Why Upgrade2Success and Why Now?

The Upgrade2Success program represents a key strategic investment that SAP is making in its customers. That’s right: an investment in customers.

Not in obtaining new customers; not in new acquisitions or new emerging markets — not to say investments like this aren’t important — but an investment in its customers. It’s well known that the best run companies run SAP and this program is another example of why.

Upgrade2Success is a key program designed to support on-premise SAP ERP HCM customers migrating to the cloud. Moving to the cloud is inevitable and SAP recognizes that as a trusted software vendor to the world’s best run companies, it has a critical role to play in helping customers reduce the time, cost, and risk along the way.

Some may argue with my point that businesses moving core systems to the cloud is inevitable, but one can hardly argue now that cloud technologies are a fad, even if the name cloud is clever marketing. I have been meeting with hundreds of customers all across North America at our Upgrade2Success road shows and one constant question I am asked — once we set aside the issue of inevitability — is “why SAP and why now?”

I wrote this to share my point of view in response to this consistent question from HR leaders and IT stakeholders alike.

Business processes aren’t simply evolving. We are now seeing the tipping point from evolution to an outright reimagination of what’s possible and as a result they are being completely and totally recreated, redesigned, and reconstructed. Changing your core HR system — a system that is arguably at the very center of every single business transaction — is a once in a decade, or perhaps even a once in a lifetime, opportunity.

For the first time in my 20-year business career, almost all of which has been exclusively in the HCM software space, I am seeing business leaders looking at technology not just to support and react to the current environment but with an eye to the next several decades — yes, decades — because the pace of change is moving at an exponential rate and the systems in place were never designed to manage this sort of disruption and expectation.

The next generation, dubbed ‘digital natives,’ has now entered the workforce; we’re not talking millennials anymore. These employees have never known life without the fast, consumer-grade, collaborative and anywhere-anytime technology available today. It’s no longer about point and click, it’s about a personalized mobile experience. It’s a transformation of how we work, live, love, learn, and play. The employee is arguably now at the center of everything because customer-centricity depends on your employees’ ability to manage these expectations and they need the tools and technology to do it. That means mobile, social, global, and, most importantly, analytical.

The importance of measuring business process redesign impact and investment is more important than ever before. Employee-centricity is the new business paradigm and it’s no longer just about attracting and retaining talent, it’s about attracting and retaining customers. The two go hand in hand but it starts with your human capital. I want to emphasize the word starts because it doesn’t end there. HR isn’t an island and to supercharge your enterprise-wide systems you need a consistent, digitalized, and integrated user experience with every interaction and transaction.

Upgrading your core on-premise HCM solution to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central isn’t just about a new HR system. It’s not even about a new business system, as I mentioned previously. We’re writing a new chapter in history. We are helping our employees become more intelligent and empowered, giving them the ability to predict with accuracy and react with speed.

Making this change now will therefore set you apart from your competitors and allow your employees to seize opportunities beyond limits — limits in innovation, customer service, and collaboration for many, many years to come.

The Upgrade2Success program therefore is step number one to creating the intelligent enterprise and this just isn’t possible without first focusing on your employees. This is where the passion lies. Your tireless efforts to earn your customers’ trust and loyalty is wasted if you don’t start with your employees. Ripping it out and replacing it with another system doesn’t make much sense when looking at how to make your business systems smarter, faster, bolder, and more personalized. They must be connected and no one does integration better than SAP.

SAP Executive Board Member Rob Enslin said it best: “The pace of change is relentless. But the rewards will be unlike any we’ve imagined to date because your work today is defining business aspirations of tomorrow. Be strong. Be collaborative. Be eager. Being at your absolute best ensures only the best run SAP.”

So, as you redesign your business processes to accommodate the rapid change in the world around you, as you strive to deliver new and innovative solutions, as you consider building a purpose driven culture, start by reimagining what’s possible first with your core HCM systems, and then to all the systems in which this data comes and goes.

To learn more and jump start this process I strongly recommend that you attend one of our roadshows. You can also contact me to learn more about the Upgrade2Success program and the incredible benefits you have yet to realize. We are making migration easier than ever.

If you are an existing on-premise SAP HR customer and are interested in making this transition, please remember SAP has invested time, money, and resources into Upgrade2Success to make sure you are successful. To learn more, check out the resources, including the global series of roadshow events, here.


Adam Greenberg is vice president of Strategic Accounts for Upgrade2Success at SAP.