After my “spring conference tour” (HR2014 in Orlando, Mastering SAP & Payroll in Johannesburg, HR2014 in Nice, and SAPPHIRE/ASUG 2014), I have listed five key takeaways from my interactions with customers.
- Customers are still struggling with the basics. Topics such as security/authorizations, reporting, organizational updates, portals, authentication, mobile enablement continue to plague customers. Throughout this exciting time of HR systems innovation, we often overlook that ‘business keeps happening’ (i.e., organizations are dynamic, employees need to get paid – and paid correctly). As consultants, we need to remember that we can’t mess up the basics as we are looking at the “new and shiny”.
- There is significant interest from the SAP install base in HR Renewal and other ways to refresh the overall user experience for employees, managers, and HR Professionals. The update of the current portal interface using SAPUI5 (SAP’s take on HTML5) is a popular topic on the ground. Furthermore, and specific to HR Renewal (and other SAPUI5 services), knowing now that we can couple SAP Netweaver Gateway and SAP ECC provides customers with an even a lower TCO.
- Hybrid (core HR on premise, full/partial talent in the cloud) will be commonplace for companies in the next 5-7 years. After talking with many organizations, the reality of integrations and their complications are here to stay. Integration strategy and middleware choice is increasingly important for customers running SAP HCM.
- The “fury” over Fiori has been laid to rest. SAP Fiori is now included as part of the standard SAP maintenance fee for customers. It’s a pity that SAP customers had to fight for this like they did, but it does give some comfort in knowing that the user community is a force to be reckoned with when they believe something is unjust. The UI merging of HR Renewal, SAP Fiori, and SuccessFactors will seem to be a top priority. The vision of (since-departed) Vishal Sikka of a unified HTM5 UI may not be as farfetched as I originally thought.
- HANA is still a nebulous term for customers (no pun intended), but some are starting to understand that it’s not just a database anymore. More and more professionals are starting to understand the importance of PaaS (Platform as a Service), and the capabilities of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. As partners, many in the SAP eco-system look forward to the day when the HANA Marketplace will be as robust as AppExchange.
Feel free to comment below if you would like to add.