What attracts a successful VP of Products at Google and former head of HCM products at SAP SuccessFactors to come and lead product for a 40-year-old ERP software company based in the Netherlands? For Dmitri Krakovsy, who was confirmed as Chief Product Officer at Unit4 last week, it’s the belief that enterprise software is at one of those once-in-a-generation shifts to a new architecture — and that Unit4’s upcoming ERPx platform is in the vanguard of this shift. As he explains:
It was always kind of gnawing at me that the next cycle is starting now … Machine learning, microservices, the world of APIs, [were] broadly evolving the sort of composable components, where things just kind of appear/disappear on the fly. In terms of UI, digital assistants, voice, natural language, blah, blah, blah …
All of these things were not a part of the toolset when SuccessFactors or Salesforce or Workday, whatever, started. It’s just not how things were put together at the time. And so the broad thought of, ‘If I were to do an ERP now, I would do it very differently from how we did it before,’ was always a little bit in my head.
I come here, and initially, the idea was just help them launch and organize this thing. And I was like, ‘Whoa, all these things I’ve been thinking about are in flight here to a large degree, and many of them are done, and in a very similar way to how I would have done them, if I were doing them from scratch.
The new ERPx, which becomes available next month, conforms to what at diginomica we’ve called a tierless architecture, comprising a serverless, API-centric platform which can be accessed either through a traditional UI or ‘headlessly’ via a digital assistant, messaging apps such as Slack and Teams, or other vehicles. Another crucial element is the ease of connection to other components and platforms. Krakovsky explains:
The world is evolving from big monoliths that contain everything … A realistic world is you consume Stripe, and you consume SendGrid, and you consume Twilio, and then you create your own things, and you compose the app that you want to compose from that. It’s not one thing. It’s multiple things put together in a compelling, for a customer, way.
That’s where the rest of the world has evolved to, and, I think, where systems like this need to evolve to as well.
Creating this composable architecture was therefore a key consideration. He elaborates:
That was a core fundamental principle for us. Break it into pieces, have pieces interact with each other individually, not really differentiate between things we built and third-party things. So we can ingest something with an API from a third party just in exactly the same way we ingest something with an API from our own system. Then you compose the system that’s right for the customer, based on this set of assumptions. That’s what makes it flexible.
While the UI, in particular the smart assistant, has been part of Unit4’s roadmap for several years now and is already widely in use, the composable architecture is the major new advance in ERPx. There are ten customers already signed ahead of the March release, but what of the rest of the installed base, many of whom are still running older, on-premise versions of Unit4’s business software? Krakovsky says that many of the core business functions will be familiar, with the main change being in the technology architecture, which runs in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud. He says:
I think the value is in creating sort of this broader end-to-end system as opposed to individual blocks in finance areas or whatnot. To me, that’s the attraction. You could say it’s legacy, but the alternative perspective on this is, it’s stuff that works, and you don’t necessarily need to change. You change things more around it than some of the core, for instance, finance pieces.
Unit4 continues to focus on a specific set of people-centric industries and a mobile-first user experience, he adds. The big advantage of the new ERPx platform is its adaptability in a changing world, as he explains:
The platform first enables the industries and experiences, but also enables the adaptability, change, and resilience over time. As customers talk to us about what their needs are … it’s very clear to them that they change — particularly now during the pandemic, so much has changed. So the message of change resonates. And the message of system that enables this change, also resonates. So that’s really how we would position this. We say, we build a system that’s right for you, day one, and it will stay right for you over time.
The advent of ERPx is a further instance of the gathering trend towards tierless architectures, which to date has been more in evidence among digital experience (DX) and customer experience (CX) vendors than in more traditional enterprise application fields. Can a long-established ERP vendor successfully join a trend that’s so far been the preserve of younger companies?
Krakovsky’s argument is that the ERPx architecture is just as youthful, and that it creates a powerful combination when wrapped around Unit4’s longstanding experience in delivering business functionality to its target industries. That may be true, but Unit4 is being very ambitious here, not only promising to mesh with a vast range of third-party components but also layering a low-code environment that makes it easy to configure bespoke business processes and data analysis virtually on demand. That’s something few of the DX and CX players have yet achieved.
Then there’s the question of how its existing customers will receive these new capabilities. They will be aware that this is not the first reinvention of Unit4’s ERP stack since it began its migration to the Azure cloud. And while today’s business environment demands adaptability to change, how many IT departments are equipped to manage the kind of composable systems that Krakovsky describes? We didn’t get the opportunity in our conversation to talk about the role of partners, which Unit4 is currently recruiting, but their role will be indispensable to a successful transition for many customers.
Yet despite these nagging questions, I do find myself intrigued by what Unit4 has set out to do with ERPx. Every ERP vendor is currently attempting to chart a path towards a more adaptable, agile future for its customers. Is Unit4 the first to have figured out how to get there? We’ll get a clearer answer after its release next month.
Disclosure – Unit4 is a diginomica premier partner at time of writing
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Centrical Names Former SAP SuccessFactors Executive, April Crichlow, as Chief Marketing Officer – Yahoo Finance
April Crichlow joins Centrical in its next phase of expansion and hyper-growth as the global SaaS company helps customers apply AI and the "human touch" to unlock the full potential of employee engagement and performance at work.
NEW YORK and LONDON and TEL AVIV, Israel , Nov. 8, 2021 /CNW/ —
Centrical names April Crichlow, former SAP Executive with 20 years of technology marketing leadership, as Global Chief Marketing Officer
April will significantly scale the company's global brand awareness, demand generation, and customer success initiatives to accelerate Centrical's recognition as the leading employee-centric success platform provider.
The appointment comes at an ideal time given Centrical's hyper-growth and bold move to reimagine employee engagement and performance at levels of effectiveness not previously seen before.
Centrical, a global software as a service company and pioneer of a next-generation employee engagement and performance management platform, has named former SAP executive April Crichlow as Chief Marketing Officer.
As leader of Centrical's fast-growing, multi-discipline marketing team, April will define, oversee, and scale the company's global brand-building strategy, communications, demand generation, along with product, partner, and customer marketing initiatives to increase Centrical's recognition as the leading employee-centric success platform provider. Along with priming Centrical's rapid expansion into new markets, including geographies and industries, she will oversee digital marketing transformation and lead cross-functional marketing activities, sharing responsibility for customer acquisition, conversion, and retention.
"As part of our aggressive expansion strategy and a move reimagine work with our clients, we sought a world-class marketing leader with category-building experience and a proven track record in growth marketing – and that's precisely what April brings to Centrical," said Gal Rimon, Founder, and CEO, Centrical. "We are looking to broaden our influence and improve individual engagement, performance, and success much like we have done for Microsoft, British Telecom, Novartis, and many more customers, and April undoubtedly will help extend this success."
Brand recognition, category creation
Before joining Centrical, April served as Global Vice President and Head of Marketing for SAP SuccessFactors, a leading suite of human experience management (HXM) solutions, and a platform into which Centrical's solution integrates as an SAP-endorsed partner. In this role, April led strategic marketing plans to grow global brand recognition, revenue, customer success, and category creation of HXM, which – like Centrical's platform – is focused on technology innovations that put employees at the center of work.
April has more than 20 years of global marketing experience in technology with leadership roles across brand, demand generation, and customer growth at leading brands like SAP, SAP Ariba, and BusinessObjects. April is also a Board Member and leading thinker on diversity, equity, and inclusion and has been named a Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executive the last 4 years by EmPower, presented by the Financial Times and Yahoo Finance.
"This is an ideal and exciting time in the employee engagement and success space, and it's why I am thrilled to join Centrical, which harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to help people thrive at work with a level of effectiveness not seen before," said April. "Factors like rapid attrition, digitalization, and hybrid working models are converging around the world to disrupt the workplace and reset employee and employer expectations, so the time for a company like Centrical has never been better. I am looking forward to partnering with our customers, partners, and community around the world to unlock the full potential of employee engagement and performance at work."
For more information about Centrical, visit www.centrical.com.
Centrical's employee success platform blends artificial intelligence and advanced gamification with personalized microlearning, real-time employee performance management as well as adaptive coaching tools, and well-being strategies. An SAP-endorsed partner, Centrical technology integrates with SAP® SuccessFactors® Learning. The company has offices in New York, London, and Ra'anana, Israel. Customers include leading multinational enterprises, including British Telecom, Microsoft, Novartis, Synchrony Financial, and Teleperformance, and many others.
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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2021/08/c1531.html
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Former Global Head Of Vision And Customer Delivery At SAP Successfactors Joins HR Tech Startup As Chief Customer Officer – PRNewswire
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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Censia, a leading provider of Talent Intelligence technology, today announced the appointment of Tracey Tink as Chief Customer Officer. As a seasoned technology executive frequently at the forefront of HR transformation, Tink joins Censia following an explosive year of customer growth.
"We are thrilled to welcome Tracey to the Censia team in our goal of providing a world-class customer experience," said Joanna Riley, CEO and Cofounder at Censia. "Customer Success is one of the highest priorities for us and Tracey’s track record of driving top customer adoption and retention during her time as RVP of Customer Engagement at SAP SuccessFactors speaks for itself. I am incredibly proud that Censia customers will be able to leverage her expertise to bring our customer-first mentality to the next level."
Tink brings over 25 years of expertise at companies like BMO Financial Group, Ceridian, IBM, and more in customer and people experience to the Censia team. Most recently she has held various leadership roles within SAP SuccessFactors, a global Censia partner, where she focused on the continued evolution from HRIS and HCM to HXM. She also led strategies for managing scale and efficiencies across organizations. In addition to her leadership roles across enterprises, Tracey is passionate about making an impact within her community and providing opportunities for children, youth and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual disabilities as the President of the Board of Directors for Lake Ridge Community Support Services, a non-profit provider of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services.
"I’m so excited to join Censia and be a part of this amazing team and a company with such strong momentum in a time of great disruption in HCM." said Tink. "Censia is doing extraordinary things, and I look forward to building trusting, meaningful relationships with our customers and being considered an extension of their organization to help establish a thriving customer community as we change the way talent decisions are made."
Tracey Tink joins Censia during a time of rapid customer growth, the recent announcement of their Series A funding, and the launch of an API-first product offering. She will lead all customer operations including the customer success, onboarding, renewal, and customer support functions at Censia with a focus on building deep customer relationships and developing a thriving customer community.
Censia’s mission is to create a more just and efficient global economy, liberating the global talent pool from unconscious bias and privilege by enabling data-driven talent decisions. Censia Talent IntelligenceTM is a comprehensive data platform that leverages advanced system intelligence powering the ability to make data-driven talent decisions with continuous, extensive and actionable insights across the entire talent management lifecycle. Leading enterprises like the American Heart Association, Tapestry, Gerdau and many more have chosen Censia to help them find, develop and retain a high quality, diverse workforce and forecast future talent needs to scale quickly, enable innovation and improve operational excellence for a fraction of the time and cost it takes today. For more information, visit www.censia.com.
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Olivia from Paradox Now an SAP Endorsed App Available on SAP® Store – PRNewswire
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Solution offers clients additional security for conversational recruiting software, improved cloud quality and results
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Dec. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Paradox announced today that its Olivia solution is now an SAP endorsed app, available for online purchase on SAP® Store. SAP Endorsed Apps are a category of solutions from SAP’s partner ecosystem that help customers become best-run, intelligent enterprises and are meant to deliver value with desired outcomes.
"Our partnership with SAP has always been about working together to help clients solve their biggest recruiting challenges," said Aaron Matos, Founder and CEO, Paradox. "Through our SAP partnership, we’ve been able to amplify our reach across a global client base. Achieving SAP endorsed app status is a testament to our longstanding partnership with SAP to provide clients with a fast, streamlined, mobile-first experience for candidates, hiring managers, and talent acquisition teams."
SAP Endorsed Apps are premium certified by SAP with added security, in-depth testing and measurements against benchmarks results.
In early 2019 Paradox’s AI assistant, Olivia, was accepted into the elite SAP.iO Foundries program in San Francisco, part of SAP’s global network of top-tier startup accelerators. Soon after, Olivia became available for digital purchase on SAP Store and Paradox joined the SAP PartnerEdge® program to integrate with SAP solutions in a faster, more connected way to support businesses using SAP SuccessFactors® solutions. Paradox’s solution quickly progressed through SAP’s partner solution progression path from validated to spotlight app status. Today, Olivia is the only digital recruiting assistant on SAP Store using AI/machine learning (ML) empowered natural language processing to support communications in SMS text, live chat and email.
"Ecosystem innovations are essential to SAP’s vision and delivery of the intelligent enterprise. We applaud Paradox on achieving endorsed app status for its conversational recruiting software," said Lori McNally, Global VP SAP SuccessFactors Business Development & Ecosystem at SAP. "Partners like Paradox are positioned to help us deliver on a vision and provide new innovations to our customers – quickly, easily and with solutions that have achieved premium certification and support of SAP."
Global employers that implement Olivia to enhance the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting solution can elevate the applicant and candidate experience with personalized, timely communications to sustain engagement. Olivia’s intelligence communicates uniquely to candidates in various stages of the application process including passive candidates that might not be ready to apply. Olivia directly assists active applicants to auto-progress through a typical application workflow creating applicant and candidate efficiencies which can be very strategic in high-volume hiring scenarios. Olivia’s simple, conversational experiences are supported in more than 100 languages across the web, text messaging and messaging apps.
"Olivia has been an incredible enhancement to our SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting platform," says Gui Neves, Talent Acquisition Global Transformation Lead at Nestle. "Our ability to engage with candidates across 47 countries in 18 different languages 24/7 has been critical to achieving our hiring goals. We look forward to our continued partnership and success with SAP and Paradox."
With companies continuing to face significant hiring challenges into 2022, Paradox expects the partnership with SAP will continue to be critical as more clients discover how Olivia can help improve the candidate recruitment experience and automate recruiting work to reduce time-to-hire. SAP’s endorsement adds to a year of significant achievements for Paradox, including its Experience Assistant being named Top Product of 2021 by Human Resources Executive; acquiring Traitify — the world’s fastest, mobile-first assessment platform; debuting on the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies and being named one of Forbes’ Best Startup Employers.
Olivia is available for digital discovery and purchase at SAP Store, the digital marketplace for solutions from SAP and its partners. SAP Store provides customers with real-time access to more than 1,800 innovative solutions from SAP as well as partner solutions that complement and extend their SAP applications, enabling digital transformation of their business.
Paradox is building the world’s leading conversational recruiting software to drive automation with a human touch. Serving global clients with hiring needs across high-volume hourly and high-skilled professional roles, Paradox’s conversational assistant Olivia does the work talent teams don’t have time for — screening candidates, scheduling interviews, and more through fast, mobile-first interactions.
The Scottsdale-based startup has earned the trust of the world’s largest employers — including Unilever, McDonald’s, Nestle, CVS Health, and General Motors — and won numerous awards, including Human Resource Executive’s Best Product of 2019 and 2021, and consecutive honors in 2020 and 2021 as a Forbes Top Startup Employer. In late 2021, the company was ranked the fastest growing company in HR Tech by the Deloitte Fast 500 in 2021. To learn more about Paradox, visit www.paradox.ai. To explore career opportunities, visit careers.paradox.ai.
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