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SAP ERP HCM Software Review


SAP HCM Strengths and Weaknesses

Competitive positioning in the Human Capital Management and HR software industry is highlighted with the following strengths and weaknesses:

SAP HCM Strengths

  • As is the case with similar leaders in the HRMS software market, SAP has a brand weight that is hard to ignore in any software selection process, and, as previously mentioned, SAP has 40+ years of experience to draw from in business application building and support.
  • In stark contrast to other large ERP and HCM software vendors (namely Oracle), SAP's transparency when it comes to mistakes or areas for improvement is refreshing. Specifically, their "SAP Mentor" network is not only a go-to resource for implementation or troubleshooting advice, this group also serves as an ever-critical gut-check for SAP due to the often dissenting opinions voiced. The fact that SAP not only tolerates but embraces this "tough love" is highly indicative of their push to listen rather than speak.
  • Software pricing is largely based on named users (not based on modules), which grants access to all or most modules and functionality—a feature that can deliver specific value to those customers who look to upgrade to SAP's ERP and/or financial applications.
  • Though also a weakness if not handled properly, SAP's acquisition of SuccessFactors brings much-needed cloud functionality into the SAP HCM product portfolio.
  • For organizations looking for robust talent management functionality, "SAP offers talent management capabilities that are native and integrated into the business suite product", says Gartner.
  • The analytics and data visualization functionality that SAP's solution provides is incredibly robust and capable of handling a wide variety of business intelligence tasks.

SAP HCM Weaknesses

  • SAP ERP HCM software requires a significant up-front capital investment and lengthy implementation period, which in turn extends ROI or payback periods.
  • Many SAP Business Suite customers have complained that the capabilities of the base package must be supplemented with add-ons—a process that (per customer statements) can be exceedingly expensive.
  • SAP ERP software customers have also been cited as indicating that the SAP solution is ultimately too rigid and requires too much SAP-insider knowledge when it comes to software configuration or customization.
  • Business Suite customers have further complained in analyst reports that the extra functionality that is available through the SAP solution is not worth the added complexity and expense. In fact, Gartner research suggests that (outside of larger mid-market organizations) SAP solutions net higher "efforts and costs" when clients turn to customization/enhancements.
  • As the SAP HCM software solution is legacy, client-server technology, it may require a third party bandwidth aid (such as Citrix, MS Terminal services or other VPN software solution) if used in a distributed or hosted environment in order to improve online performance.
  • The "technical debt" that SAP has incurred with its acquisitions is sizeable within the HR software space. Specifically, the addition of SuccessFactors to the company fold means that the company now has at least 5 human capital management (HCM) software architectures that are currently running.
  • SAP has incurred a long lull period in terms of innovation and delivering a market category leading solution. Not since the delivery of SAP R/2 in 1979 and the follow-on delivery of SAP R/3 in 1992 has SAP delivered a market leading product. Failing to innovate, and continuing to ride what is becoming antiquated technology, will ultimately contribute to a deteriorating business model.

Next - SAP ERP HCM Best Fit and Competitors >>

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SAP ERP HCM Software Review



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