Siemens moves to Oracle for cloud HCM, not SAP SuccessFactors?

Profile picture for user slauchlan By Stuart Lauchlan September 22, 2013
Siemens Global Shared Services plans to move to a Oracle HCM Fusion Cloud-based implementation in North America. Here's what we know so far.

This is the week for puzzling cloud HCM developments.

Back on Wednesday and Workday announced that the former would be using the latter's HCM offerings despite having previously said they would be using Oracle's rival version. That one has yet to be fully explained.

Meanwhile Oracle appears to have done its own piece of HCM usurping with the announcement that Siemens Global Shared Services plans to move to a Fusion HCM Cloud-based implementation in North America for use by 60,000 Siemens employees in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

This is of interest because back in 2009 Siemens hit the headlines when it decided to oust SAP as its HCM provider in favour of SuccessFactors.

According to Siemens at the time:

"SuccessFactors will...enable us to globalize onto a single platform, clearly separate strategic execution and management from transactional HR."

The goal at the time was for SuccessFactors to be rolled out to 420,000 users across 80 countries in 20 different languages.

Two years later, SAP bought SuccessFactors - and effectively therefore bought its old client back!

I remember asking Lars Dalgaard, founder and CEO of SuccessFactors, at the time how Siemens might feel about this. He told me:

“It’s a pretty damn good question. Actually they were ecstatic. It was seen as an ideal outcome for them as long as we stayed independent. SAP was their key vendor and Siemens is very serious about the cloud. SAP picked the same vendor – us – that their customer – Siemens – did. So they were really excited.”

Well, maybe so, but has that excitement filtered through to North America?

From what I'm told the SAP/SuccessFactors roll out is still on course, certainly in Europe. So what gives?

The emphasis with that roll out was placed heavily on talent management whereas this Oracle deal emphasises core HR and Payroll.

Margarita Gosheva, CIO and VP IT, Siemens Global Shared Services North America, explains in the press release:

"The move to Oracle Fusion HCM follows our strategy to leverage new technology offerings in balance with existing IT investments and partnerships.

"Having Oracle's PeopleSoft HCM on premise for more than 10 years, our objective is to simplify and modernize core HR and Payroll systems."

Adding another frisson to the deal,  Siemens has engaged audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP to lead the implementation of this large Oracle Fusion HCM initiative. KPMG is SAP's auditor.

More to come on this once we get some clarification from Siemens, Oracle and SAP.

Disclosure: At time of writing, Oracle and SAP are premium partners of diginomica.