I just returned from Singapore this weekend, and I wanted to provide some impressions from the HR 2012 conference that I attended and presented at. I know that not all my colleagues had the opportunity to attend, so I thought I would write a few quick thoughts that I took away.
- Same challenges, different time zone. No matter which time zone you’re in, country you live in, or language you speak, I am continuing to see the same challenges with HR and IT professionals. User adoption (usability), roadmap questions on SFSF and SAP, and the need for strong online form processing (eForms)-among others!- continue to plague SAP customers in all areas in the world. This year, I had the fortune to speak in Vegas, Milan, and now Singapore, so I got a decent sampling from customers in the North America, EMEA, and AsiaPac markets.
- User experience continues its dominating theme. User adoption of self service for employee, managers, and HR is still a huge part of successful implementations. My session on usability was well-received, with many heads shaking in the audience as we looked out for usability challenges with SAP portal applications as they are today. The audience was intrigued by the new HR Renewal functionality that I discussed. A good blog with some screenshots can be found here, authored by Jarret Pazahanick. SAP has hit a cord on this one, as I imagine most on premise customers will be interested in exploring how to exploit this innovation.
- SuccessFactors story re-introduced. Raj Sundarason, VP Human Capital Management Solutions from SAP, did a nice job at the HR Plenary address, especially re-introducing the SuccessFactors story and the benefits offered by a cloud solution. The options (full cloud, on premise, and hybrid) were again explained to the customers, and there was definitely some interested faces in the crowd. There was also the same general concern on the roadmap and, especially questions on how talent management in the cloud would/could play into their existing framework since some of them were already implementing (or had recently implemented) some or all of SAP’s talent management modules. This is a work in progress of course, but kudos to Raj for a job well done.
- Mobile. Interest in mobile, but not as pronounced as I was expecting considering how heavy SmartPhone usage is in this area of the world. However, I suspect folks (desperately) want this but know that they need to “walk before they can run” with respect to their existing situation (i.e., most customers I talked to were still trying to nail down a self-service strategy).
- Singapore is a fabulous city and country. This was my first time in Singapore and had a great time, meeting some really great people, and seeing some really amazing sites.
Looking forward to the opportunity of being back next year for the AsiaPac HR2012 conference. Although the flight was a tough one (20 hrs in all: JFK-NRT-SIN), it was well worth the trip.
Thanks again to everyone at SAPInsider for this opportunity, and for the customers and friends I met while there.