Compared with other SAP products, SAP Fieldglass is relatively unknown within the ASUG community. According to our 2018 State of the Community study and some additional ASUG research, only about 10 percent of ASUG members have used SAP Fieldglass in some capacity. Its nearest neighbors in SAP’s intelligent suite, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Ariba, are used nearly four times as much by the ASUG community.

Even those who are familiar with the product may simply consider it a place to get contingent workers, without truly understanding its capabilities. It’s clear that our community could use some education, so we reached out to SAP Fieldglass’s SVP of EMEA Mikael Lindmark and President Rob Brimm to discover what SAP users should know about how SAP Fieldglass could benefit them and fit within their suite of SAP products.

SAP Fieldglass and the New Freelance Workforce

The crossroads of the U.S. workforce is upon us, as contingent or freelance work is on its way to becoming the new normal. The global freelancing network Upwork projects that by 2027, the number of contract employees will overtake full-time, salaried staff positions. According to research completed in early 2018 by SAP Fieldglass in collaboration with Oxford Economics, which Brimm supplied us, nearly half (46 percent) of companies say that without an external workforce, they would not be able to conduct business as usual.

And this external workforce may feature some of the best talent. Roughly two-thirds of participants in the research from SAP Fieldglass and Oxford Economics say the external workforce is essential to increasing speed to market, organizational agility, and/or overall financial performance. Clearly the contingent labor market is here to stay, and that is where SAP Fieldglass steps in.

SAP Fieldglass Amplifies Master Data

Given SAP’s desire to offer end-to-end solutions, master data alignment is popping up everywhere within its strategy. Along with SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Fieldglass stands to benefit from this initiative. SAP is connecting these two products based on an attract-to-pay model that will draw from the same master data. As Brimm put it, “We’re at the forefront of creating intelligent objects, and we’re going to be delivering the employee master data or people master data as a service via the SAP Cloud Platform. This way, both SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Fieldglass will be drawing on one object for an employee master as opposed to having to replicate the data.”

SAP Fieldglass and SAP Ariba Play Nicely Together, Too

SAP Fieldglass can also connect to the back end of a business through SAP Ariba to help process the invoices generated by external workers and service providers, providing a seamless experience for those who are hiring help. “Going through the requisitioning process for external labor or services in SAP Fieldglass, we then are able to leverage the approval engine within SAP Ariba,” said Brimm. “The user doesn’t even know this is taking place. The request goes out, gets the purchase order approval, comes back, goes through the workflow, and then we generate invoices on behalf of the supplier. Then those invoices can be fed to the SAP Ariba supplier network for payment.”

Taking the Pain out of Managing Contract Work

If you’ve ever hired temporary workers or service providers for a project, you may have experienced the frustration of waiting for approvals and passing invoices back and forth for payment. Brimm explained, “At the end of the statement of work (SOW), that record then gets uploaded into contract management, so that you have a full, closed loop from contract management to statement of work and back into the history of the relationship with the supplier. That gives you an opportunity for spend management based on the same master data, which is all part of the intelligent enterprise.”

Lindmark gave another example. “I’m in SAP Fieldglass saying, ‘Yes, I want to hire Barb.’ Boom. That requisition is made automatically in SAP Ariba, it’s approved in SAP Ariba, and then it comes back to me without requiring me to do anything else.” If SAP Fieldglass can take some of the extra steps, approvals, and pain out of staffing up quickly, the value is clear to helping work get done across the organization in a more-agile way.

A Growing Hub for Employment Apps

SAP Fieldglass helps customers manage their workers through a variety of services such as a recently released resume scoring and matching feature. This allows customers to leverage SAP Leonardo technologies including machine learning to match skill sets from resumes to the needs of open roles. Its digital provider ecosystem provides integrations with other employment-related digital platforms to help customers source and manage freelance talent. And it also recently released its Manager Hub, which Brimm described as “a mobile-based app for a manager to take care of a variety of functions, including approving workers or time sheets, with full visibility of the items they have on their action list.”

SAP Fieldglass has also created a messaging application called Candidate Connect. “It’s a social network companies can use to communicate with workers and check on their availability,” said Brimm. “I can send messages out that I have a job available and find out who’s interested. Workers can use their mobile app to respond and get all of the associated details.”

No Company Left Behind

As the workforce increasingly prefers short-term roles, companies that cling to the mentality that hiring full-time employees is the only way to accomplish their goals are in danger of missing out on great talent. SAP Fieldglass wants to simplify the process for SAP users to find the best employees for each project, helping them develop a more-flexible, project-oriented workforce. From confirming interest, to job placement, to invoicing and payment, SAP Fieldglass helps you manage your external workforce effectively. That’s the role that SAP Fieldglass can play in your aims for total workforce management and in helping you build your own intelligent enterprise.

SAP Fieldglass helps manage your SAP talent, but how do you find these individuals? Check out ASUG Talent Hub to source the best SAP contract talent for your projects. Or read our research on the SAP gig economy.