Maybe I was a little too critical of SAP in Monday’s post, "Has SAP Forgetten About the HR Suite" . Just after I hit the "Post" button on the entry, Workforce Magazine was delivered to my desk which essentially stated SAP sales for HCM was in fact quite robust, up 46% year over year. (Cleaning the mud off my face) I’m actually pleasantly surprised to see the market validating SAP’s HCM products (albeit quietly) as further proof of a robust HCM market. And although I am not sure what is behind the 46% growth (poor 2004 sales reflecting in strong growth in ’05, robust outsourcing channel, payroll/learning centric sales?) I can tell you SAP still has tremendous brand equity and a huge install base that HCM can exploit.
The fact remains, though, that SAP’s focus seems squarely on SOA…errr…ESA at the expense of other growth opportunities in the applications business. I really think SAP would benefit from elevating the message for their HCM products. Although SAP seems to be "business model" challenged for the time being, the new HCM leadership (Mark Lange has a great vision and is extremely well-respected in the HCM space) and commitment to the HR outsourcing market (Oracle is really out to lunch here) is at least starting to become more visible to the HR market.