New Josh Bersin Company Report Explores SAP-Specific HCM Best Practices

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 12:48 PM CST
  • Human capital management (HCM) technology is one of the single largest investments an organization can make, yet many companies don't see the expected value—a new report from The Josh Bersin Company highlights the untapped scope for HCM transformation and excellence using the SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) Suite
  • This latest report follows and builds on equivalent deep-dives into the most innovative HCM transformations enabled by Workday and Oracle platforms
  • Latest HCM Excellence report features trailblazing case studies from leading users of SAP SuccessFactors, including Allianz and Microsoft

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Josh Bersin Company, a research and advisory company focused on HR and workforce strategies, has published a new high-impact report, Best Practices for HCM Excellence: The SAP SuccessFactors Edition, that showcases the best current global examples of HCM excellence using the SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) Suite. By building on earlier research, the tactical and strategic methodology shared in this new report also allows for broad applicability beyond SAP SuccessFactors technology users.

The Josh Bersin Company (PRNewsfoto/The Josh Bersin Company)
The Josh Bersin Company (PRNewsfoto/The Josh Bersin Company)(PRNewswire)
"These latest insights, especially when combined with the full picture of the earlier HCM Excellence series installments, are very timely, particularly as all kinds of companies grapple with talent challenges and look to do something different—something which sets them apart."

HCM technology, due to its cost and potential business impact, is one of the single largest investments an organization can make, yet many companies don't fully realize its expected value. This is because they are not using the platforms to their full potential, and/or their HR-related technology systems are too fragmented or limited in scope, restricting overall employee/workplace visibility, say Josh Bersin Company experts.

Although many HCM best practices are determined at a strategic level, the role of technology can have a strong bearing on employers' awareness of the opportunities for improvement, the particular issues holding them back, and the levers for success in their respective organization.

The third of three platform-specific reports on the challenge but also immense opportunity of HCM tech, Josh Bersin Company's latest research analyzes leading examples of Human Capital Management transformation by the likes of Allianz and Microsoft using SAP SuccessFactors. Previous reports in the series have taken a similar approach to HCM excellence on the Workday and Oracle platforms, respectively.

By first examining Workday implementations, Josh Bersin Company defined what HCM excellence looks like. This framework was then used throughout all the studies, and now forms a reference point against which business leaders can think about their implementations. Through the Oracle study, Josh Bersin Company dived deeper into how success is achieved, harnessing a range of leading case studies to explain how to achieve excellence.

Now, the deep dive into leading SAP SuccessFactors use cases reveals how:

  • Allianz simplified processes across its 400 business units and various geographies to create an "irresistible" employee experience via a web portal and chatbot to guide employees to relevant materials for each country and role
  • Microsoft's implementation team engaged with more than 2,000 employees worldwide during the four-year implementation process, to understand and account for the variations and needs across its global businesses and 220,000 employees.

Critically, the report notes that the most successful companies do not treat their HCM implementation simply as a technology deployment. Rather, they apply their HCM platform more strategically to enable business transformation and an irresistible employee experience.

Other key findings include:

  • Current HCM best practices include involving employees and managers in the design of the employee experience, allowing employers to fully leverage the HCM to make the company irresistible to work for
  • The most successful adopters of SAP SuccessFactors and other HCM platforms are found to consciously plan ahead to leverage the full capabilities of the platform—bringing together recruiting, talent management, performance management, learning data, talent marketplace insights, and the full breadth of the employee records combined with the job architecture to build out talent intelligence and people analytics
  • Business rules governance is another powerful determinant of success, but such decisions need to be made strategically in large organizations, as scalable processes often have to interact with HRMS business rules, business rules in the corporate learning management system, or even financial or facilities rules
  • Most companies aim to transform the HR function using an HCM platform, but the HCM system alone won't do it—rather, companies need to work across functional siloes of HR to build a systemic HR capability.

Kathi Enderes, Senior VP of Research at The Josh Bersin Company and author of the study, said:
"Learning from major HCM implementations around the world, we've identified that companies have to be more agile to adjust business success measures, accounting for new realities in the future of work, such as hybrid working. Using a human experience management (HXM) platform like SAP SuccessFactors allows companies to go beyond HCM, incorporating more of the employee experience, along with sophisticated analytics. Using such platforms to govern global business rules in that system can really help as companies strive to keep pace with the evolving workplace. Ordinarily, you'd build an employee experience platform on top of a HCM system, but leaders like Allianz and Microsoft have built this into their HCM, bringing business rules down and allowing managers to approve requests in the same platform."

Josh Bersin, global HR research analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company, said:
"Historically doing more with HCM would have been a challenge: where would this information live, where do you get the analytics? There were also concerns it could compromise employers' ability to make strategic decisions, because the data wasn't all in the same place. But these are the issues that modern HCM, or HXM, platforms can help solve now, and pioneering employers we highlighted in our new report are really leading the way and showcasing what's possible.

"These latest insights, especially when combined with the full picture of the earlier HCM Excellence series installments, are very timely, particularly as all kinds of companies grapple with talent challenges and look to do something different—something which sets them apart."

The new report, Best Practices for HCM Excellence: The SAP SuccessFactors Edition, is available to Josh Bersin Company corporate members from December 1. The research will also become part of the comprehensive HCM Best Practices collection which provides detailed guidance for companies that are considering investing in (or have already invested in) HCM technology as a cloud solution.

About the research

Best Practices for HCM Excellence: The SAP SuccessFactors Edition is the result of an in-depth collaboration with an expert team of SAP SuccessFactors system integrators at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The guide is based on many hours of discussions with CHROs, HR technology leaders, EX leaders, and executives in The Josh Bersin Company's Big Reset working groups, understanding the practices and approaches of more than 350 companies internationally. Based on these discussions and validated by many experts from various companies, the Josh Bersin Company researchers established a common framework and approach for HCM and developed a maturity model to guide companies in their HCM journeys.

This research, focused on SAP SuccessFactors, features 10 companies with extremely successful SAP SuccessFactors transformations and incorporated key lessons learned from HCM implementation experts. The interviews did not set out to understand the technical capabilities or features of SAP SuccessFactors, but rather the strategic goals driving the implementation and ongoing operations, as well as the tactical actions taken during every stage of implementation projects, and beyond.

About The Josh Bersin Company

The Josh Bersin Company provides a wide range of research and advisory services, including a corporate membership program, to help HR leaders and professionals tackle the ever-evolving challenges and needs of today's workforce. The firm's research team covers all topics in HR, talent, and L&D, including diversity, equity, and inclusion; employee experience; remote and hybrid work; wellbeing; HR strategy and capabilities; learning and career mobility; HR technology; organization design and development; and talent acquisition and mobility. With the Global Workforce Intelligence (GWI) Project, The Josh Bersin Company also serves to expand its support of market-leading businesses by helping them navigate the challenges of industry convergence while remaining future-focused.

Under the company's umbrella is The Josh Bersin Academy, the world's first global development academy for HR and talent professionals and a transformation agent for HR organizations. The Academy, which has seen more than 50,000 program enrollments since its 2019 launch, offers content-rich online courses, a carefully curated library of tools and resources, and a global community that helps HR and talent professionals stay current on the trends and practices needed to drive organizational success in the modern world of work. Visit or email

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