SAP and SuccessFactors – An Overview

  • by Luke Marson, Co-Founder, CEO Americas, and Principal Architect for Employee Central, iXerv
  • November 7, 2014
In this exclusive in-depth report, learn about SuccessFactors and what the acquisition means for SAP ERP HCM and your business. Get a detailed, comprehensive overview of SuccessFactors, SAP’s strategy, the future of SAP ERP HCM, and how the acquisition of SuccessFactors affects your business. It aims to dispel any myths or confusion around SuccessFactors and provide a solid grounding on SuccessFactors and its position in the SAP ERP HCM family. [This report, originally published in February 2013, was revised and updated in November 2014.]
Key Concept
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the next generation of enterprise software offered as services in the cloud. SaaS provides access to enterprise software on a subscription basis without the need to own or maintain hardware or software. The software, and your data, is hosted remotely and accessed on demand from any location using the unique login credentials of your organization. SaaS software is multi-tenant, which means that many instances of the software are accessed and are on the same application version. Users can choose which features and functionality to use in the standard solution and in the regular releases that are introduced by the vendor. Cloud, in this context, refers to any software or service that is hosted remotely and accessed over the Internet.

This in-depth report was originally published in February 2013. It has been revised and is current as of November 2014.

On February 23, 2012, SAP acquired the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) HCM and Talent Management software vendor SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion. This acquisition turned SAP into a vendor of both on-premise and SaaS HCM software and a major player in the competitive SaaS HCM market. It also brought the experience and expertise of SuccessFactors founder Lars Dalgaard onto the SAP Executive Board, to bring what was termed “Cloud DNA” into the organization.

SaaS is considered to be the next-generation platform for providing enterprise software. While many people feel uncomfortable with the concept of cloud computing, they may not understand that they are already using cloud-based software for everyday activities, such as email (e.g., Hotmail and Gmail) or document storage (e.g., Google Drive and Dropbox). Almost any piece of software offering a service over the Internet is SaaS and these offerings are now touching our daily lives.

The next step for SaaS is enterprise software. Originally many of the SaaS vendors started with talent management systems, following the growing trend seen in the 1990s and 2000s. As many of the vendors grew, they began to expand their portfolios and offer other HCM services. Now, SaaS vendors are also pioneers of social collaboration software for businesses and mobile solutions. SuccessFactors is considered a leader in SaaS talent management and social collaboration software and has been named a leader in talent management in recent years, including Gartner’s 2014 Talent Management Suites Magic Quadrant, five IDC reports in 2013, and the 2014 IDC MarketScape for Worldwide Integrated Talent Management, and Forrester’s 2013 and 2014 Forrester Wave: Talent Management reports. In addition, they were also positioned as a leader in Forrester’s 2014 SaaS HR Management Systems report.

Luke Marson

Luke Marson is co-founder, CEO Americas, and Principal Architect for Employee Central at iXerv, a global SAP SuccessFactors consulting partner. In addition to his duties as CEO, he is an active architect and subject-matter expert on SAP SuccessFactors. Luke is a Certified Professional in SuccessFactors Employee Central who has worked with over 15 customers, and is the co-author of the following books: SuccessFactors with SAP ERP HCM and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. He is also an author, blogger, speaker, strategist, and widely recognized expert in SAP SuccessFactors and SAP ERP HCM. Luke can be found on Twitter at @lukemarson.

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2/19/2013 9:39:24 AM
Luke Marson

Thanks for the comments Andy. I do believe there is nothing as comprehensive out there so I do hope this offers a lot of value to customers. Best regards, Luke
2/19/2013 8:04:25 AM
Andy Hodges

Luke, a great piece of work - probably the most comprehensive piece of work completed on SAP and SuccessFactors since the acquisition. Well done, this should be 'required reading' for anyone who is interested in SuccessFactors and the future of SAP HCM in the cloud.

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