T E C H N O L O G Y B U S I N E S S R ES E AR C H , I N C .
TBR EVENT PERSPECTIVE
SuccessFactors’ new software features will
help clients resolve human resources
SuccessFactors SuccessConnect 2013
Las Vegas; Oct. 9–11, 2013
Matt Healey (email@example.com), Principal Analyst
SuccessFactors, an SAP company, held its annual SuccessConnect conference in Las Vegas from Oct. 9, 2013, to
Oct. 11, 2013. Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR) believes SuccessFactors, as the application edge of SAP’s
cloud strategy, is well positioned to drive overall revenue opportunity for SAP in CY14.
TBR anticipates SuccessFactors new features will be well received by the market, as they address problems faced
by large enterprises. Specifically, we believe Onboarding, Talent Book or Live Slides (name TBD), and human
resources analytics capabilities will be best received, as they have the broadest application to challenges faced by
HR departments. The integration of traditional on-premises solutions with cloud-delivered solutions will provide
customers with choices for an approach to deployment. Migration will take time, resulting in a need for traditional
on-premises software, which is critical as the number of customers deploying software in the cloud increases.
The features introduced and demonstrated at SuccessConnect can be valuable, but it is important for customers to
note that Human Capital Management (HCM) is intrinsically a human resources problem. Technology can help
address some of the concerns by highlighting problem areas, but reducing voluntary terminations, increasing
employee satisfaction and positively effecting productivity requires commitment by line managers and supervisors,
as they are often most directly responsible for these issues.
New Software Features
SAP demonstrated several new features and enhancements at SuccessConnect. The first featured product was
Onboarding. In a large enterprise, the process of onboarding new employees is a very difficult task. The new
employee is coming into an organization with which they are not familiar and getting used to systems and
processes with which they have no experience. Failure of a large organization to manage this critical period
smoothly can result in lower initial employee productivity in the best case and early voluntary termination in the
worst case. Often the early voluntary termination occurs within the first year. In this case, the time, effort and
money spent recruiting that employee is wasted and the company must start the process over. SuccessFactors
aims to smooth this process by providing a comprehensive, Onboarding, which gives an overview of the
onboarding process and can be accessed by the new employee. TBR believes the new module will be valuable for
large organizations with complicated onboarding processes.
The second new feature is tentatively named Talent Book or Live Slides (name pending GA announcement). This
module address the concerns associated when HR and line managers need to provide a review of their teams to
management. In large organizations, often this is done by developing a series of PowerPoint slides that detail the
accomplishment of the employees in a group or team. These slides are then either printed or sent digitally to
management for review. This is a highly inefficient process that SuccessFactors hopes to streamline with the new
The final feature improves HR capabilities. Analytics has become an evolving trend throughout the software
landscape. As the amount of data that is collected increases, the ability to predict trends has improved and now
extends throughout the entire enterprise. From an HR perspective, the ability to gain a greater understanding of
employee turnover, productivity, employee satisfaction and the impact of that satisfaction on the customers is
improving. This capability is being incorporated into SuccessFactors software, improving enterprises’ ability to
move from reactive to proactive analytics. Insight into employee behavior based on performance reviews, social
media, demographics and more can help managers determine the probability of events before they occur and
decide a course of action to correct problems before they harm the organization. TBR believes this capability will
be valuable to enterprises looking to move to a data-driven approach to HCM.
The Value of Choice in Delivery Options
In addition to the previously mentioned features, SuccessFactors stressed the ability of clients to utilize cloud
delivery to consume the software. TBR believes it is critical for software vendors to offer their clients cloud and
traditional on-premises options, as different customers in different regions, industries or sizes have different
needs. In many cases, customers are going to want to extend their software capabilities through cloud-based
solutions. However, it is also important for software vendors to realize that they still have a significant number of
clients with traditional on-premises deployments. These customers may be in environments where cloud delivery
is not practical due to lack of robust public infrastructure, such as some emerging markets, or may be in industries
with strict privacy and data residency requirements. Regardless of the reason, these customers will continue to
want to leverage the new features and capabilities.
Can Technology Truly Solve a Human Resources Problem?
TBR believes the new features available to customers are positive, but customers must realize the limitations of
the software when deploying HCM solutions. Simply installing the Onboarding application is not going to
immediately solve attrition problems, improve initial productivity, or address high first-year voluntary turnover.
Applying analytics to better measure the impact of low employee morale on customers will not boost employee