Wednesday, May 1, 2013

One trip, two UserGroups and three countries later.

I am back, if still jet-lagged.

Three days spent at the HRGUG annual meeting in Walldorf always are deeply satisfying and informative. SAP  provided us with a backbone of updates and presentations with, among others, the below screenshot sporting the most recent development for the Core of HR in the Cloud - Employee Central and its spiffy looks. Of course, Carla Grant was there... can there be BizX without Carla, ever?

A lot more can be said about the event and its successful organization. The group, lead by Sarah Nehring and Ina Schreckenberger, included a total of 99 participants from 60+ companies; we were informed, entertained and excited by 6 focus groups such as:
  1. Core Renewal 1.0
  2. ESS/MSS
  3. Mobility
  4. Integration SAP&SuccessFactors
  5. Talent Management on premise & SuccessFactors
  6. Data Security
The intention of openly comparing on premise and SuccessFactors tool was very exciting for many participants, and the session 4 and 5 above were full of discussions, doubts were expressed and challenging questions came up naturally. There was also an interesting session showcasing the HANA developments, and again, the interest of the audience clearly showed potential. It is a work in progress, and HRGUG allows to feel part of it. 

I have to give due thanks to the organizational committee, who again did a fabulous job. It takes some time - although not as much as some would fear... and I would strongly encourage any HRGUG member with a taste for networking to take a chair next year. 

Next, after a drive on the autobahn in the mist and rain :( and the surprise of waking up in a snow wonderland (yes, in April), I joined HERUG for a day. The Higher Education User Group annual meeting was held in Lausanne this year, hosted by the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). 

My heartfelt thanks go to Nils Panchaud and Chiara Mugelli von Burg for the impeccable organization and reception. A meeting of a similar size - about 100 participants from 40+ universities and education organization around the world, but a very different mix functionally. 

Of course, HR and HR Systems remains very much on top of the concerns for public sector organizations; in particular in the case of High(er) Education, the Student Live Cycle must be managed, and it borrows many concepts from the HCM approach. 

After customers presentations and some SAP updates, we had a chance to visit the EPFL site - a personal highlight as I had the privilege to attend this university (a few?) years ago. And, oh, it has changed! it is bigger, more spacious, with a thrill coursing the corridors and the hallways. The Rolex Center (click for pictures, and you should look!) is a large and free-flowing space at the heart of the campus, showcase the learning styles of the new generations; students are not anymore secluded in dusty libraries, but accustomed to sharing on the go, and the space allows coming and going 7am to midnight, with only a few bubbles of meeting space. 

After all these events, I just took a few moments of family time and a short trip to Italy to recover... back now to follow up, network, consolidate learning, actualize blogs - who's up for coffee?
A last picture of the Geneva lake on a sunny morning in Ouchy