SuccessFactors: Indian ISVs take hue of this!
It is quite interesting to take note of a company called SuccessFactors. Like SalesForce, this company is into SaaS Model. Ofcourse, Salesforce.com is the poster child of the SaaS Model, but, the performance, clientele base of SuccessFactors is equally surprising. When companies in India, trying to emulate the business model of the global buddies, to serve Indian Big Businesses and Government projects, they should take note of the operational and business strategy’s of companies like SuccessFactors.
Reuters Description about SuccessFactors:
"About SuccessFactors, Inc. SuccessFactors is one of the fastest growing public software companies and the leading provider of on-demand employee performance and talent management solutions. The company enables organizations of every size, and across every industry and geography, to achieve high-performing workforces through goal alignment and execution, talent development and planning, and pay-for-performance initiatives. From 92 customers and approximately 282,000 end users in 2003 to more than 2,850 customers and more than 5.4 million end users today, SuccessFactors' solutions are widely deployed across 60 industries in over 185 countries in 31 languages. Founded in 2001 with offices around the world, the company employs passionate people focused on revolutionizing the future of work."
Its primary service is, on-demand performance and talent management. One of its customers have 420,000 users; it has 8 customers with more than 50,000 users and over 100 customers with more than 10,000 users. Customers include American Airlines, Whirlpool, Cadbury, Hilti and Sutter Health.
On June 8, 2009, Bob Evans, Senior VP, Global CIO, writes in his InformationWeek Blog as below:
And now for the not-so-good news for SAP: as my colleague reported $110 billion Siemens Corp. today announced an enterprisewide workforce-applications deal with SuccessFactors that will go into production in 80 countries and across 20 languages for the electronics and engineering giant.
While SAP made no comment on Siemens’ choice of SuccessFactors, it had to be a stinging blow for SAP since it and Siemens have had a longtime global strategic partnership that has seen Siemens Lead SAP installations collaborate closely in the healthcare field, and ultimately build up a wide-ranging network of Siemens SAP applications experts.
On top of that, like many large global manufacturing and design companies, Siemens has long used a range of SAP applications. Workforce and HR-related applications are surely a key element in the SAP portfolio, and for a company of the size of complexity of Siemens to bypass SAP’s workforce-management solutions is rather stunning. Indeed, Hayes Weier reported that the decision on the SuccessFactors deal was made at the Siemens boardroom level:
“In fact, Siemens calls the SuccessFactors selection a “strategic board-level initiative,” and part of its FIT4 2010 company-wide program. This program calls for Siemens to focus on its strengths in key industries, foster a performance-based and ethics-minded culture, and innovate by linking technology and business ideas, in order to increase revenue, profitability, and improve cash flow.”
More broadly, in putting the Siemens deal in perspective, Hayes Weier outlined the growing acceptance SaaS vendors are gaining in large organizations, particularly in the workforce-management side of the business.”
From the above excerpts we can know what kind of board decisions are taken towards SaaS.
SuccessFactors built its SaaS application from ground-up following open standards. Tom Fisher, CTO of SuccessFactors says it is multi tenant architecture. Some companies say that they build their application in SaaS model but a portion of the piece is client/server role. If something is fully cloud, all the user needs is a mozilla firefox or IE; and of-course bandwidth.
Everyone is pointing about security, the moment we mention cloud. Fisher says ” The greatest security risk is inside the four walls of a company. When you adhere to rules and standards, there is less chance of bad people knocking. There is no panacea. We are in a better position to prevent theft of data in cloud computing” The customers of SuccessFactors who have entrusted their precious HR Data should be knowing better!
In India, with lot of public sector government, quasi- government enterprises, lot of private enterprises with more than 5000 employees on board, cost effective cloud based services can come-up in future, as an alternate to cumbersome Enterprise Resource Planning ERP software, which take many years to get implemented as half baked- forced solution. Any user operated system should be simple to implement and operate.
I remember that when I worked in a giant private textile company, we embarked on a ERP implementation for more than 5 years and for about 3 years we ran both computer based data and parallel manual data. Finally, the effort was given up!
Let us get started now
India, being a world itself, multi-lingual software services are required, here. I wish that, Indian IT majors and ISVs, should take hue of the companies like SuccessFactors, and build class computing services, in time.It can be in HR – performance management which I feel is the need of hour in India – or in any other service.
No doubt that we have the necessary commitment and expertise. We should have the will too to make the funding happen.
Vision Drives Performance.
I plan to continue the post on SuccessFactors by looking at their product range and their recent leveraging of Netsuite Oneworld cloud computing business management software for Global Delivery…
Malick Md PMP.