HR2008 in Amsterdam

I’m on my way to Amsterdam to attend HR2008. This will be the first time this Wispubs conference will be held in Europe. ROC is the premier sponsor and our chairman, Les Hayman, will be one of the keynote speakers. If you are attending come by our booth and to say hi. Leave a comment if you want to get together during the conference.Watch this space for more on the conference…Dec 1, ’09 update: OK, I know you’ve been watching this space for awhile. I lost my iPhone (I used it to write drafts of my post) in Amsterdam and also lost my will to recreate the content I created regarding the conference. Hopefully next time.

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HCL acquires Axon

If you are in the SAP world then this is big news. Infosys announced on August 25, 2008 that it plans to acquire Axon for US$753MM in cash. A couple of years ago Axon acquired US based PremierHR. A significant inducement fee should prevent Axon from taking a competitive bid. Here is a good analysis of the move by Infosys.Update: HCL ended up acquiring Axon instead of Infosys.Sep 29, 2008: HCL Technologies is offering 650 pence per share or 50 pence per share more than the Infosys bid. Infosys may counter-bid soon and the bidding could go as high as 700-750 pence per share or almost a $1bn.Interesting move…what do you think about it?

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SuccessApps: Successfactors and Google Apps

Successfactors (SFSF) recently announced integration into Google Apps (GOOG). I think this is a very important announcement. See what Phil Wainewright has to say about this. Bringing the Web, especially Web 2.0 into the enterprise. SAP, take note.Here is what Successfactors had to say about the integration.

The integration of SuccessFactors’ Performance and Talent Management suite with Google Apps collaborative products and other tools enables enterprises of any and all sizes to reap the benefits of Software as a Service and cloud computing (no hardware or software to download, install or maintain), and extends SuccessFactors’ mission to help companies better manage, motivate and engage their people to drive better business results.

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I’m back in the SAP HCM world as a ROC

Update: January 1, 2009 – I’m not with ROC anymore.First off, I apologize for the lengthy silence. I’ve been busy! As of July 1, I’m the CEO of ROC Americas, Inc. and a board member of ROC Global. ROC’s vision is to be THE Global SAP HCM specialist, and after just 7 weeks with ROC I believe that we’ll get there…soon…very soon.ROCSince I’ve joined, the ROC world has grown to include South Africa, France and obviously now the US. ROC is a company with a vision, a world class management team, and the ability to move very quickly. Great stuff!I’ll write more soon…

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The war for talent!

Even with all the news about a slowdown in the US economy and the dark outlook on jobs, it seems that for the most part it is still difficult to find good people. The war for talent is still raging. These SAP sponsored reports by the Economist give an interesting overview of the supply of talent in both the developed world and emerging economies. To quote the Economist report: 

Finding and retaining talent is tough and is going to get tougher. While a global economic slowdown—with its attendant lay-offs—may provide temporary respite in some industries, falling birth-rates, an increasingly demanding workforce and greater competition for talent from emerging-market firms will continue to pile pressure on companies in the developed world. 

Download the Economist reports here.

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Martin Sacks – Visualizing companies around the world

Martin Sacks and HumanConcepts just announced the release of OrgPlus Enterprise Blueprint, further solidifying the company’s position as leading provider of workforce decision support software.OrgPlus Enterprise Blueprint uses a Web 2.0 solution and allows executives and managers from across a company to collaborate on organizational changes and planning decisions.Martin has been the CEO of HumanConcepts since founding the company in 2000. He had been a regular user of OrgPlus while serving as CEO of another software company and, liked the product so much that he acquired the technology and created HumanConcepts.In an interview with Entrepreneur magazine Martin said he is convinced that the best way to create a great product is to build a development team that closely mimics the entrepreneurial environment of a startup company. “In a startup,” he was quoted as saying, “the founder answers support calls, talks to customers and immediately translates what he’s heard into features for the next release.” He feels most big software companies are uncomfortable with that model and suffer (or at the least, their customers suffer) because of it.Based on HumanConcepts’ success with its OrgPlus line of organizational charting and workforce modeling solutions, he apparently practices what he preaches. OrgPlus can count 50,000 companies as customers, including Verizon, Kraft Foods, JCPenney and Best Buy, along with government entities and nonprofit outfits.Blogger Thomas Otter, formerly with SAP and now with Gartner, sang the praises of OrgPlus on his site, especially the software’s integration features: “If a third party vendor does something better than we do,” he wrote, “we should embrace and help them…Connect them with our customers and deliver a better all-around solution.”HumanConcepts is based in Sausalito, Calif., with offices in the United Kingdom and Germany.Martin, who grew up in northern South Africa, holds finance and accounting degrees from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He began his career as a management consultant with Ernst & Young, one of the largest professional services (taxes, assurance, auditing) firms in the world. While there, he gained an interest in business process improvement. In 1983 he founded software company Milan Systems and brought precision-design software TurboCAD to the United States. Milan was acquired in 1988 by IMSI, the maker of TurboCAD, and Martin became its director. In 1990 he became president and CEO of IMSI.He is also a South African Chartered Accountant.A few weeks ago HumanConcepts launched (in the United Kingdom) an online savings calculator, where human resources and other professionals can tabulate how much their organization can save by automating chart creation, improving employee communication, and speeding up data collection and workforce planning.PS: This Martin is not Martin Sacks the Australian actor.

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Free How-to guides for implementing SAP HCM

Nov 2010 update: If you a consultant or consulting manager then check out my iPhone app to calculate consulting rates.Today I stumbled upon Sylvia Chaudoir‘s SAP HCM Expertise website. Sylvia is an ex-SAP HCM Consulting manager and she’s always been very willing to assist others. She’s presenting at the HR2008 conference in Orlando and you can meet her at “Meet the experts”. You can click on the Publications link to get a number of very useful guides to implement and maintain the SAP HCM system.Here are some other resources that you may find useful. Most of these resources are free:

  1. SearchSAP.com (free): This site has a wealth of information including many articles on the SAP HR/HCM module.
  2. SAP’s SDN portal (free): Loads of useful implementation information and forums.
  3. SAP Help Portal (free): This is SAP’s official help documentation portal. Here is the link to the SAP Best Practices for HCM (US version).
  4. SAP Business Maps (free): SAP Business process/solution maps are very useful as high-level overviews of the SAP solution. You will find the SAP ERP map here and a 2004 HCM map here.
  5. AdManus (free): AdManus is a group of german SAP HCM consulting companies. The site contains a lot of tips and tricks especially their newsletters archive.
  6. SAP HR/HCM – one stop resource (free): This blog is not well maintained and contains numerous ads and bad CSS formating. Not too sure if I should list this one…you decide. [Aug 28, ’08 update: Lost of good changes. Clean CSS and less intrusive ads.]
  7. MIT SAP HR-Payroll project notes (free): These notes are from 2000, however some of it may still be relevant.
  8. SAPDrill ($$): Self-study materials for SAP in general and SAP HCM.
  9. HR Expert ($$): Excellent HCM reviewed content. It is pricey, between $895 and $1,295 for an annual subscription. You can download a free sample here.
  10. SAP HR2008 ($$): This is an excellent conference to network and gain practical knowledge of the SAP HCM system.
  11. SAP PRESS books ($$): SAP PRESS publishes many books on SAP HCM. They are typically around $7+shipping.
  12. Blogs (free): I listed a few in a 2007 post.
  13. HCM Consulting companies (free :-): Some SAP HCM Consulting companies provide free information on their websites, however you’ll usually have to pay steep hourly rates for the good stuff.
  14. SAP Solution browser tool (free): Browse all the latest and greatest from SAP.

If you know of a good resource that I missed please post a comment.

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SAP HCM Consulting companies

I’ve had numerous requests from business partners for a comprehensive list of SAP HCM consulting companies in the USA. My aim in this post is to give you a comprehensive list — let me know if I missed one.Pure-play SAP HCM companies:

  • EPI-USE: EPI-USE America, based in Atlanta, GA, is my former employer and one of the best SAP HCM consulting companies in the world (ok, my bias). Magnisol represents EPI-USE in Europe. EPI-USE has offices in South Africa (the parent company), Mexico, the UK, and Australia. EPI-USE has some world class complimentary SAP HCM products.
  • Symphony Consulting: Symphony is based in Charlotte, NC and partners with Ariston Consulting to implement full SAP ERP projects. They recently became an SAP Public Services partner.
  • AspireHR: Formerly ERP Solutions is based in Dallas, TX. They provide SAP HCM services and they’ve developed a number of interesting products. I assume AspireHR of the UK is not a related entity. They seem to have a strong relationship with SAP’s development group in Palo Alto.
  • Exaserv: A number of former Arinso employees started Exaserv a couple of years ago. They are based in Atlanta, GA with offices in Luwembourg, Dallas, and Walldorf Germany. They have unique products for HIPPA and Pension plans.
  • Insight Consulting: Insight is based Cincinnati, OH and Insight’s managing partner is on the HR Expert advisory board.
  • Emeritis: Emeritis has operations in the US, Belguim, Thailand, and Brazil. They claim over 200 SAP HR implementations. I don’t think that they have a strong presence in the US anymore.
  • Arinso: Arinso is one of the first and the largest SAP HCM consulting company in the world. Last year Arinso was acquired by UK-based Northgate. Arinso US is based in Atlanta, GA and has 25 offices around the world. In 2006 Arinso acquired OpenHR.
  • Worklogix: Worklogix is a niche SAP HCM consultancy. They are based in Texas, New York and Canada. Their strength is SAP Performance Management. They wrote the book!

Some full service SAP ERP consulting companies have a significant SAP HCM practice. These include:

And then the big boys:

Did I miss one or more? — let me know…Update July 1, 2008: Yes, I did… ROC.Update August 25, 2008: Axon will soon be part of HCL.Update May 1, 2009: ROC Acquires Towers Perrin SAP HCM Practice in North America.

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Patrick Lencioni – The three signs of a Miserable job

Pat said that this was the first time that he will give this keynote on his new book: “The Three signs of a Miserable Job.” He is also the author of “The 5 dysfunctions of a team”.I think work is under-focused on in our lives. Work is thought of that other thing we do. Popular TV shows don’t show people working. People on Dirty Jobs seem happy with their jobs. This is amazing because they have bad jobs. CEO, execs, football players are unhappy. Is your job fulfilling? Misery at work is universal – clock watching, Sunday night blues, ahhh I have to go to work tomorrow.People need to be reminded more than being instructed. – Samuel JacksonThe 3 signs of a Miserable job

  1. Anonymity – All humans have a need to be known. If we feel anonymous we don’t feel appreciated. Managers should care about their people. We have to life coach the people who work for us. Why aren’t we all doing it? We’re too busy. Interest needs to be genuine. [The handouts read, accountability instead of anonymity — funny…]
  2. Irrelevance – You make a difference in some one else’s life. As managers tell people how they make a difference.
  3. Immeasurement – Measure for themselves why they’re doing what they are doing. Salespeople like their jobs because they know where they stand. We all have a need to measure. This is what I do, and this is how well I’m doing.

Someday I what to retire. Don’t wait until you retire to start your ministry. The way you treat your people will influence the people around them. Management is ministry!Pat’s final comment: Work becomes a great source of fulfillment and ministry.[amtap book:isbn=0787995312]

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Parkinson’s laws – THE management guide

Published in the mid-1950’sParkinson’s laws are still very relevant today.PARKINSON’S LAW: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

  1. “An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals”
  2. “Officials make work for each other.”

PARKINSON’S SECOND LAW: Expenditure rises to meet income.PARKINSON’S THIRD LAW: Expansion means complexity, and complexity decay.THE LAW OF DELAY: Delay is the deadliest form of denial.THE LAW OF TRIVIALITY: The time spent on any item of a committee’s agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum of money involved.INJELITANCE: A vital Parkinson contribution was his diagnosis of why certain organizations suddenly deteriorate: the rise to authority of individuals with unusually high combinations of incompetence and jealousy (“injelitance”).

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