SAP SuccessFactors Unlocks Global Innovation Velocity with Next-Generation Cloud Delivery


At SAP SuccessFactors, we know changing work for good requires continuous improvement. Even when something is working well or is a strength, it’s important to challenge the status quo and always be innovating. Sometimes that means small incremental changes, sometimes that means massive application innovation.

And once in a lifetime, that means undertaking one of the largest cloud transformations SAP has ever seen.

In December, SAP SuccessFactors completed a massive transition of our cloud solutions, migrating customers from legacy data centers to our next-generation infrastructure, state-of-the-art hyperscalers, and SAP Converged Cloud. This investment enables accelerated growth while improving security, reliability, and enhancing end user performance.

To give you a sense of the scope of this program: we built six new points of presence, decommissioned nine data centers, and migrated more than 7,000 customers, over 2,000 payroll systems, and about 150,000 tenants across five continents. This was the biggest program I have ever seen in my 30 years as a technology executive – a true moonshot.

Human and technical innovation emerged to help us reach our goal – we built automation, improved our database topology, and improved file storage and various other things to increase consistency, improve performance, and reduce cost. In addition, we also lived our human experience management (HXM) culture, leveraging dynamic teams to upskill and adapt to the emerging needs of the business.

Unlocking the Intelligent Enterprise

Of course, this entire program was not just about infrastructure, it was about increasing our innovation velocity and accelerating the value of the Intelligent Enterprise for our customers and partners. Having a consistent, next-generation cloud infrastructure enables us to making better use of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), improving end-to-end integration across the entire recruit-to-retire lifecycle.

And of course, this also creates the foundation for our SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite innovation road map, data-driven, individualized experiences that enable growth, foster belonging, and value every person every day. Achieving on this initiative will also present opportunities to level up broadly across our product set moving forward, including setting ourselves up for user experience (UX) improvement and other 2023 priorities.

This project could not have been achieved without the support of our customers and partners. Throughout the process, we held dozens of customer webinars for thousands of attendees. We also developed a cutover methodology to transition customers while minimizing risks, with existing infrastructure remaining untouched during the build, prepare, and test phases. The trust our customers and partners placed in us allowed us to work diligently and efficiently, and many conversations I’ve had with them shows how excited they are to have such a successful result.

The Next-Generation Cloud Delivery campaign was truly a herculean effort with a single goal – continuing to improve the SAP SuccessFactors experience so together we can change work for good.

Meg Bear is president and chief product officer of SAP SuccessFactors.