Jeremy Masters

Author, speaker, and HR technology expert

Reflections from HR Tech and SuccessConnect 2013


Hi friends,

Last week I spent a week in Las Vegas with some really smart people. HR and IT professionals came together at the beginning of the week for the 16th Annual HR Technology Conference and then at the end of the week for SuccessConnect 2013. It was so good, that by Thursday I had completely lost my voice. What a week!

A few thoughts, musings, reflections from the conferences:

At HR Tech, it was evident that customers are still searching for solutions, especially in the Talent Management space. A “talent hybrid” will become the norm for medium and large enterprises who already have a heavy investment in their on premise environment. On the Expo floor, there were a surprising number of recruiting vendors – obviously an area that is still innovating (and certainly being pushed by social recruiting companies like LinkedIn). The Worklogix team was there talking to our current and prospective customers:

Worklogix Team at HR Tech

Worklogix Team at HR Tech

Some of my favorite moments of HR Tech happened during the “TEDTalks”: Paul Sparta‘s session on debunking some myths of SaaS contracts was great. Paul did a nice job talking straight to the audience, as he was CEO of Plateau before being acquired by SuccessFactors. His point was simple and so true – treat your vendors right, and they will treat you right back. Ray Wang, from Constellation Research, took issue with some of the points made by Paul and asked Steve Boese (via Twitter) for an on stage debate next year. We’ll see if that happens ;o)

Ray also gave a great TED Talk on how the concepts of B2B and B2C are dead, and are being replaced by P2P (people to people) network. Ray is so passionate and smart, and I had the pleasure of (briefly) meeting him before he ran off to Europe for another conference. Check out his article on this topic in the Harvard Business Review.

I had the pleasure of spending more time with his Constellation Research colleague, Holger Mueller. Holger (@holgermu), Jarret (@SAP_Jarret), Pascal (@occean5)  and several of my Worklogix colleagues enjoyed a nice dinner together where we actually talked about more interesting things like yacht racing.  Check out Holger’s recaps of the conference here: HR Tech 2013 and SuccessConnect 2013. Good stuff.

I also thought it was neat to see Dave Duffield checking out a demo from around the periphery of the Workday booth. What a guy – hands behind his back, listening in humbly.

Dave Duffield listens in on a demo at the Workday booth

Dave Duffield listens in on a demo at the Workday booth

At the SuccessConnect 2013 conference, Employee Central was a focus area.  Jarret Pazahanick did a nice recap in this SCN blog, “My Thoughts on SuccessFactors Employee Central“. Luke Marson (@lukemarson) also shared some key takeaways of the conference on SCN. Martin Gillet also had some nice photography as usual.  It was great to catch up with my colleagues.

There were plenty of sessions on Employee Central, Employee Central Payroll, and even more on the talent modules, including SuccessFactors’ popular Goals and Performance Management application. There was a definite focus also on integration, as this remains the main concern for SAP customers after years of building out an integrated on premise ERP system. Integration will remain a key area for customers – even  for those that end up going to full cloud HCM – since much of the meat and potatoes (Finance, Supply Chain, SRM, CRM) may still be (and remain) on premise for these companies. Veteran industry analyst, Jim Lundy, from Aragon Research posted a blog during the show after him and I had a Twitter exchange which gave some refreshing real-world perspective on what’s happening in the marketplace. That’s a recommended read.

There was more information on SAP HANA Cloud Integration, which will end up replacing Dell’s Boomi for the Employee Central middleware (still TBD for timing).  Also, the formal announcement of SAP HANA Cloud Development Platform which will allow vendors to create custom apps in the cloud leverage the SuccessFactors API.

One of the more interesting and presumably popular models is the ‘Side-by-side’ scenario (which had previously been termed as ‘Two-tier’ where you have one or more instances of SAP HCM on premise running, as well as Employee Central for smaller countries/entities in the cloud. This is the case in the classic example of PepsiCo, who presented its story at both HR Tech and SuccessConnect.

At SuccessConnect, Worklogix was proud to be Silver Sponsors this year. It was a great conference for us as we got to connect with many customers and colleagues.

Worklogix Silver Sponsors SuccessConnect

Worklogix as Silver Sponsors of SuccessConnect 2013

On a side note, I want to congratulate Sharon Netwon and Steve Bogner as new HCM SAP Mentors for 2013.  Both are extremely knowledgeable professionals whom I have a lot of respect for.

That’s all friends- catch you later!

Follow me on Twitter @jeremymasters


Author: Jeremy Masters

Jeremy Masters is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Worklogix, a management and technology services firm specializing in enterprise application development and implementation support for HCM solutions. For 18 years, he has worked with the latest Talent Management and Self Service functionality within the SAP HCM suite and SuccessFactors, including Performance Management, Enterprise Compensation Management, ESS/MSS, Succession Planning, and E-Recruiting. He regularly presents at SAP Insider events and is the co-author of the following SAP PRESS books: Implementing Employee and Manager Self Services in SAP ERP HCM, SAP ERP HCM Performance Management, Enterprise Compensation Management in SAP ERP HCM, E-Recruiting with SAP ERP HCM, SAP ERP HCM Infotypes and SAP ERP Self-Service: Employee, Manager, and HR Renewal.

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