It was 4 years ago, give or take a day that I joined SuccessFactors to lead Employee Central Product Management. At times it feels like yesterday, at times it feels like forever. There are a few things I wish we could do over, but I feel a sense of pride, looking back at how far we have come. EC now has close to 2000 customers over 16 million users, and is localized for 82 countries.
I work with remarkable people, and I’m still learning something new everyday.
5 years ago, few people outside SAP SuccessFactors believed that SAP would dare to disrupt itself by building a cloud core HRMS, but we did. I remain emmensely grateful to those early customers that took the bet with us, and to the SAP leadership that backed us.
While we now have more go lives in a week than we did in our first year, I look back in gratitude to the work we did with companies like Timken, Amway, Densply and CEVA. And telling your 12 year old that Man City uses the product scores lots of “my dad is cool” points.
Product management is picking from the infinite list of market, customer, prospect and executive demands, and applying a finite engineering capacity to that list. The build plan is where all those decisions come together and today is the build plan meeting for 1708. Dave Ragones and I now lead product for all of SuccessFactors, and thanks in the main to Dave’s precision and relentless Kaizen mindset, every build plan is tighter. Doing this at scale is hard, but thrilling. If both sales and engineeting are equally unhappy, it means we are on the right track.
SAP’s ability to disrupt itself continues to impress me. Yesterday I spoke to the German User Group, I was stunned how quickly the German SucccessFactors user group has grown. Customer after customer stood up and introduced their projects. From the middelstand to the big globals, I kept hearing we are live, or we are implementing this new feature.
This morning I had a breakfast session with the QA leadership. Quality engineers and testing experts are so vital to successful cloud computing. This meeting reminded me that I need to spend more time listening to them.
I also caught up with the PM looking after our new org management solution. As a german colleague said, this thing is geil, saugeil.
We get to stand on stage at SuccessConnect in a couple of weeks to showcase our progress, but we stand on the shoulders of our customers, our colleagues and our partners. It sounds corny, but it’s true.
Next week I’m at Sapphire, and I’m looking forward to catching up with customers, partners and colleagues. If you are there, and would to meet, ping my via your favourite communication mechanism, and I try and make a plan.