Discover the hidden value in your SuccessFactors Q1 2016 update

by Aljona Lisitsina

Q1 2016, b1602, strengthens the mobility, learning and user experiences, with other tweak to ensure it continues to provide the best support to HR and payroll professionals.

SAP SuccessFactors does so many things well including its schedule of quarterly feature updates. Forewarned, we know exactly when to expect new features and additions and we can schedule these to ensure the fastest, easiest adoption of the latest innovations that can keep us working smarter and fully engaged.

The practice is often very different. Your challenge comes at the point of deployment. Which enhancements and innovations in the update are right for your business? How do you integrate these into your existing SuccessFactors infrastructure?

Like so many iPhone users I’ve observed, there are many SuccessFactors users who could release so much more functionality – if they knew how to find it and how to integrate it with wider business processes.

Those businesses that do have in depth SuccessFactors skills in-house or have partners to do this for them, see huge competitive advantages, not only in the outcomes from SuccessFactors, but from their wider business processes..

It is the HR teams that “respect the technology” that underpins the functionality of the platform who draw the greatest return on their financial and HR process investment in SuccessFactors – and have the happiest users!

So how can you draw out this hidden value?

A small number of features are pushed to all customers. The majority are opt-in. You need to decide which will ones will make a positive impact on the employee experience in your business and then assess how the implementation of these will impact wider processes.

The minor changes are likely to have little or no impact. When planning a larger change, a change management process is vital. This is one of the reasons that SuccessFactors builds in the lead-time for each update.

The technology lift can be done in-house, if you have specialist SuccessFactors skills in your IT resource, or by an implementation partner. Either way, it can’t be rushed and impact testing is vital.

The Top 10 Enhancements to SuccessFactors update b1602

The most significant enhancements in the Q1 release affect Employee Central and the Talent Management module. These include the new Mobile Learning App for Android, and more than 10 new features to help employees choose when, where and how they learn, further adding to the employee experience that is so strong in SuccessFactors.

Beyond revised Workforce Analytics and Platform Integration, most of the remaining updates increase performance and provide minor enhancements including those to the user interface, which makes the user view more uniform across all the modules.

1. Absence without end date – optional
Removes the need to enter an end date until this has been realised.

Absence is now shown as unlimited, meaning that task cover is not restricted to a set period. This is particularly useful in cases of long-term illness.

2. Time off in Lieu – optional
Overtime, calculated in a time sheet, can now be saved to a “time-of” account. This opens up the the option to offer time-off rather than payment, in lieu of overtime.

As illustrated, rules can be set to determine the ratio of time to payment allowed per user or job function, for example.

3. Position Hierarchy for Workflow Routing – requires Position Management to be live
All workflows can now be routed on the position hierarchy.

4. Replicate company ID assignment with Cost Center replication – optional
This new feature replicates the company ID assignment of Cost Center in EC and is mapped to legal entity.

The list of valid Cost Centers can be restricted, e.g. in job info by employee assignment.

5. Mobile Specific SuccessFactors Features and Enhancement Updates
• Continuous Performance

Android Mobile Learning App and …
• Continuous Performance – an opt-in for talent team
• Manage Team View
• New Learning
• Onboarding for New Hire
• Three new employee profile layouts – for ease of use

6. Continuous Performance Management & 1:1 Meeting View
These features have been introduced to enable employees and their manager to have constructive and structured 1:1 discussions online and link these to the SuccessFactors suite. This allows achievements and outcomes to be recorded in real-time.

The significant new features include activity and achievement tracking, coaching and feedback options, some of which will trigger actions in other modules relating to the communication.

7. Onboarding for New Hire Activity – optional
New employees will see the Onboarding tile at the top of the home screen as soon as their mobile is activated. This will remain live for 30 days, at which point they will have been integrated into the core system.

Clicking the tile will connect the new starter to their key contacts.

8. Manager Team view
This feature integrates closely with the Talent: Continuous Performance Management feature. It provides managers with complete visibility of team status.

Quick actions are activated by a swipe, making calling, texting and creating Touchbase actions from the SuccessFactors interface as easy as using the phone.

9. New Learning Features for Android
The new Mobile Learning for Android features provides an on-the-move, self-service learning environment for employees.

Learners can view, select, register and complete, as appropriate, courses, assignments and content.

10. Three new Profile Views

What are Your Next Steps…?

This is an expert-eye view into some of the upgrades due to existing SuccessFactors customers. All upgrades from the b1602 release have been available since 3 March 2016.

Watch our pre-recorded SuccessFactors Q1 feature updates webinar to be walked through the upgrade highlights.