RDS, or Rapid Deployment Solution is an implementation methodology style geared towards clients who are looking to take advantage of an HRIS system, but do not feel they need all of the “bells and whistles” of a full-scale, custom configuration.
The most common reasons clients feel that they can take the RDS approach are reduced time to use and budgetary restrictions. Depending on the module you are implementing, average implementation time can decrease from 16 weeks plus (for a custom configured solution) to as little as 6 weeks.
Another good use case scenario for making the choice to implement RDS is many times clients do not have a defined process in place. Using a system that is 97% pre-defined will give a kickstart to establishing processes.
RDS still sits on the same SuccessFactors platform, it’s just that in this instance, the partner you work with will be configuring your environment in an expedited manner. This typically means that your decisions for customization will be very limited, sometimes to the point of basic label changes and text replacements. Most of the decisions have been made according to best practices in advance to support a quick time to use. When most partners implement RDS, they are using boiler plate templates, preset processes and pre-filled workbooks.
What becomes difficult is when your users have experienced using a fully customized HRIS suite. These users may expect more than what is included in the RDS scope. As a consultant, this sometimes is a more challenging project to handle, because inherently we like to say YES to get the client what they want, but we find ourselves constantly balancing scope and client expectations.
Can it be successful?
I personally have completed a handful of end-to-end RDS implementations in Recruiting and Onboarding which are my areas of expertise. Although I would label each RDS implementation ultimately successful, the one that posed the least amount of challenges was the client that used RDS as a springboard to becoming live with a full-suite Recruiting implementation. In that engagement, the client had a requirement to be live with Recruiting in 6 weeks, but as soon as we went live with Recruiting, we immediately began a full-scope implementation to add the necessary customizations to tailor their system accordingly.
To summarize the words of one of my mentors, "If you are already thinking of how to change RDS, it’s not the right solution for you".
Stay tuned for more insights on how to effectively transition to a mobile workforce!
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