This may be a bit disjointed……..
I’m “Fresh” from the UK user group meeting in Birmingham, where I spoke about ERP2005, the room was packed. Lots of interest in Duet and Muse. It was great to catch up with customers and partners. One of the best things that these sort of events is introducing customer A to customer B. So many customers underestimate what they can learn from each other. The SAP HR business in the UK is very busy, and growing. Partners have cross trained PeopleSoft consultants onto SAP, so this is a good indicator of market trends.
I got home yesterday in time to see the kids, but then I was up early to drive to Nürnberg for the SAP-Kongress für Personalmanagement. There are about 1400 people here. 45 partners are exhibiting. It is good to be lurking and listening rather than presenting.
I’m sitting here in the keynote address from Michael Kleinemeier, the President of EMEA Central (DE, CH, AU, BENELUX).
It is great to see management present in German, so often I see them in English, and it is tough to be sparkly in a second language. In German Kleinemeier has the room laughing. What impressed me the most so far is that he is doing the demos himself! He has done a demo of Duet, and showed the new HR administrator role. Pretty cool that he has taken the time to learn a demo script in Q4. If the MD can do an intro demo, then every account manager should be able to do the same.
Claus Heinrich, SAP’s board member responsible for internal HR spoke next. He explained how SAP HR department functions, and the role technology plays to support it. Lots about talent management and shared services. Later there is a focus session on the executive dashboard that Henning and co use, so I’ll attend that. HR at SAP is by no means perfect, but we are doing lots of stuff well.
The SAP HR market in Germany is really strong, despite the talk by many of a saturated market.
The message from customers is not so much where is the next great thing, but on execution and simplification. I have several meetings planned with large German Globals who are expanding their successful German shared service centres across Europe, or even globally. Talent management has moved from talk to action too.
I’ve not seen many analyst types here. (If they are any reading this that are here, then drop me an email) The US centricity of much of the analyst research does concern me, as coverage of the European markets is generally weaker. The word global is bandied around with abandon, but I rarely read anything that provides in depth insight about the market here. Asumptions made in the US or even the UK don’t always translate across the pond to the continent.
I would have thought presentations about e-recruiting at Audi, The German Army on talent management, shared services at Swisscom and Lufthansa, Performance Management at BASF, Learning management at Schindler, Dresdnerbank on the future of HR, Commerzbank on talent management, HR transformation at Continental and organizational development at the METRO Group would be interesting.
These are all world class firms doing great stuff with our software. Not hype, but HR executives talking about their business.
The first presentation tomorrow morning is from the SAP CFO, Werner Brandt. He will be talking to 1400 HR folks, the Topic: The transformation of the finance function as a model for HR transformation. I’m looking forward to this, as it is exactly what I have been talking about for a while. Dennis, I’ll send you the slides.