Build Extensible HR Capabilities with SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Many SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) customers are exploring transitioning HR processes to the cloud with applications from SuccessFactors to simplify their HR landscapes with standard, modern, best-practice solutions. The challenge, however, is to strike the right balance between standardised processes while still maintaining unique differentiating processes that attract top talent.

Widespread recognition that effective and forward-looking talent management processes can be a competitive advantage has led to increasingly stiff competition to attract, develop, and retain top talent. This is true for companies across a multitude of industries. Legacy human capital management (HCM) solutions can quickly become outdated, which makes it difficult for growth-oriented companies to be nimble as they enter new markets, pursue acquisitions, and strive for innovation.

A software-as-a-service (SaaS) approach to HCM helps organisations meet these challenges by offering unmatched agility, rapid time to deployment, and an opportunity to standardise and simplify human resources (HR) processes with modern, best-practices solutions.

The catch, of course, is that many companies possess unique HR processes that are often mission-critical competitive differentiators and are served by specific on-premise solutions. While SaaS applications offer simplification, companies must balance shedding complexity with keeping a base level of uniqueness. The challenge for many companies is achieving this balance with standard cloud applications.

Bridging the Gap with SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Many SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) customers are beginning to consider this dilemma as they explore transitioning some HR processes to the cloud with applications from SuccessFactors. These customers are also starting to understand that simplification versus uniqueness no longer has to be an either/or proposition. With SAP HANA Cloud Platform, companies can (re)build, extend, and run their own unique processes on top of SAP SuccessFactors applications using SAP HANA as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS), thus keeping their differentiating processes while still moving toward a more simplified and standard environment.

Companies that adopt this approach are well-positioned to become employers of choice for many reasons, not the least of which is immediate access to a development platform that can kick start innovation,  add value to HR processes, drive engagement with employees and managers, and respond to organisational needs faster and more effectively. By extending applications on

SAP HANA Cloud Platform to serve only those processes that provide a competitive edge, and using off-the-shelf SAP SuccessFactors applications for more standardised processes, companies have the opportunity to reexamine their entire HR landscapes to significantly reduce complexity.

SAP HANA Cloud Platform combines agility and a low total cost of ownership with customer-specific applications that are not dependent on new software releases or updates from SuccessFactors for requested new features. With SAP HANA Cloud Platform, extension capabilities enable new ideas to become new functionality more quickly than similar changes to an on-premise landscape.

Making Ideas a Reality

SAP partners are already using SAP HANA Cloud Platform to complement the SAP SuccessFactors suite and bring fresh ideas to life — enabling developers to build new applications that are not customer-specific, but rather come to fruition from an idea that has the potential to reshape the market.

One example is JobPts (job points), a new application from Semos that is built on SAP HANA Cloud Platform and integrates with SAP SuccessFactors applications to deliver an employee engagement and rewards tool. Employees and managers can use the application to recognise superior work on a points-based system; the application complements existing performance, goals, and compensation functionality by automating motivation and reward practices and providing deeper insights into talent and performance trends.

Filling in the Gaps

With SuccessFactors adding new customers at a rapid pace, it is clear that adopters accurately view it as one of the leading and most comprehensive cloud solutions on the market for providing a foundation that helps simplify and transform HR. But customers also need a fast and easy way to seamlessly integrate their own ideas and uniqueness with what they already have, and the world is moving too quickly for any one vendor to do it all. SAP HANA Cloud Platform frees companies from the long-held truth that added functionality depends on the whims of a third-party developer or comes at a massive cost — in terms of the resources or complexity required to customise an on-premise landscape. Now, enhancements are limited only by the imagination.

Also see moving on-premise ERP to the cloud

Neil How
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Neil How

Neil ran his first SAP transformation programme in his early twenties. He spent the next 21 years working both client side and for various consultancies running numerous SAP programmes. After successfully completing over 15 full lifecycles he took a senior leadership/board position and his work moved onto creating the same success for others.

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