Luke Marson wrote a blog post about the skillsets a SaaS Consultant should have. In on-premise projects there are 5-10 different roles from program manager to hardware consultant while in a SaaS Project all is covered by just one person. This person needs to understand the business process, the technology and how to configure it, how to problem solve, how security works and how to secure data. The person also needs to know how to manage the project. In summary this SaaS consultant needs a broad knowledge at a relevant level.
Jarret Pazahanick says people underestimate what it takes to learn to become a cloud consultant. A consultant works usually on multiple projects, two to three at the same time which is different to the on-premise projects. The work is done more and more remotely. The person needs to apply agile project management methodology. To have business process knowledge is great, but that is not what the business hires a consultant for. They have the knowledge themselves.
After three weeks of training in successfactors and getting certified a consultant cannot lead immediately a workshop at the client. The client will ask very specific questions if the system can do this and that and how the consultant would recommend to setup this. These questions are best answers by a consultant who has done several successfactors implementations. His recommendation is to join an experienced consultant for a few projects in order to learn before the new consultant leads his or her own project.
The consultant also needs to keep up with the new releases. SuccessFactors has 4 releases per year. Change is a constant and it is so much faster compared on-premise software. Every release comes with 200-300 powerpoint slides about changes. This person needs to have the aptitude of a life-long learner to keep up with this pace of learning.
What I learned from this video:
John Reed: Do you need industry specific knowledge?
Jarret Pazahanick: Industry specific knowledge is not need in HR, there are only small nuances. There are bigger differences between the different SuccessFactors modules. A consultant needs to know about recruiting or learning. So most consultant focus on a niche area and not the whole spectrum of HR and successfactors modules.
Yet areas compared to the on-premise HCM solutions are pushed together. If you take for example Successfactors Employee Central which is Core HR the consultant needs to do personal administration, organisational management, employee self service, manager self service, workflow and security. In the on-premise HCM world this was done by 4-5 different consultants.
Staying compliant is much easier now with the cloud solution. Changes in country laws are reflected always in the latest version.
When hiring a consulting firm there can be huge price differences. SaaS Implementation are much cheaper than what customers expect. You need less consultants than before and they can do much more work remotely. Companies purchasing these services still need to learn this.
Jarret Pazahanick focuses on Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll.
Training for non successfactors partner and certification ?
SAP Learning Hub costs 3500 USD / Year to use the learning material. You need provisioning rights to use SuccessFactors. You get the rights only if are certified. It costs 500 USD to take the certification exam. You can do it from your office or home. The certification exam can be taken without having gone through the SAP Learning Hub. After the certification the consultant will have to take a delta exam twice a year.
Luke Marson is a certified Employee Central Successfactors consultant.