Exclusive interview with Arun Srinivasan, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at Fieldglass.

bodySrinivasan, Arun_2012The latest Oxford Economics research finds exploding usage of contingent, intermittent, seasonal and consultant employees. Recently surveyed HR executives in every region of the world ranked this one of the top five labor market shifts impacting their organizations. Perhaps no other company has as much experience with contingent workers as Fieldglass. Recognized as a leading technology provider for procuring and managing contingent labor and services, Fieldglass has long been at the forefront of the workforce management industry.

In this exclusive interview, Arun Srinivasan, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at Fieldglass, talks about how the combination of SAP and Fieldglass helps customers tackle their toughest workforce challenges.

Q: What’s the secret to effective workforce management, and what role does technology play in the equation?

A: Effective workforce management comes down to the alignment of a company’s strategic goals with daily workforce activities. Just like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, once someone’s personal needs are met, the value comes from the recognition that they are contributing in a meaningful way to the greater goals of the company. Technology’s role in this process is crucial. With the right software, companies can quickly identify, analyze and track the skills and talents of all workers across the organization by team, business unit, country or region. The beauty of having a structured, scalable model is that it allows managers to pinpoint workforce gaps, measure performance results against company metrics, and take action before major problems occur.

Q: As you talk with customers about their biggest pain points what surprises you the most?

A: I’m continually amazed at the considerable gap that exists between what’s been solved and the addressable areas of flexible workforce management. The ownership of this area differs from company to company, intersecting both HR and procurement. Because of this, we find that workforce management remains one of the unconquered frontiers.

Q: Where do you see opportunities for customers from the combination of Fieldglass plus SAP?

A: With Fieldglass, SAP can provide both a total spend management solution and a total workforce management solution. With SAP Human Capital Management and the SuccessFactors cloud-based HR suite, customers can manage their full-time employees, and now with Fieldglass, they can manage their non-employees including consultants, contractors, and outsourced, intermittent, seasonal, and part-time workers.

Q: What can you tell us about integration plans and timelines with the SAP portfolio?

A: The synergies are already happening. Let me tell you one story. Right after SAP acquired Fieldglass, one of our customers described the deal as the tail wind accelerating his organization’s workforce and procurement plans. They had already put together Ariba and SAP solutions along with Fieldglass to achieve company objectives; from their perspective, the acquisition just accelerated their journey. We will continue down the integration path and productize these integrations for streamlined customer consumption and even more business value. Beyond the obvious opportunities for integration with cloud products like Ariba’s business-to-business network and the SuccessFactors HR suite, we’re working closely with SAP to explore further alignment with on-premise solutions such as finance, supplier relationship management, materials management  and asset management.

Q: What are your top three priorities?

A: First, we are committed to staying focused on delivering customer value. Being customer-centric is something that’s in our DNA, and we will retain that as part of SAP. The second priority is to continue delivering innovation at a fast pace. This encompasses both native Fieldglass products as well as solutions that complement those already in the SAP portfolio. Thirdly, we will continue to invest in our partners, enabling them to successfully implement and run programs using Fieldglass technology. We’re also working with SAP’s partner team, all while educating partners on the incredible opportunities our combined solutions offer their customers.

Q: What can customers expect from Fieldglass in the coming months?

A: We are actively working on our year-end solution release, as well as the integration opportunities with other SAP solutions. A lot of the design work has begun, and customers can expect to see the results of our integration efforts beginning in early 2015.

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