Monday, March 20, 2017


Are we Transforming or Disrupting HR?

DisruptHR. It is an interesting approach to focus on the inevitable change occurring in HR and in all things related to how we are working, where we are working, what contracts we accept (or shouldn't), in short: how we deliver work and find the right talent that will provide the best input. 
I am proud to announce our own event. It will take place on April 27, 2017, starting at 5pm. We will take over the beautiful Domenico Winery in San Carlos (California), and you will get to be in the first line to watch change happen. I think that the Silicon Valley DiruptHR will be even more exciting and interesting, as we all sit at the center of change. We'll start with networking, and finish with another opportunity to discuss together all we have heard. Bring your business cards!
If you don't live in the Bay Area (we cannot all fit in here, although one would think we are trying to do just that if looking at the real estate...), please do have a look at how many cities are organizing a similar event, and by all means - attend one. These events are organized usually as non-profit, by volunteers; the events are sponsored and supported by the attendees by mean of a (relatively) cheap ticket (by the way, buy one to attend our event!) and by local sponsors (thank you!!!).
The format is like a condensed TedX dedicated to HR. 12 to 14 speakers, 5 minutes each, and slides rotate every 15 seconds - so there isn't much time for deep discussion (or for sales pitches, those being formally forbidden), but only the opportunity to share ideas. Each talk is recorded, and then shared on the DisruptHR website as well as on a dedicated Vimeo channel, where you can directly listen in if you want to get the picture.
You don't have to be an HR professional to attend or to speak. Actually, it is almost better if you are not; the freshest ideas often come from looking at things with a new eye.
And... we still have place for additional sponsors! so if you are interested, do contact me. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

S/4 and HCM cloudy relations

A few months have passed since the official announcement of S/4 HANA, and during SapphireNOW 2015 SAP executive held the Cloud Edition to baptism. Guides, reviews have been published, and analysts offered their opinions. Then in June, during the HR2015 conference in Nice, a specific announcement covered S/4 HANA and HCM platform(s) options and go forward offerings.
But I still wonder: from the HCM point of view, is it hype, or is it real?

Understand what is S/4 HANA

After more than 40 years of focused, continued developments to bring to reality what is arguably today the most complete suite of Enterprise Business Software on the market, SAP has taken a hard look at two issues:
·         on one side, the massive amount of data accumulated in storage has turned accessing and extracting it into a true challenge
·         on the other hand, process complexity has reached a zenith, requiring very extensive deployment projects and deep expertise – technical and business alike.  
While the original SAP’s value proposition was being an integrated suite (with all pieces built in the same data format and structure), this was lost with the addition of multiple mySAP  complementary modules, such as EIC, CRM, SCM and others - outside of the “ECC” core; in fact, from the HCM perspective, even the Organizational Management (“OM”) module introduced the need for an internal integration that made many data manipulations complex and required extensive expertise.
With the launch of HANA, the recent in-memory database brought forward by SAP and heralded by SAP’s founder Hasso Plattner, a new generation of  applications has become possible. HANA is the foundation of the new version of the ERP, first with the development of Simple Finance, and now with its extension into a full suite of functional applications, with more to come in the future.
R/3 was a new product compared to the mainframe-based R/2; S/4 is also a completely new tool. It carries through much of the same data semantics existing in the SAP Business Suite we well know, with a simplified data model, eliminating the complexities related to the previous database performance and technical limitations.

What about HCM?

Unlike all other functional parts of the Business Suite, SAP’s HCM has found its next generation tooling set in the SuccessFactors Suite. It is a pure-cloud, SaaS product that will not be made available on premise; similarly, there doesn’t seem to be a place within the S/4 suite for the complex and never ending tables and data structures that made SAP HCM infinitely flexible and complex.
HR data fields exist in S/4 HANA, and are able to support the integration of tools as well as the end to end processes to Finance and other functions – leveraging the popular concept called a “mini-master”, but it is important to understand that there is no HR Data Management, nor any HR Processes built in S/4; in other words, no transactional layer.

Adding to the situation is the fact that ECC 6.0 mainstream maintenance has been extended multiple times  - most recently until 2025, giving a good visibility and planning time.

So when we look to the options customers have to choose from in SAP landscape, we can only outline:

Option 1: Move to the public cloud with your HCM requirements by leveraging the SuccessFactors modules. The solution set provided is extensive and growing every quarters with multiple developments; the missing functionalities are being considered for development and prioritized, while being covered in the interim by strong partnerships with external providers. From the Cloud HCM solution, extend the set with productized integration available to S/4 HANA cloud edition; an alternative productized integration with S/4 HANA on premise is being finalized, expected availability before end of 2015. It remains a fact that in this case, a separate solution will have to be found for Payroll, either by using the EC Payroll (hosted, single tenant SAP HCM), or by outsourcing the process.

Option 2: Decide to remain on premise, knowing that the cost of support will grow after 2025, and keep informed on the solutions made available by SAP. Productized integrations connecting S/4 HANA to the traditional on premise HCM are announced and should be available in Q4 2015. In SAP’s mind, this step is only taken to help customers needing more time to migrate to cloud solutions, so only as an intermediate step in your eventual move to the cloud.

Participation in User Groups and associations (such as ASUG, DSUG and many others, full list: can support you in keeping aligned to the product roadmap and possibly influence it; it has never been more relevant than in times of change.

Important points

  •  User Interface is being harmonized across all systems. Fiori was launched in 2014 as a set of design guidelines for applications, and was quickly adopted as a harmonization tool. First the On Premise tool was “fiorized”, the SuccessFactors’ applications alignment is announced for this year, and S/4 has been built on these principles from the start. So independently from the tools that will best fit each customer’s landscape, the user EXPERIENCE can be end-to-end.
  • Choice of delivery. While SuccessFactors is offered only as a public cloud solution, S/4 HANA is available today in both on premise (so on customers’ hosted premises, with yearly innovation packages) and Cloud Edition, benefiting of the accelerated quarterly release cycles. 
  • Integration packages developed for SAP On Premise have been designed around the mini master record concept, and will remain the basis of the integration of SuccessFactors to S/4 HANA.
  • SuccessFactors solution to payroll – EC Payroll, is strongly based on the original on premise powerhouse. I am not aware of any plan to introduce an S/4 HANA payroll… although one can only hope. 
Interestingly, there is no HR sitting at the board on this capture: is that for lack of graphic space?

For more information

Harvard Business Review: Making the Real-Time Enterprise a Reality (Feb 2014)
S/4 HANA FAQ (May 2015)
Constellation Research review of SAP S/4 HANA
David Ludlow's own blog on the S/4 HANA HCM options

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Visual CVs - a comparison and a poll

A new toy has appeared since some time in the Recruitment world - tailing the end tail of the infographics' visual appeal: the Visual CV - or in other words, your resume reduced (or improved) in its infographic format.

Multiple options have appeared, with different level of visual complexity, options and ease of use. I want to compare 4 options, rating 1(low) to 3 (high) each of these elements:
  • is it Representative of the data that we want to see portrayed?
  • is it Useable? (is it possible to import data, from LinkedIn or a CV? how easy it is to customize?)
  • Is it Relevant - does it bring new information, or a new light?
  • and is it Aesthetic? (of course this is a lot more subjective, so I will stick to a gut feel of the choices and options available) 
1. Visual CV is the easier to find - and in fact, it functions like a traditional job board, and collect your CV to make it searcheable for potential employers on their site. Not exactly what I was researching. It is painful to use - even when "importing from LinkedIn", data has to be manually added; in addition, the formatting provides little additional visual tools than a normal CV...
Nothing particularly exciting. 
Representative: 2
Useable: 1
Relevant: 1
Aesthetic: 1            

2. Re.Vu - I like this one. It has a great visualization, and good customization options; you can import your own background, and select different color schemes, including creating your own. It is possible to import data from LinkedIn, but you will still need to manually enter career milestones and history (and the history has only a short visibility due to the format), as well as select all other type of information you wish to display in infographic format. 
The main drag I see is that the more infographics get added, the longer the format - and in our world of horizontal screens, it is difficult to visualize. 
Representative: 3
Useable: 2 (lots of manual re-entry)
Relevant: 3
Aesthetic: 3

Less infographics, but the option to import the recommendations from your LinkedIn profile - sadly, you cannot just select one or two, but only prioritize the first ten. I found that some of the graphics required too much space for the value added. Colors and styles are fully customizeable. 

Representative: 3
Useable: 3 - WOW, nothing to re-enter, but some re-formatting/consolidation required.
Relevant: 2
Aesthetic: 3

4. ResumUP can be as touchy-feely as you want. It offers a lot of options to fill your profile; many however are available only for premium profiles - an expense of 7.5 to 10$/monthly. 
Representative: 2 - the options are great, but even some critical ones such as mobility or salary can only be added by premium customers. 
Useable: 3 
Relevant: 2 - not sure all the options are actually useful, it requires a lot of decisions
Aesthetic: 3 - the skills imported (from LinkedIn) have a nice graphic. 


Having options is always great, and each vendor provides some plus and some cons. Finding, filling and writing all these four templates have taken a half day (including some annoying manual entry, yes, I am complaining), so it is an acceptable effort. 

Now, what I am truly wondering is how useful this can be. By making the CV more digestible at a glance, are we making it easier for the HUMANS in recruitment to evaluate our application? I would hope so; but I also believe that the edge gained is very little, and it will be counter-productive when facing an ATS (Applicant Tracking), not be able to read such a CV. 

I see it more useful for business service providers, to allow a prospective customers to review and compare at a glance multiple profiles. 

As an end... I would love to have your opinion - which of the visuals is in your opinion the most relevant? are there any elements that should be better showcased? is there anything forgotten?

THANK YOU for any and all inputs.