SuccessFactors Debuts Mobile, Social Features for Business

SuccessFactors, an SAP company, yesterday launched a set of social collaboration and mobile features, as well as an enhanced user interface, for the Business Execution (BizX) Suite.

The cloud-based provider of human resources solutions, like team execution, employee performance, business alignment, and learning management applications, was acquired by SAP this winter for $3.4 billion. SAP's recent acquisition of Ariba for $4.3 billion continued the software company's cloud trajectory.

"We were a leader in human capital management and have been 100 percent cloud since we started over ten years ago, and (SAP) really wanted to accelerate that," comments Jeff Kristick, vice president of global product marketing for SuccessFactors.

Kristick says there is a great "misconception" in the market that HR processes are dying and being wholly replaced by things like enterprise social collaboration and more crowdsourced means of communication and peer review. But, he adds that the "formal talent management review does have to be complemented with social feedback."

The same holds true for learning management in the enterprise, he says. What is becoming more important to companies is finding experts and sharing best practices "using a collaborative social tool that's easy to use."

In addition to aesthetic improvements to the BizX Suite, which will include movable tiles that offer employees and managers an easy way to tailor their dashboard with things like goals, performance, and metrics, a new set of features has been launched.

"Touchbase" mobile creates a "continuous feedback loop," Kristick says, allowing on-the-go users to keep track of a list of synchronized items that have been agreed upon, which will constitute a part of the formal performance review. The goal is to foster productivity, a trend that applications like Asana, through synchronized, shareable task management, have somewhat popularized.

"Who's in the Meeting" is another new mobile feature in BizX, providing one-click access to meeting attendees to view each other's employee or LinkedIn profiles. "This works in an enterprise social collaboration capacity (similar to Salesforce.com's Chatter)," Kristick notes.

A new social and mobile learning functionality automatically lets users "add" a social community to a formal course. Another enhancement is the addition of "Team Overview" and "Ask for Feedback," designed for managers and HR professionals using the Performance and Goals feature.

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