SuccessFactors Enlarges Human Capital Management Portfolio
Vendor expands into mobility, collaboration and social media    October 19, 2012

Summary

Earlier this year SAP acquired human resources software vendor SuccessFactors to expand its cloud computing business. Its recently outlined expansion as part of SAP’s overall cloud strategy is beginning to take shape. SuccessFactors is expanding its talent management focus to include more human capital management applications. Its Professional Edition provides employee performance and talent management to small and midsize businesses. It will adopt the SAP HANA in-memory computing technology for big data to support its workforce analytics and planning applications. It has introduced BizX Mobile Touchbase to satisfy demand for mobile applications and business collaboration, helping users keep track of issues before meetings scheduled to address them. Another mobile feature shows information about people in a meeting by using a social connector to look up individuals in LinkedIn. A knowledge-sharing application also supports both social media and mobility. In addition, SuccessFactors released Employee Central, a new cloud-based service for human capital management. Recruiting has not been forgotten; the company offers software to help attract, engage and select talent for interviews and eventually for hiring. Small and midsize companies seeking talent and performance management tools as well as compensation and recruiting should look into the capabilities of SuccessFactors Professional Edition.

Assessment

SuccessFactors Professional Edition handles employee profiles, goal management, performance management and 360-degree reviews, and includes Jam, the company’s social collaborative environment. SAP HANA should significantly enhance the computing performance of its workforce analytics and planning product while appearing mostly transparent to users. In addition, SuccessFactors has introduced new capabilities to help users develop reports and metrics that can be accessed not only from desktops but also from tablets. The product is built on a robust library of workforce content including prebuilt analytics and metrics.

BizX Mobile Touchbase runs on BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices and can interoperate with other calendaring systems. It can run alongside other BizX mobile technologies such as Jam for social collaboration. It supports informal performance management activities, including team overviews and feedback requests to help managers conduct reviews. Employee Central stores employee records and makes them available across SuccessFactors applications, and it also helps managers and employees access self-service payroll, vacation and time-off information. The application is user-centric and configurable, and it can provide quick access to a range of human capital information. Its new interface provides a simple presentation of workforce metrics, and the application is accessible on smartphones and tablets.

In terms of recruiting, SuccessFactors is bringing features from its Jobs2Web acquisition together with SuccessFactors Recruit to promote jobs not only on companies’ websites but also on job boards and social media channels. The software offers many methods to search for candidates and gain access to new talent pools, from keywords to location across all channels, including social media.

Market Impact

SuccessFactors is addressing the broad purpose of human capital management, which is to attract, engage and retain talent to meet business objectives. The company continues to work with its partners to complement its offering. For example, Workforce Software helps manage the tasks related to nonexempt employees that have specific hourly and scheduling needs. With the transition into SAP behind it, SuccessFactors has the process of integrating its applications with SAP’s well under way. Its challenge is to keep up the pace of product development while educating potential new customers and making successful new deployments across the world.

Recommendation

Employee Central has the potential to change the way businesses think about workforce applications. A critical advancement for SuccessFactors is the migration of SAP’s on-premises payroll technology to cloud availability and as a part of Employee Central. The company is advancing in a highly competitive market for next-generation applications focused on people and workforces. It has new releases coming across its applications portfolio, including compensation and learning. As organizations assess their existing deployments and evaluate new ones, we advise them to closely examine SuccessFactors’ continuing stream of strong technology advances.


 

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