SAP SuccessFactors and Artificial Intelligence

January 31, 2024
Written by Danielle Larocca

Senior Vice-President of HCM Solutions Danielle Larocca has worked in the SAP HCM space for over 20 years. An SAP Mentor and featured speaker at numerous conferences, Danielle has authored four best-selling books on SAP, is the Technical Editor for the SAP Professional Journal, and often the Voice of the Expert on SAPInsider’s Ask the Expert series for HR.

I am really excited about what is going on in the SAP ecosystem around artificial intelligence. The speed at which new technology is hitting the market is simply amazing. We just passed the one-year mark since OpenAI launched their free web app called ChatGPT.By January 2023, ChatGPT had become the fastest-growing web app ever, providing anyone with a browser access to one of the most powerful neural networks ever built.

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I am really excited about what is going on in the SAP ecosystem around artificial intelligence. The speed at which new technology is hitting the market is simply amazing.


We just passed the one-year mark since OpenAI launched their free web app called ChatGPT in November 2022. By January 2023, ChatGPT had become the fastest-growing web app ever, providing anyone with a browser access to one of the most powerful neural networks ever built.


Microsoft and Google soon followed, and have since moved beyond search to put chatbot-based assistants into the hands of billions of people via their office software. The work application of this tech started with functions to summarize emails and meetings, create reports, etc. I even used ChatGPT to help me prepare a letter for a candidate based on the responses from all of the interviewers who gave feedback.


I have been in the workplace for a couple of these game-changers now, including the availability of cell phones and the launch of the internet…. and I think it's fair to say that the launch of artificial intelligence for the use of the average person is a HUGE game changer.


Like most people, my initial understanding of Artificial Intelligence technology was simply a cool concept embedded into TV (HBO’s Westworld) and movies (like Stephen Speilberg’s Minority report). From those early introductions, the concepts seemed lofty (like robots and self-driving cars) and unrealistic, and certainly not something I would expect to play a major role in my daily life in the immediate future.


But here we are. In the past few months, AI has created a new headshot likeness of me, written a blog, created a lifelike avatar to read my instructional videos, and changed a video recording to show me speaking in 5 different languages with my mouth moving fairly closely to the words. All of this was done with nearly no technical skills. The process to do each of these things required about the same level of technical skill as it takes to shop on Amazon.


Examples of recent AI projects include an AI-created image and speaking different languages

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I focus on a specific application area in the SAP world: Human Capital Management. I love all things HR and Payroll. And there is a lot of AI to leverage in the HR space.


For those following SAP SuccessFactors, you may have heard that there were 33 AI capabilities included in the last release, and 28 more planned for 1H2024. SuccessFactors is using GENERATIVE AI capabilities for both Job description generation and Interview Questions creation (with integration with Microsoft Teams).


In addition to the functionality that is added by SAP, SAP’s Partner ecosystem also leverages AI in their complementary solutions that supplement SAP. Two fun examples I have had the pleasure to work on here at EPI-USE Labs include AI for retention and another one for employee payroll questions.


Employee Retention Analytics (ERA)

The retention one is amazing and I got to talk about it on stage at SAPPHIRE this year. This tech allows an employer to scientifically predict who is at risk of leaving the organization, including the top three reasons they might leave. It displays all of this in an interactive dashboard.


This Employee Retention Analytics (or ERA) solution uses integration between SAP SuccessFactors Human Capital Management historical data, marketplace data, and machine learning technology. ERA is made possible via SAP's integration with DataRobot. The system uses AutoML to process and analyze large volumes of SuccessFactors data, providing actionable insights on employee retention. It leverages predictive modeling to forecast potential employee turnover, cost of replacement, and reasons for leaving, enabling preemptive strategies to improve engagement and satisfaction. Also, ERA's robust data encryption and compliance with GDPR ensures the secure handling of sensitive employee information, further enhancing its technical reliability and integrity.
Read more about ERA.


Employee Payroll Inquiries


Another exciting AI development from EPI-USE Labs has to do with the launch of a SuccessFactors agent using a Large Language Model that can answer questions employees may ask about their team, pay and leave, and explaining it back to the employee. This makes it possible for a chatbot or SAP’s Joule to handle the volume of questions for employers. The SuccessFactors LLM agent provided real-time access to information while adhering to native SuccessFactors authorizations. The answers provided to the users could be information, aggregated data and summarized statistics, equipping the user to make well-informed decisions.

So as we go through 2024, and your everyday life, make an effort to notice the artificial intelligence that is popping up all around you. And be open minded to its use in the workplace.


The fear of being replaced by robots is hopefully being updated with excitement about automation and the elimination of repetitive tasks, freeing up people like us to work more creatively. I’ll end with my favorite quote from Vin Vashishta that reminds us that “Artificial Intelligence is not going to take your job, but someone who knows it might.”


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