Cloud apps: taking HR to the next level

Saying that the HR technology market has changed dramatically is an understatement. Solutions are now more sophisticated as standard. They are designed to be user-friendly, based on best practices and can be implemented rapidly, usually, within weeks instead of months or years, like it used to be.

Beyond these solutions, there is an entire ecosystem made up of consulting companies, integrators, service providers. Some also design applications (also called extensions) to compliment the original Cloud HR suite. These apps are available on official digital market places, such as the SAP App Center. We asked Carlos Torres, Global XTendHR Business Leader, for Alight I NGA HR, to tell us a bit more.

First of all, can you explain Alight | NGA HR positioning compared to software editors?

Cloud-based HR solutions, such as SAP SuccessFactors are designed with business empowerment in mind. They allow organizations and their employees to experience an easy to use ‘consumeresque’  HR experience straight out of the box. They have been developed according to the best practice observed over decades.

Partners like Alight I NGA HR help organizations configure these HR suites. This ensures the native functionality best supports the customers’ specific industries, processes and regulatory needs.

As of today, Alight I NGA HR has nearly 20 apps available on the SAP App Center. Why have you decided to develop them?

First of all, HR suites are extremely powerful and provide a wide range of functionalities, which answer to the majority of companies’ needs.

However, through working with customers in their digital HR transformation journey, we noticed that there were some gaps that we could fill with complementary components (the apps or extensions).

To be even more specific, Alight I NGA HR, through our XTendHR team, takes the native SAP SuccessFactors landscape and opens up a world of possibilities. This is at the same time as protecting Core HR processes, underlying system and data integrity.

Does it mean that XTendHR apps are dedicated to SAP SuccessFactors?

At this stage, yes. But keep in mind that Alight | NGA HR is now part of a bigger entity, called Alight Solutions. This organizational change will for sure open new opportunities for Workday apps, as Alight has developed a solid expertise in Workday.

What is on the SAP App Center?

If you go the SAP App Center, you will find all XtendHR apps available.

They can handle various functionalities such as HR ticket management, Chatbot and the end-to-end hiring process. There is even a pre-configured HR and payroll package that enables up to 60% savings in time and cost, compared to traditional payroll configurations.

The possibilities are almost endless. My mission is to identify frustrations, listen to customers and find solutions to their needs by developing efficient processes that are embedded in SAP SuccessFactors.

Are there any other guiding principles when creating XTendHR apps?

When it comes to SAP SuccessFactors apps or extensions, we work according to a strict set of specifications:

  • All SAP SuccessFactors XtendHR apps are cloud extensions based on Fiori and UX technology;
  • The extensions should fit any architecture: Cloud, on premise or hybrid
  • Each extension should be transparent for the customer, security of data, no disruption of “as is”
  • The extensions must be quick to develop and deploy
  • Apps are meant to be used, therefore they have to be easy to use
  • Extensions have to be interfaced with any customer HRIS and payroll landscape;

XTendHR solutions should bring the benefits of SAP Core updates for customers’ existing SAP solutions.

What are the benefits for SAP HR and SAP SuccessFactors customers to use XtendHR apps?

Customers can expect a reduction in operational HR costs of up to 60%. This, in a very short amount of time.

For example, many of our apps increase the efficiency in handling employee queries, which in turn reduces the number queries addressed to HR.

The other type of benefit is reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In some cases, by up to 70%.

Why? Because customers use pre-built, tested and SAP native extensions. They are based on best-practice templates and standard processes. Overall, it also reduces the IT-related costs.

Customers also make an important move when reinforcing their HR suite: they put the HRIS at the center of the employee experience. By doing so, they provide a single joined up user experience.

What are the drivers that lead Alight I NGA HR customers to complement their SAP SuccessFactors suite with XtendHR apps?

In most cases we see three main drivers.

The first two drivers are efficiency and cost reduction. With XtendHR, companies can easily make some significant achievements, such as:

  • Fewer HR service agents needed to handle operational tasks, which means more FTEs dedicated to strategic responsibilities
  • Reduced volume of calls and queries (70-80%, based on some of our customers’ data);
  • Rationalized HR Service Center costs
  • Rapid ROI through accelerated adoption of Employee Central (Core HR) and other cloud applications
  • Compliance through a more structured communication between employees and HR
  • All the advantages related to the Cloud: no new hardware, no specific support teams required etc.

Another driver is related to user experience:

  • All apps have a responsive design meaning they are compatible with any type of device; phones, tablets and PCs
  • The more user-friendly the apps are, the better the employee experience and consequently the overall employee engagement

We manage applications on state-of-the-art SAP data centers, which make them reliable, scalable and secure.

What would be the best approach for a company that would like to take advantage of the XtendHR apps?

We divide XtendHR offerings into two:

Firstly, XtendHR products are pre-built standard extensions available on the SAP App Center. Deployment is easy for any new customer with custom options on request.

Secondly, custom apps are extensions that can be built with the customer in a co-operative approach. This case has proven that Alight I NGA HR is able to build pretty much anything in order to support customers addressing their challenges and solve their pain points.

Anything to add to conclude this interview?

The world of apps/extensions provides all sort of opportunities. The most important is to understand that HR suites are wonderful solutions. They can address many functionalities and needs within organizations whatever their structure, size and geographical scope.

Alight I NGA HR is here to fill the gaps and take your experience to the next level. It is about providing answers to needs encountered by many companies, and also be ahead of the game in addressing more specific requests, that often lead to tomorrow’s apps.

Check out what is available on the SAP App Center and feel free to get in touch with me via my LinkedIn profile or directly by e-mail. I am here to listen, answer to any type of questions and think about the solutions to provide that can help HR and payroll professionals to be as efficient as possible in their day-to-day mission.