26 May 2020
SAP have begun a new phasing for their 2020 releases by moving to a biannual release. Unfortunately, much like everything else, the COVID-19 global pandemic has put a little bit of a kink in the plans. In an attempt to accommodate customers who were hit hardest by the pandemic, SAP has extended the systems preview phase of the release by three weeks to give organisations more time to try and get the requisite testing carried out. The release to preview systems occurred on the weekend of 15 April 2020, and the release to production systems will now take place on the weekend of 5 June 2020.
But what does the H1 release bring? Does it bring two quarter’s worth of features? Perhaps a little more since SAP haven’t had to support a Q1 release? Well, if the raw figures are anything to go by, in comparison to last year it is actually fewer. But here’s the thing. There are quite a few big features. I suspect the complexity of some of the features is also something to be considered. SAP have had longer to work on SuccessFactors, uninterrupted by other releases, so perhaps this has simply given them the opportunity to pick off some of the bigger tasks? It still doesn’t quite fit to the last roadmap I saw, and we have seen various challenges pop-up in the last few months, not the least of which is COVID-19. I suspect the truth is that there have been many mitigating factors that have resulted in SAP brining forward fewer changes than we would have perhaps initially expected, but I promise you, there are quite a few in this release that have been well worth the wait.Read More
25 May 2020
It may be the first SuccessFactors release of 2020, but we are already up to the second release for Employee Central Service Centre, as Cloud for Customer (C4C) remains on a quarterly release cycle. In this release, it is like someone opened the flood gates on “useful for Employee Central Service Centre users” ideas and we had a barrage of updates and improvements that would take me an article easily twice as big to cover. I usually drop the features that are least likely to be useful. In this release, I have had to use a higher bar in making the selection of what to write about. Inevitably, this has resulted in a much higher number of features than usual being relegated to obscurity. And you know what? That is great!
In this release, there is a considerable amount of value to be taken up. As a result, in this article, I’ll be running through what I see as the key changes. Once you have everything from the article in hand and under consideration, if you do have time, go and dig a little deeper into SAP’s release notes for C4C (due for release mid-May on the SAP Customer Experience Wiki). There are a whole host of user interface changes that are going to make the lives of your service agents and administrators that much easier.
With that in mind, I will kick off with a look at Cloud for Customer and some updates to the ubiquitous communication channel of e-mail.Read More
24 May 2020
SAP has been pushing hard over the last couple of years to up their game regarding mobile support. The ever more mobile global workforce’s need to be able to operate effectively via SuccessFactors has been increasing, and while the COVID-19 situation that has seen many geographic regions subjected to restricted mobility, the use for mobile has not subsided. Mobile continues to be a key operational channel.
2019 saw a general parity in features achieved across the mobile platforms. Judging by the monthly mobile app releases for 2020 thus far, it seems that SAP has shifted to bringing more of the web application features to their mobile applications.Read More
23 May 2020
It is time for the patient users of SuccessFactors Learning to be rewarded. After what seems like an aeon, the release of a new administrator user interface into production use is in sight, and organisations with access to preview systems can get their hands on a fresh new version of SuccessFactors Learning right now. And it is not just a new lick of paint. This really is a ground-up rebuild of a large chunk of functionality, and that brings many additional benefits rather than just cosmetic changes.
This update is long-awaited, and it is critical. The legacy of the Plateau system from which SuccessFactors Learning comes is such, that to deliver a flexible interface, it was developed in a web technology created by Adobe. A technology known as Flash.
Flash has been famously plagued with issues around security and performance, to the point where even Adobe has thrown in the towel. The bell sounds on Flash at the end of this year with all major browsers pulling mainstream support. Therefore, a full replacement administrator interface must be in place for SuccessFactors Learning before then.Read More
12 Apr 2020
Back in 2017, Spotify made a rather curious change to their web player app. They made some changes to stop it working in the Safari browser. The native Mac app was still there, but if you wanted to web it up, you needed another web browser. Now I used to be Chrome all the way on both Mac and PC, but since I got a new MacBook Pro last year which actually had what seems to be a reasonable battery life (compared to its nine-ten year old predecessor), I figured a switch to a power optimised native browser was worth considering. But this presented me with a bit of a challenge for a particular use case I have.Read More
04 Apr 2020
Drafts is utilitarian text app available on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS that I use frequently. To say I’m a daily user would not do justice to the app. As the tag line says this is the app where text starts, and that’s certainly true of my use cases. It provides a quick point of capture and powerful tools to let me do more with the text to prepare and send it to its final destination than any other app possible could; and that says a lot when you look at apps like Keyboard Maestro, Text Soap and Sublime Text!
In the latest release (version 19) of the app on macOS, developer Greg Pierce (aka AgileTortoise) has significantly extended the automation and processing scope through the addition of AppleScript, and in this post I’m going to walk you through some example set-ups related to this.Read More
27 Mar 2020
The first SuccessFactors release of 2020 is just around the corner, and with it will come the release of the new SuccessFactors Learning administrator user interface.
In case you have not yet thought about your preparations for the transition to the new interface, I would like to draw your attention to the SAP transition guide and FAQ, and provide the following suggestions which I hope that you will find useful in planning your activities.Read More
23 Mar 2020
My Elgato Stream Deck is a great little piece of hardware that I can have dynamically offer up differing controls depending upon the application I’m working with, and the type of work I’m doing. For my MacBook Pro use, it is generally on my home office desk as an alternative to the Touch Bar which is less easy to view, and I also use it almost daily with my work PC. But, there are occasions, COVID-19 restrictions aside, when it is useful to take my Stream Deck with me. It certainly elevates my PC usage and makes jumping around non-linear PowerPoint presentations much easier. For the MacBook Pro, my Touch Bar is usually sufficient, but sometimes I want the Stream Deck with me so that I can create things for and utilise it directly. But simply slinging my Stream Deck into my backpack for my travels would not give it much life before it inevitably broke, and for that reason I decided to purchase some Stream Deck armour.Read More
22 Feb 2020
Last year I finally made my big web site move from Squarespace to Github Pages. In that post I went into some of the background of the move, and while the vast majority of things have improved in terms of my requirements, one thing has been much worse. For the site I use a static web site generator known as Jekyll. It works by converting various configuration templates and content files into a web site. Locally, on my Macbook Pro, I tend to use an incremental generation during my testing and within a few seconds it churns out the new site. With a full site generation it actually takes closer to a minute. This site is many hundreds of cross referenced pages, so it takes a while.
When I upload the content to Github Pages, which also utilises Jekyll, it takes even longer. Minutes in fact. This is where it falls down in comparison to Squarespace. I don’t get a near instant publish. This means that I could inadvertently post links too soon, or I have to check back to see if it has published yet. Sometimes, there can even be failures (very few and far between fortunately). This has been an annoyance for a few months now, and so I recently took a look at creating something to help me with this.Read More
21 Feb 2020
While SAP SuccessFactors has now moved from quarterly to bi-annual releases, SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) remains on a quarterly release schedule. This means that Employee Central Service Centre (ECSC) continues to get quarterly updates on the C4C-side of the solution, with updates to other solution components following the SuccessFactors release timelines.
In this article, I’ll briefly cover some of the features that have reached general availability before examining many of the enhancements relevant to employee service use. Particularly surprising is the number of enhancements in this release are related to e-mails in and out of the system.Read More