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SAP Fieldglass Introduces its Digital Network to Support Multichannel Services Sourcing and Engagement

03/07/2018 By

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SAP Fieldglass has announced the launch of its Digital Network, a new way for businesses to “find, hire and manage an array of workforce channels, such as freelancers, contingent workers, statement-of-work consultants and permanent employees,” according to an SAP blog post.

The announcement indicates the Digital Network will provide enterprises with an end-to-end, digitally integrated, multichannel sourcing and engagement process, including access to third-party digital platforms and other solutions. The company introduced 11 providers of various kinds and said the number would increase over time.

Below we present a brief summary of what can be learned from the announcement. We will provide further analysis of this development after we have completed our research in the near future.

What’s in the Digital Network

Over the past several years, enterprises have increasingly required not only expanded access to workforce and services but also the ability to manage them more holistically and with greater agility and efficiency. At the same time, technology has enabled new ways of sourcing and managing workforce and services. The Digital Network appears to be the SAP Fieldglass response to these developments.

Perhaps the most prominent feature of the Digital Network is the connectivity it provides to enterprises and third-party online marketplaces and other digital solution providers. This connectivity is enabled by “prebuilt integrations” into the core Fieldglass platform. As a first step in the development of an expanding provider ecosystem, Fieldglass has assembled a rather diverse set of species.

The initial providers in the Digital Network are Catalant,, Genesys Talent, MBO Partners, Shiftgig, TalentNet, TalonFMS, The Data Incubator, twago and WorkMarket. (DocuSign is also represented in the form of SAP Signature Management.) The fact that this set of providers includes independent workforce/talent pool management platforms like WorkMarket and TalentNet suggest that SAP Fieldglass may have decided on a third-party strategy for addressing client needs  in this specific area (at least for now).

The Fieldglass core enterprise platform is clearly the hub that enables and controls interactions/transactions between the network of providers and Fieldglass clients. Fieldglass has for some time been working to enable multichannel sourcing and engagement and holistic management of freelancers, temporary workers, SOW consultants and permanent employees. What appears to be really new here is the unveiling of the network of providers. How this expanding network (or “ecosystem”) of third parties will be managed and orchestrated for use by Fieldglass customers, however, remains to be clarified.

A Sign of the Times

The introduction of the SAP Fieldglass Digital Network is no doubt a sign of the times, though it is by no means a novel concept. Beeline has already been pursuing a strikingly similar model, with Beeline Self-Sourcing complementing Beeline’s core enterprise platforms. DCR Workforce’s Smart Track xCHANGE also bears an uncanny resemblance to the Digital Network.

By mentioning these first-movers, however, we don’t mean to diminish the importance and the potential of a strong, fast-follower like SAP Fieldglass, but rather suggest that the coincidence of these solutions indicates that this heretofore emergent solution market may be reaching a new stage of development. The recent acquisition of WorkMarket by ADP adds further weight to this argument and opens up a whole new dimension in this evolving solution space, where it is unclear how solution providers will compete and/or cooperate. And while it is not obvious what this solution space will end up being or what the rules will be, it is beginning to become clear that a whole new game is taking shape.

Leaving aside the bigger, strategic picture, there is more to be understood about the new SAP Fieldglass Digital Network. Standby for our further analysis.