SAP is delivering AI capabilities that transform everyday tasks in HR – saving time, improving outputs, and helping organizations lead with an employee-first mindset to make every employee a success story.

That was the message at this year’s SAP Sapphire Orlando conference, where the spotlight was on the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite, now supercharged with more than 25 additional AI-enabled capabilities to help organizations improve employee experience and drive organization agility at scale.

Taking Business to the Next Level in the Era of AI

The acceleration of AI is changing how organizations attract, hire, retain, and skill their employees. In fact, research conducted by a team of SAP SuccessFactors organizational psychologists, published in Top HR Trends for 2024, identifies AI and skills as the top two meta-trends that every HR professional is talking about today. Also, among CEOs and CIOs, these two trends are topping the list of business priorities that require action.

“We are in the midst of a transformative era,” said Aaron Green, chief marketing and solutions officer for SAP SuccessFactors, while speaking to an audience of SAP customers and HR leaders at SAP Sapphire (watch on demand). 

“This is a pivotal moment for HR, because it’s not just about keeping up. Now it’s about leapfrogging; it’s about how we stay ahead,” he said. “It requires investing in your people and investing in their skills in a fundamentally different way. The only way to do this is by investing in technology to help your people work smarter, faster, and to help them make data-driven decisions – because the future is undeniably people-led.”

Making AI Available to Customers Here and Now

More than 10,000 customers and 290 million people use the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite for HR processes spanning the employee experience from hire to retire. A thriving partnership with the global customer community helps SAP understand the challenges and opportunities faced by organizations of all sizes, geographies, and industries.

Throughout the community are individual success stories showing how using the AI-led power of SAP SuccessFactors is helping organizations drive agile change at scale while simultaneously delivering more personalized experiences to the workforce. That’s because SAP’s AI-led capabilities are available right now – not in the far-off future, as Green underscored. 

Döhler Puts People at the Heart of Digital Transformation

Döhler Group, a global producer of natural ingredients for the food and beverage industry, is among those customers using the AI solutions in SAP SuccessFactors HCM to achieve real business outcomes. Based in Germany, Döhler takes an SAP-first approach to its use of technology in support of its company values of innovation, trust, quality, and sustainability.

With SAP SuccessFactors solutions, Döhler puts people at the heart of its digital transformation by putting AI directly in the hands of its HR professionals and its entire workforce. Strategically, Döhler delivers change to the workforce by introducing AI-led capabilities and then layers additional functionality on top, so that employees get used to the new technology and start to work with it more efficiently and effectively.   

Pierre Wiese, head of Business Applications, Döhler Group, articulated the company’s approach to AI: “We expect SAP to deliver business AI innovations with empowering built-in functionalities,” said Wiese. “With our AI consumption, we move forward as quick as possible because we plan to have massive impact on the daily work of our people at Döhler.”

SAP Business AI in HR: Relevant, Reliable, and Responsible

In the first half of 2024, SAP SuccessFactors delivered new AI-enabled capabilities across SAP SuccessFactors HCM that are now being used by organizations to help free HR teams of time-consuming tasks, enhance organizational efficiency, and drive future growth. “We’ve reimagined the HCM suite, and we’ve made huge investments across the board in our user experience [to help] employees, managers, power users have a truly delightful experience with SAP SuccessFactors,” said Daniel Beck, president and Chief Product Officer, SAP SuccessFactors.

SAP’s Daniel Beck and Nadja Ericsson on stage at SAP Sapphire Orlando.

Beck highlighted how SAP is delivering customers world-class AI technology and large language models (LLMs). With SAP Business AI in human resources, SAP is committed to delivering AI that is relevant, reliable, and responsible within use cases for HR professionals.

For example, SAP has put controls in place through the SAP AI Global Ethics organization and legal experts to evaluate AI use cases – ensuring that they will be used safely, responsibly, and without bias – before they are made available to customers. Beck said, “When you’re deciding, whose business AI can I trust? I think you will be well served with the data, security, the legal frameworks, the ethical frameworks that SAP is delivering. It gives you that peace of mind.” 

In a software demonstration on stage, HR leaders saw the power of the expanded AI capabilities of SAP SuccessFactors HCM. New technologies like retrieval augmented generation (RAG) enable SAP solutions to combine the strengths of LLMs and personal or business information to quickly deliver contextualized insights and answers for HR teams.

Some of the new new AI-led capabilities include: a generative AI writing assistant to help SAP SuccessFactors users complete tasks, such as writing learning course descriptions; the ability to help employees draft performance and development goals; candidate skill matching to help recruiters quickly screen and filter job candidates; and generative AI to summarize an employee’s compensation and job history, based on data in SAP SuccessFactors, so managers can have more informed compensation discussions.

For the foreseeable future, rapid advancements in AI technology will continue to bring new use cases to customers. “This is a super exciting time. I think the next two years in HR technology will be the most innovative – even better than the prior 20 years,” Beck said. “We want to be your trusted partner in that journey.”

Watch the SAP SuccessFactors Strategy Talk from this year’s SAP Sapphire on demand. 

Photos courtesy of José Rodrigues.

Read all the news and coverage out of SAP Sapphire in 2024