The future of HR systems and thinking?

Dennis Moore came around to the bloggers corner at Sapphire and talked to us at length about Duet, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Search and co-innovation. (more on these later)  He kindly let me record the session, and I’ll be posting that as a podcast series shortly.  Dennis Brown  came along and did a detailed Harmony demo, which I missed. Bummer. (see what Dennis Howlett has to say here – what is with this Dennis thing? I’ve met more Dennises this week than in the rest of my life put together)

Robin comments on the co-innovation model and how it is changing software  development.

Yesterday at SAPPHIRE, Dennis Moore from SAP Labs came by to talk to the bloggers about “co-imagineering” — the dynamic interchange that lives and breathes on the SAP Community networks, SDN and BPX.  Where development used to be an aggregation of specs, cascading into the product like a “waterfall”, the networks are permitting a kind of give-and-take product development that, if nothing else, reduces the cost of services.  The vision: communities which develop products, software which is available as a service, solutions that are more fully utilized, greater customer satisfaction and higher levels of engagement, and then, dancers, we start all over again


Harmony looks really cool. It is live in SAP Palo Alto, and once it rolls out in Walldorf I’ll be dead keen to get using it.

Dan from Colgate-Palmolive, currently on a co-innovation fellowship at SAP in Palo Alto, wrote.

Finding others to help in these new ad hoc teams is easy with Harmony. Harmony is a mySpace/LinkedIn kind of application for the enterprise. It is already running at SAP and I’ve already had some hands on time with it. The interface is very good, has a consistent UI and well done graphics – the whole package looks highly, well unSAPish. The current version only has the mySpace component but I hope they plans to add the other components, wikis, blogs, social bookmarking, etc. This is SAP’s first foray into the social computing side of web 2.0 so no surprise the offer is limited. On the live SAP site you already have started to see interesting groups form like Basketball leagues and Live Music Lovers, not a huge value to the enterprise’s bottom line but happy workers are more productive workers.

I hope to see Dan blogging more on his SAP experiences. I’ve enjoying getting to know him at Sapphire.

Photo from the flickr stream sapphire07. (thanks Dan Farber, who also comments on Harmony)


Jeff Nolan, who alas, didn’t make Sapphire had this to say. I’m not close enough to the product to comment, but I’d suggest that this is the year when SAP starts to take the learnings of SDN as a platform, Harmony etc and ships some wicked social computing stuff.

I don’t really want to comment on the details of Harmony etc here. I’ll come back to that once I’ve had more contact with the solution.

You may be wondering why I labelled this post the future of HR systems.

Dennis Moore said something that really jelled with me.

I’ll paraphrase:

HR systems today are all about capturing what the company wants to store about me. (grade, performance, salary and so on) HR systems in the future will capture what I want to tell the company about myself.

My questions to the HR folks reading this. What are you doing about social computing and networks? They are changing organizations as I write this. Will this pass the HR function by, or will you embrace it as a means to meaningfully connect with employees and their aspirations?  The time is now. tags: , , , ,


5 thoughts on “The future of HR systems and thinking?”

  1. A really interesting post.

    I like the tool, over the years we have all seen skill profiles, mentoring programs and the like to break down the barriers between groups in organisations. Something like harmony might do this.

    I think Dennis Moore’s comment is far more profound. Very Attention Trust’ish We have been telling employees that they own their careers, they shouldn’t expect a career for life, they need to make sure that they are getting the right training etc. I guess we are coming to a point where employees will want to control their own data even further.

  2. Michael,
    Agreed this isnt about the tool. It is more fundamental than that. The “linkedin” metaphor is important because it really shifts the thinking from what does my employer want from me to what do I want to tell my colleagues..

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