Part 1: SuccessFactors Employee Central – An introduction to how SAP and SuccessFactors enable HR data to drive business processes

SuccessFactors Employee Central, a modern, state-of-the art cloud solution for core HR operations, has gained great momentum; more and more customers are moving to a SaaS model in the core HR area and taking advantage of fast update cycles, reduced IT infrastructure costs, and the like.

Changing the core HR offering implies that HR master data, such as employee name, personnel identifier, user, and so on are now stored in SuccessFactors Employee Central. Naturally, the next question that comes up is often:

How do other solutions (whether they are part of the SAP ERP solution portfolio or are other SAP cloud solutions, SAP partner solutions, or are even non-SAP solutions) integrate with SuccessFactors Employee Central?

Core HR data is at the center of every business process beyond HR and includes relevant key data to ensure security and granting authorizations. For example, reporting line information can drive workflow processes throughout the solutions in use – i.e. approving travel expense requests or purchase orders. Another example is the assignment information of cost centers to employees, which supports more accurate financial costing and profitability analysis. Plants and factories are safer and more efficient if employee skills information flows into the production as well as health and safety systems. These are just a few ‘real world’ examples; the list could go on and on.

SAP customers, who are leveraging SAP HCM are accustom to extensive integration within the entire SAP ERP suite, are now asking whether integration to or from SuccessFactors Employee Central is as robust as what they are already leveraging today. The answer is yes – it’s even better! SAP benchmarking studies show 40% higher revenue per employee when HR is integrated with the enterprise. It is clear that SAP and SuccessFactors are investing in integrated business processes to provide a higher quality HR solution. The intention is not just to rebuild what is currently available for SAP HCM and integrate it with other solutions. We are enhancing the experience with additional features such as increased cloud solution portfolio, partner solutions, outsourcing functions and third party products as well as better technical options. All of these enhancements will improve integration beyond what is available today for SAP HCM.

An overall view on integration for SuccessFactors Employee Central:

Part 1: SuccessFactors Employee Central – An introduction to how SAP and SuccessFactors enable HR data to drive business processes

Note: The graphic reflects status prior to the 1402 release delivery. Roadmap items becomingpart of the 1402 delivery will be indicated as delivered soon.

What is available today for the integration of SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP ERP?

ERP processes rely on HR data and HR systems rely on other data. As a result, one of the first integration scenarios that was made available is the option to integrate cost centers from SAP Financials with SuccessFactors Employee Central.

The integration scenarios between SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP ERP are essential use cases SAP builds integration for.

Today, the following integration scenarios are available:

  • SAP ERP to SuccessFactors Employee Central
    • Cost center integrationAllows the HR system to allocate HR relevant costs against cost centers, maintain employee-to-cost-center-assignments to control cost distribution and to gain transparency about employee related costs.
  • SuccessFactors to SAP ERP
    • Employee data integrationA set of employee data is integrated with SAP ERP systems to support processes such as, time reporting via the cross-application time sheet (CATS) or enables users to create travel request as well travel expense reports. The employee data integration builds the foundation together with the reporting line information integration to support workflow processing in the connected ERP systems.
  • Reporting line integrationEmployee-to-line-manager reporting information is kept in SuccessFactors Employee Central as part of the employee job information and is essential information for other SAP ERP systems. By integrating the manager information with SAP Organizational Management especially workflow execution, such as approval processes, are supported.
  • Employee-to-cost-center-assignment integrationThe integration of cost centers from SAP ERP to SuccessFactors Employee Central allows assignments of cost centers to employees. Once this information is back in the SAP ERP system by mapping cost information to the employee’s position, it can be leveraged for cost evaluation and cost analysis.
  • Employee-to-department-assignment integrationIn addition to the reporting line integration, the recent integration investments offer deeper organizational information integration, primarily to support SAP organizational management and act as central view on organizational data that can support variants of workflow or global reports against SAP ERP based on interpreted organizational information. The employee department assignment integration is interpreted within SAP Organizational Management as the relationship between the employee’s position and the appropriate organizational unit.
  • Department integration (beta version as of 1311)From the existing integration scenarios, it is obvious that SAP and SuccessFactors have invested in integration that is very essential, namely to allow users to access any SAP ERP applications and run basic workflow processes. This together is built on the employee data replication and the reporting line integration. Already these two integration scenarios focus on extensibility that allows customers to extend integration logic by adding more or custom-specific fields and logic without putting the advantages of standard integration – maintenance by SAP, upgrade ability – at any risk.

The other scenarios mentioned in the above list give a clear hint to SAP’s strong investment into an end-to-end business process integration, driving value that is built on deep organizational data integration, linking the SuccessFactors Employee Central enterprise structure information with organizational data of SAP Organizational Management. The integration of the SuccessFactors enterprise structure with SAP Organizational Management is a key to enabling end-to-end integration scenarios that today rely on the strong “engine” SAP Organizational Management.

Moving forward, the investment will continue. Two main areas of investment to come are further organizational integration, adding business units, divisions, jobs and positions as well employee assignment information to these entities and integration with other solutions, such as SAP Governance, Risk and Compliance, SAP Environmental Health and Safety to extend the standardization of integrated processes.

Department integration is already available as a beta version. This scenario integrates SuccessFactors Employee Central departments with organizational units in SAP Organizational Management.