With the need for greater collaboration in virtual environments, SAP recently introduced several new integrations between Microsoft Teams and SAP solutions, including SAP SuccessFactors Learning. I spoke to SAP SuccessFactors President Jill Popelka to learn more about these integrations and hear her thoughts on why learning is becoming even more important and how SAP is innovating in this area.
Q: It goes without saying that the way we work has changed drastically over the last year. How has this impacted learning?
A: Learning has never been more important. While learning has traditionally been essential for standard compliance and basic role training, it plays an increasingly critical role in helping companies drive the people and culture transformation required to adopt new business models and deliver new innovations. In fact, 45 percent of executives believe that building an organizational culture that celebrates growth, adaptability, and resilience is the most important action they can take to transform work.
As companies continue to face unanticipated change and disruption, employees are being asked to take on additional tasks, expand responsibilities, and even work on new teams. Organizations need to support their people every step of the way, which includes delivering personalized, relevant learning opportunities that will empower them to be successful.
The ways in which people learn and how they consume information are also evolving. How is SAP adapting its learning solutions to keep pace with meeting the needs of the learner and the organization?
As the world of work changes so must our approach to educating and reskilling the workforce. In 2019, SAP identified human experience management – or HXM – as the next market category for human resources (HR) technology. We recognized the need to evolve our solutions from focusing on just HR processes to delivering engaging, individualized employee experiences. Work may look different today, but intuitive, personalized experiences and technology that prioritizes human connection remain vital to success.
When it comes to learning, we continue to make several updates to our solutions with HXM in mind. We introduced a redesigned experience for SAP SuccessFactors Learning in late 2020 to help boost engagement, deliver a more intuitive experience on web and mobile, and surface recommended learning courses. We recently launched an in-product course authoring tool within SAP Litmos to help organizations easily develop engaging courses and deliver the best possible learning experience. And finally, we launched SAP Work Zone for HR to help include guided learning experiences to support employees during critical work and life events.
With digital and virtual learning on the rise, it’s become more important to foster an environment where people can collaborate and share knowledge to build up skills quickly. We are enabling learners to easily find and consume learning content on any device, at any time by advancing our own solutions and tapping into our robust partner ecosystem. Placing learning in the immediate context of employees’ day-to-day activities can help create stronger collaboration and increase workplace productivity.
Speaking of your partner ecosystem, SAP and Microsoft recently expanded their partnership with new learning integrations. Can you tell us more about these innovations and what SAP customers can expect?
Many of our customers rely on Microsoft solutions to support collaboration across the business, and we want to seamlessly offer SAP solutions where we know employees can most naturally and seamlessly access them. Two new integrations bring together SAP SuccessFactors Learning and Microsoft technologies, furthering our vision to make learning accessible when, where, and how individuals prefer.
The first integration will make the course catalog within SAP SuccessFactors Learning accessible in Microsoft Viva. Learners can search for a course without having to switch applications and choose to either open it, share it, pin it to a channel, or add it to their own personal learning page in Microsoft Teams where they can access it at a later time. The second integration will help our customers foster learning communities, collaboration, and social learning by connecting SAP SuccessFactors Learning with Microsoft Teams. Learners can interact with other course participants or the instructor before, during, and after the course within Microsoft Teams, as well as access the activity feed on SAP SuccessFactors Learning.
What are you hearing from your customers about their current challenges with learning? How is SAP addressing these challenges?
We continue to speak with our customers about the importance of learning to the success of their people and their organizations. As business continues to grow and change, the number of platforms and sheer volume of content can become quite complex. Employees can become overwhelmed with the number of tools for learning and how they link back to their development or broader business goals. At the same time, organizations struggle to understand how learning is being consumed and applied.
At SAP, our vision is to deliver unified access to all kinds of learning experiences – content-focused, experiential, and even from different vendors. Employees need to be able to access learning quickly and easily, effectively collaborate and connect with others, and share knowledge – anytime, anywhere, and across all different systems of work. Achieving this requires a personalized learning path with context-based recommendations that make it easy for employees to find relevant content and understand how their learning and skills contribute to the broader organization. We are reimagining learning so organizations can be more agile in the face of change, more resilient to ever-changing market dynamics, and more effective in driving employee and organizational transformation.
Samantha Yerks is global public relations lead for SAP SuccessFactors.