Sanlam Uses SAP SuccessFactors to Upskill Employees for the Workplace of the Future

Effective People supported Africa’s largest insurance company on its journey to digitize HR processes, resulting in an optimized staff experience and reduced recruitment costs.

Sanlam is a diversified financial services company headquartered in South Africa, with a strong presence in more than 40 African countries, as well as India, Malaysia, the UK, and other international markets. With over 154,000 employees, Sanlam is passionate about attracting the best people to complement its diverse and skilled workforce.


Sanlam’s Human Capital strategic vision to move to cloud-based HR technologies had several components. A priority goal was to create an exceptional end-to-end employee experience and bring a consumer-like offering to its employees. Given recent growth, especially in its contingent workforce, another challenge was how to incorporate them into the total workforce, along with permanent employees.

Other important considerations included how to benefit from efficiencies, optimize costs, and introduce a new technology stack. The fact that the company’s existing on-premises solution was also officially approaching end-of-life support provided an extra incentive to begin this digital transformation journey.


Sanlam chose Effective People as its certified implementation partner for the full SuccessFactors suite. Implemented between 2018 and 2022, this work has included fresh integration of the employee experience management, core HR, payroll, talent management, workforce analytics and performance management modules. This solution allows Sanlam to operate with cleaner data sets, with the goal of making its processes more predictive and keeping the company in line with competitors and the talent market at large. Sanlam can now treat HR data with the same robustness as finance and actuarial data, creating new possibilities in collecting, tracking, understanding, and decision-making.

To support the rollout of the new software, Sanlam also implemented an employee app to provide a slicker and more intuitive experience and align with the technological habits of its hybrid, extended workforce.They also introduced sentiment analysis for more diagnostic analytics by introducing Qualtrics surveys at various moments that matter, such as recruitment, onboarding, and offboarding.


Thanks to data-led insights which showed which candidate sourcing channels were performing best for Sanlam, the organization has been able to make an $133,000 USD recurring saving per annum through eliminating ineffective recruitment channels.

There are visible benefits to integrating the end-to-end journey for employees, as information is far more transparent and easily accessible. For example, Sanlam now has the ability to look for talent across the organization, with data that wasn’t previously available.

Says Ronel Pfotenhauer, SAP SuccessFactors Product Owner at Sanlam, “Post-implementation, SAP’s functionalities have helped increase our efficiencies, and will continue to do so, as we can now analyze the productivity of our shared services and the productivity of our human capital environment, and report on all the insights which are coming to the fore.”

As this cloud-based solution was implemented prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization benefited from a business continuity perspective, with minimal disruptions to HR processes during periods when it was compulsory for all staff to work remotely.

Further successes include:

  • 88% of employees are completing biannual performance forms in the newly unified and measurable performance module.

  • 46% of vacancies are now filled by internal applicants, thanks to insights gained from the succession planning module.

  • Graduate position fill-time was reduced from three weeks to three days.

Finally, Sanlam’s reskilling program earned an honorable mention in the 2022 SAP Innovation Awards. The award program celebrates business innovators that are transforming their supply chain, processes, or business networks using SAP solutions in the cloud.

“For us, it was critical to have a partner with fantastic, certified team members who really took the time to understand us as a client. Effective People, SAP, and Sanlam worked together in cohesive unity, which helped us to fast-track some of our implementations and achieve our budget. It took many hours and lots of grit to get through it, but the well-connected team carried us through. ”
Ronel Pfotenhauer SAP SuccessFactors Product Owner at Sanlam

About Effective People

Effective People has completed more than 1200 SAP SuccessFactors projects in more than 100 countries worldwide throughout the past 19 years. Our 250 consultants are covering all major industries and provide continued operational support and maintenance for more than 150 companies. We are an SAP Gold Partner, and we have been awarded Expert status in SAPs new competency framework. Entering the SAP Hall of Fame, we received the Partner Excellence Award in 2020 and 2021. Working together with our customers, we have won 13 Quality Awards in four years.

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