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Q&A

 

Elevating HR to New Heights in the Cloud

Panel Discussion with HR Experts from SAP

June 20, 2017

As companies continue to digitize their operations to adapt to a new business reality, there is one area in particular that is poised to reap significant rewards — HR. Digitized HR has the potential to not only streamline processes, but also boost employee satisfaction, increase retention, and attract new talent. For many SAP customers, digitizing the HR organization means moving from an on-premise landscape to the cloud.

Read the transcript of this panel discussion with SAP SuccessFactors HR expert to get advice on preparing for a digital transformation project, moving to the cloud, and how SAP SuccessFactors solutions can you achieve digital transformation success.

Meet the panelists: 

Dawn Runge, 
HR Executive & Business Transformation Advisor 

Dawn supports the SAP SuccessFactors North American HR Healthcare Cloud Sales team, working directly with senior leadership at both current and prospective customers. With over 25 years of expertise in operations, finance and human resources in healthcare, Dawn is a trusted advisor to help achieve strategic goals and results through people. Dawn has partnered in the design and implementation of several enterprise-wide talent management programs, leadership development, HR transformation, performance management, learning initiatives, and cultural transformation. 

Julie Bartholic, 
HR Strategy Advisor 

Julie provides SAP SuccessFactors customers with consultative support on human capital management strategies and alignment to technology solutions. She partners with HR leaders to explore and identify HR transformation opportunities, quantify the business value in terms of hard dollar and organizational impact. Assists customers with assessment of their current state as well as analysis of future state considerations. She further assists with roadmap planning and implementation readiness. 

Sue Boylan, 
HR Executive Advisor 

Sue is currently an HR Executive Advisor at SAP SuccessFactors helping client to maximize the value of integrated Human Resource planning. Sue is a valued keynote speaker and panelist in HR Forums for example, keynote speaker at the Workforce Analytics Conference, presentations at the HR CHRO Summit, and more. 

With over 30 years of global HR executive experience, Sue has worked across multiple industries including Financial Services, Regulated Utilities, Insurance, Pharmaceutical and Software/Services. 

Eric Bernhard, 
HR Cloud Architect 

Eric has over 15 years SAP and over 20 years of IT experience leading customers to solutions around Employee Central, integration, reporting, and planning the business transition to cloud solutions. With Fortune 200 experience in global deployments of SAP and HCM systems, integrations, and process harmonization, he brings an enterprise architecture perspective to accelerate business transformation. 

Lorna Stearns, 
HR Executive Advisor, Business Transformation Advisory 

Lorna supports the North American cloud sales team for SAP SuccessFactors for the East market units. Lorna works with HR and IT executive leadership as a trusted advisor to enable HR transformation, identify value and to align the appropriate solution and tailored roadmap to the strategic business objectives of their firm. She has 30 years of insurance and financial services industry experience. 

Trish Kowal, 
Program Director Digital Workforce Transformation 

Trish Kowal is the Program Director for Digital Workforce Transformation. Trish has been with SAP for 20 years. She started her career implementing SAP HCM across all industries and sizes. Two years ago, Trish began the Digital Workforce Transformation program in North America. The program helps customers determine the best path to transformation in todays changing environment.

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Live Blog Elevating HR to New Heights in the Cloud

Matthew Shea

Hello everyone! Thank you for joining today's chat! I am excited to be joined by a panel of experts from SAP.

Sue Boylan

Welcome to today's Q&A webinar. Looking forward to an engaging conversation!

Dawn Runge

Yes, welcome everyone! I am looking forward to some great questions!

Greg Selke

Hi everyone. Looking forward to an engaging hour.

Trish Kowal

Hi everyone!

Dawn Runge

Hello everyone!

Julie Bartholic

Hello and welcome to the Q&A!

Greg Selke

Hi everyone.

Sue Boylan

Hi, welcome to the Q&A webinar. Looking forward to an engaging event!

Comment From Guest

Nice to see SAP SuccessFactors doing well in the HR domain.

Sue Boylan:

Thank you so much. We are so proud of our organization and team!

Comment From Mark

What is the average size of the HR team needed to implement SuccessFactors?

Sue Boylan:

Hi Mark,

Based on our ability to implement based on modules and based on the size and complexity of your organization it would be very difficult to give an average size of the HR team needed to implement. However, we would be happy to set up a call to identify your specific needs and help to scope out an approximate roadmap/resource plan.

Comment From Eric

How quickly does a custom policy configuration occur?

Dawn Runge:

Eric - Thanks for the great question! In the on-prem world, customizations were the way to go. In the cloud, the least amount of customizations, the better. But, changes and speed are much faster in the cloud and it depends upon what the change is.

Comment From Chris

What chat-bot technology is available in SuccessFactors? What is its' relationship to JAM?

Julie Bartholic:

Hi Chris - Chat bot technology or Conversational HR is coming to SuccessFactors! I would watch the Bill Kutik Firing Line interview on Conversational HR and chat bots in the future. More information will be released at SuccessConnect.

Eric Bernhard:

We are also working with some companies to include chat-bots into their environment with their EC projects right now for basic questions and simple self service like time-off requests.

Matthew Shea

Hi Trish, what is your definition of automation versus transformation?

Trish Kowal:

AUTOMATION is making a process repeatable, often easier than manual. It is an introduction to “Self-Service”. Although it is faster, it is often outdated and can be fragmented and disconnected. TRANSFORMATION is developing an “All-In” Workforce that is engaged and innovative. It provides improved business agility that can lead an organization to effectively be more competitive. It is moving to Intelligent Services that branches across many processes and products. Additionally it is going to a more diverse and inclusive Workforce.

Matthew Shea

Dawn, what can customers do to move their HR departments forward with limited funding?

Dawn Runge:

Great question regarding forward movement with limited funding, for that is often the case. I would recommend HR making the necessary list versus nice to have. From there, identify the top three areas of focus and determine if the processes, people and technology are available to support the change. If the answer is yes, I would suggest a Business Transformation Workshop by SAP SuccessFactors to find every cost savings, offsets, revenue gains, etc. and compile this data in a business case. This way, HR has a living document to request "necessary" funding to move forward.

Matthew Shea

Eric, what are the most practical, yet impactful changes you can make (or start to make) today?

Eric Bernhard:

I would focus on data structures and processes now. Begin the conversations and analysis to standardize and harmonize your processes and foundational data structures. Even if you can’t make changes to ‘globalize’ or standardize things like jobs and Job Families now due to your legacy application environment, having had the conversations simplifies your transformation project. And having the To-Be state defined, helps build buy in to the Transformation journey.

Comment from Guest

Working and seeing as separate entity itself as SuccessFactors has been given a maximum importance for the same. I am looking for the software for the trial version, which I am unable to see in the trial run soft wares. Can you please give us the software access so that we can explore the same before going ahead and purchasing them?

Sue Boylan:

Hi,

Thanks so much for your question. Unfortunately, due to the wonderful configurability of our software we do not feel that a simple trial-run version would provide the complete understand of the full features and functionality that SuccessFactors offers. However, we would be happy to do two things... First, if you provide us with your email we can set up a custom JAM site (our social collaboration tool) and load it with information and videos to provide you with a greater understanding. In addition, we would be happy to connect you with an Account Executive who can work directly with you. Thanks so much for your interest.

Matthew Shea

Sue, if you were a CEO with an HR background, what would you expect to see from your HR department?

Sue Boylan:

Love this question! As a CEO, with or without an HR background, I would expect the following 3 things from my HR department - first, HR needs to have a deep understanding of our business, our competitors and our unique differentiators. HR needs to think about themselves as business people who specialize in HR. The second expectation would be to use that knowledge of the business I'd expect them to think out of the box about how we can develop the talent and programs to not only capitalize on our differentiators but also push the boundaries into new markets and products. Last, I would expect the HR organization to be able to give me and my leaders easy access to information to drive the business in the right direction.

Matthew Shea

Greg, what trendy technology do you feel is the most valuable at this point?

Greg Selke:

The most valuable technology depends on your business goals and HR goals. Value = business impact. Also, there is great value in doing incremental changes across the board i.e. continuous performance management and ongoing feedback, renewed focus on diversity, new techniques for mentoring and learning and succession, using wearables for onboarding and during recruiting and taking self-service to new levels beyond simple automation, using intelligent services to predict future behaviors such as turnover and promotability -- all have new tech enhancements and can add value sooner vs later.

Comment From Lynn

Can you provide some examples of the types of metrics or insights that the Machine Learning component has identified? Or do you more need to know your strategic question ahead of time and let ML run on your data to try to answer that question?

Julie Bartholic:

Great Question Lynn! Some of the machine learning capabilities we are thinking about at SuccessFactors include identifying employees at risk for loss, matching of mentors and mentees, and recruitment insights on job postings (pre-post) such as attractiveness of the posting, recommendations of additional skills to add, and salary attractiveness. The insights at this point are well defined. As technology evolves, the ability to ask questions and receive insights is a desired future state.

Matthew Shea

Julie, how quickly do you see organizations adopting the Intelligent HR/ Digital strategies?

Julie Bartholic:

We see organizations adopting Intelligent HR digital technologies today. This is a natural extension or next step for optimizing your cloud technologies. The pace of adoption will be gradual as organizations continue to gain comfort and technology is ever changing, offering new opportunities.

Matthew Shea

Dawn, what benefits are organizations seeing with a shift to digital technologies?

Dawn Runge:

Great question! And the answer is different for every organization. Typically, organizations will see cost savings, higher productivity, increased innovation, and higher employee engagement when they shift to digital technologies. So, it is certainly worth the move.

Comment From Chris

Is there a particular topic/conversation approach that I can start to bridge the gap between IT and HR?

Greg Selke:

One of the best ways to bridge IT and HR gaps is to focus on business needs because at the end of the day its not really about HR or IT - its about helping achieve business goals - and of course finding the WIIFMs for all stakeholders is always good - IT, HR, Biz, Employees, Leaders etc - and go from there good question.

Dawn Runge:

I couldn't agree more with Greg. Meeting the needs of the business should be the goal--which requires everyone within the organization.

Comment From Guest

Are there separate SAP SuccessFactors roles or do those reside in native SAP?

Eric Bernhard:

Many customers use the roles they already have in their on-premise solution, but you are not limited to that. And our Role Based Permissions may allow you to add additional granularity to what your roles have access to based on country or parts of your Org Structure.

Comment From Guest

Can you share a story of who has done this transformation successfully?

Sue Boylan:

We have a very large Energy/Utility organization who has been on the Digital Transformation journey over the last few years. They developed a roadmap for a module implementation and have been utilizing both the technological and organizational transformation very successfully. They are in the final phase of transforming their core HR. As a result of their transformation journey they have reshaped their HR organization, they have enabled deep mobile capabilities and have leverage significant process improvement. One of the tremendous benefits of attending or annual users meeting, called SuccessConnect (in August in Las Vegas) is we have many customers presenting their transformation journey. Hope to see you there.

Eric Bernhard:

I worked with a large global consumer company that had hundreds of local HR solutions in their 80 countries and they successfully moved to a single instance of EC for 300k employees.

Dawn Runge:

Yes, we have numerous examples of companies that have successfully made the journey. I would highly recommend attending SuccessConnect to hear all the great stories--more importantly the lessons learned along the journey.

Comment From Guest

What are some ways we can allow our employees to leverage social media?

Greg Selke:

There are several safe ways to do this - when blogging and posting articles are appropriate, using social media is a no brainer, recruiters and managers can use social media for finding candidates, there are learning events that happen on social media all the time and interacting with customers is a main goal of social media - just a few examples - guidelines need to be in place of course so it is not overused or misused good question.  I encourage companies to leverage it not be afraid of it.

Dawn Runge:

Again, I couldn't agree more with Greg. SAP SuccessFactors Jam, which is our social collaboration tool, allows employees structured collaboration to brainstorm, problem solve, and make decisions. Also, it allows for external collaboration via a group with customers, partners, vendors or supplies. Best of all, the security and administration are enterprise grade, pre-built and extensibility to SAP and 3rd parties. It is awesome!!! We use it faithfully!!

Comment From Nick

Should we manage contingent workers in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central?

Trish Kowal:

Although you can manage contingent workers in Employee Central, SAP Fieldglass is more robust. Employee Central can track when a team member is contingent. SAP Fieldglass allows both HR and Procurement processes around the contingent workforce to be managed.

Sue Boylan:

One of the great features of utilizing the enhanced features within Fieldglass is that you can also view your total workforce on one organization chart - and tell the different.

Comment From Chuck

What is difference between employee self-service (ESS)/manager self-service (MSS) leave request and the time off module in SAP SuccessFactors?

Sue Boylan:

Hi Chuck,

Basically the difference is the two aspects of the leave process. Let's use an example. An employee is requesting approval for a personal leave of absence. He/she would submit the leave request through ESS/MSS to obtain the approval for the request. However, from a payroll/time-off perspective, the employee would enter their actual time off for payroll purposes. Since we do not have a separate ESS/MSS module within SuccessFactors this would be simple transactions that could be processes via their mobile device.

Comment From Luis Cisneros

We don’t have SuccessFactors. What module do you recommend for starting change, if can’t invest much?

Dawn Runge:

Good question, Luis! Not knowing what is a priority for your organization, I would suggest Performance & Goal Management--since you can easily establish goals that align to the organization's strategic goals and really drive performance, which can be accurately measured with Performance Management.

Greg Selke:

Agree with Dawn - performance is usually easier as its not driven by large budgets or tons of policy rigid guidelines - comp, learning, recurring etc have more stringent rules so perf mgmt. is a bit easier and change mgmt. can be tweaked to meet your culture easier here than in other areas.

Comment From Drake

Could you explain some of the challenges you can face while enhancing the UI? What the benefits were after you completed the enhancement?

Eric Bernhard:

SuccessFactors works to make our UI intuitive and clear to promote user engagement. We also provide tools for you to make the look and feel compatible with your company's design standards. So the main benefit is usability and user adoption. Is that your question?

Comment From Debbie

Is there a common challenge or pain point that organizations face when converting SAP ERP HCM to SAP SuccessFactors?

Trish Kowal:

Some of the common challenges are around simplification of processes, change management, and eliminating custom programs. From a simplification of processes - customers hold on to old processes that do not add value to the over all business goals. Having a strong change management organization involved will help the company dispell antiquated processes and embrace new ways of working. As for eliminating custom programs, really goes back to the previous two points. Only create custom apps if they are aligned with the needs of the business needs.

Comment From Guest

Is there a way to maintain a matrix org structure with Position Management?

Trish Kowal:

Yes there a way to maintain matrix organizations within position management in EC SuccessFactors. You can view from both direct and indirect roles.

Comment From Rick

How should we handle quarterly releases that occur during SAP SuccessFactors implementation?

Sue Boylan:

Hi Rick,

One of the best features of our quarterly release is the ability to select what you need and implement additional features when the time is right. It is almost as simple as a check box! Also, you can select the features at the time that works best for you.

Eric Bernhard:

Best practice is to try to schedule your go-lives with the Production release dates in mind, so you make your testing schedule align with the releases.

Comment From Guest

how do you strike the right balance between meeting the expectations of tech-savvy millennials without alienating long-time workers and baby boomers?

Dawn Runge:

Good question! Actually, as a Gen X and tech person, the research indicates that tech-savvy crosses all generations. In fact, SAP believes strongly in the powerful perspective that each generation brings to the workplace. And with 5 generations now in the workforce, what an exciting time to transfer knowledge!

Comment From Guest

What are some use cases for machine learning in HR?

Julie Bartholic:

Great question. Some of the use cases we are thinking about at SuccessFactors include identifying employees at risk for loss, matching mentors and mentees, and recruitment insights on job postings (pre-post) such as attractiveness of the role, suggesting job description language to be gender neutral or providing insights on the geographic scope of the job posting.

Dawn Runge:

Julie, you are right! In fact, in healthcare, which is my area of expertise, machine learning in HR can be used to manage risk associated with safety.

Greg Selke

Great question - in addition to generational differences we just did some research that showed that office workers, leaders and sales folks tend to adapt technology faster than non exempts, unions, global employees so in addition to generations, consider other dimensions of your workforce as well when creating adaptation plans.

Comment From Debbie

What is the HR Model Company?

Eric Bernhard:

HR Model company is a fully configured EC Onboarding and RCM instance that allows small to mid-size companies willing to deploy with Best Practices a very rapid deployment. For larger companies, HR Model Company provides a jump start to your project, as we also provide process and configuration documentation that gives your team insight into a configured solution.

Comment From Luis Cisneros

How to adapt the developments "Z" with Success Factors? Especially in the payroll process.

Eric Bernhard:

Most customers begin their projects by reviewing their custom objects to see if they are still needed and represent best practices. Often, they find their z-programs were developed when functionality was not available in the delivered solution, but is now provided in the standard product.

We've also found that many companies are now able to support even fairly complex processes with SuccessFactor's capabilities. And we can provide extensibility with our Meta Data Framework for use cases that are not part of the base capabilities.

Comment From Guest

What is the impact of diversity on digital transformation

Trish Kowal:

Some benefits realized include inclusive culture and employee engagement. Improved executive accountability, targeted diverse workforce planning and development, and creating HR digital strategy.

Matthew Shea

Thank you everyone for asking questions today! And thank you Greg, Julie, Sue, Dawn, Eric, and Trish for your insightful answers! Before you conclude today's chat, could everyone share one piece of advice for the audience?

Dawn Runge:

My "pearl of wisdom" would be to never lose sight of the customer...

Eric Bernhard:

Really use Transformation as an opportunity to Simplify.

Julie Bartholic:

Be bold and brave with your technology and digital journey!

Sue Boylan:

When approaching a digital transformation I would recommend being willing to think outside the box and challenge all current processes. As an example, many companies are changing their approach to performance management and removing ratings. If we just keep doing what we were doing, but put it on mobile we haven't truly transformed.

Greg Selke:

My advice is keep it real - don't be scared by this as its coming and we didn't freak when cell phones or iphones or HDTV hit us so why now. and don't underestimate your workforce as they want this change and can handle this change maybe more than we give them credit for good luck and hope we can help you.

Comment From Guest

What is the impact of diversity on digital transformation

Trish Kowal:

Some benefits realized include inclusive culture and employee engagement. Improved executive accountability, targeted diverse workforce planning and development, and creating HR digital strategy.

Sue Boylan

We hope everyone enjoyed the Q&A!

Matthew Shea

Thank you everyone! I will send you an email alerting you when the discussion transcript is posted.

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