This transaction is going to close any day now. Presumably, both sides have been carefully considering the implications for HCM and Cloud. Nobody expects answers to all the questions at the close, but everybody expects answers to some things. As an industry analyst for HCM processes and technologies, I have many questions for SAP to address in upcoming months, but these are the questions I want answered on Day 1.
1. How aggressive will SAP be in the management changes across the organization? SAP announced that Lars Dalgaard, SuccessFactors CEO, is moving into a role to unify and drive the Cloud business across all of SAP. Will there be a similar role for HCM? David Ludlow is currently in charge of SAP’s Global HCM Solutions. Dmitri Krakovsky is currently heading up all SuccessFactors’ products. Will both remain in charge of their respective areas? Will one of them be promoted? Will a third person be brought in? Who is in charge of the overall HCM strategy?
2. Has the whale swallowed Jonah? SuccessFactors has a history of rapid innovation and prior to the announcement, it had communicated a typically robust investment roadmap. Will the realities of realigning resources (for integrations, platform rationalization, capitalizing on opportunities) stall that historical pace, and if so by how much? How soon will we get to see the consolidated HCM roadmap?
3. Is Career OnDemand (CoD) on life support or is it DOA? Will SAP’s Career OnDemand be released as planned this quarter? Will the release date be pushed out in order to incorporate SuccessFactors’ influence? Or, as rumored, will it be dropped altogether? While this is a roadmap question, it is also fundamental to the cloud strategy moving forward, and as such, it is one that SAP should be prepared to answer now.
If SAP can address these three questions on Day 1, (and if they deliver a new roadmap within 30 days or less), then this merger will be on a good path to success and these answers may go a long way toward alleviating customer trepidation. The converse is also true.
While it cannot be answered on Day 1, and likely not even by Day 365, the big question is this: Can SAP tame the Hydra? (More on this soon.)
What do you think? What questions would you like to have SAP answer on Day 1? What about at Day 30, 60, 90 or later?