A sad day for the platform

Just this spring, I presented a webinar with FinancialForce on the power of having HR/HCM on the Salesforce platform. Four short months later the dream is dead.

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FinancialForce announced today that they will be leaving the HCM space, and are shifting to an approach that relies on integrating ADP with their Professional Services Automation application, while Talent and Skills management (presumably the performance module ++) will be migrated to the PSA application. The HCM application will be shelved in 2022.

This announcement follows the January 2017 appointment of Tod Nielsen as CEO, who is clearly charting a new direction from founder Jeremy Roche.

We were on Vana, which became FinancialForceHCM when it was aquired by Financial force in November 2013. At the time, I was elated by the acquisition, thinking it would infuse the product with the best of class development that FinancialForce is known for. Never did I imagine it would be a dead end.

Their rationale is that it would be too hard / slow to build out an enterprise-grade HCM system.

we understand that our HCM solution provides great value, but it was not going to be a full featured Enterprise HCM system quickly enough. This partnership with ADP will provide a comprehensive HCM solution for our customers like you.

The business decision may serve FinancialForce well, but it leaves a massive hole in the Force.com ecosystem. So current customers like us, who did not realize they were suffering from a sub-par platform, now have the choice to shell out a lot more time and money to roll out PSA to enjoy the ‘enterprise grade’ functionality that we were missing, or we can just leave the platform and move on.

There are a few other players in the HCM space on Force.com, but few companies have the Force.com development experience that FinancialForce brings to the table.

HCM is certainly a tough business as it is so broad and also highly customized - recruiting, onboarding, performance, compensation, payroll, absence, benefits. There are many apps that handle a subset of these tasks and do them well, and now there is no real choice but to leave the platform

In the build vs buy discussions, this element perhaps is glossed over - you own what you build, and no CEO can take it away from you.

Its rather unfortunate FinancialForce had to destroy a very promising product and leave a massive hole in the platform to figure out that HCM is hard.

 
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