SuccessConnect Berlin 2018 began with a bang ─ literally ─ as a band of drummers on stage woke up the audience by pounding to the beat of a psychedelic explosion of continuously morphing geometric images on the big screen behind them.
Greg Tomb, president of SAP SuccessFactors, kicked off the two-day event with an equally eye-opening glimpse into the future of work in 2025. This was coupled with the company’s groundbreaking commitment to people technology, otherwise known as total workforce management that provides a personalized user experience for employees, and powers the intelligent enterprise.
“It’s not only looking at our full-time employees, but the entire workforce of contractors, temporary employees, the gig economy, as an integrated process in today’s world,” said Tomb. “Fifty percent of workers consist of millennials or Generation Z, and they think differently and work differently. Predictive analytics, AI, machine learning and conversational assistants all exist today in SAP SuccessFactors solutions, and can bring a tremendous amount of value to business.”
Passion for Agile Innovation in the Workplace
Unlike historical HR technology that made the manager’s life easier, today’s innovations change every employee’s experience. For example, digital assistants from SAP now help employees make faster, smarter decisions by accessing data across SAP solutions, including SAP SuccessFactors. One example during the opening keynote was a digital assistant that understood an HR manager’s natural language to speed up processes like an employee promotion and correlated salary increase. Another scenario had a digital assistant replacing rigid new-hire training schedules with highly individualized learning opportunities in manageable bites, like short videos on demand, or colleague information even before the first day of employment.
“We’ve mixed technology into our personal lives every day, and we’re bringing that same speed and agility into the workplace,” said Tomb.
Talent is Biggest Business Driver
The audience of customers and partners from almost 70 countries applauded loudest when Tomb said SAP SuccessFactors surpassed the 100 million daily user milestone this past spring, making it the largest public cloud business applications company in the world. Almost 1 billion transactions fly through SAP SuccessFactors each day, which Tomb credited to the portfolio’s size, continuous localization for regulatory compliance, and most important, demand for quality talent.
“There’s a scarcity of talent hitting us, and it’s growing every single year,” said Tomb. “One study showed over 70 percent of CEOs cited their number one concern in meeting their objectives was having the right talent. Talent can either be a roadblock or the catalyst for your success. Attracting the right people, keeping them motivated, and reskilling them fast is key to your success.”
Total Workforce Management is Integrated, Digital
Joining Tomb on stage, Adaire Fox-Martin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, continued the data-driven yet people-oriented theme. She emphasized how SAP SuccessFactors customers can use the SAP Analytics Cloud solution for unified intelligence. Executives can have strategic, fact-based conversations about hiring, developing, and rewarding talent that include finance and other parts of the organization. This helps support major corporate commitments such as diversity and inclusion.
“Every company is a software company, and software is developed by people,” she said. “Every company needs to be a people-oriented business. We provide an integrated, modular suite that is intelligent. It’s built on a common platform with common data and mega-processes that integrate across an entire company. This creates a virtuous cycle. Each step fuels holistic, real-time intelligence to refine business processes so you can put the SAP innovation engine to work for you. HR is the heart of the intelligent enterprise.”
Intelligent Enterprise Transforms Workforce
Talking with a gathering of senior HR executives from A-list organizations – Bentley Motors Ltd., Bertelsmann SE & Co KGAA, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and Vodaphone Group – Tomb spotlighted how these leading-edge organizations were transforming the employee experience. While these customers had unique challenges, each described how SAP SuccessFactors has helped drive employee experience changes that were strategic to the business.
“The intelligent enterprise gives us the ability to bring multiple cloud assets from SAP together — SAP SuccessFactors, Fieldglass, SAP S/4HANA, Concur, Ariba — and really build that next generation of business processes and value,” said Tomb.
More than anything, Tomb said SAP SuccessFactors takes usability and simplicity seriously: “The workforce of today and the future is adopting technology in their personal lives much faster than how we’re doing in the business market. We make sure we have an incredible, beautiful individual user experience not just for the HR manager, but every user.”
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