Performance management, Berlin, and an acquisition….

A big part of my job is helping SAP customers connect with each other. This week on Thursday and Friday I’m facilitating a workshop on performance and organisational management in Berlin.  The focus is on performance, mbos, objective setting, bonuses  and the like, and how to make these work better.  Practical, nitty-gritty HR reality. 

The agenda looks great, with speakers from Shell, Danfoss, InfoHRM, Institute of Employment Studies,  SAP internal HR, Henkel… full agenda here. It is a chance for HR professionals  and experts to learn from each other, mainly through conversation really. Product features are not on the agenda, but experience is.  (drop me a note if you want more details) 

  For those that knock best practice, we aren’t blindly suggesting there is “one best practice”  but  hopefully by bringing customers together we help them realise that gosh someone else had a similar challenge as I have today, and they fixed it. 

My colleague Jürgen Daum will pick up on the need for HR and Finance to collaborate better. Finance performance management tends to ignore people factors, and HR often loses the connection to the business drivers. Both can learn from each other.

Being off the grid last week in Les Gets,  I read very few posts, but I did read James’s take on the SAP acquisition of Pilot  He nails it.  

Pilot is a nice bite-sized chunk for SAP, with plenty of room for upside growth- it only has 150 customers now, but with access to SAP’s salesforce and distribution channels we can expect significant growth in the near and long term, because organisational overlaps are minimal.

For those who like sentences with lots of commas and subordinating conjunctions here is the official press release.

Jonathan Becher,  CEO at Pilot has a blog,  check it out. -especially the post about teaching elephants to dance.  Here at SAP we could always do with some dancing lessons.  It would be fabulous if Jonathan and his team could wander over to SDN-BPX in the analytics corner too. 

I also  look forward to seeing how Pilot  and SAP HCM performance management can work together, because the HR performance management space is really hot at the moment.  I’m interested in Jim’s  and Jason’s take on this.

SAP’s acquisition strategy isn’t about buying customers or “securing” maintenance revenue streams. It is about filling white spots in our product offering quicker than we could build it, and bringing in an outside-in thinking to starship enterprisey. 

All that SOA stuff that we keep harping on about helps SAP integrate this sort of acquisition at a technical level faster, making this sort of “tuck-in” move much more viable. Take GRC as an example.  With Virsa we have been able to make huge technical integration strides in a very short period, expand the solution and also effectively ramp up the field to sell and support it.   With this experience I’m confident that we can do the same with Pilot.



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