Inspirational Leaders SAP UKI Interview: Sandeep Nahata, Director At TalenTeam, Discusses Learning Experience Platforms And HXM In The Mid-Market

Sandeep Nahata is a Director at TalenTeam, an SAP Gold Partner headquartered in London, which predominantly serves mid-market companies.

In 2021, TalenTeam, an established SAP SuccessFactors partner, became the first partner in the UK to gain accreditation for SAP Litmos. Last year, they also won the SAP Learning Technology Awards in the ‘Best Use of Blended Learning – Commercial Sector’ category for transforming Lloyd’s Register’s training from in-person to a remote, interactive, multimedia learning experience platform.

Sandeep talked to us about his career, TalenTeam’s ethos, and innovation in Learning Experience Management.

SAP UKI: Tell us a little about yourself, Sandeep.

I live in Northwest London with my wife, who works in event management, our nine and eleven-year old daughters and our Husky dog, Clay.

I enjoy playing tennis in my spare time, going for hikes with the family and doing robotic projects at home with them. The most fun one so far was creating a ‘Lazy Kid Feeder’ robot that picked up the food and brought it to them.

 

SAP UKI: Could you give us a brief overview of your career, and how you came to found TalenTeam?

I’ve always been passionate about lifelong learning. Growing up in India, I’ve seen first-hand how important education is and what a difference it can make in advancing a community.

I started my career in Sydney, Australia back in 2002. One of my first projects was implementing a learning management system for Nokia. Within a few years, I moved to Plateau in the UK and was part of the acquisition of Plateau by SuccessFactors and then SAP where I worked in consulting and solution sales roles.

I left SAP in 2012 to set up TalenTeam because I wanted to help customers get the most out of learning solutions and SAP HXM, which in turn helps them get the most from their employees. It’s always been a great product, and at the time I didn’t feel it was being used to its full potential as partners were very new to it. We now have offices in the UK, UAE and India. To date, TalenTeam has done implementations that have made a positive contribution to 10-14 million users! I’m really proud of the positive impact we’re making.

 

SAP UKI: What are TalenTeam’s main values?

Diversity and Inclusion are key for us. We employ 40 people in the UK, UAE and India. We have had employees from over 27 countries over the last 10 years and a gender ratio of 48% female and 52% male, which is unusually balanced for a technology company.

We constantly look for ways to support the community and see it as our role to share our knowledge and provide information to the wider SAP SuccessFactors community. We provide free educational sessions, like our monthly ‘Ask An Expert’, to support SuccessFactors clients. We also bring the global SAP SuccessFactors community together every year to share ideas, newest innovations and inspiration at the SAP SuccessFactors Learning Symposium, which we co-host with SAP.

We also strongly believe in giving back to the community we operate within, especially when it comes to young talent. In response to the pandemic, we stepped up to help some local schools to take their teaching online. We set up the software, the processes, provided training and supported the teachers in delivering virtual learning to their students.

Innovation is another core value for TalenTeam – we believe in being brave and in experimenting. We continue to invest heavily in participation in early adopter care programs from SAP on new products and proof of concepts on various extensions. Over the last few years, we’ve created apps and extensions that really broaden the capabilities of SAP SuccessFactors solutions.

 

SAP UKI: How are you helping your customers to innovate?

We’ve been fortunate to have customers partnering with us on co-innovation projects. For example, we developed BLEND LXP, our award-winning learning experience platform, alongside GlaxoSmithKline. It sits on top of SAP Work Zone to deliver personalized, social learning via a Netflix-style experience to help organizations with their upskilling and reskilling. We offer that option to all of our customers and encourage them to think beyond what the standard product can do. It helps them feel more comfortable around innovating, frees them to push boundaries and helps remain one step ahead of the competition!

 

SAP UKI: Is there a recent project you’re particularly proud of?

Yes, Lloyd’s Register particularly stands out because of its incredible learning experience transformation. Lloyd’s Register have around 8,000 employees across the world and in response to Covid, they had to quickly adapt and change a lot of the training materials and the way it was delivered. They have gone through an extreme shift in learning experience.

The learning journey is fully housed on SAP SuccessFactors and BLEND LXP, which replaced in-person sessions with virtual and digital learning that fits easily into people’s schedules. It’s provided employees with the right training content and collaboration tools, reduced costs and saved them time. They now have a much better engagement and they can track and monitor learning easily across the entire organization. Plus, they’ve already won a few awards for it!

 

SAP UKI: What is TalenTeam’s vision for the next few years?

We’ll continue to help organisations around the world supercharge their Human Experience Management potential with SAP SuccessFactors technologies. We’re looking to expand geographically as we’ve got customers across the globe. We’re excited to get closer to them so we can strengthen partnerships serve them better! We’re also going to continue to constantly innovate and help our customers adapt and grow quickly to match new market expectations.

 

SAP UKI: What learning and HXM trends are you seeing in the mid-market?

There’s been an increased focus on learning over the last couple of years. Mid-market organizations recognize the need for continuous development. They’re looking more closely at how they can bring people onboard, and how to train them and provide them with continuous engaging experiences so they are more likely to stay.

Because of the changes that we’re seeing in the market around the need for skills development, and more remote recruitment and onboarding processes, it’s essential for mid-market organizations to have the right HR platforms in place. They have a stronger need for time-to-value than larger enterprises, so there’s a growing interest in SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged Solutions due to their fixed scope and timelines.

That’s why we’ve created our own partner package, Optima by TalenTeam, which offers rapid deployment of SAP SuccessFactors to address the most critical talent and HR strategy needs. It’s perfect for mid-market companies who want to accelerate their journey to the cloud, reduce cost and risk and see quicker value from their investment.

TalenTeam and SAP are co-hosting the SAP SuccessFactors Learning Symposium on 9th & 10th May 2022. Join us to discover the latest insights in learning, SAP innovations and roadmaps, and to hear from industry experts and SAP customers.