SuccessConnect 2021: Boldly Transforming where HR hasn’t gone before

Created on October 15, 2021
Last updated on September 19th, 2022 at 2:13 pm by Sherryanne Meyer

This year’s SuccessConnect – though still virtual – reaches even further towards achieving SuccessFactors®’ vision of people at the center of everything. For years, we have heard business leaders echo each other, “People are our most valuable asset.” Technology, however, has not overwhelmingly succeeded in making that happen. A lot of what we have seen has been the extension and digitization of well-worn HR processes.

Enter innovations like the reimagined homepage, HR Workzone (awarded product of the year by the HR Technology Conference and HR Executive), Opportunity Marketplace, and the evolving Dynamic Teams vision. A few years ago, we wondered what HXM really was. Later we understood HXM as being tied to Qualtrics’ Employee Experience Management. But it’s clear now that the vision for HXM transcends anything we originally imagined and spans the entire workplace experience. SAP is focused on empowering HR with tools that will deliver what employees are craving: a sense of purpose and opportunities for individuality, learning, and development.


The human experience at work will only get more personal.

~ Jill Popelka, speaking at SuccessConnect 2021


HXM answers the question: How can we value every person every day?

Amy Wilson, Senior Vice President of Products and Design at SuccessFactors, shared the design principles behind creating the ultimate Human Experience Management: serving up individualization, efficiency, and opportunity so that people feel accomplished, supported, confident and inspired. SAP’s top three innovations are all focused on creating an optimal individual user experience: the Reimagined Homepage and HR Work Zone, Opportunity Marketplace, and Team Dynamics.

User Experience


“It [the Homepage] thinks about how I work and what matters to me.” 

– Meg Bear, speaking at SuccessConnect


Traditional, remote, hybrid, deskless, contingent workers – these are all part of the SuccessConnect story. And HR professionals, too, who are facing the same challenges as the rest of the workforce – and, yet, need to support the workforce.

The reimagined homepage, launched in 2020, is designed to create an overall engaging employee experience.  With the H2 2021 release, an enhanced onboarding experience is incorporated that works for managers and employees. Imagine your new hire having everything they need to be successful day one – maybe even 30 days in advance.

SAP SuccessFactors Homepage

As the digital workplace became the only workplace over the last two years, SAP Work Zone for HR was poised to create a unified digital workplace experience for all people. Work Zone provides access to data across many, often disparate, systems, creating a consistent collaborative digital workplace experience. The solution comes with prebuilt templates and connected services for SAP solutions.

SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone at SuccessConnect

One example of the use of Work Zone came in a story told in the Keynote by Maryann Abbajay, Chief Revenue Officer for SAP SuccessFactors.  Royal Mail used Work Zone to create “the Fridge”, a personal development platform to power learning for140,000 employees and empower people managers to drive transformation.

See a demo of Work Zone and all capabilities in the breakout Roadmap Session in SuccessConnect replays.


Opportunity Marketplace and the Center of Capabilities


Careers are no longer one long story, but many more – a series of short stories – and very much shaped by the individual. . . we need transparency so people can shape their careers.

~Anabel Fall, speaking at SuccessConnect 2021


Opportunity Marketplace, launching with the H2 2021 release, will give people the tools they need to grow their careers with full transparency and will improve internal mobility. The solution leverages a combination of AI-driven intelligence tools and algorithms to achieve the best matches for employees.

The Center of Capabilities, also being released in the H2 2021 release, will be a key component in Opportunity Marketplace. In this first release of the solution, intelligent recommendations are derived from

  • capabilities (skills and competencies),
  • personal preferences for learning and mentoring, and
  • recommendations based on choices other employees have made (for both learning and career role recommendations).

Future releases will make recommendations even more contextual, providing situational recommendations.

Read more about Opportunity Marketplace in our separate blog and by following Rizing’s SAP SuccessFactors Release Updates.


Dynamic Teams

Feelings of hope, resilience optimism and efficacy are very much tied to the people we work with.

~Amy Wilson, speaking at SuccessConnect


SAP SuccessFactors’ research shows that psychological capital is directly impacted by the teams within which we work, and that 82% of employees have participated in a dynamic – or ad hoc – team more than once. But dynamic teams are generally pulled together based on who we already know and are hidden from the rest of the organization.

There’s an opportunity here to improve the human experience, expand the pool of available resources for special team projects, provide more opportunities for skill development, and increase the diversity of perspective and experience in our work. SAP SuccessFactors Dynamic Teams, slated for release in 2022, will be integrated into Opportunity Marketplace.

Explore the SAP SuccessFactors Dynamic Teams research in the SuccessFactors® Community. (S-User ID required)


Moving to cloud

Digital transformation through moving to cloud can bring some surprising benefits. SuccessConnect delivered on the value proposition to help you build your business case – from customer stories to the latest in current and planned releases.


When we started the journey a few years ago, I heard that bots could do majority of this work that a human would process on a day to day basis to me I was a little skeptical. But looking at the bots we have deployed and how seamlessly they can lock into one system to another – all of that still surprises me the most. I’m really happy we’re going on this journey.

~ Arun Seriker speaking at SuccessConnect


If you are one of the SAP On-Premise customers assessing your options from moving to SAP SuccessFactors, Track 3-Making a Successful Move from On-Premise to Cloud, is for you. One highly recommended session is Our Strategy to Help SAP ERP HCM Solution Customers Move to the Cloud to Achieve the Intelligent Enterprise, delivered by Imran Said and Todd Asevedo, along with Duncan Scott.

SuccessConnect 2021 SAP Portfolio Strategy

The SAP HXM Move program allows you to move at your pace for core HR, Time, and Payroll along with the talent modules and experience management. Learn about new commercial models and explore your options with Rizing’s RISE with SAP for HXM program.


What about Payroll and Time Management?

SAP released Time Tracking in December 2021, it is being used live in production by customers, and, there is already a 200,000 employee customer using it. The functionality is focused on getting people paid. All new time capability will be delivered in Time Tracking.

A next generation payroll solution is in development – but not for the immediate future. The recommendation is to stick with Employee Central Payroll. When a new payroll solution is available, the expectation is that there will be migration options for moving payroll and integrating Time Tracking with the new payroll.


Attracting, engaging and developing talent

The major changes for talent management are in the Opportunity Marketplace and connecting functionality for capabilities and dynamic teams.

Check out the Product Demo for WorkZone: Create Individualized Employee Experiences from Anywhere with SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone, which provides a good overview of how WorkZone supports your talent.

Ever wonder how SAP manages 20,000 candidates a year? Learn how in Experience How SAP Runs SAP: Six Candidate-Listening Insights Revealed and the Actions Taken to Drive Better Results.


Food for thought: Moving Forward

Last but not least, if you did not get a chance to hear Adam Grant’s keynote conversation with Jill Popelka, take some time to do that. There are so many words of wisdom in that conversation, to help us be flexible, open-minded and able to pivot with change.

Step one: embrace not knowing; forget the answers you think you know. Adam notes that Blackberry, Blockbuster, Kodak, Sears, Toys R Us. . . none of those leaders were bad at thinking; they were just too slow when it came to rethinking.

What’s the one thing Adam would do to change the world of work? He would have us work less.

Adam is continuing his work with SuccessFactors® in a new series: Forward that focuses on the workplace experiences of employees.


We’ll leave you with one final thought from SAP SuccessFactors President, Jill Popelka.


One of the top three things people look for is purpose.

It’s no longer about fitting your life into work.

It’s about fitting work into life.

~ Jill Popelka, speaking at SuccessConnect 2021


And, this, HR colleagues, is why it’s time to change work for good.

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