How Cloud Technology Is Supporting the Human Revolution

Transitioning to a cloud platform for HR-related matters can help companies more effectively support employees.

SAP Guest Blogger

March 18, 2019

4 Min Read

Being at a leadership level in my position at SAP, I’ve regularly had to conduct “performance reviews” for the employees on my team.

Even after having conducted hundreds of them, I’ve tried to think back to when I was a young professional and this annual occurrence popped up on my calendar. Frankly, it helped me prepare because I remember the angst I felt in the past surrounding these ultra-formal conversations with my boss, knowing that it would eventually become a permanent part of my HR file.

For the sake of creativity, I’ve tried not to adhere to the cliched format–beginning with a compliment, including a chunk of constructive criticism, and ending with yet another compliment–but some things are, unfortunately, difficult to eliminate.

For instance, the windows scheduled for these discussions have been relatively short, and a considerable amount of prep always needs to be done–while still maintaining focus on my team’s overarching objectives and goals. As any manager can attest, having to do detailed evaluations in a condensed amount of time can be exhausting.

Deloitte conducted a survey revealing that 58 percent of managers felt the annual performance review did not serve its purpose. Adobe dropped the annual performance review process based on surveys that revealed that annual performance reviews required 80,000 hours of time from 2,000 managers, equivalent to the full-time work of 40 employees. More to the point, the data showed that, relative to the time devoted to them, performance reviews were largely ineffective.

Along with Accenture, Adobe, Deloitte, Facebook, GE, Microsoft and many others, my company, SAP, has opted to replace annual performance reviews with ongoing “talks” to provide real-time feedback to our employees, with our internal research suggesting the majority of employees are consistently engaged and motivated.

SAP acquired SuccessFactors in 2012, bringing in HR-related software solutions into the partner ecosystem portfolio. Using a software-as-a-service model, SuccessFactors had a mission for each of its customers to have “a more meritocratic place to work, where promotion and pay is based on performance and not politics.”

Today, many HR cloud-deployed solutions are offered as part of SAP’s Human Capital Management (HCM) suite,  including payroll, time management, recruiting, development, analytics and more. SAP SuccessFactors Performance and Goals aligns employee goals with business targets, structuring continuous, interactive performance dialog. Both employees and managers can easily access their HR information at any time, even from their mobile devices, redefining the way today’s workforce views employee development and feedback.

But this notion of annual performance reviews remains a challenge for many businesses, perhaps even your customers. However, transitioning to a cloud platform for HR-related matters can help alleviate customers’ concerns.

Cloud integration has been evolving business practices. For example, sales used to be defined as a single point of transaction; but, today, with cloud software, this is being replaced with an ongoing customer lifecycle mindset. Cloud can provide a similar always-on approach for HR.  Rather than evaluating employees only once every 12 months (and usually just referencing the most recent work), dialog can be continuous and ongoing, allowing for more timely and frequent feedback that supports the dynamic business realities as well as the employee’s real-time performance and development.

This shift in business perspective provides an opportunity for those in the channel to help their customers make progress. If you haven’t done so already, talk with your customers to get an understanding of the pain points within their current performance evaluation process and other employee-related concerns. Then, encourage your customers to move toward a more fluid approach by consultatively explaining the benefits of cloud for HR.

A report by Aberdeen indicates that companies with “best in class” talent management programs are 26 percent more likely to be using performance management software. You can showcase your value by helping your customer find the right software solution for their needs and partnering with the right solution provider.

Are you interested in learning about how SAP and their partners service customers’ HR needs? Visit for more information on the SAP PartnerEdge program.

Ira Simon (follow me on Twitter @IraASimon) is global vice president, Partner & SME Marketing, at SAP. Learn more about partnership opportunities at:





This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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