“HR analytics … require the processing power and data storage of the cloud,” TechTarget stated recently. “Employee engagement tools are almost exclusively delivered online, as are the social media-style performance, learning, coaching and recruiting tools.”
Business cases for these new HR technologies include helping users identify, engage and hire the best job candidates, according to Bloomberg BNA this month. And HR Technologist noted that cloud-based HR systems could also increase agility, enable deeper insights, enhance security and more.
Plus cloud solutions let someone else handle your upgrades — a lot more frequently than you would on premise — as one happy HR cloud user recently noted.
“A Huge Change” Out of the Box
“One of the big things as you move to the cloud is you have the benefit of being always current,” Christy Pambianchi, Corning Inc. senior vice president of human resources, said during the SuccessConnect keynote last month. “You don’t have to wait seven years for an upgrade — you’re going to be current three or four times a year.”
The Corning, NY-based glass and ceramics manufacturer moved to the cloud from an on-premise solution that handled all HR capabilities across the globe, including employee data management, recruiting, succession planning and much more, according to Pambianchi. Launching into the cloud, Corning took as much as it could from out-of-the-box SAP SuccessFactors solutions.
But Corning’s big-bang international go-live was no small feat. The company is growing to 50,000 employees, and operating 70 manufacturing facilities around the world — in 11 languages.
“This was the first large-scale transaction global cloud system implemented at Corning worldwide,” Pambianchi said. “It was a huge change for us — not only in the HR department, but also in the IT department.”
Take to the Cloud with a Wingman — or Two
“We knew we needed two really strong industrial understanding partners to help us get there,” Pambianchi said. “So we relied very heavily on our SuccessFactors and SAP experts, along with our implementation partner, which was IBM Global Business Services.”
Corning’s previous HR solution had been in place since 2010, which followed a lengthy global expansion, according to Pambianchi. But the company soon realized that this on-premise solution was not meeting current competitive needs — and would not meet future needs, such as a cutting-edge human capital management or worldwide support for a massive role out.
“This could not be a, ‘Let’s do the U.S. first, and then take it around the world’ — we had to go and look at global capability,” Pambianchi said. SuccessFactors offered all of those capabilities, and Corning went live with its HR cloud platform in the summer of 2017 — eight weeks prior Pambiachi’s appearance at SuccessConnect.
“We’re probably the happiest people here because we’re live,” Pambianchi said.
A Match Made in the Cloud
“The usability is just so simple,” Pambianchi said. “It’s really a very, very exciting outcome.”
Corning conducted a soft launch of its webpage, and more than 60 percent of the workforce accessed HR services within the first four weeks — before any worldwide training — according to Pambianchi. And in the first month, the site enjoyed about 125,00 hits on career overview information, and about 20,000 candidates applied for jobs.
“You’re going to get out of this what you put into it … and we look to SAP SuccessFactors to be our R&D partner,” Pambianchi said. “This is just the beginning of that partnership.”