In November 2016 Microsoft announced that they would be implementing the full SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite to their workforce of 114 000 employees. This is to date one of the largest roll outs of the software to be implemented on a global scale. With their steady growth and now the landing of this major contract, is SuccessFactors about to become to HCM what Salesforce is to CRM?
The Microsoft SuccessFactors deal
When announcing its adoption of SuccessFactors, Microsoft cited its reasons as the open platform strategy, flexibility, extensibility and its global capabilities. The software appealed to Microsoft’s cloud-first, mobile-first philosophy and it hopes that it will help drive employee engagement and create a better employee experience.
Ultimately Microsoft’s objectives are not that distant from other global organisations: to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. The question is: Will SuccessFactors be able to deliver?
A competitive HCM industry
According to Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri, they are finding business opportunities in the US and Europe where there have been SucessFactors failures. Citing an inability to get large customers live, it’s a question of being able to scale the technology.
Yet Microsoft is not the only large global organisation that has chosen SuccessFactors. Ernst & Young which has 212,000 employees across 150 different countries is using the HCM software to empower regional HR teams to manage their talent needs and help standardise global HR processes. They cite the ability to improve automation and implement self-service technology as a major plus.
SIX Group which handles the infrastructure for Switzerland’s financial markets has also chosen SAP SuccessFactors along with the SAP HANA cloud platform as its HCM solution. It’s looking to have a more agile HR organisation to be able to drive HR transformation.
Companies in the energy sector such as SPFL Energia, Brazil’s third largest energy company have selected SAP SuccessFactors as part of the SAP suite of products to help drive its digital transformation and in the process achieve greater efficiency.
A leading Chinese design and clothing manufacturing organisation, Seven Brand, has implemented SuccessFactors in order to have access to real time HR data analysis to drive business transformation and retain its best employees.
Currently there are more than 1350 companies that have adopted SAP SucessFactors Employee Central and despite Workday’s CEO’s comments this shows no signs of tapering. What has convinced companies that this is the right HCM platform for them?
Global HR trends
Increasingly company CEO’s are recognising the value of employee engagement, from onboarding to social business and collaboration. Transformation appears to be a high priority for global organisations because of the complexities of operating in different parts of the world. HCM systems are expected to be agile, cloud based and be able to incorporate learning and training with talent management and detailed analytics. This then empowers HR and divisional managers to monitor team execution in terms of business strategies and help maximize the potential that their human resources represent in the organisation. Being able to achieve this successfully in different locations across the globe is invaluable and it appears this, at least in part, is SuccessFactors attractiveness.