Three Critical Questions Asked in HR Tech

How do we build the agile organization of the future? A conversation with Jason Chapman, Vice President, Corporate Strategy at SAP.

Jason Chapman, Vice President, Corporate Strategy at SAP, TotalPicture interviewJason Chapman

"I think we are extraordinarily fortunate to have the partners that we do. And to your point their presence at SuccessConnect Vegas and previously at Berlin are a testament to that. And I think one of the things that we're doing from a corporate strategy perspective that also ties in here is this focus on becoming open."

That means having open API and micro services. That means tapping into open source technology and it means having an open ecosystem which means that we have solutions that are are complementary to one another and in some cases, yes there might be a bit of functionality that is duplicative across our partner's capabilities and our core products. But in many ways that we end up serving different types of customers that have different needs."

"And so for me I rarely think of that as sort of any type of direct competition because again, what we're doing is providing our customers access to the best solutions that are out there and helping guide them to make the right decisions for them in terms of whether it's of course SuccessFactors product or something from one of our ecosystem guiding them to the best solution for their business." Jason Chapman

I met my guest today, Jason Chapman, Vice President, Corporate Strategy at SAP, at one of the many press briefings I attended at SuccessConnect - the SAP SuccessFactors annual user group meeting at the Aria in Las Vegas. This is the first time I've covered SuccessConnect and I have to tell you I was blown away at the scale of this event. The Aria has a very large conference area and I think SAP and its partners were occupying every part of it. First, a shout-out to Geraldine Lim, Public Relations Lead at SAP SuccessFactors and my friend Bill Kutik (the host of Firing Line with Bill Kutik on YouTube),for making the introduction. Geraldine was a tremendous help in Vegas and help to arrange this podcast with Jason.

Welcome to a HR Technology Channel of TotalPicture - I'm your host, Peter Clayton. A little bit about Jason: He joined SAP in 2017 as VP of Corporate Strategy. Previously, Jason was a Principal at Bain & Company. He has an MBA in Marketing and Technology from from the Sloan School of Management at MIT in Boston. Enjoy!


Jason welcome to TotalPicture. Please fill-in my brief outline - tell us about you and your current role at SAP.

If you've been paying attention, friends, you know that several of the large system of record Enterprise level global companies like SAP SuccessFactors are actively building connections with many start-ups and SMB's in HR tech - mainly through the development of custom api's to integrate their solutions within the ecosystems of the big dogs. SAP is a big dog for sure and they are "building an open community - organizations of all sizes, from enterprises to startups - designed to tackle the most critical people issues facing HR professionals and business leaders today." So Jason, given your background with Bain & Company you seem to have the perfect background to head-up this initiative. Tell us more...

You mentioned that SAP SuccessFactors is launching a $35M HR Foundry, can you unpack this for us?

However, unlike Bain & Co you told us you're not taking equity stakes. Why?

How do you determine if a company is a good fit to partner with you?

Speaking about partners, there were two enormous exhibit halls at the Aria filled with your partners - a number of whom you could call direct competitors. Am I right?

One of the people I was fortunate to film an interview with in Las Vegas was our friend Josh Bersin. One area he thinks is exploding in HR tech is wellbeing. One of the participants on stage with you at your press briefing was Kristi Sanders, Global Vice President, Well-Being at Work, SAP SuccessFactors - what's your take on the wellbeing movement that many companies are embracing?

Along with Kristi, you had several very impressive executives at start-ups sharing the stage (all women by the way!) how did you go about choosing these individuals and their organizations?

(A brief discussion of Thrive Global, HiredScore, Plum, and Best Money Moves)

Back to early stage investment for a minute, Jason. You talked about Venture Studios, and incubator you're setting up for employees with ideas. Tell us about this initiative.

For companies interested in partnering with SAP SuccessFactors, what's the process? How do they get on Jason Chapman's radar?

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