Human Resource Professionals Can Play a Key Role in Successful Adoption of Business AI, Experts at SAP HR Connect Event Agree

  • SAP HR Connect Dubai tackled strategies for addressing skills gaps, leveraging AI responsibly and effectively, and transforming human resource processes in the cloud

  • Regional customers recognized for their exemplary use of technology to support HR initiatives included the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar’s Civil Service and Government Development Bureau, and Oman’s integrated energy company OQC

DUBAI, UAE 12 March, 2024 The key role of human resource (HR) professionals in maximizing the business value of AI by ensuring the technology is used in a relevant, reliable and responsible way came under the spotlight at the Dubai edition of SAP’s HR Connect. Experts speaking at the event this week agreed that people and culture leaders need to prepare for continuous change management and ensure the application of AI is reliable and trusted by employees.

“AI technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing and predictive analytics are revolutionizing traditional HR functions, and it is important that HR professionals stay abreast of these changes,” said Natali Stajner, SAP SuccessFactors Director, Middle East South, speaking on the sidelines of the event. “HR executives need to leverage new AI capabilities to their full potential, for example, SAP’s portfolio of HR solutions includes automated CV screening, AI-driven virtual assistant interactions with candidates and employees, and predictive analytics for identifying high-potential employees and future workplace needs. However, these executives also need to take a measured approach to implementing AI, given the ethical, legal and human implications.”

Stajner said that embedding AI into SAP’s HR solutions enables executives to benefit from valuable insights into workforce trends so that they can make data-driven decisions about talent acquisition, retention and analytics. Companies enjoy a reduced time-to-hire and can more easily identify the highest-quality candidates, while all employees benefit from an enhanced experience and personalized, timely support thanks to AI-driven copilots, such as SAP’s Joule.

Elaine Murphy, Global Vice President and Head of Marketing, SAP SuccessFactors, highlighted the importance of technology in achieving HR objectives in a panel session titled ‘The role of AI in diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) and Emiratization’. She commented, “Advanced analytics and AI can be a remarkable driving force to support the region’s admirable focus on empowering its own citizens and ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce. With AI-embedded capabilities, SAP SuccessFactors solutions can help companies identify strong candidates to achieve demographic targets, analyse and remedy gaps in training and skills development, predict trends and encourage talent retention to build a strong and sustainable workforce equipped to lead a diversified economy.”

SAP showcased several generative AI capabilities and solutions with embedded AI at HR Connect. Among the examples highlighted was Joule, SAP’s natural-language, generative AI copilot, which can be integrated into SAP SuccessFactors, making it easy for employees to find answers quickly and complete HR-related tasks easily. Another notable example was the talent intelligence hub, which is embedded in SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite and acts as an AI-powered engine for an organization’s entire learning and talent strategy. It creates a skills portfolio for each employee in the workforce and enables organizations to leverage a single skills model to drive everything from recruiting and onboarding to learning and development to performance and succession.

Customer insights and awards

Sponsors of the HR Connect event included platinum sponsor NTT Data. Several SAP customers attending the event shared how they were using SAP technologies to drive their HR programs, while a select few were also recognized at an award ceremony to highlight exceptional human experience management transformations.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the UAE recipient of the HXM Excellence Award for its successful implementation of SAP SuccessFactors cloud solution, which not only transformed the HR processes, but established a new standard of excellence in the field of diplomacy. It was announced that the implementation resulted in significant time and resource savings, with a 70% reduction in time to hire and a 90% increase in learning engagements. The Ministry’s exceptional commitment to learning was also recognized, as it is the most active Learning Content Consumer, offering Skillsoft Learning Content to its employees in the UAE and missions abroad.

Receiving the HXM Excellence Award for Qatar was the Civil Service and Government Development Bureau (CGB), which was recognized for its impressive modernization efforts and innovative approach. The CGB successfully centralized all government employees under one umbrella, including a unified payroll and platform to enhance the ‘hire to retire’ experience.

Hassan Al-Khaja, Director of Human Resources Information System Centre at the CGB commented, “Having senior management support and a motivated, highly skilled workforce are key to delivering exceptional services to the public and supports the aims of Qatar Vision 2030. Our ongoing digital transformation supports this by creating a system that is scalable, flexible and paves the way for further innovation, taking into account the long-term CGB vision and future government trends.”

The HXM award for Oman was presented to integrated energy company OQ for achieving exemplary results in streamlining HR operations. In the cloud-based implementation, OQ successfully consolidated 10 oil companies into a single system, harmonizing the HR experience for a workforce of 6,000 employees.

Maryam Al Shaibani, VP Information & Digital Solutions at OQ, said, “We aim to support the development of national competencies in various fields of technology, in line with the digital transformation goals of Oman Vision 2040. By deploying solutions such as SAP Success factors, we can leverage data to improve our ability to retain and develop our employees, enhance their experience and use succession planning to give us a competitive advantage.”

A further two categories of awards were also presented at the event. First, the HXM Modernization Award was given organizations who moved from manual to fully automated processes, with recipients including the UAE’s Sharjah City Municipality; Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority (SEWA); Al-Futtaim Group and the Technology Innovation Institute; and from Qatar, Facilities Management and Maintenance Company and Qatar Fertilizer Company; and from Oman, MB Holding Company.

The second, was the HXM Outstanding Go-live Award for organizations who implemented projects in record time and on budget, received by the UAE’s Q Holding, Kerzner International, and Bespin Global Technologies Ltd; and Oman’s ASYAD.

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