Like some of you, I will be attending SAP’s annual customer conference next week, SAPPHIRENOW, May 14-16 in sunny Orlando, FL. It is also co-located with ASUG, the annual customer-focused conference for SAP’s largest user group. The event is an exciting conference since we get to hear directly from SAP, on hot topics and the overall roadmap. Specifically, within HCM there will be much focus on several topic areas which I will be listening for.
Here’s my top 5 list of SAP HCM topics I will be looking for during the conference:
1. What will HANA do (and be) for HCM? Jarret Pazahanick wrote a nice piece on HANA for HCM on SCN here. With some of the topics on the roadmap and under consideration (e.g. Compensation and Benefits modeling), it makes me wonder how (and when) on premise customers will consider using HANA. Of course, after yesterday’s announcement of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, SAP’s direction is clear for those companies ready for cloud. For those on premise customers, there is still more information they need to understand what HANA can deliver for them. I will be looking next week at how HANA’s value can be realized for both customers on premise and those seeking cloud-based HR solutions.
2. What options do customers have for a refreshing User Experience? (i.e. what about HR Renewal and the other options that customers have for improved usability?). I wrote a blog on HR Renewal a few weeks back which you can read here, where I talk about “refreshing the UI”. Certainly, the new HR Renewal will be a welcome option for many customers (already on, or upgrading to ECC 6.0, Enhancement Package 6). Robert Moeller, Solution Owner, Core HR at SAP, also just wrote a nice piece on this here on SCN, around Feature Pack 3 of HR Renewal which became available on March 13, 2013 to customers. Also, if you haven’t listened to the recent podcast from Insight Consulting Partners, please check it out here. I was honored to join Insight Consulting Managing Partner Steve Bogner, and podcast members Brandon Toombs and Martin Gillet. Both Brandon and Martin will be at SAPPHIRE this year as well.
3. Any news about Payroll in the Cloud from SAP? If you haven’t already read this piece from Holger Mueller, do yourself a favor a read his blog “And suddenly…Payroll matters again!“. SAP has been very light around this topic since the SuccessFactors acquisition. The question on the table of course is whether SAP will build out a full cloud payroll solution, or keep with their instantiated hosted payroll offering (complimented with vendors like ADP). Next week, I will be keen on understanding if there is any buzz on the ground at SAPPHIRE regarding a payroll cloud initiative.
4. Continue feeling the customer pulse around on premise v. hybrid v. full cloud On Tuesday, I will be co-presenting a session on a success story of how our organization, Worklogix, helped a leading pharmaceutical company with their global ECM (SAP Compensation) on premise solution. You can view the abstract of this session here if you would like to attend. There is also a variety of SuccessFactors sessions as well, which you can see here. I will continue to meet with customers (existing and prospective) to get their perspective on this critical topic area – always one fiercely debated with lots of strong opinions.
5. Understand the traction around mobile HCM. I wrote a blog on mobility and held an HR Forum Q&A for the Insider Learning Network which you can check out the transcript here. Did you know SAP has a store like iTunes, and specifically for the HR Line of Business? Check out SAP’s apps, as well as those from software vendors who drive innovation in this great eco-system like Worklogix, EPI-USE, and hyperCision. I will be looking to understand SAP’s direction with mobile applications, especially with regards to pricing and future innovation both using SAP HCM (Afaria as MDM and SUP as MEAP) as well as SuccessFactors offerings.
Whoever is going, please drop by booth (pod) #2027b to say hello to me and the rest of the Worklogix team who will be in the Exhibit Hall. Hope to see some of you soon!