“The future is people-led,” said Aaron Green, chief marketing and solutions officer of SAP SuccessFactors, at the opening keynote of SuccessConnect 2022, where the excitement for SAP SuccessFactors’ vision of the future of work brought human resources (HR) leaders together under the banner “unleash the power of human potential and change work for good.”
Green spoke of the need for a new kind of business that elevates people and culture. He said it is now clearer than ever that “putting individuals at the center of business is no longer just the right thing to do; it’s the necessary thing to do to create a workforce for the future.”
The message comes during a turbulent year for HR leaders, who have stepped up as unsung heroes supporting their organizations and driving resilience through an array of unprecedented challenges, such as inflation, labor crises, skills gaps, and a silent mental health epidemic. Many are looking to SAP SuccessFactors’ vision for human experience management (HXM) to help them innovate faster, increase agility, and deliver better employee experiences that deepen workforce engagement and improve profitability.
A Vast and Diverse Customer Community Comes Together
SuccessConnect 2022 officially got underway September 13-14 in Las Vegas. This was the first year it has returned as an in-person event since the beginning of the pandemic and attendance was phenomenal, with full sessions and standing room only at the keynotes. The event was co-located with HR-Tech 2022, also held this week in Las Vegas. SuccessConnect 2022 is also offered as a virtual event, available on demand with access to keynotes, demos, and select sessions that include informative customer-led sessions from brewing company Heineken N.V. and telecommunications company Vodafone Group Plc.
During one insightful keynote session, leaders from Deloitte shared the story of their talent experience transformation in the U.S., a project that is bringing their IT and HR teams together to advance organizational efficiencies and create better employee experiences.
Offering the most comprehensive global HR software portfolio, SAP SuccessFactors continues its impressive growth trajectory, topping 220 million users globally, 300 partner apps, and 850 go-lives in the first half of 2022. Customer migration to the cloud shows steady momentum, with the announcement that more than 5,000 customers are now using SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central – a flexible, cloud-based human resources information system (HRIS) solution – to transform their people and culture strategies.
Maryann Abbajay, chief revenue officer for SAP SuccessFactors, called the milestone a “celebration of our vast and diverse customer community of people and culture leaders.” Find out more about how SAP SuccessFactors customers are transforming the experience for their employees in this interview with Abbajay from the SuccessConnect show floor:
People Sustainability Becomes a Business Imperative
People sustainability was a focus topic at SuccessConnect 2022 and the subject of Green’s keynote, where he underscored the business imperative to support people and human potential to create a more sustainable future and drive resilience and agility.
SAP SuccessFactors defines people sustainability to mean treating people – across organizations, supply chains, and communities – ethically and fairly. In fact, 86% of organizations worldwide believe that investing in people sustainability can drive positive environmental and economic sustainability, according to a global study by SAP SuccessFactors conducted in partnership with IDC. However, 79% of organizations surveyed said they would find it valuable to have more tools and technology available to support key people sustainability use cases. Find out more in this interview with Dr. Autumn Krauss, chief scientist for Growth and Insights at SAP SuccessFactors:
SAP SuccessFactors technology supports customers’ people sustainability strategies, helping them gain a better understanding of the individual worker to create a better employee experience. “Our software is built with inclusivity at its core,” Green said. “The first part of creating a sustainable workforce is creating a culture of belonging and allowing every person to be seen.”
As announced to the media at SuccessConnect 2022, SAP SuccessFactors is delivering advancements that will support organizations as they build a diverse and sustainable workforce. With the 2H2022 release, any user of SAP SuccessFactors will be able to indicate their chosen name and personal pronouns. Also, there will be a foundational update on the whole self model to provide deeper insight into individual employees holistically through their identity, skills, traits, work styles, passions, and aspirations.
“This is what it looks like to create a culture where employees feel valued for who they are today and who they are becoming,” said Green. “This is what it means to be a resilient, results-driven, and people-first organization — one that’s not only equipped to meet the business needs of today, but one that adapts to the business needs of tomorrow. This is what people sustainability looks like.”
Watch this interview with Green for a recap of the SuccessConnect 2022 vision keynote:
Building a Future-Ready Workforce
It’s no secret that organizations today are under constant pressure to keep up with the pace of change. The only way they can adapt to industry-wide disruption and changing work models is to implement people sustainability strategies that support an agile, skilled, and healthy workforce. In a keynote conversation, global industry analyst Josh Bersin and Meg Bear, president and chief product officer for SAP SuccessFactors, discussed why now is the right time to build a future-ready workforce through skills and learning – as well as why the talent supply pipeline is now the top priority for chief executives.
Bersin said this is a dynamic time in HR, citing a massive need for talent and reskilling. Despite the pre-pandemic belief that automation would eliminate jobs, today we simply do not have enough people to fill available roles as companies grow and adapt to macro-economic conditions. CHROs are taking their seat at the table to weigh in on some of the biggest opportunities for organizations.
Joining them on stage to share their journeys were SAP SuccessFactors customers Tractor Supply along with Sun Communities and Sun Outdoors. Both organizations have relied on SAP SuccessFactors solutions to survive and thrive through the pandemic and labor shortage, managing changing workforces by making transformative investments in their people. They said communication and listening are how they put people at the heart of their businesses.
Innovation to Power a Skilled, Agile, Equitable Workforce
Making headlines at SuccessConnect was the unveiling of new innovations in the SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite that will help HR organizations strengthen the connection to business operations and create the kind of amazing employee experiences that attract and retain talent as an employer of choice.
The new skills ontology uses machine learning and automation to identify an employee’s skills, responsibilities, experiences, and accomplishments. The new growth portfolio is a dynamic library of employee attributes, including skills, strengths, work styles, passions, and aspirations. Both will be available in the 2H2022 release for early adoption.
These foundational advancements bring the whole self model to life in dynamic teams – an exciting innovation that enables organizations to create, track, measure, and optimize the outcomes of teams that exist beyond traditional hierarchies – and the SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace, which was introduced in 2021 to give employees the agency to find personalized growth and development opportunities . To learn how these innovations deliver the intelligence and adaptability to help build workforces that are skilled, agile, and equitable, read the press release: “SAP Delivers New Innovations to Build Future-Ready, Sustainable Workforces.”
“Building on our heritage in talent management, we are reimagining how organizations manage and develop their people to meet the emerging demands of the future of work,” said Bear. “When people have the opportunity to work on what they’re passionate about, they are more engaged, perform at a higher level, and push the organization to deliver outsized business results.”
With news that pleased many customers, Amy Wilson, senior vice president of Products and Design for SAP SuccessFactors, took to the main stage to announce a milestone investment in SAP SuccessFactors’ infrastructure to upgrade every tenant to public cloud-grade data centers by year end, dramatically reducing load times.
Wilson said the 2H2022 release will include new onboarding guided processes for SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone that integrate seamlessly with SAP SuccessFactors, SAP applications like SAP Ariba, and third-party apps like Qualtrics. She gave the audience a preview of what’s coming in 2023 with a demonstration of how HR team members can soon use SAP AppGyver’s low-code/no-code capability in SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone to build and modify guided processes quickly and easily – no coding experience required.
Wilson also introduced the first talent system built for a future-ready workforce, with a new growth portfolio and skills ontology coming together in a unified talent intelligence hub that provides inferred skills recommendations for employee development and optimizes opportunities on the SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace. Find out more in this interview with Wilson:
“SAP has created a system for managing the organization of the future, today,” said Bersin, who shared the news about SAP SuccessFactors launching its biggest release in a decade. “The new architecture and capabilities in SAP SuccessFactors represent a quantum leap forward in delivering what organizations need to manage, grow, and enable their people and teams.”
This article first appeared on the SAP News Center.