Report-back: SAP SuccessConnect 2018

Digitalisation is every organisation’s goal; how to get there is not always so clear. One thing is for certain, though, human resources (HR) has got to be at the centre of any digital transformation journey.

Kathy Gibson found out more at the SAP SuccessConnect conference in Berlin

How people are driving the intelligent enterprise

People technology is at the centre of human resources (HR) today – and HR is increasingly recognised as a crucial driver of the business overall.

This is the word from Greg Tombs, president of SAP SuccessFactors, who says the individual user experience is key to providing total workforce management in the intelligent enterprise.

“We mix technology with our personal lives all the time – and we have to bring this into the workplace,” Tombs says.

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Technology delivers on intelligent enterprise promises

Line managers have been promised the concept of manager self-service for at least 20 years, but hasn’t really been successful up until now.

Amy Wilson, global head of product at SAP SuccessFactors, says advanced analytics combined with experience management is now bringing this and other promises close to reality.

The company has launched candidate relationship management capabilities as part of its recruiting solution.

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Customer care is ‘bull****’ says Iron Maiden front man

The best way to turn customers into fans is to stop being concerned with customers at all, according to Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson.

Talking to a packed house at SAP SuccessConnect last night, Dickinson disclosed his opinion about customer care: “It’s bullsh*t.”

He explains: “We talk about the relationship between customers and companies. But I hate customers – and you must hate customers. Why? Because the definition of a customer is a person who can walk away.

“A customer walks into the store: but he is a customer because he can walk away again.”

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HR needs to drive organisational change

Human resources has a responsibility to excite the organisation, but this can only happen if new life is breathed into the HR community.

“We talk a lot about technology and about how important it is to focus on experience,” says Stefan Ries, member of the executive board of SAP and chief HR office at SAP SuccessFactors.

“Consumer experience means what we do in HR, and with our SuccessFactors solutions, we are able to help candidates, employees and managers to have an amazing experience with us.”

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Work as a means to make life better

Human resources professionals have a responsibility to help their companies run efficiently, but they also have a duty to help their employees have a better life.

This is the word from Laszlo Bock, co-founder and CEO of Humu, who was also the CHRO of Google from 2006 to 2016.

“One of the difficult things about the people profession is that everyone thinks they know better than you. It makes it hard to fight the fight,” he says.

“So I’ve learnt to rely on the science. When I was at Google, I had a simple mission: find the best people, grow the best people and keep the best people.

“At Humu our mission is to make work better through science, machine learning and a little bit of love.”

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SAP SuccessFactors to address public cloud

SAP SuccessFactors will soon be available on Microsoft Azure platforms.

This is the word from Greg Tomb, president of SAP SuccessFactors, who explains that the cloud-based HR system currently runs on SAP’s own data centres.

“However, in the next six months we will move to the public cloud with Microsoft Azure,” he says. “This will allows us to scale better and move to new countries as well.”

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How Mars mission could solve Earth’s problems

When a small group of people leaves Earth to set up the first off-planet colony on Mars, it will be following the natural progression of the human race to explore new territories – and it is hoped it will inspire people to solve some of the pressing issues at home.

Adriana Marais, Mars candidate and head of innovation at SAP Africa, believes that extra-terrestrial migration is really the only option left for mankind.

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