SAP Announces Integration of Fieldglass and SuccessFactors

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SAP announced Tuesday the initial integration of the vendor management system (VMS) Fieldglass and the human capital management (HCM) solution SuccessFactors. Both Fieldglass and SuccessFactors are SAP solutions. SuccessFactors is used by enterprises to manage their employee workforces; Fieldglass, acquired by SAP in May 2014 for a reputed sum of more than $1 billion, enables the management of contingent workforce and staffing suppliers.

The 2014 acquisition was a watershed event in the staffing industry and the first concrete move toward supporting enterprises to achieve a “total talent management” or “blended workforce” model, blending the management of employee and contingent workers. This integration, expected since the acquisition, confirms SAP’s move in this direction — at least a first step.

With the integration, organizations will “now be able to upload data from Fieldglass into contingent profiles in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, making them visible to everyone in the organization through people searches and organizational charts,” the press release said. “The integration between SAP’s HCM and services procurement solutions allows companies to break down siloes and gain meaningful insights on all of their workers to achieve business goals.”

Also suggested are benefits that can be realized as the integration continues to develop:

  • Realization of consistent processes (HR and contingent workforce management) across all talent
  • Visibility into traditional and nontraditional workforce data — providing actionable insight into the total workforce
  • Integration across all human capital and labor-based services, allowing a holistic view from permanent employees through contingent workforce/SOW through other labor-based services (BPO, legal, etc.) to worker-related services like travel and entertainment (T&E). Such integration allows procurement to look into all labor-related spend.

Fieldglass integration is not only extending into the human capital domain. In 2015, SAP has already started integrating Fieldglass and Ariba, including workflows between Fieldglass, Ariba Procurement and Ariba Network; integration of UIs; and OOTB master data integration — apparently heading toward an integrated purchase-to-pay (P2P) model that will span both products and services. It also appears that integration with Concur may be on the horizon.  

Spend Matters Summary

Prior to publishing and the announcement of the news this morning, we were not able to speak to SAP representatives to get a deeper understanding of the full extent of the Fieldglass-SuccessFactors integration and its technical implementation. It appears this initial integration introduces functionality that mainly supports HR users on the SuccessFactors side — though this remains to be validated. We hope to speak to SAP shortly and get a technical understanding of the integrations— and will report back what we learn. 

Looking across the entire span of integrations from SuccessFactors to Fieldglass to Ariba, SAP appears to be ahead of the ERP pack at this point in integrating human capital management and service procurement solutions, although no single vendor (including SAP) has a set of collected, integrated assets that can begin to bridge all human capital, talent and external services management needs (which explains in part why Fieldglass is also focused on integration with Workday, Peoplesoft and others).

What will ultimately emerge from all of this is hard to say, but it could be a solution set that has not existed before and where the whole is greater than the sum of its part -- especially if SAP begins to leverage a platform-as-a-service drive (PaaS) driven model which can bridge its increasingly integrated internal solutions with external best of breed capabilities in emerging areas (e.g., freelancer management systems) which it does not support natively today.

Voices (2)

  1. Christian Lanng:

    Come on, seriously, this is breaking news how? That they have STARTED on an integration? SAP is more and more turning into a company of press-releases (recently they gave themselves a prize for innovation and issued a press-release about that as well).

    The fact is that they are getting desperate to show the customers how on earth the suite of aging cloud companies they have bought will make sense in 2015 and using their classic vaporware strategy they have now announced they will start the integration? Weren’t that a given when they acquired these companies?

    1. Jason Busch:

      I am of mixed opinion of the use of “breaking news” here … I will defer to the editorial team on that label, however there has been a lot going on in the background with the FG integration into SAP that we have not yet reported on. Ultimately, the measure is what it means for shareholders … my money is on the fact that FG & Concur are proving to be very, very smart moves from a growth perspective for SAP. Ariba is perhaps one notch down in growth but still delivering materially. SF I don’t have enough visibility to … but suspect it’s under Ariba.

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