SAP SuccessFactors Review

Stable and globally accessible, but needs more features and better user experience, flexibility, and integrations

What is our primary use case?

It is a personnel administration tool. As a normal associate, I use it for performance dialogues and training management. I also use it for reporting on the LMS module. We are using the SaaS version of this solution.

What is most valuable?

It has a global database, and it is globally accessible. By using this solution, we have moved away from paper, which is a big step for us.

What needs improvement?

Its overall integration and user experience can be improved. SuccessFactors is a system that is built out of three different systems. The elements part was bought from Plateau, and the original performance dialogue was built by SuccessFactors itself. After that, SAP bought it, and it hasn't improved in the last few years. 

SuccessFactors is a perfect tool if you use it the way it is meant to be, but if you start building custom sessions and try to use it differently, then it is a total mess. It is not agile. It is like an old Mastodon truck or whatever. 

We don't have the Employee Central and Competence Management modules. Our company made the choice to not implement the Employee Central module. We also didn't implement the Competence Management module. We use the learning module to do some competence management, but I am not that fond of it. It would have been best to have the whole suite. SAP should never sell this without selling the whole suite because it just doesn't work. 

The biggest gain for me would be having the possibility of doing strategic personnel planning and managing internal mobility. If it could be used for social purposes, such as creating communities and connecting with media channels, that would be perfect. It should also have the possibilities for local admin and agile product development.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable enough. It has around 98% stability. There are accessibility issues, but they could be because of any reason, such as our network.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If you count associates, we are a 450,000 associate company. About one-third of them are not active users. We have roughly 300,000 users in all kinds of roles, such as managers, FMs, and associates.

Our company doesn't want to spend any more money on SuccessFactors. We are not really extending the solution. It would be wise if we could use it better. We don't do any strategic personnel planning.

How are customer service and technical support?

I can't really evaluate SAP's technical support because there is so much bureaucracy in our support model. Support is not necessarily done in our country, and there is a really bureaucratic ticketing system behind it. We have national application specialists in every country. They are the guys who think about the right and proper text for the support tickets and how can a group in India or Stuttgart solve the problem. 

From another perspective, because I am also in a group of global specialists, I know that SuccessFactors or SAP does not necessarily react quickly to the issues of their customers, which is logical because they need to scale as well.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did use some local systems, but they are not comparable to this product. The biggest pro of SuccessFactors has to be the global database, and it is globally accessible with the integration with the management. I would always prefer a global solution instead of a local solution, but a local solution is like a Pappa and Mamma store on the corner. It is always more flexible, and it is logical.

How was the initial setup?

We didn't have a good data set, so the personal master data was a mess. It was a lot of work, especially on the data side. After one or two years, we kind of fixed it. 

It took about nine months to roll it out. We rolled it out in parts because we are a company that is active in 38 countries, with 450,000 associates. On our site, we had around 5,000 associates at that time. Currently, we have 4,000 associates because we are shrinking. 

In terms of the implementation strategy, we are tech equipped company. It was designed without any negotiation or input from the end-user. It was a technology push if you want to see it like that.

What about the implementation team?

We have our own SAP Competence center for its implementation. Its maintenance is handled by SAP. 

Our release notes are every three months, but from a central department, we only implement them once a year. So, everything is collected somewhere in June or July. There is a big update instead of different small updates. The global application specialists are responsible for updates.

What other advice do I have?

I won't recommend this solution. I would say, "Don't do it." Cornerstone or Workday is way better.

I would rate SAP SuccessFactors a five out of ten. 

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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