by Paulina Dancewicz
oming from an HR background, I recently joined TalenTeam and have been discovering the sector and this conference was a great opportunity to learn more. What I found is a dynamic environment with interesting people trying to innovate what used to be a traditional industry. The first indication was the unwritten theme introduced by SAP CHRO, Stefan Ries, ‘HR Punks’… simply because HR rocks! As the conference unfolded, this all became apparent why.
The event hosted over 3,000 attendees who were prospective and existing clients, SAP partners and employees and HR professionals. Many people had diverse background and initiatives. For the setting, think of it like a big Ikea store – but rather than house furnish for sale – it was stands with inspired people explaining how their technology would change the world. In the centre of the main hall there were several stands with SAP experts presenting the SAP suit and upcoming new functionalities. Customers and Partners could play with big mobile phones hang on the wall to test the iOS and Android SAP applications.
Those who are keen on performing arts, had an opportunity to sit in the SAP Demo Theatre, place which looked like a modern amphitheatre, where SAP employees from all over the world were giving speeches and presentations of various HR topics and Success Factors’ functionalities. Additionally, there were sessions running throughout all three days around Success Factors solution and real customers’ cases. The event was a great opportunity for professionals to network and engage in interesting conversations.
Apart from a comprehensive outlook on SuccessFactors solutions there were several guests invited presenting their extraordinary initiatives as an illustration to the event’s theme: People, Passion, Purpose. The example that comes to mind was Adriana Marais who is one of the Mars One Project astronauts who are planning to travel to Mars. She was full of enthusiasm explaining her brave initiative to pursuit her passion.
Camilo Herrera, an Ambassador of Light from Colombia explained how his non-profit organisation delivers light, energy and internet to most disadvantaged and remote areas of the country. Long applause Laszlo Bock, former senior VP of People Operations at Google, was one of the most signature speakers at the event. Presenting his life story and talking through his book, he gave insights on people management and how happiness and engagement of employees translates to their productivity and further to organisation’s profit.
Whachadoo – finally, at the Power Lunch session, where participants enjoyed a three course meal while networking with new people sitting at their table, Ali Mahlodji presented Whatchado, his fascinating and brave project, that helps children and young people discover their passion and convert it into a profession. With his very interesting and powerful speech, Ali showed the importance of changing the approach to education in today’s world and the importance of inclusiveness and diversity. His next project is to create an alternative school. Good luck Ali!
What I can conclude is that SAP is not just a HR management system, it’s actually what reunites a new community of likeminded people trying to make a difference. I look forward to next year’s conference and maybe by then I’ll have my own great ideas!