SAP making a difference in South Africa using mobile phones

Thanks to the Collaboration@Rural project, SAP enables small grocers in rural South Africa to sell the goods, their customers actually need – through a mobile delivery system.

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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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Feedback: 10 signs that you aren’t cut out to be a CIO

I sent the “10 signs that you aren’t cut out to be a CIO” post to some of my CIO friends and I received the following interesting feedback: 
A seasoned Fortune 100 CIO said:

I read the top ten list but haven’t read the whole article. I think the points are valid but thought the way the top ten things were phrased was not like a senior business executive would have stated them. But, that’s just a first impression.    

A very experienced Fortune 500 CIO remarked:

The blog and article are right on.     

and the following from a veteran former Deloitte partner:

Interesting perspective. I am not a CIO, and have always had an external perception of the role and the players. From that perspective, I have seen a host of CIO’s who contributed very little to the success of their companies in the 5 years they held the job prior to their termination. So, an internal perception of the CIO as “one in a million among IT professioals” is foreign to my perception, and probably to the perception of many C-level executives who hire and fire CIO’s. There are exceptions. My perception is that the exceptions did so because they were business-trained, and business-focused, and happened to fill a business role that included IT. If I were hiring a CIO, the last place I would look is at 25-year IT veterans. I would look for people who understand “business” then teach them the “business of IT.”      

and finally Jan, EPI-USE‘s CIO, made the following comment:

Thanks for sharing this Carel. One of the most profound standments regarding CIOs I heard in the last year were by Léo Apotheker, co-CEO of SAP, at last year’s Saphila conference. He said something like “The main focus of CIOs in future will not be technology, but optimising business processes”. Putting the focus back on the “I” in CIO!  

So, there you have it!

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What is SAP Business ByDesign?

SAP has its own TV channel and you can find numerous interesting videos on the SAP-TV website. I found this video describing SAP Business ByDesign. SAP released this video before the recent announcement that they are delaying the launch of Business ByDesign.   Also see SAP’s SAPPHIRE 2008 announcement that it will bring SaaS to large companies.

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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. (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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Hasso Plattner (ex-SAP CEO) Ventures launches $45mm VC fund in South Africa

I’ve mentioned Hasso Plattner a number of times in my blog. He is the colorful co-founder and former CEO of SAP AG. He is also the father of SAP’s client-server 3-tiered product called R/3.This week Hasso Plattner launch HP Ventures Africa (Hasso Plattner — not to be confused with Hewlett Packard) in Cape Town, South Africa. Vendorprisey mentioned it in his blog. HPV is also active in Europe. Jeff Nolan used to work for SAP Ventures and he had blogged about his first meeting with Hasso Plattner.I quote from this week’s BusinessWeek article:

Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa will be targeted mainly at companies in telecom, mobile applications, media, software, renewable energy, and energy-saving technologies.

and from the website:

A new R350 million venture capital fund has been launched to give innovators in South Africa a leg up into the global technology arena.The Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa, named after the co-founder of software giant SAP, aims to invest in and manage a portfolio of investments that have a unique innovative offering either based on the business model, product offering or underlying technology.Focusing predominantly on activities in South Africa and later in other emerging African markets, the technology investments will concentrate on telecommunications, mobile applications, media and software as well as clean technology investments such as renewable energy, energy-saving concepts and similar business segments in early stages of their development.Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa aims to identify companies that have the potential to succeed on an international level and will provide access to an international network of leading companies, venture capital firms and institutions in the technology arena, according to Andrea Böhmert, who is going to head the fund.”In the past SA technology companies have found it almost impossible to get funding from international groups outside of South Africa,” said Böhmert.“All start up businesses know, that it is extremely important not only to get investment funding but also assistance in accessing global markets. This is where our fund can score. Prof. Plattner and co-funders MAN Ferrostaal will be able to `open doors´ for start ups that would never be accessible otherwise across the IT industry as well as in the industrial solutions sector.”

C|Net talks about the fund’s Green focus.And finally you can click here, to submit a proposal to the Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa Fund. Good luck!

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