP has created components using Intelligent Services, Digital Core (SAP S/4HANA), SAP Data Hub (more on that later), and the SAP Cloud Platform to remove the concept of siloed business processes and data within an organization.
  3. The opening keynote had interesting demos. One of them featured an integrated solution with real-time access to data on the web (Twitter), machine learning, and augmented reality to drive a sales cycle for an automobile (get a detailed recap of the demo here).
  4. HCM is not the focus of SAP TechEd, however it will be up to us to use some of the new technologies like SAP Cloud Platform to create the intelligent enterprise for HCM.
  5. SAP Cloud Platform can tie applications together with access to APIs in SuccessFactors and S/4HANA while it all remains transparent to end users using a single access point with the Fiori Launchpad.
  6. In the S/4HANA roadmap session, on-premise HCM seems like a side project for S/4HANA while SuccessFactors remains the strategic vision for HR.
  7. In the Fiori Launchpad roadmap there were no details provided by SAP regarding how SuccessFactors fits into the picture. However, it was mentioned that SuccessFactors will be integrated, along with other cloud SAP products such as SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, and SAP Concur.
  8. It’s up to Rizing HCM to innovate in the HCM space and take advantage of the Intelligent enterprise direction of SAP. This could be in the form of products or extensions. We’ve already begun this work with Cube and Blueline.
  9. We’ve learned that S/4HANA is a consolidation of SAP ECC products that were traditionally decoupled with some integration points (e.g. SRM, CRM). Now it is consolidated as the Digital Core, part of the Intelligent Enterprise. A new term initially announced at Sapphire 2018 in Orlando is SAP C/4HANA, which is the new back office CRM. It will be interesting to see how the people data in SuccessFactors integrates with S/4HANA and C/4HANA.
  10. Speaking of data, SAP has released a product called SAP Data Hub, which gives users access to real-time information across all lines of business—including HR—to be able to make intelligent business decisions. It’s like Google for the enterprise with lots of drill down metrics and charts available.

The overarching theme here from Bullen, Tremblay, and Poe is that SuccessFactors is connected to the full SAP suite more than ever before through the Intelligent Enterprise supported by key technologies such as SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Data Hub. Integration is theme going forward, and for many SuccessFactors customers who also run other SAP products, that’s very good news.

Stick with our blog for more coverage on major SAP events like SAP TechEd and other key developments in the SAP ecosystem.