Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Learning Map For Talent Hybrid Deployment Model

I curated a list of articles for those who want to understand the SAP SuccessFactors Talent Hybrid Deployment Model and the associated packaged integrations. You can clearly see the time you need to devote and see others who are learning as well.

Click here to access the learning map.

All documents are public and can be viewed by anyone. Good luck with the learning.

Book on SAP Enterprise Learning - Yours For Free

SAP Press has handed over the rights of the book on SAP Enterprise Learning to the authors. I am one of them. In the past few months, i received several emails asking me why the book is not available for purchase in Amazon and SAP Press any more. Amazon has some used versions which are priced at $151.

So I decided to make the PDF version of the book available for free to everyone.
You can download the PDF version from here

One word of advice for all the colleagues who are experts in SAP Enterprise Learning.  Please develop skills to implement SuccessFactors Learning. It is conceptually similar to SAP Enterprise Learning. I know both the products and can assure you that you can learn SuccessFactors Learning implementation in a few weeks if you join a company that has done the implementation and learn on the job, which is the best way to learn. You can implement SuccessFactors Learning, even if you do not have programming skills. It is all point and click. Some XML knowledge will help.

All future investment of SAP will be done in cloud for talent management, which includes SuccessFactors Learning. A year back the SuccessFactors Learning team doubled the development capacity and started taking SuccessFactors Learning to the next level of peer to peer learning, mobile learning and rapid content development among others. You will see new features in the August 2014 release and some big announcements at SuccessConnect Las Vegas 2014. Plan to make the move now.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Talent Hybrid Deployment Model Placemat

This is a placemat view of the Talent Hybrid Deployment Model.

This is a customer facing document. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Potted Plant And Its Reflection In Mirror

Drawing an object and distinguishing it from its reflection can be done using a simple technique, while using sketching applications. You can draw the reflection is a separate layer using the same pencil tool and then adjust the transparency of that layer until you are satisfied with the results. In the physical world, you can get the same result using a lighter pencil for the reflection.

The bowl is made of glass and has stones inside. I do not think I got that part right. Need to work on my skill in that area. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

SAP Cloud For Travel And Expense Saves Me 2 hours Every Time I Travel

SAP Cloud For Travel and Expense has come a long way in the last six months. The user experience is as good as a consumer web site and getting better. When I book a trip, an expense report is automatically created and my itinerary and the associated documents are added to the expense report. All my expenses from my corporate credit card are automatically imported, categorized and added to the report . Itemizing expenses is simpler.

The above features coupled with some simple policy changes such as no receipt required for expenses less than $25 have made the paper work associated with my travel a lot easier. SAP Cloud for Travel is integrated with SAP ERP HCM using packaged integrations and will be integrated with SuccessFactors Employee Central using a packaged integration soon. I believe it is an important asset in the SAP Cloud Portfolio. Kudos to my colleagues in the SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense team.

Monday, July 14, 2014

How SAP Jam Analytics Helps Make Operational Decisions

Last week, David Ludlow, the head of SAP Cloud Solutions Marketing and I were discussing the assets that we need to invest time and energy on in the coming months. We were looking at multiple Jam groups. While at the SAP SuccessFactors integration jam group, I pointed out that we can look at the most viewed documents and make decisions based on the areas where people are showing interest.

We found out that SuccessFactors Employee Central to SAP ERP is a popular area. The People Cloud Integration Strategy document and the Talent Hybrid topic are the next most popular topic areas.

This is a great way to use empirical evidence from collaboration tools in day to day decision making. But the problem is that few people tend to look at such data even though it is only a click away. I think social collaboration tools could do a better job of surfacing insight from the valuable data that they generate and store. I am yet to see a social collaboration tool that surfaces and uses data in a unique and refreshing way. Most social collaboration product teams in the industry are still thinking of their tools as very advanced document management tools.

Social collaboration tools also have a treasure trove of data about people who share information. In other words social collaboration tools have insight into those who help others apart from doing their work. Social collaboration tools have information about who shared how much and how how popular the content was. Imagine such information being available in the performance management tool for the employee and the manager to see. Such features could change the culture of sharing in the organization.

Social collaboration is about improving productivity and reducing training costs. A recent research by one of the professors at my school found out that sharing information increased productivity of employees by about 10 percent, which usually is attained only with an additional year of education.

There is so much opportunity for innovation in this area.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

SuccessFactors Talent Solutions and SAP ERP HCM White Paper Update

I decided to update this  white paper with  information about the current releases, the updated roadmap and a new document template.

It is a useful document for talent hybrid customers. Will post the updated version in the internal and partner Jam groups in the next few days. This is the table of contents.

If You Go Home With Shoes You Are Guaranteed To Be Popular

I spent some time his week at the offices of an apparel industry customer with their CIO for a road map and strategy session for them. My colleagues from the retail and fashion industry verticals were there along with the account executives.

One of the perks you get working at SAP is the deep exposure you can get to specific industries during such customer sessions, even if your focus is on lines of businesses such as HR, procurement or finance. For such strategy meetings with CXOs of customers, SAP normally brings its best and brightest global experts and it is a privilege to listen to them. For example, for this high level strategy and road map meeting with the CIO and his leadership team, my colleague Lori Mitchell-Keller, who heads the SAP Retail industry business unit and Peter Akbar who is the Chief Solution Owner for SAP Fashion Management were there to outline the trends, SAP's strategy, and recommend a way forward for the customer. Watching these colleagues outline the solution is the best way to learn any SAP product. In most cases such experts have a deep understanding of challenges facing the industry, are the designers of early versions of the software and are the main influencers of the solutions today.  They explain the solution in a few minutes with pictures and simple words with no hyperbole or jargon.

In this session, I learned a lot about the disruption happening in the retail industry and how SAP can help customers with its software that enables omni-channel retailing. I also learned about the new kinds of industry software we are building on the HANA platform for the retail, apparel and fashion industries.

This customer has already started their journey to the cloud for human resource management software. We discussed the SuccessFactors cloud strategy and road map and how the SuccessFactors cloud can contribute to their business goals. As always we did a whiteboard session to plan out the next three years.

On may way back home I stopped at the customer's company store and bought shoes for my daughter, my wife and my 3 year old niece.  The young lady at the check out counter, who clearly was an expert not only at selling shoes but also buying them,  gave me a tip about buying shoes for women. She said that if I go home with shoes, no matter what the shoe is, I am guaranteed to be popular.

Since I was from out of town, I was concerned about the shoe size and color preferences of my daughter and asked the sales person about the return policy and terms. She explained to me that I can buy her company's products through all available shopping channels, i.e. mobile internet devices, computers, brick-and-mortar, television, radio, direct mail, catalog and so on and exchange or return the product anywhere. She said that the customer experience is guaranteed to be the same.

I came away with a much better understanding of omni-channel retailing and why we build software for that purpose.
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