Lars Dalgaard on Becoming an SAP Company

Feature Article | March 5, 2012 by Perry Manross

SAP.info: February 16 saw the official convergence of SAP and SuccessFactors. In run up to the close, there has been a lot of press on what the acquisition of SuccessFactors will do for SAP, but what benefits do you think this acquisition will have for SuccessFactors?

Lars Dalgaard: SAP has the most intellectual property, the most customers and the best apps and products in the world. We have a huge opportunity to leverage the SAP domain expertise to accelerate SuccessFactors’ cloud business. We’ll now be able to deliver innovations in one to two years that were originally on our 10-year roadmap.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime! We’ll now be able to expand our sales footprint, continue building our partner ecosystem, increase our implementation scalability and build the strongest customer service organization in the market. This is huge!

Together, there is no doubt in my mind that SuccessFactors and SAP will have the absolute best enterprise software go-to-market strategy in the world.

SAP.info: What differences and similarities in corporate cultures have you recognized between SuccessFactors and SAP?

Lars Dalgaard: In the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many SAP colleagues around the world and engage in one-on-ones with many of the talented people. I can honestly say that I’ve been impressed every step of the way.

Not only is the SAP team smart, quick, and fast – they’re fun! SuccessFactors is full of smart and passionate people who value our customer success above all else. I am thrilled to see the same value among our new team members at SAP.  We both clearly want to win and I love that!

Lars Dalgaard, CEO of SuccessFactors, an SAP company

SAP.info:  For those not familiar with SuccessFactors’ business, what advantages have your customers reaped by putting their HR processes in the cloud? What is the advantage of doing so as opposed to say outsourcing HR processes?

Lars Dalgaard: I started SuccessFactors nearly 11 years ago after being inspired by my previous employers. I used to work at two of the world’s biggest companies.

One of my biggest learnings from these companies was that many executives really don’t know how to manage their people. To make it worse, the software they rely on to help them is seemingly useless – resulting in ineffective and cold people management.

I believed there was a better way to do this. I felt strongly that employees could be at the center of the company with the right people management tools and analytics. This belief spurred my passion for changing the way people work and inspired me to start SuccessFactors.

Now 11 years later, our Business Execution (BizX) suite improves company performance by helping executives pinpoint workforce issues, staff the best people, align them to the right goals, and maximize their contributions. Our ultimate goal is to raise global productivity 50% – bridging the gap between strategy and execution. That’s Business Execution, or BizX.

We’re not kidding when we say “It’s time to love work again.” Our team lives and breathes this every day when we build our products and support our customers. And we do it all in the cloud!

The cloud is the best way to ensure all our customers benefit with direct access to the best solutions all the time, from any device. We don’t split different versions of our software across customers, but instead run one version in the cloud.

Today we have 20 products and are the fastest growing publicly traded SaaS company of our size. BizX combined with SAP ERP in the cloud, is the future. We will be the pioneers in this revolution!

SAP.info:  Which part of the closer relationship between SAP and SuccessFactors are you looking forward to most?

Lars Dalgaard: I’m ecstatic about the unique opportunity to immediately fast forward our vision for the cloud. I’m also extremely excited about finding a way to build truly beautiful products with SAP. With our combined strength we will be available on every single device and for every single user in the world. The opportunity is there.

More information on Lars Dalgaard is available on the SuccessFactors Web site.

Follow Lars Dalgaard on Twitter.

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