This part of my blog series outlined what is to come next on the roadmap forthe SuccessFactors Employee Central integration as well as it provides answers to the most frequently asked questions.
What is the roadmap for the integration of SuccessFactors Employee Central?
Over the course of the next releases, SAP plans to extend integration between SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP ERP. The integration of organizational data is a big investment area we are working on. The department integration that is available as a beta version with the 1311 build is targeted for general availability with the 1402 build. Additional integration of SuccessFactors Employee Central business unit, division, job and employee-to-job assignment integration is what SAP and SuccessFactors expect to come with one of the next releases to integrate with SAP Organizational Management.
Based on current planning, the organizational assignment information of employees being assigned to divisions or business units in SuccessFactors Employee Central will be integrated with the SAP Organizational Management with the next release. Additional integrations, such as integration of SuccessFactors Employee Central job, or employee-to-job assignments, SuccessFactors Employee Central positions and employee-to-position assignments are next. In addition, it is planned to further increase the extensibility options so that customers have even more flexiblity in adjusting the standard integration tailored to their specific processes.
The second area of investment is to integrate further solutions with SuccessFactors Employee Central, such as providing integration with SAP Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), SAP Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) as well with SAP Cloud for Service to provide a standard solution that allows HR departments to operate in a shared services delivery model and where SuccessFactors Employee Central as the system of record for HR personnel data. The integration with SAP Cloud for Services provides a direct connection make an entire cloud suite available to our customers.
The current plan is to integrate SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP ERP according to the latest roadmap (roadmap as of February 2014):
Note: The roadmap reflects the status prior to the 1402 release delivery. With the delivery of the 1402 release, the items outlined for Q1 will be indicated as “solution today” items soon.
How is the integration delivered and what technical options do customers have?
Similar to the talent hybrid where customers integrate SAP HCM and the SuccessFactors Talent Solutions, integration for SuccessFactors Employee Central is delivered as a pre-packaged integration. The integration code is delivered as add-on on top of SAP ERP 6.0.The add-on to be applied is the SuccessFactors EC Integration 1210 add-on. It contains the logic for the integration into any SAP ERP system, for the integration scenarios such as Financials for the cost center uploads as well as it contains integration content and configuration.
In principle – and that is the difference compared with the talent hybrid – integration for SuccessFactors Employee Central is delivered based on Dell Boomi. This integration technology was already leveraged by SuccessFactors prior to the acquisition, deployed in the SAP / SucccessFactors data centers around the globe and, following the SaaS model, an integration technology customers can use as part of their SuccessFactors Employee Central subscription.
SAP supports also other middleware platforms, such as SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI), however neither SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI) nor SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) have as much pre-delivered content for the SuccessFactors Employee Central to SAP ERP integration. The technology roadmap is currently being discussed.
With the 1402 build, it will be possible to leverage SAP NetWeaver Process Integration in addition to Dell Boomi as a router between Dell Boomi and SAP ERP. This allows customers who already use SAP NetWeaver Process Integration to leverage this layer as part of their security concept. At this point in time SAP NetWeaver Process Integration does not replace Dell Boomi.
Strategically, what customers can expect is that SAP will make more integration content available on SAP integration technology, however respecting customers who use non-SAP integration technologies or by allowing even simpler technical options, such as file uploads.
Are there any recommendations when to use which integration technology?
On the one hand, consolidation towards SAP integration technology offers standard integration and enables SAP to deliver as much pre-delivered content as possible and enables our customers to accelerate the integration implementation as much as possible. On the other hand, the integration delivered is open to support other platforms as SAP does not pre-scribe the customers which integration technology to use. If you ask whether SAP is consolidating integration more towards SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI) or SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI), that might not be the right question to ask as both integration technologies are appropriate technologies in different integration use cases. For example, in recent customer interactions we recognized that SAP HANA Cloud Integration makes a lot of sense for cloud-to-cloud integrations whereas SAP NetWeaver Process Integration operated by the customers themselves makes sense in case solutions that are operated by customers themselves, i.e. when they use SAP on-premise solutions, such as SAP ERP, and integrate with any other solution type. This only can be a general recommendation; aspects like what customers are using today and their strategies such as to invest in time and resources to operate integrations themselves or more biased for the SaaS model drive their individual decisions. We certainly help them identify the right solution to best fit the needs of the company.
Which SAP partner solutions are already integrated with SuccessFactors Employee Central?
For extended business processing, some SAP partner solutions are already integrated with SuccessFactors Employee Central. The extensions available are in the areas of time and attendance, benefits and 3rd party payroll. The partner payroll integrations support also customers that have decided to go with an outsourced payroll model.
For these SAP partner products, such as BenefitFocus, Aon Hewitt for employee benefits functions, Kronos and WorkForce Software for time & attendance functions, ADP and Northgate Arinso for 3rd party payroll integration, SAP plans to support the SAP HANA Cloud Integration technology and deliver standard content for it in 2014.
An overall view on integration for SuccessFactors Employee Central:
Note: The graphic reflects the status prior to the 1402 release delivery. With the delivery of the 1402 release, the items delivered with 1402, will be indicated as delivered items soon.
Does the integration between SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP ERP require customers to use the position management functions of Employee Central?
Technically, the integration scenarios introduced for the organizational assignment integration do not rely on Employee Central Position Management, it’s an optional component within the SuccessFactors HCM Suite. Within the reporting line integration scenario as well employee-to-department-assignment integration, only the Employee Central job information records are considered and positions are automatically created for every employee and then mapped with SAP Organizational Management. That way, the reporting line information is represented in SAP via the position-to-position relationship. For the employee-to-department-assignment integration departments are translated into organizational units on the SAP side and get position assignments to the automatically created positions.
Is there any possibility for customers or partners to extend the SuccessFactors Employee Central solution?
With the SAP HANA Cloud Platform for SuccessFactors packages, customer and partners can extend the SuccessFactors solution portfolio. Three packages – Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition and Supplemental Edition – are offered. The number of extension applications, the data storage need per user and new objects that shall be created determine which is the right package to use.
Various options allow to easily extend the solution with no coding effort, for example to extend existing functions by:
- Adding or changing configuration and rules
- Creating business logic for delivered objects
- Automatically generating simple UIs to configure and manage objects
In addition, the development options as part of the packages allow to:
- Host applications on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform
- Custom code objects and logic
- Create new applications or more complex extensions
- Build engaging user interfaces for mobile or other channels
- Directly access to SuccessFactors Employee Central business objects using OData APIs
- Leverage the Meta Data Framework (MDF ) for custom objects within SuccessFactors Employee Central and share across extensions