The journey into the cloud has often been a topic of discussion for some time now and one that has evoked a lot of thought and emotion for customers and implementation partners alike.
Although I’ve performed various roles in my decade long SAP consulting career, my experience spans the on premises platform so transitioning to cloud consulting has required me to change my mindset and attitude the most. That said, I have been privileged to have made this transition with the talented and dynamic team from KALTech Group. KALTech Group’s consulting methodology, support and experience in transitioning from an on premises solution provider to a Cloud recognised expert has certainly made the journey easier on me as a consultant.
Now with some cloud experience below my belt, especially with the SuccessFactors cloud solution, I am able to reflect on some of the major learnings that I’ve had and compare them with what I was so accustomed to in what is now called the ‘dying on-premises’ world.
Let me start off with some of my favourites; the ones that really blew my mind, or like some of my colleagues say ‘mind-blasted’.
The game has really changed here. In fact it’s just not recognisable anymore. We’re seeing a paradigm shift from ‘push marketing’ to ‘pull marketing’. Traditional methods of going to customers are being replaced with getting customers interested with what implementation partners are doing and what they offer. Why this shift? Because most cloud customers have already done their research using various online and social tools. They’ve already decided on the cloud solution that suits them best and possibly even shortlisted a vendor as their implementation partner of choice.
Here are some statistics from an SAP pre-sales training course that I attended earlier this year.
At KALTech we see interest in our offerings as we develop and fine tune our marketing strategy. For example, recently we received a call from a potential customer who had read one of our blogs and wanted to initiate discussions on a SuccessFactors implementation. So if you’re reading this and are keen to know more on what we offer, please contact us for a confidential discussion.
Another major change to an old mindset. My previous HR/payroll on-premises implementation for a large utilities company using the ASAP methodology went on for two years. Now, much to the joy of cloud customers and to the dismay of on-premises consultants, the days of such long projects are slowly but most definitely grinding to a halt.
Consultants with an on premises mindset will be shocked when comparing the timelines of an on-premises implementation project plan with one using the SAP Launch Methodology today. Cloud implementations are so much shorter. For example the ever popular SuccessFactors Performance and Goals module can be implemented in 4 to 6 weeks. At KALTech Group we’ve knocked that down even further. We’ve successfully delivered a SuccessFactors Performance and Goals project in just 17days, an industry record! There are also Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDS) available with SuccessFactors that can further shave off implementation days. We can share this information with you if you’re keen to know more.
This listing is one that won’t really come as a surprise to anyone. The price tag of cloud based solutions continues to be a huge driver for organisations considering their move to the cloud. Many of our customers are often surprised with the price tag of our SuccessFactors solutions despite being a Tier 1 HR solution and a market leader. Although there are a lot of factors contributing to the lower price tag, I’d like to list the not-so-obvious ones that are pertinent to SuccessFactors.
- SAP Launch Methodology – adopts a 3 iteration approach that gives customers 3 passes at getting all their requirements captured in templated configuration workbooks and then implemented. This approach helps in managing scope and timelines thereby positively influencing implementation costs.
- Onsite presence – of consultants is controlled. Consultants perform a large portion of their task offsite. Teleconferences and online meetings are encouraged. The customer doesn’t have to ‘house’, plan and manage resources for consultants thus keeping down costs.
- Limited flexibility – I will speak about this more later. But here I just wanted to point out that limited flexibility means reduced ability for the customer to implement complex custom solutions that can drive up implementation and maintenance effort and cost.
Customisation flexibility is often looked at as the Achilles heel of cloud solutions. SuccessFactors is no exception here. My experience with the SuccessFactors solution is that although there is reduced flexibility compared to traditional on-premises solutions (read SAP HCM), it can still cater to most customer requirements. All this while delivering best practice processes and solutions.
Here’s how I like to explain this with my personal analogy:
Standard SuccessFactors is flexible enough to let you touch your nose with your pinkie while your hand is wrapped around your neck. But if you did want to achieve the same task while standing on your hands with your feet in the air then you may need to:
- Consider tailor made custom solutions such as ‘extensions’. Ask us how.
- Consider on premise solutions. Not recommended.
- Alternately you could purchase tickets to Cirque du Soleil. I hear they have great acrobats.
Contact us to experience the KALTech Difference!
KALTech SuccessFactors Consultant