SAP has launched a new product called SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub that can help enterprises not only modernize their human resources IT systems, but also derive more value out of the employee data stored in them.
As 2018 approaches and digital transformation hits its stride, there's one part of many businesses that's at risk of getting left behind, said David Ludlow, group vice president at SAP Labs. "HR technologies can be fairly antiquated," he told eWEEK. At many large organizations, HR systems can date back to the 1990's, if not earlier, and may not have seen a major refresh since Y2K was a concern.
In short, businesses are reluctant to fix what isn't broken, or at least what doesn't appear to be broken to top executives.
Part of the reason HR is often overlooked when it comes to implementing new and more modern approaches to employee management is that business leaders view HR as a "cost center, not a profit center," said Ludlow.
Plus, the process of integrating consolidating and integrating HR data can be monumentally complex for enterprises with workforces that are spread across the globe and whose regional offices run hundreds of HR systems that don't speak the same language, in the literal sense. Oftentimes, these systems are inherited as part of a merger or acquisition, further complicating matters.
Faced with these challenges and competing corporate priorities, businesses often can't justify the expense of devoting resources and money toward extending their digital transformation efforts to their HR departments. SAP says its goal is to remove these roadblocks with SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub.
Ludlow said the People Central Hub enables enterprise customers "to integrate HR data into enterprise systems." Those systems can include enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, identity management systems and other critical business platforms that may benefit by tapping into employee information.
The cloud-based service gathers employee and organizational data from legacy and third-party HR systems into a cloud-based hub, where it can be accessed by other enterprise applications from the software giant, including SAP S/4HANA. The service consolidates and performs data cleansing, setting the stage for online delivery of insightful and accurate HR information to end-users, added Ludlow.
For example, customers can offer their workers mobile and online access to employee profiles and organizational charts, said Ludlow. Such a move can provide new levels of visibility into a workforce's professional relationships and management structures, allowing workers to collaborate more effectively and spend less time hunting down the appropriate contacts when the need arises.
Although customers can use SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub solely for its data integration capabilities, it can also provide an on-ramp to cloud-enabled human capital management (HCM) systems, including the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite, said Ludlow. SAP acquired HCM specialist SuccessFactors in 2012.
The People Central Hub can serve as a "first step toward an eventual replacement" of legacy on-premise HR systems for organizations that may not have the budget for a sweeping overhaul, said Ludlow.