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San Francisco 49ers: From Rapid Deployment to Ready Roadmap

The services described in this case study were performed by Hula Partners, now GP Strategies Corporation.


The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team located in the San Francisco Bay Area. They compete in the National Football League as a member of the league’s National Football Conference West. The San Francisco 49ers implemented the SuccessFactors Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS) for Employee Central and Talent Management in 2015. The solutions were not a good fit for supporting their business processes, and they had many issues with integrations. They turned to GP Strategies® for help to gain clarity around the true nature of their issues and to help define a roadmap to stabilization and the continuation of their success: future implementations and support.

Providing clarity on business processes in order to define a roadmap for stabilization.


The 49ers’ issues were specific to a poor design of implemented functionality and integrations, with little overall planning for implementing each of the SuccessFactors modules. Specifically, the RDS was not adequate to meet their business needs for which they required further functionality to support their processes. And, they lacked an initial HRIS roadmap, which would ensure that the right functionality was being implemented in the correct order. This resulted in a solution where integrations between modules and third party applications were incorrect due to not fully understanding the “big picture” before implementation. This left them with a system that consisted of siloed applications; data did not flow seamlessly between them.


With GP Strategies’ expertise and ability to understand their business needs, the 49ers received a complete, documented assessment and diagnosis of their issues. Included were recommendations of immediate remediation items followed by a roadmap of future optimizations and new functionality. The 49ers are now in a steady state of production support and working with GP Strategies to continually monitor areas for optimization and improvement.

“[GP Strategies] was great! From the moment we met with them, [they] listened; they wanted to understand our business and the issues we were facing. This allowed us to collaborate and develop solutions that work for 49ers, and not ones to which we had to adapt.”

Lisa Thompson Director Human Resources San Francisco 49ers


The 49ers are now able to recruit and hire faster and more efficiently, which enabled their ability to scale the business by 700%, which was not possible in Excel spreadsheets. “We now have a system that works for our business, and instead of focusing on the system, we are focused on our employees. We’re able to be strategic with our business leaders, armed with accurate data instead of being reactive with bad data.”

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