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What's the Latest on Packaged Integrations & Deployment Models for SAP ERP HCM & SuccessFactors? Q&A with SAP’s Prashanth Padmanabhan

August 20, 2014

Thank you to everyone who joined our online Q&A on the latest on packaged integrations and deployment models for SAP ERP HCM and SuccessFactors.

PPrashanth Padmanabhanrashanth Padmanabhan, SAP Mentor and Senior Director - Product Management Human Capital Management (HCM), took questions in this one-hour live chat on the SuccessFactors integration roadmap, integration, middleware selection, and the differences between hybrid and side-by-side deployment models.   

Prashanth also shared some handy roadmap images to help visualize EC integrations, talent hybrid integration models, and a SuccessFactors integration and deployment overview.  

You'll find them in the replay below (click on any of the slides in the chat replay for the complete slideshow) and review our edited transcript.

Live Blog Latest on Packaged Integrations for SuccessFactors & SAP ERP HCM: 8/20, 12:30-1:30pm EDT


M.S. Hein: Thank you for joining us for our latest Q&A on the SuccessFactors and SAP ERP HCM integration updates. Joining us for a follow-up to his June Q&A is Prashanth Padmanabhan, Senior Director - HCM Product Management at SAP.

Welcome, Prashanth! Thanks again for being here, just in time to take questions about the August release and new integration options for SuccessFactors and SAP ERP HCM.

Prashanth Padmanabhan:

Hello to everyone. Thanks for joining.

M.S. Hein: We’ve had many questions coming in from readers and I’m sure you’re eager to jump right in. So, without further ado, here’s Prashanth to answer your questions.


Editor’s note: For enlarged views of the deployment roadmaps, click on the image in the chat replay (above). This will also take you to a slideshare view.

Because of the numbers of questions, the chat transcript starts with some general integration questions, and a section on Packaged Integrations. We follow that with questions on PI, HCI & Boomi, and we’ve also collected the questions on Learning, Payroll & Time Management, Talent Management and Recruiting. With more than 80 questions, this is an excerpt, but we left a variety of types of questions here for your review.

General Questions on Packaged Integrations, Deployment Models and Roadmaps


Comment From Ali

Prashanth, When do you think SAP will end SAP HCM support?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: There are no plans to end it. We have 14,000 customers on it.

Comment From Alex

When considering to move to cloud from SAP HCM on-premise, what makes SuccessFactors stand out, as compared to Workday or Oracle Fusion etc.? The implementation and licensing cost for SFSF can be a big barrier to entry. Assuming you're convincing the CEO, CFO and CIO of a potential customer, how could you present this convincingly?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Alex, I believe SuccessFactors has the most comprehensive HCM suite in the cloud and on-premise. I have a lot of respect for all competitors. They are good as well. You should study and compare all providers to see what suits you the best.

Comment From Guest

Enhancement Pack 7 or Employee Central?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Depends on how quickly you plan to move to the cloud. If it is less than two  years, go full cloud now with Employee Central. If you have no plans to move Core HR to the cloud for at least two years, implement Enhancement Pack 7.

Comment From Mark Corry

What is considered as an SAP standard or best practice for a hybrid SAP ERP and SuccessFactors model?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Mark,

Running SuccessFactors for all Talent Solutions, Analytics and Collaboration and using SAP ERP HCM for Core HR and Payroll is a good first step for customers moving to the cloud. This has been tested by more than 650 customers. It is supported by packaged integrations that work well and will be supported by more packaged integrations in the future. I will post the roadmap image here.

Comment From Rodney

What are the plans for integrating Fieldglass - with core SAP HCM and SF?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Fieldglass integration is planned for 2015. Design discussions are underway. It is very important for our customers because on an average 30 percent of employees are contingent workers.

Comment From Erik K

Hi again Prashanth, Do you have any news/updates on the Variable Pay interface?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Yes. Variable pay integration is planned for release in November 2014.

Comment From Murali

Is best portal to view the latest developments and roadmap for SuccessFactors?

Prashanth Padmanabhan  and are a good place to start

Comment From Don

What is largest number of employees that a current customer has successfully integrated from SAP ERP HCM Core HR to SuccessFactors for a Hybrid scenario? How about a Bi-directional interface? 

Prashanth Padmanabhan: 1.2 million employees.

Comment From Gavin

It’s not a fundamental component of the Appraisals to be able to transfer back performance ratings. Is there a plan to include this in the future?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Such information is available for viewing in the talent profile of a person. If there is a specific need for bringing that information to SAP, please let me know. I would like to understand the needs.

Comment From Chad Snyder

Why would we implement Employee Central if we already are using SAP ECC HCM?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: You don't have to. You can go with the Talent Hybrid model. More than 700 customers do.

Comment From Gavin

Is there a limit to the number of custom fields which can be integrated from ECM to SuccessFactors?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Yes there is depending on the packaged integrations. The documentation will provide more details. Usually about 15 fields.

Comment From Len

What industries do you find embracing SuccessFactors?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: We have over 3500 customers in 26 industries on over 140 countries

Packaged Integrations

Comment From Ali

Will there be direct connections from SuccessFactors to HCM in the near future?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: There are many now. We call them packaged integrations. We will build more.

Comment From Guest

Explain in more detail what is contained in a "Packaged Integration" and where can we get the most current list with details?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Packaged integrations are integrations treated like a product. They are built, documented, versioned, tested and released like any other SAP product. You can find details at

Comment From Alberto

My question is the following: Is the new standard packaged SAP PI integration supporting a complete picklist synchronization between SAP HCM & SFSF?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Package integrations integrate a predefined set of information. Almost all customers who implement the integration extend it to suit their needs. You should plan for it. Please do not expect packaged integrations to bring all data from SAP to SuccessFactors. We consider it expensive and not necessary. So we focus on the most important data and provide custom fields to cover customer-specific data integration.

Comment From Aleksei Nazarov

What are the plans for the integration scenario of organizational data replication from on-premise ERP to EC? When is it expected to be delivered?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: The first packaged integrations for connecting on-premise ERP HCM to EC are being released in August 2014. These are to support the side-by-side deployment model, where customers use Employee Central for a subset of employees and SAP ERP HCM for another subset of employees.

Comment From Chad Snyder

Is there an overall roadmap that we could reference as we work to understand the features and functions that are being worked on towards integrating SAP ECC and SuccessFactors?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Yes, we publish the roadmap by deployment model. I just posted the roadmap information as images.

Comment From Todd Wilcox

I assume items on the integration sheets which are dotted lines represent planned integrations which are not currently available, such as new hire data to SAP? Is this correct?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: New hire data to SAP is currently available. Onboarding integration is planned for release in November 2014. It will have more information apart from the basic new hire data. It is under design. We are working with and open to co-innovating with customers who want this integration.

Comment From Gina R

Hi Prashanth, I am currently working on an integration between EC - SAP on-premise. We have the SAP ERP system updated according to the handbook's CheckList (page 11), but the screens in the SOAMANAGER look so different, I can't find the URLs. Is there any other document I can look at?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Gina, The best place for all Employee Central documentation is If you are a partner you can also join the partner Jam group for integration and talk to over 1500 professionals there.

Comment From Gavin

For those on a hybrid solution, do you effectively 'lose' access to HCM through the SAP GUI? Or does it mean you can use either method?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Employees and managers will still see the SAP ERP HCM interface for Core HR business processes, for example, the Leave application.

Comment From Todd Wilcox

When using the Hybrid model, what is the typical consolidated reporting method?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: SuccessFactors Analytics is the best place for consolidated reporting

Comment From RagoobirH

What should be considered in making the decision for HCM only, SuccessFactors only, or hybrid?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: If you are on SAP ERP HCM, I recommend you start with the Talent hybrid deployment model first. It is a low-risk approach. 

Comment From Gavin

Does the 'Inbox' functionality also receive and action workflows from other SAP modules? Or is it limited to HR-based workflows (time/learning requests etc.)?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Such an integration is under development. No planned release date yet. I anticipate that we will release it early next year.

Comment From Colette Bergeron

Our company did not implement HR / Payroll in SAP (still with legacy applications). What would be your recommendation - hybrid or "full" SuccessFactors?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: I recommend Full Cloud HCM for you. I will post an image explaining that. It will take about a year to get everything in the cloud.

Comment From Alex  

Does SFSF support country-specific localization and statutory requirements like parenthood leave, personal data protection/privacy, etc., like SAP HCM on-premise? I'm in Singapore.

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Yes.

Comment From Mohana

I am a Technical Consultant and work in HR ABAP since 8 years. I heard that with SuccessFactors, most of the work occurs in configuration. What is the role for technical people in current projects? How do we convert from HR ABAP to SuccessFactors?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: You can learn to extend SuccessFactors using the Meta Data Framework and HANA Cloud Platform (Java programming skills required).

Comment From Tarun Sarpal

How is side-by-side integration evolving for EC to on-premise (bi-directional interfaces)? Is  it up and running or on the roadmap?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Tarun, Side-by-Side HCM is a big area of investment. The first set of packaged integrations are being released as part of the August 2014 release. I posted an image to explain who the Side-by-side HCM deployment model is for.

Comment From Que Anh Nguyen

What are the out of the box capabilities for: Synchronization of Enterprise structure master data mastered in SAP ERP with SuccessFactors; Organization structure managed in SuccessFactors, especially position & roles, to feed SAP ERP for workflows and security purposes; and SuccessFactors integration with SAP GRC?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Employee Data, Organizational Data and Cost Center data are integrated. These support workflow. GRC integration is planned. No release dates yet.

Comment From Guest

I do not find SuccessFactors related training classes for end users. Do you have any plans to introduce training courses, instructor-led or online?

Prashanth Padmanabhan:

Yes. SAP Education is planning for such courses the same way training courses are available for SAP. You will see announcement soon. They will be paid courses.

Comment From Mel

What should we be doing if we're using SAP HCM and SAP Performance Management On-Site? Will the Performance Management module become void? If so, do we have to "convert" to Success Factors, and how do we do that? And is it similar to an initial implementation?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: I recommend you go with SuccessFactors for performance management. It will be a new implementation and can be done in about 16 weeks.

Comment From Jags

For ESS and MSS solutions, SAP is releasing HR Renewal and SAPUI5 applications. Are these applications equally relevant for SuccessFactor solutions? If the future is SuccessFactors, does investing/implementing HR Renewal, SAPUI5 add any advantage?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: If you are not planning to move to FULL Cloud HCM in the next 2 years, consider investing in HR Renewal. If your plan is to move to Employee Central for Core HR, investing in HR Renewal may not be an odd approach.

Customers who are using legacy HR applications have moved to this model. It is the most cost effective and low risk approach.

Comment From Jonathan

Is there any requirement for current SAP partners to implement business extensions for SuccessFactors?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Many partners do. Accenture has built an extension for payroll compliance. Aspire HR has built an extension for benefits management. Please connect with them at SuccessConnect Las Vegas if you are going. They can give firsthand information.

Comment From Gavin

I find it difficult to define a tangible ROI for the deployment of side-by-side SuccessFactors over developing ESS/MSS further, especially with the HR Renewals packs.

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Gavin, that is a valid point. Side-by-Side is not a replacement for HR Renewal. It is a path to Full Cloud HCM. Consider moving a subset of employees (say from a subsidiary, country or a company you divest) completely to the cloud. Sending an employee to the cloud and on-premise for Core HR is not the recommended path. A handful of customers do it for technical and legal reasons at a very high cost. Increased implementation cost, multiple licenses and so on.

I recommend against it unless you have no other choice but to do it. When possible, keep it simple.

PI, HCI & Boomi

Comment From Stephen Burr

For SAP to SuccessFactors, there is support for PI and HCI. Already we've seen HCI content released first. Longer term, is one technology more favored? Will they continue to co-exist?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Stephen, We will stay open.

Comment From RagoobirH

What are the integration technologies available for connecting HCM to SuccessFactors, and how is it secured?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Depending on the deployment model, we support SAP Process Integration (PI), HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) and Dell Boomi (DB). I have posted an image that shows this.

Comment From Guest

What is the average time for installing and configuring the Integration Add-on for SAP ERP HCM and SuccessFactors BizX using PI?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: 30 person days including planning, customization and testing. That is based on real customer implementations.

Comment From Rodney

I believe I have heard that the RDS for SAP/SF integrations are designed to use Dell Boomi as the middleware. Is this correct? We use NWPI for our HCM integrations with third-party vendors now - and would like to continue with this model.

Prashanth Padmanabhan: RDSs support SAP Process Integration (PI) and HANA Cloud Integration (HCI). For Full Cloud HCM packaged integrations, RDSs will support Boomi.

Comment From Guest

What is the typical integration used when implementing processes such as Performance and Goals, where real-time updates are not as critical - keeping in mind that EC is the goal to move towards?

Prashanth Padmanabhan:

FTP will work fine.

Comment From Guest

I believe I heard that the Rapid Deployment Solution for SAP/SuccessFactors integration is using Dell Boomi as the middleware. We are looking at implementation using NWPI, as we are already using NWPI with other integrations between SAP HCM and third-party vendors. What is the preferred middleware?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Please go with a middleware of your choice. You don't have to go with the middleware that is supported by the packaged integration. For example, you might be using SAP PI or Informatica or BizTalk, and may have people with skills in that area. That should influence your decision.

Comment From Tarun Sarpal

Is Dell Boomi the integration go-forward option that SuccessFactors will stick to in years ahead or will they will change the strategy to HCI or PI? Is it worthwhile investing in Boomi-based custom integrations as it comes free? What is the scene post-2020 for Boomi?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Boomi is the recommended integration technology for Full Cloud HCM.

Comment From Erik K

Concerning enhancements, is it so that we have to buy the license for SAP HANA in the cloud, or are we able to somehow achieve the same on our 'own' HANA platform with SAP and SF?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: To use applications built on the HANA Cloud Platform, a license for the platform is required. If you build your own applications on the on-premise HANA platform you have, there is no additional license needed.

Comment From Justina

Regarding Side-by-Side landscape integration: What are the functionalities from SAP that are available in Employee Central? Is there a list of infotypes/transactions available that can let us know exactly what can be seen directly in the EC UI, and what will need to remain in SAP?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Our recommendation is to use Side -by-Side for different sets of employees for Core HR. For example employees from a subsidiary will use Employee Central for Core HR and employees from the parent company will use SAP ERP HCM for core HR. We do not recommend mixing that. It will prove to be costly, complicated and risky if you do that.

Comment From Gavin

Is it not a fundamental component of the Appraisals to be able to transfer back performance ratings, therefore is there not a plan to include this in the future.

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Such information is available for viewing in the talent profile of a person. If there is a specific need for bringing that information to SAP, please let me know. I would like to understand the need.


Comment From An

What will happen to LSO/LS portal in 2020 for customers that are currently using it?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: It will be governed by the same support policy as SAP ERP.

Comment From Cindy

When will support for SAP LSO stop?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: We have over 700 customers on LSO. I was the product manager. Investment is in the cloud. Support for LSO will be there as long as there are customers using it.

Comment From Michelle Bliffen

What is the process to convert LSO information into SuccessFactors e-Learning? We have hundreds of thousands of web-based sessions in LSO. Can those be converted over to SuccessFactors so that all of the history is in one place?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: There is a migration package provided by our partner to do this. I can put you in touch with them

Comment From Alok

We already have a significant investment in ECC HCM suite (PA, PD, Payroll, Time, Benefits, OM etc.) and also ESS/MSS. We are looking at SuccessFactors as a substitute for LSO only. We are not going into HANA anytime soon. What strategy do we need to follow to minimize our SuccessFactors exposure?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Please implement SuccessFactors Learning in the cloud and integrate it with SAP ERP HCM using the packaged integrations. You can continue to use SAP (or any other vendor you choose) for all other applications.

Comment From Solve Horrigmoe

We would want to integrate with third-party course providers. What would our options be to create interfaces with their LMSs, in order to import catalog data and export bookings and cancellations?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: For such custom integrations we provide APIs. You can find detailed documentation here.  There is a Jam group for API users. Please consider joining that group. Reach out to your support team for an invitation.


Time Management

Comment From Daniil

Could you please explore the steps with SAP Time Management and Payroll integration?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: SAP Time Management and SAP Payroll are already well integrated. There are no plans to build any new packaged integrations.

Comment From Sridevi Thota

Does Employee Central have time recording and time off request capability? If not, is there any future roadmap of bringing that in?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Employee Central has time off capabilities. For more time management functionality we partner with Kronos. A packaged integration for data and user experience is available today. Multiple customers are using it productively.

Comment From Guest

For customers using SAP HCM on premise solution, is it better to use ESS&MSS services for time management, or is always Kronos de recommended option?

Prashanth Padmanabhan:

SAP Time Management will work fine in this scenario.

Comment From Guest

Hi Prasanth, Thanks for organizing such a wonderful session. I am new to SuccessFactors. I would like to ask whether SAP Payroll (On-Premise) will completely be replaced by SuccessFactors? 

Prashanth Padmanabhan: We have 7000 customers on SAP Payroll on-premise. SuccessFactors Payroll is nothing but the tried and tested SAP Payroll hosted as a single tenant in the cloud. I don't see this changing anytime soon. The payroll integration details are at

Comment From Guest

What is the average time for installing and configuring the prepackaged integration to SAP payroll and time modules?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: 30 days is average. It will depend on your level of customizations.

Comment From Mark

When will the SF Payroll for countries such as South Africa be available?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: It is on the roadmap.

Comment From Murali

What is the best option to integrate SF EC with on-premise SAP Time and Payroll system for replicating required mini master data and smooth net payroll processing?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Murali, There is a packaged integration available to integrate Employee Central with SAP on-premise payroll. Detailed documentation is available at [login required]. I believe this will be a very popular deployment model.  

Comment From Guest

Please explain the integration between SAP Payroll & SuccessFactors - actually which one of the SuccessFactors area is connected -  and what about subsequent activities?                      

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Employee Data, Org Data and Cost center data are integrated. Information about every field can be found at 

Comment From Sridevi Thota

Does Employee Central have any integration with Kronos or is it a separate place Employees have to go for recording their time?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: There is a packaged integration with Kronos. Detailed documentation is available at

Talent Management

Comment From Guest

Would you be able to shed light on the integration with SAP Core HR and talent modules in success factors. Are these integrations pre-built or is it the customers responsibility?

Prashanth Padmanabhan:

They are re-built. I posted an image with the packaged (pre-built) integrations. Please note that they are not plug and play. They require implementation.

Comment From Jags

Among the SAP Talent Management modules (e.g. Objectives & Appraisals, PMS, Personnel Planning and Development, E-Recruiting, E-Learning, LSO), what would be replaced by SuccessFactors and what would be integrated with SuccessFactors? What will be the future of existing Talent Management Modules in the roadmap?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: SuccessFactors is the future for all talent management applications. Most of our investment is done in SuccessFactors in the cloud for talent management. I recommend that to all customers.

Prashanth Padmanabhan:

Stephen, Our customers want choice when it comes to enterprise application integration technology. Majority of the use multiple integration technologies from SAP and other providers. Our focus is to support what customers want. We won't focus on unifying for the sake of it.


Comment From Guest

Is the integration between SF Recruiting and SAP Core HR already out there or is it on the roadmap?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Yes there is. You can read about it here

Comment From Anil Gudimella

I am interested to know how SAP e-Recruitment on-premise integrates with SuccessFactors.

Prashanth Padmanabhan: There is no such integration. We do not plan to build any such integration. However customers and partners can build a custom integration.

Comment From Alex

I have consulted two SFSF implementation partners on SFSF's E-Recruitment interface of hired candidates to SAP HCM. Both recommended SFTP approach, just like any non-SAP cloud vendors I speak to. Isn't SAP's standard iflows or packaged integration the first choice or recommendation?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: Yes. Packaged integrations are the recommended approach. Implementation colleagues sometimes recommend FTP to keep things simple. FTP will work fine. However, going the packaged integration route will bring the most value for customers.

Comment From Guest

If we are planning to go for recruiting marketing and recruiting management through SF what is the best practice? Can we do it without an implementation partner? What is your recommendation for the first SF implementation?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: I recommend you go with an implementation partner who has done it before. The investment will save you time and reduce risk. I can connect you with experience partners.

Comment From Guest

Hi Prashanth, I am new to SuccessFactors. I would like to ask about the main differences in functionality in SF Recruiting with and without Employee Central, i.e. Recruiting with just Foundation, and Recruiting with Employee Central.

Our scenario will be an hybrid with OM and PA in SAP 6.04 on premise and SF Recruiting cloud. Is there any article describing the integration of SF Foundation with SAP c 6.04 for Recruiting? Are there any customers who implemented this?

Prashanth Padmanabhan:

You can use SuccessFactors Recruiting without Employee Central. Employee Central is not a pre-requisite for SuccessFactors Recruiting. Documentation on recruiting integration can be found here. 

Comment From An

Do you have plans to integrate Recruiting with NeoGov for the public sector clients?

Prashanth Padmanabhan: I will have to check with the Recruiting product management colleagues on that. Our professional services teams can build a custom integration. Please let me know your needs via email and we can discuss.

M.S. Hein: Again, many thanks to SAP’s Prashanth Padmanabhan. It was great to have you back for a follow-up to your June Q&A. Thanks for sharing what’s new, and we look forward to your session at the HR 2014 event in Singapore, in October 2014.

SAPinsider:Thank you again to M.S. Hein of HR Expert for moderating today and to Prashanth for taking the extra time to get through all of your questions!

You can follow Prashanth on Twitter at @sprabu and look for him at our upcoming HR 2014 event in Singapore. Have a great day!

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