Salesforce HR

Topics: HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser

photo of smartphone showing desk mobile app in article by John Sumser May 6, 2015.Salesforce HR

A couple of weeks ago, I received a press release from Salesforce dot com (SFDC). The news involved the ‘Introduction’ of Salesforce for HR. Subtitled, “Transforming Employee Engagement with the Platform for Employee Success”, the release described four SFDC products and a renewed emphasis on the company’s apps market.

I’ve been following the evolution of the HR parts of the SFDC ecosystem for may years. JobScience, a local favorite, has long been a member of the SFDC club. While the acquisition of Rypple and its subsequent integration with Chatter into didn’t intoxicate the HR audience, the effort was worth noting. SFDC has been at the front end of collaboration as a r4evenue driver.

The press release prompted the scheduling of a demo. By sheer good luck, the demo coincided with the heavy rumors that SFDC was up for sale.

“Salesforce is working with financial advisers to help field takeover offers, after a more recent overture by a potential acquirer, people with knowledge of the matter said, without identifying potential buyers. Bankers may help rebuff any suitor or work out an eventual sale, one of the people said. Shares of Salesforce, which has a market value of about $48 billion, jumped 12 percent on the news on April 29.” – BloombergBusiness

Saying that the launch of SFDC HR was eclipsed by the story of the possible sale would be putting it mildly. I’ve rarely seen a press release disappear from consciousness more quickly. I was pleasantly surprised that they decided to deliver the demo.

The newly refashioned SFDC HR consists of several parts:

  • Employee Journeys:
    Essentially, this is a tool that allows you to create an overlay that integrates forms in a variety of applications. The only live example is an onboarding tool that takes a new employee through the various forms required to become an employee. It’s a reasonably useful idea that makes it possible for an HR Department to easily create processes for various employee transitions (you could imagine changing jobs, transfers, retirements, terminations, promotions and so on). It seems like you might be able to do this with HTML if you can’t afford the SFDC solution.
  • Employee Communities:
    This is the repositioned Chatter. In this setting, ‘community’ means ‘a group of people talking about something’. There can be communities for programs, projects, special interest areas, professional development.
  • HR Help Desk:
    This is a specialized blend of Chatter and communities wrapped around HR topics. It’s sort of like a FAQ with comment capability. The most interesting part is the management layer which is a sort of case management for HR queries.
  • HR Analytics:
    This was demoed as a drill down, one metric at a time, mobile centric status reporting system.
    Conceptually, this is another overlay that allows for the tactical integration of data from disparate systems.

Loosely covered was the slowly growing universe of apps in the SFDC app market. Most notable is the new entry from Lumesse, Talent Objects.

We are extremely persuaded that software is never universal. The combination of functionality, vendor ecosystem and client culture is what makes a good working fit. It’s also the kiss of death for bad fits. The HR Technology market, in particular, is a sea of overlapping niches.

The SFDC HR approach is well suited to the sorts of sales oriented cultures that the company serves. The toolset celebrates an ad hoc environment that uses best of breed point solutions. It will be interesting to see how this iteration fares.

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