Posts Tagged ‘MOOC’

openSAP Run Simple HR with SuccessFactors Employee Central MOOC – my key learnings

October 20, 2015

This course runs from October 13 to November 11 2015. If you want to get a record of achievement you need to follow the timeline of the course. Each week you have to pass a multiple choice test otherwise the test will be closed. However if you do not have time to go through the course right now I would recommend you to still go to the download page for each week and download the videos, slides and transcripts. The download is the second last page in a course before the final assignment.

What I have learned from this course:

Week 1: Steve Babcock lead through this week’s course.

In the first video he gave an overview of Employee central.

In the second video he showed some employee use cases. One was about address change (5:59 min into the video) and the other about Time Off (10:38 min) into the video.

Video 3, 4, 5 and 6 were for me the most interesting videos of this week.

In video 3 Steve showed how a manager will use the system. The first user scenario was about a promotion of a direct report (04.20 min onwards). The second scenario he walked through was about sending a direct report on a global assignment (08:25 min onwards) and the third was about a termination in the form of retirement (10:38 min onwards). And to assure my HR colleagues all those changes have to go through a workflow and need to be approved in one form or another by HR.

The Video 4 is now for HR and is one of my highlights of the week. Steve started off with Workflows and touched on stalled workflows (03:27 onwards) which is one of my favourite topics :-). At least now with SuccessFactors you have an easy way to see where your workflow is stuck and what you can do to release it. I find this piece very user-friendly. The next scenario was about mass changes (05:29 onwards) in the example of a location change of employees. In the third scenario Steve showed how to create a new screen on the portal (interface) for employees without programming (08:32 onwards) in less than 7 Minutes. Not that I have something against my IT colleagues, but having this ability without involving them is in this case a matter between minutes or weeks to months.

Steve created a new organizational unit in Video 5 (03:26 min onwards) with departments.  Then he demonstrated how to create a new position (09:21 onwards).  And then he showed how to add a new field and attached a workflow to it (13:38 min onwards). This all was done without programming. And again this a matter between minutes without IT or weeks to months with IT involved.

In the Video 6 it was about creating new business rules (01:49). Steve’s example was about having a country specific workflow triggered for address changes. Then he showed how to add alerts (07:28 min) when a local job title is changed. And last Steve went through how to create a new workflow (14:10 min onwards). And again all the three items: trigger a country specific workflow, set up an alert for a field, and configure a new workflow is done without programming. Don’t let me repeat my mantra of minutes versus week or months again.

Week 2: Delivered by Tim Wassink, Principal Solutions Consultant in the HCM SuccessFactors line

In Video 1 Tim gave an overview of Employee Central and some of the key features.

Video 2 had some more information on Employee Central Payroll. Tim showed four examples of payroll solutions in different countries. It was on an employees working in the US (11:45 min onwards), UK (14:21 min onwards), Germany (16:05 min onwards), and Saudi Arabia (17:09 min onwards). What was most exiting form my perspective was the error handling in the Payroll Control Center (18:25 min) onwards. It looks like a piece of cake now….at least much more user-friendly.

Video 3 was about deductions and advances. Tim demonstrated the functionality and how to create deductions (03:52 min onwards) and then advances (09:07 min onwards).

In Video 4 Tim focussed on reporting and analytics. My personal highlight was the headcount reporting. One customer said in this video (02:47 min onwards) that instead of weeks it takes now only minutes to have a headcount report. And they do a lot of acquisitions.

And a large part of their workforce do not have access to computers, yet these employees all have now their own mobile phones. (02:52 min onwards). With mobile you are now able to reach this workforce while before you had to rely on cascading via their managers and pen and pencils. How much easier must global employee surveys become to roll out and administer or supply important information when you do a change to your standard processes and systems? Just to name a few examples.

My highlight in this video and maybe of the whole week started when Tim logged in as an HR business partner (03:44 min onwards). It is now so easy to create your own report and then export it to PowerPoint for example. How much easier does it now become to use reports to support your strategic HR work. I think back at how much time it took to come up with reports and how many people to involve. Given all the other tasks often this intend was finally dropped if it was not driven by key stakeholders in the top management team. Tim showed how to create a report from scratch (07:58) and without any complex programming or SQL queries. The whole process is very user-friendly. Then he demonstrated how to design your reports with the report designer (10:59 min onwards).

Video 5 dealt with benefits administration. Tim showed examples from employees working in the US (05:22 min onwards), Germany (07:23 min onwards), Australia (08:42 min onwards), France (09:55 min onwards), and Brazil (10:54 min onwards).

In Video 6 Tim showed how to configure country-based benefits (07:39 min onwards). He explained how to add pay components and then configure business rules (13:21 min onwards). As an example he set up different car allowance amounts in Germany for employees working in the business unit Corporate, contractors and all other cases. He did it purely by the user interface and without any programming. The other example he configured was the a leave and travel allowance for India (16:12 min onwards).

Week 3: hosted by Debi Suslow, Senior Solutions Consultant with SuccessFactors

Week 3 was all about Time & Attendance

In Video 1 Debi demonstrated how to use Absence Management as an employee via a mobile device (04:53 min onwards). Absence Management is called Time Off in Employee Central. It is very user-friendly and I valued the opportunity to see immediately who else in the team will be absent. How often did we have to appoint one member in our team to collect all the absences and present it in an excel file in the next team meeting.

Then Debi showed how the manager will work with Time & Attendance (08:14 min onwards) when she receives a request from an employee. And afterwards how the HR administrator is working with this tool (09:46 min onwards).

In Video 2 it was about Time Sheets. First how an employee enters data into her time sheet (03:25 min onwards). Again very user-friendly compared to the ERP on premise solutions I had to use so far for my time recordings. Then Debi showed how the HR administrator will work with these time sheets (08:34 min onwards) and how this integrates with payroll (11:36 min onwards).

In Video 3 Debi demonstrated how the HR administrator can configure the absence management in Employee Central (05:01 min onwards). She created a custom field in the employee time object for the sick leave request and also how to put a filter on a field so that it only shows in that particular situation in the employee screen (07:01 min onwards). Then she explained how to create a country-specific workflow rule for the sick leave request (08:44 min onwards.). Then she added the rule to the sick leave request screen (13:18 min onwards.) Again all the task were done via the user interface without programming. Through proxy into an account of an employee she can test immediately the changes.

Additionally she updated the policy of sick leave and the attached notifications to the HR administrator / HR Business Partner (15:52 min onwards). She explained how to raise an alert message in the system (19:03 min onwards). I stop telling you again how easy this configuration task was.

Video 4 was about time sheets and work schedules. First Debi added a custom field to the employee time sheet entry object (01:01 min onwards). Then she created as an HR administrator the work schedule (03:01 min onwards). Afterwards she assigned the customized work schedule to an employee (05:56 min onwards). In the last step she showed how the HR administrator can submit time sheets on behalf of the employee (10:40 min onwards). In order to do that she had to set up the permissions in the role-based security section (10:53 min onwards).

Video 5 was a recap of the whole course.


Entrepreneur for Free – Curricula

October 3, 2015

There are many free resources and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) from well known universities available.

Having been an entrepreneur myself and having helped others to become intra- and entrepreneurs there is one thing most of us including myself get wrong. You see a problem, an opportunity and you come up with a solution. You implement your solution and you are surprised that there are not enough people who want to pay for your offer or even consider your solution at all.
And it just doesn’t happen to the “stupid” entrepreneurs it also happened to well-known and well-respected entrepreneurs and experts in this field. Peter Thiel for example first designed “Paypal” for making money transfers between PalmPilots and found out that nobody had any use for that product. It was voted by journalist to be one of the 10 worst business ideas of 1999. Peter Thiel is now one the most admired entrepreneurs and investors.

Another example was given by James Green. James Green teaches the most successful MOOC on entrepreneurship which is also the most attended MOOC in 2014. He started a service company to pick up laundry from students apartments and return it later cleaned against a small fee. He had everything in place name cards, company registered, and advertising only to find out that no one wanted his service.

So before you think business model and business plan or before you think how to implement your business idea and fill out all the wonderful templates on value proposition, market size, etc. I would first advise you to take the MOOC “Design Thinking for Business Innovation” before anything else. It is a MOOC for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Then take the MOOC by Sam Altman from Stanford and then by James Green.

Community building around your idea is more important than a business model. Think about the most recent examples. Neither Google nor Facebook had a business model in place when they started. They knew how or were lucky to build a community quickly around their idea. And as they went along they learned what business model works for them.

  1. Design Thinking for Business Innovation by Jeanne Liedtka
  2. How to Start a Startup by Sam Altman Stanford (watch the first three lectures at least)
  3. Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship by James Green
  4. Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace
  5. New enture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs
  6. Entrepreneurship Capstone Project

How to join with Skype in a Google Hangout Gtalk Video Chat ? How to invite people in a Google Hangout without a Google account ?

October 13, 2013

Not everyone is on Google and many use Skype. There is a way to combine Skype and Google hangout and even use other gtalk video chat tools to include people in a google hangout meeting. On top of it I am looking for ways to go beyond just the 10 maximum participant who can join a Google Hangout gtalk video meeting at the same time. I want to find ways for a DIY MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) or DIY Massive Open Online Meetings and Workshops with the lowest costs possible.

If you are a skype user without a google account you will need someone to setup a PC as below in order to dial in.

1. Download and Install Virtual Audio Cable Trial Version:

2. Download and Install manycam:

3. Download and Install Webcammax :

5. Open the Virtual Audio Cable Control Panel and create two cables in Driver Parameters upper left corner of the Panel. Then select Set. As this is the trial version and you do not have administrator rights you need to restart your computer. After the restart open Virtual Audio Cable Control Panel and it will show two lines.

6. Start Google Hangout:

7. Open Skype

8. Start Audio Repeater from Virtual Audio Cable Program Menu. Select vor Wave In your Microphone  and for Wave Out Line 1 in the drop down menu.

9. Click start in the Audio Repeater program.

10. Go to Skype, open Options under Task menu. Select Audio options and select Line 2 in the drop down menu for your speaker. Save.

11. Now Select Calls in Skype Options and select automatically accept incoming calls and also accept and save.

12. Go to Google Handout. Open Settings. Select LIne 2 for your Microphone and Select Webcammax for your webcam.

13. Open Manycam. Select in Sources Tab the item Desktop. Select on the right the icon for customize selected area. Then put this customize capture area over the location of google hangout, where the hangout video will be displayed.

14. Go to Skype and again go to Task and Options. Select Video options and enter as your video source Manycam.

15. Open Webcammax and select there the capture icon on right pane third icon from the top. Select there in the drop down menu selected area and put this area over your skype window where the video will appear.

The main principle is: Webcammax will show your Skype Video Area in the Google Hangout and Manycam will show your Google Hangout Video Area on Skype.
The consequence of this is that you as the host of the Google hangout finally will not be seen in the hangout via your webcam. You need to connect via another computer and webcam to your Google hangout or use Skype via another device such as an iPhone to call the Skype account on your PC in order to be visible in the Google Hangout.

Please note the link to which is mentioned in the youtube video remarks below is not working or will direct you to some strange Advertisements. Better don’t use it.

This is the best source – will explain in detail how to setup a Google Hangout with Skype: Combine Skype and Google Hangout

How to use manycam:

In order to include and connect several Google Hangouts you would need to setup several PCs the same way. Via Skype you would call the next Computer, etc. In this setup Skype will be the bridge between several hangouts. The intriguing part is that you could have a large group of people which receive all at the same time an opening message via Video in the different hangouts. Later they could use these different hangouts as Break-out Session by shutting down the Skype connection….

List of useful ressources:

Best Practice Google Hangouts:
Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson Hangout on Air

After Earth Google Hangout

Team Coco Hangout with Conan O’Brien

Master Chef Australia: Mindy – Google Hangout Cook-A-Long

Virtual Star Party

Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich: Champions League Final Hangout

Google Plus Week 9/27/2013 Dan McDermott

Best Practices recommeded by the Virtual Star Party Facilitator Fraser Cain:

Video Tutorials by The Google Hangout Helper Ronnie Bincer:

100 Best Google gtalk video hangout video tutorials Mega Guide:

Studio Setup for a professionally managed Google Hangout by Dan McDermott:

Using Google Hangout For Training:

Google Hangout Training:

Business Cases and Best Practices:

Here’s Help To Get Your Business Started With Google+ Hangouts On Air – Forbes

Forget Skype, Now it’s Time to “Hangout” with Google | Technology​

How Google Is Forever Changing The Webinar – Forbes

Google Hangouts on air a success for L.A.TV station

Advanced hangout statistics in Google+ – Social Networking – AdminSpot

Most Popular Web-Based Video Chat Service: Google Hangouts

Other Tools:

ooVoo (free video chat tool for 12 people):

AnyMeeting (free video webconfering):

Eventbrite Create an Event for free:

Free Autoresponder:


You might find also useful:

How to turn twitter feeds into RSS ( Twitter API 1.1)

The Raspberry Pi as Wlan Airprint Server

How to connect with Micrsoft Lync to Skype

List of Free Online Education

January 9, 2012

Update No. 9: 12. January.2015

An excellent overview of more than 800 MOOC from various providers can be found at

Stanford:  (Certificate of attendance from professors but not Stanford). Additional certification with credits at German university ( Prof. Wolfram Burgard at the University of Freiburg! many international Universities accept such a certificate)
Other free classes at Stanford Engineering.
This course is now offered via udacity:

Free Courses from worldclass universities by Coursera –

Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT: (Certificate of attendance not from MIT) EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

FutureLearn: 23 British Universities will offer free online MOOCs

Academic Earth:

Khan Academy: (K12 Education)

Salman Khan actually inspired the Udacity founders to offer a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) in 2010.


The Open University Learning space (600 free courses also with credits): See Credit Accumulation and Transfer  scheme (CATS): (Remark: Can be transfered into ECTS)

Udemy: (free courses available not all) – I have started a free course myself:

Skillshare is a similar to Udemy. Most courses charge enrollment fees:

Lore is another type of plattform to create free online courses. The focus of this plattform is on the community and the social networking between students.

Coursites by Blackboard is another free web-based course platform to attend courses or setup your own.

YouTube Edu:
Video Lectures online from reknown universities and other sources such as BBC.

Ted- Ideas Worth Spreading:
The latest in key research projects, findings and insights in less than 20 Minutes introduced in a compelling speech supported by presentations and media. Great resource to learn new things in any academic field.

Free online learning resources:

Open Learning Initiative:

Learning English Video Lectures:

Online College Classes:

Alison (Over 300 Free Online classes at Certificate or Diploma Level:

Any other university, organisation, instititution offering free education ?

A very well structured and very extinsive list at – Hacking your Education by Dale J. Stephens:

Recommended Further Reading:
How Free Online Courses Are Changing the Tradional Liberal Arts Education

Learning should be your top 2013 new years resolution

Related Link:

The Fastest Ways To Learn Any New Language

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