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What Hybrid Landscapes Mean for HCM Reporting

Getting the Most from Your On-Premise and Cloud Data

by AJ Whalen, Senior Research Analyst, SAPinsider | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 4

October 9, 2015

Reporting strategies are critical to business – and HCM reports are no exception. Companies moving to a hybrid system landscape must plan for a sound reporting strategy now to avoid costly rework in the future. Hear how companies can work with SAP SuccessFactors solutions to gather disparate data to create meaningful reports.


Hybrid system landscapes — ones that contain both traditional on-premise systems and one or more cloud systems — are becoming increasingly popular. This is especially true for HR organizations, which are now augmenting their on-premise SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) systems with cloud solutions, such as SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP SuccessFactors Compensation, or SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting solutions. Hybrid deployments allow those customers that aren’t ready to let go of their existing on-premise investments to benefit from what the cloud has to offer.

However, hybrid landscapes can present challenges for organizations making the transition to the cloud. With data being created, stored, and consumed in different locations, enterprises need to consider the impact on reporting and develop a holistic strategy to ensure they can get the most from their solutions, regardless of the deployment model.

The Need for an HCM Reporting Strategy

CIOs and other IT leaders are often tasked with developing their organization’s data reporting strategy. They understand the tools, data, and outcomes necessary to meet the overall reporting goals of the company. Many HCM and payroll professionals will tell you that they don’t have a reporting strategy — “HR is different,” they say. Demands for HCM reports tend to be more ad hoc or more reliant upon real-time data rather than the warehoused data that drives many organizational reporting strategies.

Consequently, many companies planning a move to a hybrid HCM deployment fail to make reporting strategy a top priority. Lack of foresight often leads to complex reporting integration challenges or expensive alternative solutions. The reality is that organizations with hybrid HCM deployments simply can’t wait until after a change in landscape has occurred to consider how it affects reporting. By then, it’s too late.


Many companies planning a move to a hybrid HCM deployment fail to make reporting strategy a top priority. 

Understanding Hybrid Reporting

Complicating matters, data in hybrid deployments is stored in different locations and is needed across multiple solutions. In a traditional on-premise landscape, HCM reporting data came from one source, such as SAP ERP HCM. Employee master data, payroll, compensation, benefits, and recruitment data could easily be incorporated into reports and documents, so the biggest challenge was simply to determine the best reporting solution to use to generate the reports.

The adoption of hybrid HCM landscapes means companies must take part in “hybrid reporting,” compiling data sourced from multiple, sometimes disparate, on-premise and cloud applications. Without the right tools in place, hybrid reporting can add complexity to the design, execution, and distribution of reports.

These rapid changes happening in HCM landscapes make the formulation of a reporting strategy more important than ever. Old reporting paradigms must be reevaluated because data that used to be easily accessible may now require integration or use of a hybrid reporting solution. A best-practice reporting strategy for HCM not only considers the sources of data required in reports and documents, but also covers reporting types (such as operational and analytical), reporting solutions, and distribution methods, while meeting the needs of all stakeholders across HR and payroll.

As more and more customers adopt hybrid deployments, the number of reports and employee documents that use hybrid data continues to rise. Recruiters can create integrated letters of offer containing both on-premise and cloud data. HR departments can produce total compensation statements and make them available in self-service portals. Managers can execute employee dashboard reports with integrated data from a tile in their SAP SuccessFactors environment. Figure 1 shows just a handful of examples of hybrid reports and documents.


Figure 1: Examples of reports and documents created from hybrid data

A Hybrid Reporting Case Study

A large, global retail organization recently implemented SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, and SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting solutions for 30,000 salaried and hourly employees. Phase two of its implementation included SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics and SAP SuccessFactors Compensation for approximately 40,000 employees, and future phases will add additional staff. Early in the implementation, the customer selected SpinifexIT to help fill its specific reporting needs.

The subsequent reporting project included the creation of certain key HCM and payroll reports. It also included employee documents and letters such as employment confirmations, separation certificates, staff movement letters, and social security letters. The company uses SpinifexIT solutions to bring data from across its entire SAP SuccessFactors landscape to produce these documents — without custom programming or integration — and make them available to SAP SuccessFactors users in real time.

The customer also leverages SpinifexIT solutions to create dynamic offer letters that contain conditional content from both SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll and SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting solutions. Recruiters simply select a candidate and click on a button to generate the letter. All the text and logo graphics included in the letter are immediately generated based on predefined logic. Recruiters no longer have to choose a letter or template, increasing accuracy and saving time.

Learn More

SpinifexIT solutions have SAP-certified integration and enable on-premise, hybrid, and cloud customers to quickly and easily create employee documents and reports with data from SAP ERP HCM, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, and more. SpinifexIT solutions are designed to be user friendly and to eliminate the need for custom report coding and development.

To learn more about how you can simplify reporting processes across both SAP and SAP SuccessFactors landscapes, visit SpinifexIT at

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AJ Whalen
AJ Whalen

AJ Whalen is a Senior Research Analyst at SAPinsider.

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