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What’s new in SuccessFactors for hybrid SAP HR deployments?

Chat with the authors of SuccessFactors with SAP ERP HCM

by Amy Grubb and Luke Marson and Jyoti Sharma

December 11, 2013

The authors of the SAP PRESS bestseller SuccessFactors with SAP ERP HCM  joined us for a Q&A, where they took questions from readers on SuccessFactors and SAP HR. Thanks to all of you who joined us and submitted your questions! 

You can review all of the questions and the answers and advice from Amy Grubb, Luke Marson, and Jyoti Sharma in the chat replay below, and look for an edited transcript to follow.

Sponsored by SAP PRESS and HRexpert

Live Blog Chat with the authors of "SuccessFactors for SAP ERP HCM" December 11 | 12:30pm EST



M.S. Hein: Thanks to everyone for joining us!

I’m very pleased to welcome back HR experts Amy Grubb, Luke Marson, and Jyoti Sharma, the authors of the SAP PRESS book SuccessFactors with SAP ERP HCM. Great to have all three of you here today.

Amy Grubb: Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining the chat. Looking forward to answering your questions today.

Jyoti Sharma: Hi Amy, Luke, and Kristine, and all the folks who have joined us today.

Luke Marson: Hi Margaret and hi to all of the attendees! Thanks for having us – it’s always exciting to be here and to answer questions. I hope the session is informative!


Comment From steve dorward: Why hasn’t SuccessFactors been consumed into the full SAP brand instead of being just an SAP company? Also, what will be the differentiator for large existing SAP customers who can see other cloud solutions as viable alternatives (e.g., Oracle Taleo)?

Luke Marson: SuccessFactors has retained a deal of autonomy when it comes to product development, which makes sense for customers. Being consumed by SAP would remove some of the key differentiators that SuccessFactors has, and SAP was aware of this when they made the decision to make SuccessFactors a subsidiary of its SAP Cloud business unit.

SuccessFactors is one of the few vendors with a genuine SaaS end-to-end suite of core HR, talent management, workforce analytics and planning, social collaboration, and mobile capabilities. This year alone they topped 11 different analysts’ reports. Their strength is within Talent management, but they are also aggressively building out their core HR system Employee Central.


Comment From Leonardo: Do you foresee updates from SuccessFactors for Learning and Succession?

Amy Grubb: Hi Leonardo. SuccessFactors has made some great adds to the Succession module in the last year. Learning is very mature as a product, however there have also been additions to functionality in this module too. Learning will continue to be further integrated into BizX and the integration with SAP will be coming in 2014 as well. Succession has also been further integrated within the BizX suite – for example, being able to create a requisition from the Succession Org Chart. With the quarterly releases, I anticipate continued development in all modules of SFSF, not just Learning and Succession.

Luke Marson: There is some exciting functionality coming out for Succession next year, but I can’t give further details at this stage as it’s still in development. Hopefully, we’ll have it covered in our 2nd edition.


Comment From Guest: How is SuccessFactors for SAP ERP HCM different from SAP’s ESS/MSS, which is already part of the SAP ERP solution? What are the top 5 benefits for a customer to implement SuccessFactors instead of ESS/MSS?

Jyoti Sharma: Hello Guest. This is a very important question for existing SAP customers, and though there are a number of factors with regard to the customer’s current landscape, here are some benefits of implementing SuccessFactors:

1. The SuccessFactors HCM suite has a more flexible and intuitive UI.

2. System maintenance and administration is more manageable by users with minimal intervention from IT or the implementation partner.

3. There are no hassles for technical upgrades as the product enhancements are released to all customers with the choice of opting in or out of a particular functionality.

4. The in-house expertise required for post go live maintenance is not as expensive as having Basis and Portal consultants.

5. The SuccessFactors HCM suite is closely integrated to give customer a comprehensive solution.


Comment From Ramesh Perumal, Gyansys: When a company decides to go for the SuccessFactors solution, are they given the option to pick and choose which functions can be maintained as Private and Public cloud? Also, can the company request to maintain the data only in the specific data center?

Luke Marson: SuccessFactors is only available in Public Cloud. There may be a possibility of selecting the Data Center, and you should raise this with your SuccessFactors contact. I’ve certainly seen options to select, but I don’t know for sure if SuccessFactors offer this to customers. Please note that some Data Centers don’t yet have all of the functionality available, so you might be limited to a selection of Data Centers depending on the scope of applications you are licensing.


Comment From Durai: How does SuccessFactors cover the structural authorization concept?

Amy Grubb: Hi Durai. Role-based permissions is the SFSF equivalent of structural authorizations. This allows you to create various roles with read/write permissions to data elements in the system, and then assign groups of users to those roles with target audiences. RBP are combined with other permissions embedded in the data model and templates – such as goal plan, performance review forms, and various recruiting templates – to add further control for line of reporting (management chain) and HR access.


Comment From Vincent Alvarez: In a Hybrid scenario, which middleware is the least expensive to implement: NetWeaver PI or SAP HANA Cloud Integration?

Luke Marson: NetWeaver PI is included within the base NetWeaver license that you have for SAP ERP. SAP HANA Cloud Integration costs 7.5% of your SuccessFactors subscription. So it makes sense to look at NetWeaver PI here, although if you plan to move to Employee Central in the not-too-distant future then it might be wise to look at SAP HANA Cloud Integration, as that is the only solution of the two that has third-party integration content as standard.


Comment From MK: Is it possible to implement SuccessFactors at the same time that changes are taking place to the enterprise structure in SAP? Or should I have SF implemented once our change project is complete?

Jyoti Sharma: Welcome MK, and thanks for joining us today. There are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind to arrive at the best approach, the biggest of them being what modules are in scope for your SuccessFactors implementation. So here are some pointers:

1. If the scope of your SuccessFactors implementation is to start with Employee Central – and assuming that you will retain your SAP system – then it is best to wait for the SAP changes to complete.

2. If you have Talent in scope, then a good approach could be to kick off with the talent modules while you streamline your SAP system. It always helps to have the EC consultant involved as there are dependencies on integration. Getting Talent up and running will give a you a headstart in system adoption.

3. If EC payroll is in scope, then you must definitely complete your SAP changes before embarking upon EC.


Comment From Vincent Alvarez: What is SAP HANA Cloud Integration? And what do customers need to do to get it implemented?

Luke Marson: SAP HANA Cloud Integration is an Integration-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform (i.e., a multi-tenant, Cloud-based integration platform). You could consider it being NetWeaver PI in the Cloud, although it is not like-for-like with NetWeaver PI. It is licensing via subscription from SAP and is web-based for access and configuration. Speak to your local SAP representative for more information on licensing.


Comment From Tomota: With a Hybrid implementation, can a SuccessFactors Client keep his data on-site on his local server, like SAP ECC Customers?

Jyoti Sharma: Hi Tomota. Welcome. At present, all customer data needs to be stored in the SuccessFactors datacenters and you don’t have the option to host it on your local servers.


Comment From Josh: We are planning to utilize EC. How can we integrate custom functionality? Can we install custom modules?

Comment From Guest: If you move to Employee Central in the SuccessFactors cloud solution, can you still customize the solution or are you limited to configuration options only?

Luke Marson: Employee Central cannot be customized, although there is functionality to extend its capabilities using the Metadata Framework (part of Employee Central) or by using the Employee Central extension package of SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

The Employee Central extension package of SAP HANA Cloud Platform allows custom applications to be created that are embedded into Employee Central and integrated with the data model, including the Metadata Framework. These applications can also be mobile-enabled. They inherit the theming, can be added to the Home menu, and have custom Tiles on the Home page.


Comment From Lauren Wood: I understand that the Job is very important in SuccessFactors (i.e., the job role is associated with competencies and authorization roles). Could you help me understand how the job family, job role, and job organization in SuccessFactors compares and relates to that in SAP, particularly as it relates to Performance Management? We plan to deploy PM using a hybrid approach (i.e., with on-premise HCM), and I would like to ensure that our current global job strategy in SAP will be compatible with PM. Can you comment or point me to some detailed documentation that can help?

Amy Grubb: Hi Lauren. Great question! Families and Roles and Job Code are a key component of not only Performance Management but also other modules within SFSF. You can build your families and roles structure within SFSF to reflect your structure in HCM, however there are some considerations depending on how deep/complex your job/role structure is in HCM. It’s difficult to answer specifics without knowledge of your structure, but rest assured it can be accommodated. Currently, there is no direct integration between HCM and SFSF for this functionality, but you can set up scheduled imports of family, role, and job code data (and competency mapping!), so that changes/additions in HCM are also reflected in SFSF. While I don’t have any inside knowledge on this topic, I do expect this area to become more integrated in the future as things like position management within SFSF become more mature.

I don’t have a link to detailed documentation to forward you, but I can send you some information if you contact me (


Comment From Andreas Kiepke: Are there any plans to integrate to non-HCM modules as well – e.g., posting of training cost from SF LMS to SAP FI/CO, or forwarding of training bookings as orders to ERP?

Luke Marson: Yes, and in particular for this scenario. SAP is planning to introduce 3 integration packages for SuccessFactors Learning that integrate with SAP ERP HCM, SAP ERP FICO, and SAP ERP EH&S. There is already standard content available for some Employee Central scenarios – such as SAP ERP FICO and SAP ERP Payroll – and more Hybrid integrations will be available for other processes, such as Skills & Competencies and Succession Planning. Some detail on the Learning packages can be found here.


Comment From Guest: Can a customer implement SF without a prior SAP ECC implementation and with the modules FICO, MM, etc?

Jyoti Sharma: Hello Guest. Let me see if I understand your question. The customer does not have SAP HCM modules, but has, or would like to implement, the FICO and MM modules. (Please send me a follow-up if my understanding is not accurate.) Yes, the customer can implement SuccessFactors. The ideal scenario would be to start with EC, so you have a core HRIS, and build integrations to the FICO and MM modules. There are standard integrations available with Finance on Demand from EC.


Comment From Guest: Is there SF for non-SAP customers? If yes, are FICO, MM, FM, etc. included?

Jyoti Sharma: Hello Guest. SuccessFactors is not restricted to SAP customers and can be implemented by anyone irrespective of your current landscape. Please see my answer to the previous question for a response about the FICO, MM, FM modules.


Comment From Suman: How can I interface with SAP - Position from Organization Management with SF Recruitment?

Luke Marson: What type of integration are you looking for? There is some standard integration for creating requisitions from vacant Positions in SAP. See this blog for more details.


Comment From Guest: What’s the integration between Recruiting solutions and Employee Central? Onboarding is part of Recruiting solutions, but new hires will happen in EC. Is it mandatory to have EC implemented if customers go for Recruiting solutions?

Amy Grubb: Hi Guest. For customers with Employee Central and Recruiting, there is integration between the two to send new hires from Recruiting to Employee Central to be hired and then become employees. Customers can decide what fields from Recruiting to send to Employee Central, such as job, salary, bonus, manager, etc.

For customers with HCM, there is also integration with Recruiting for new hires. This was introduced in the middle of 2013 and you can find more information about this here or in the book!

So, it’s not mandatory to have EC for Recruiting solutions. Remember that all SFSF modules can be implemented as stand-alone. However, the power of the system comes when all modules are implemented and you have an integrated Talent Management solution.


Comment From Suman: Please share a list of sites where customers can get all relevant information on SF.

Luke Marson: There are a number of places. A first start might be this document.

As a customer, you should reach out to SuccessFactors for more information. I also recommend joining the SAP and SuccessFactors LinkedIn group, as lots of content is posted there.


Comment From Guest: Did SF make available all the modules we have in SAP ECC — i.e., FICO, MM, FM, and all SAP HR sub-modules?

Jyoti Sharma: Hello Guest. Not all the SAP ECC modules and SAP HR sub-modules are available on SuccessFactors.

The SuccessFactors HCM suite currently has the following offerings.

- Employee Central (Core HR)

- Performance & Goals

- Compensation

- Recruiting and Recruiting Marketing

- Learning

- Succession & Development

- Workforce Planning

- Workforce Analytics

- Onboarding

- SAP Jam (Social collaboration)

- BizX Mobile (functionality from respective modules is available on a mobile devices)

Employee Central is flexible enough to accommodate customer requirements that may currently be housed in various infotypes in SAP. It also has standard integration to the Finance on Demand and Travel on Demand solutions.


Comment From Guest: Do you have an SAP SuccessFactors data center in Africa?

Jyoti Sharma: Hello Guest. There isn’t a data center in Africa right now.


Comment From Guest: Are there partners implementing SAP SF in Africa?

Amy Grubb: Hi Guest. I know that EPI-USE is implementing SFSF in Africa. My guess is that Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC are also likely implementing, but I don’t know for sure. If you are based in Africa, be sure to check out the Mastering SAP HR conference in April where Luke and I will be presenting!


Comment From Kir Chern:

1. In SAP on-premise Talent Management, there’s talent assessment for managers/TMS to define the employee’s potential (risk, derailers, etc). What is the equivalent functionality in SFSF, or is there anything upcoming or new in this area?

2. Is there anything new regarding roles/authorization with RBP (as compared to the capabilities found in SAP HCM on-premise with regards to structural authorization, context-sensitive authorization, level of granularity, and how it controls access to time-dependent information)? Incidentally, is there a detailed write-up or blog with examples of how RBP works?

Luke Marson: In SuccessFactors, the rating can be added to the employee’s Talent Profile by a manager. There is Risk of Loss, Impact of Loss, etc. Derailers is not covered, although in my experience I have not seen many customers ever use the Derailers functionality in the Talent Assessment (maybe one).

Role-Based Permissions (RBPs) has nothing new, but it does cover structural-based permissions as standard and is pretty granular. At the last count, there were about 250 to 300 different permissions just for Employee Central.

There is no documentation about it, but this has given me an idea for a blog ... so watch this space!


Comment From Gautam: What is the difference between Dell Boomi and SF Boomi? I am new to cloud integration tools, and just wanted to understand the main differences between these two tools.

Luke Marson: There is no product called SF Boomi. The only product is called Dell Boomi AtomSphere, and it is packaged as part of the SuccessFactors Employee Central subscription at this time.


Comment From Subbarao: What is the middleware used for the integration between SAP and Success Factors? Is it Dell Boomi or SAP PI?

Amy Grubb: Hi Subbarao. There are a few options for integration. You can use PI or Boomi.

Luke Marson: You can also use SAP HANA Cloud Integration plus any other middleware (MuleSoft, etc.).


Comment From Guest: What companies/partners are providing certification in SF?

Luke Marson: Only SuccessFactors provides training and certification right now. Refer to this blog for more information.


Comment From Guest: How much will all the SF Hybrid implementation and support cost per year?

Luke Marson: Please refer to SuccessFactors or SAP directly for pricing information, as this is not public.


Comment From Suman: There are lots of problems that are not able to fixed by the partner. In such circumstances, how can we approach the feasibility of SF? Will someone from SF turn around a quick update?

Jyoti Sharma: Hi Suman. Good to see you here. You are right that for some issues, we need to work directly with the Engineering department in SuccessFactors. There are a couple of ways to tackle this. The partner can engage Service Delivery Assurance with SuccessFactors Professional Services or the customer can team up with SuccessFactors Professional Services in addition to the implementation partner. The product management teams are quite good at incorporating customer enhancements. If you are a current customer, you can check the customer community portal, where customers post their issues and implementation experts post their comments.


Comment From Rachelle: Hi Amy. You mention integration with SAP for SF Learning. Can you provide any more information, or is that the item Luke mentions is still in development?

Amy Grubb: Hi Rachelle. This is an area that will be further developed in 2014. I know they will specifically be working on integration with the qualifications catalog in HCM. Stay tuned on this topic!


Comment From Vincent Alvarez: Is Dell Boomi less expensive to use compared to PI or SAP HCI?

Luke Marson: Dell Boomi AtomSphere is included as part of the Employee Central subscription, but my understanding is that it is a very expensive solution to use in comparison to NetWeaver PI or HCI for the Hybrid model.


Comment From Vincent Alvarez: In a hybrid scenario, where we have EC and SAP HCM, can updates be done either way? So when an employee updates their telephone number in EC, it will automatically update SAP and vice versa?

Luke Marson: Yes. If you are using a middleware like Dell Boomi AtomSphere or HCI, then this would be possible. Integration can be bi-directional.


Comment From Guest: Does SF recommend Boomi integration over NetWeaver-PI for non-SAP HCM on-premise integrations?

Luke Marson: Boomi is included in the Employee Central subscription, but I don’t see any particular recommendations from SuccessFactors. A customer can use whatever middleware platform best suits their needs.


Comment From Vincent Alvarez: Have there been any hybrids between SAP HR and SuccessFactors, and what is the best middleware to use right now?

Luke Marson: There are several hundred customers using the Hybrid model. Integration is usually done with SAP NetWeaver PI, SAP HANA Cloud Integration, or non-SAP middleware platforms like MuleSoft.


Comment From Gabriel: What are the main advantages of having the e-learning solution (LMS) integrated with the BizX Solution of SF?

Amy Grubb: Hi Gabriel. I would say the biggest advantage is having a completely integrated Talent Management solution with access and data in one place! This streamlines processes and reporting for employees, managers, and administrators.


Comment From Guest: Is there a specific list of countries supported by SF?

Comment From Ravin Chanchani: Is there a list of countries that SF solution supports?

Luke Marson: It depends on your exact meaning of “countries supported.” Each module has a number of language supports, but no particular localizations, as some processes don’t require it. Employee Central has 58 locations (see here) and is available in 37 languages. Other applications are available in a similar number of languages.


Comment From Gautam: What is the best practice or approach for data migration from SAP HCMS to SuccessFactors?

Jyoti Sharma: Hi Gautam. Thanks for the great question. Data migration to SuccessFactors is done through data import templates. You can also use a middleware like SAP PI to convert data. Some of the key considerations when migrating from SAP are as follows:

1. Determine the years of history that you would like to bring over to SuccessFactors.

2. Follow a tight data governance strategy before deciding to bring all the data over and building multiple integration points.

3. SuccessFactors provides multiple options to bring data over as full load or an incremental load. It is advisable to do the first load through the data import templates and then incrementally bring the data over through the middleware.


Comment From Gabriel: What are the strongest advantages of having the Talent Management Process in SF integrated with the back-end SAP HCM?

Luke Marson: You get the benefits of the enhanced functionality, usability, and quarterly releases alongside your data from SAP HCM as the system of record. A lot of talent data doesn’t need to feed back into the SAP HCM system, such as Succession Plans or Performance ratings, if there are no other processes in the system that are dependent on them.


Comment From Subbarao: Where can we find up-to-date information about the SFSF and SAP standard integration?

Amy Grubb: Hi Subbarao. Check here regularly for the most up-to-date information.


Comment From Ramesh Perumal, Gyansys: My company is an SAP partner, and is trying to become an SF partner. As a partner, can we get demo licenses to explore the SF product?

Luke Marson: Only official SuccessFactors partners can access demo systems and training.


Comment From Vincent Alvarez: Of the three middlewares you mentioned (Dell Boomi, PI, and SAP HCI), which one in your opinion is the easiest or fastest to activate/implement with EC and SAP HCM.

Luke Marson: HCI and Dell Boomi AtomSphere would be the quickest, since no hardware is required and access can be granted quickly. If you already have NetWeaver PI, then of course there is no setup required.


Comment From Suman: Where can we see the data center details?

Luke Marson: There are Data Centers in the US, Germany, Australia, and China, if I recall correctly.


Comment From Ramesh Perumal, Gyansys: If EC Payroll is really 100% cloud-based for the US, do we need to apply BSI TUBs by IT department or is it managed in the cloud?

Jyoti Sharma: Hi Ramesh. SaaS BSI is used for EC Payroll and the TUBS are managed in the Cloud. Please reach out to me separately at should you need further details.


Comment From Julie Petitt: How does the SAP EC compare to the Workday solution? What do you see as strengths and weaknesses of the two?

Amy Grubb: Hi Julie. Wow, that is a delicate question to answer! I’ll give it my best shot here. I’d say the biggest advantage of SFSF over Workday is that you can implement any module of SFSF at any time, while Workday is an “all or nothing” proposition. Of course, I recommend implementing all modules of SFSF to gain the full benefit of an integrated Talent Management system.


Comment From Julie Pettit: What are some options for handling payroll with SF HCM?

Jyoti Sharma: Hi Julie. Great question, here you go:

1. If the customer has EC as the core HRIS, they can utilize EC payroll (SAP payroll in the cloud) or use third-party payroll providers like ADP, etc.

2. If the customer has an existing SAP on-premise payroll and is implementing EC, then EC can be integrated to SAP on-premise payroll.


Comment From Leonardo Marinelli: Would starting a hybrid approach with Learning and Succession be a good option? What are the key points for a successful hybrid implementation?

Amy Grubb: Hi Leonardo. I see you are very interested in Learning and Succession! While you can implement any module of SFSF at any time, I think you’ll find that your Succession module will be more powerful and robust if you also have Goals/Performance implemented along with it. Goal progress/ratings and competency development are key data elements/inputs into the Succession process, and these are tightly integrated with Succession. You certainly can implement Succession first and have a best-in-class Succession Management solution – in fact, I’m doing that right now for a customer. But the solution will be even more robust once Performance and Goals are in place.


Comment From Guest: Can you elaborate on how extensive the capabilities/functionalities of the upcoming Shared Service/CRM module within SFSF are compared to on-premise EIC/SSF?

Luke Marson: No details have been announced yet, but are due to be announced in Q1 or Q2 2014.


Comment From Paul: I understand that HANA Development Platform is currently only available for EC. Am I correct? Is there a roadmap for making it available for other SF modules?

Luke Marson: Yes, that’s correct. SuccessFactors is planning to roll it out across other parts of the suite, and hopes to have it available for Recruiting within the next 12 months.


Comment From Vincent Alvarez: Does Dell Boomi communicate well with SAP HCM?

Luke Marson: Yes. Dell Boomi AtomSphere is tried and tested with many customers for integrating Employee Central and SAP HCM, as well as other on-premise and Cloud systems.


Comment From MK: What are the integration dependencies for implementing the SF Compensation and WF Analytics modules, if we’d like to retain SAP as our system of record?

Amy Grubb: Hi MK. You can implement any modules of SFSF independently from each other. So you could implement Compensation and WFA only and keep SAP HCM for all other processes and as the system of record, no problem.


Comment From Kir Chern: Assuming customers do not have PI, is the cost to make use of HCI prohibitive or significant compared to the overall implementation cost of an SFSF module (e.g., Recruitment)?

Luke Marson: HCI costs 7.5% of your SuccessFactors subscription for that use case. I would therefore suggest that NetWeaver PI – if already implemented at your company – would be a cheaper option.


Comment From Ashish: What is the future of SAP HCM? Are we going to move to SuccessFactors for all the modules except Time and Payroll?

Luke Marson: SAP HCM will be around for a while yet, but like R/2 I think it will eventually become used by only a handful of customers. At this time a lot of the functionality of SAP HCM is available in the SuccessFactors HCM suite and Payroll is available via Employee Central Payroll. Some basic Time Management functionality is coming in Employee Central in 2014, but since Time & Attendance is not really pure HR (and certainly not strategic HR), SuccessFactors won’t be investing heavily in it. Customers would be advised in that sense to partner with a third-party solution, such as Kronos.


Comment From MK: We are making changes to our existing enterprise structure and personnel structure. Can SF be implemented at the same time these changes are being configured, or should we wait until the configuration is complete to begin the SF implementation?

Amy Grubb: Hi MK. I would probably recommend completing your enterprise/personnel structure first so that your SFSF implementation and the data in SFSF is the most up to date and representative of the new structure. Of course, you could implement at the same time, but that may mean slight rework from a data perspective in SFSF. I would recommend looking at where you are with the enterprise/personnel structure project and how close you are to finishing, and then balance that with how painful your talent management processes are in HCM (or whatever system you are using) and let that be your guide.


Comment From Ameen Syed: Can we have Time Sheets in SAP SF? If yes, how do we achieve it as do not see it in the instance? Also, can we create projects to manage the time sheets?

Luke Marson: Time Management is not available in SuccessFactors, although they do plan to introduce some lightweight Time Management functionality in Employee Central in 2014. Customers with heavily used or complex requirements should look at a partner solution such as Kronos or WorkForce Software EmpCenter.


Comment From Subbarao: What are all the areas of integration available between SAP and SuccessFactors without any additional development from either side? How do I find up-to-date information in this regard?

Luke Marson: For a Hybrid solution: basic employee data (to support all talent modules), compensation process, recruiting process, and workforce analytics. Employee Central content is also available for SAP ERP, such as HCM and Payroll.


Comment From Guest: Does Dell Boomi have direct SMTP Integration with SF?

Luke Marson: Dell Boomi AtomSphere does have a standard Mail Connector. I haven’t seen any of my customers use this yet, but it’s something you could look at.


Comment From Guest: What is the SF archival strategy within DC8?

Luke Marson: SuccessFactors makes backups of all of their Data Center data.


Comment From PK:

1. In non-hybrid scenarios, what are the best practices (and tools) available for migrating data from SAP HCMS to SF for an “initial” load?

2. In a hybrid or non-hybrid scenario, until the in-house HCMS System (SAP) is decommissioned, what options are available to “back feed” the in-house/existing SAP HCMS system with employee data from SF Employee Central? Is “real-time” back-feed a possibility?

3. Is there any plan to introduce a proper “deployment mechanism” on the SF platform, similar to what’s available on the SAP platform (like a transport mechanism)? Today, as part of production cut-over, you have to “redo” the change again in the live production system, which sometimes results in manual errors and an inconsistent system when a sequence of changes (like preparing the system for a year-end PM process) requires a couple of hours (or days, in some cases).

4. When the HR process is migrated to SF in a phased manner, what are the key challenges taken into consideration while running in-house HRIS and SF systems in parallel?

5. Are positive time booking (attendance) and time evaluation (like leave entitlement recalculation) features available on SF? If not yet, is this planned in near future releases?

Luke Marson:

1. You need to ensure that your data is in the correct format, and that they correspond with Picklists and with field lengths. There are various tools that can be used to extract data from SAP, so do some investigation into the one that suits your needs the most.

2. You can leverage a middleware platform such as NetWeaver PI or HCI. They can perform near real-time integration, which is as good as real-time integration.

3. I’m not aware of anything but I share your pains! I hope this will be addressed in 2014, but I’m not sure that it will be.

4. It’s just a matter of having your process aligned with the systems and ensuring that integration is robust in design. If your users know where to go for the process, then the challenges are more technical than anything else.

5. There is leave request functionality (called Time Off) in Employee Central, but no Time Management functionality. Some lightweight functionality will be introduced in 2014.


Comment From Guest: How are documents integrated into SuccessFactors?

Luke Marson: It depends on what you mean by “integrated.” There is some document management available in different modules, and there is more functionality on the Employee Central roadmap. Some partners are building document generation and management applications for Employee Central on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.


M.S. Hein: I want to thank everyone for joining us today for a great discussion – that hour just flew by, and there was a ton of great information shared. Amy, Jyoti, and Luke, you all ROCK! Thanks so much!

Jyoti Sharma: It was great participating with you guys on the Q&A, hope the answers were helpful. Thanks, Kristine and Margaret, for organizing this. Luke and Amy, always a pleasure to team up with you.

Luke Marson: Thanks everybody for attending, to SAPinsider for hosting, and to Jyoti and Amy for providing their expertise in the session!

M.S. Hein: You can read an excerpt from SuccessFactors with SAP ERP HCM, available in a special download from the SAPexperts site. And you’ll find full details about the book at the SAP PRESS Bookstore.

I also want to take this opportunity to welcome Amy as our newest HR Expert advisor – her focus will primarily be on SuccessFactors content. In addition, Luke and Jyoti both have several HR Expert articles in the pipeline that will be posted in the next few months, so take a minute to visit the SAPexperts site to see all the new content.

You can reach out to Luke, Jyoti, and Amy via Twitter and email: 

Luke Marson:, @lukemarson

Amy Grubb:, @amygrubb91

Jyoti Sharma:, @JyotiSharma20

And finally, thank you again, Amy, Luke, and Jyoti, for taking these questions today! Great to have you join us!




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