Success with SAP SuccessFactors: Three Critical Decisions for your Talent Hybrid Model

Making the move to the cloud isn’t an easy decision to make if you’ve lived through an on-premise ERP implementation and invested heavily in that system. There are different considerations, (i.e. how much to bring into the cloud, where does your data live, how will it be maintained going forward, the list goes on). We want to share three critical decisions to consider overcoming the hurdles and challenges on your way to the cloud.

The three critical areas for decisions you must consider are:

  • Process, Process, Process – Your business processes should come first
  • Integration Technology – What is your middleware strategy?
  • Designing Your SuccessFactors Strategy and Landscape Requirements

Process, Process, Process – Your business processes should come first!

One of the first things to be done when planning your path to the cloud is determining your business processes, both technical and functional. A process workshop or series of workshops with both business and technical team members can be especially helpful when mapping out what a particular process entails.

Onboarding is a perfect example; often the focus is about compliance (i.e. Having the candidate fill out all the required “forms”); but is this the whole story? Have you considered when onboarding needs to begin in SuccessFactors (i.e. how early in the recruitment process)? Who needs to be notified that a new candidate is coming on board? Where does IT come in as it relates to IT provisioning for the candidate (i.e. laptop, cell phone, badge, etc.)?

In the onboarding example there are several process variables that can impact overall system design. Getting these questions answered before starting your SuccessFactors workshops will help facilitate better discussion in your sessions and ensure that you’re delivering a system that will work for your business. Process workshops can be held with your internal team or even facilitated by a system integrator if you are unsure of how to proceed.

Integration Technology – What is your middleware strategy?

When moving to a SAP/SuccessFactors hybrid model, integration is a key factor. In the previous section, we talked about defining your organizations business processes, which would be the first step before beginning any integration planning. Transferring data between systems plays a part in determining what type of middleware to deploy.

There is a multitude of middleware platforms, and each comes with its set of pros and cons. As we’re focusing on the talent hybrid, let’s take a look at two of the most common options. SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI) and SAP Hana Cloud Integration (HCI).

SAP’s current packaged integrations are currently part of Integration Add-On 3.0 (SP6). The Integration Add-On allows SuccessFactors to communicate back to SAP using either NetWeaver PI or Hana Cloud Integration to serve as the middleware.

It should be noted that PI is included in the NetWeaver license fee, Hana Cloud Integration is a separate license fee, and you will need to contact your SAP account executive to discuss its cost. Another middleware consideration in a hybrid environment is around required skillset. NetWeaver PI is existing technology that you might already have in place as an organization, and using your existing talent could be a project cost saving.

Dell Boomi AtomSphere is another middleware platform that had previously been bundled with the Employee Central subscription, although now SAP’s default go-to solution is Hana Cloud Integration. As a reminder, PI cannot be used to integrate certain cloud applications like Kronos and Workforce Software.

Designing Your SuccessFactors Strategy and Landscape Requirements!

Thinking about moving to the cloud? As an organization, you should be thinking about your overall long term strategy. What is the desired end state for your business needs? We’ve covered decision points for focusing on your process and integration considerations in a talent hybrid environment. Both of these areas will have a large impact on how you think about long-term cloud strategy.

Another factor to consider when thinking about your long term goals is how will SuccessFactors be deployed? The focus of this article is talent hybrid (1 of 3 options), you could also choose to deploy SuccessFactors either full cloud or side-by-side.

Moving to the cloud in a stepped approach (module by module) is an approach that many customers take, but long term this strategy could result in more complex integrations and cost as it relates to middleware licensing.

One last consideration in your cloud strategy is deployment; having the right resources in place. If you’re planning to integrate SuccessFactors into either SAP or your existing HRIS system, then make sure that you have the right resources in place to help design what your landscape could eventually be. If your chosen partner is a cloud partner and they focus only on the cloud, then it is unlikely that they will have the necessary skills to handle your existing on-premise system. Having the right partner in place to help guide you through refining your cloud strategy and landscape architecture will go a long way towards project success.

As you continue or start your journey to the cloud, there will be a number of things that you as an organization will need to consider. We’ve prioritized three of them within this article as key factors in your decision-making process.

Building a strong process foundation sets you on the right path when thinking about what and how you should be integrating. Get familiar with SAP SuccessFactors Roadmap to help refine your roadmap and adoption strategy and reach out to SuccessFactors product management if you have questions. Building a world class HR system might not always be the easiest task, but it’s definitely worthwhile.

Do you need a Roadmap to the Cloud? We can help you identify the milestones and potholes on your path. Contact Joseph Lamb, joseph@titanconsulting.net or call him at 972.743.2872; or contact your Titan Consulting Director. You can also see additional information on our Advisory Services at Titan Consulting.

Happy travels to the cloud!