Friday, December 06, 2013

Talent Hybrid And Full Cloud HCM - Current and Planned Integrations

Most SAP customers choose to go with one of two main deployment models for SuccessFactors. The first one is called the Talent Hybrid deployment model. We have several pre-packaged integrations available and planned for this model. Here is the diagram depicting the same.

The second deployment model is called the Full Cloud deployment model. For the Full Cloud deployment model, we did not have a picture that shows all current integrations and the planned integrations in a single slide. So my product management colleagues and I decided to put one together to show the big picture.

Like all diagrams, this one is also starting on paper with probably many mistakes and omissions. But I like the way it is emerging. You can see that Employee Central is in the middle.

Employee Central Integration with 3rd Party Applications
It is connected to specific time, payroll and benefits applications using pre-packaged integrations. There is an integration with BSI for tax calculation purposes. Then there are generic connectors to integrate with time, benefits and payroll providers.

Employee Central Integration with SAP ERP applications 
Employee Central is connected with SAP ERP via standard integrations for employee information and cost center information. In the diagram below employee information integration is shown as multiple integrations. I am still thinking about what is the best way to depict this one. I am discussing this information design with my colleague Heike Kolar, who handles the integrations in the Full Cloud deployment model.

Employee Central Integration with on-premise payroll.
Employee Central has a pre-packaged integration with on-premise payroll.

There are several more integrations planned in 2014. The sketch below was my first attempt at depicting all current and planned integrations in context.

 Please take the information in the picture with a grain of salt. Planned integrations are just that. Planned.
Update after a week...

I got a lot of good feedback about the diagram above. I appreciate it very much. My information design partners, Dolphin multimedia helped me turn my sketch into a clean, simple diagram. I have shown this to a few colleagues and they seem to like it better than an integration Excel list with no context.

You will notice that, we are building a lot of fine grain integrations between Employee Central and ERP. This is possible because we control both ends of the software. This is something only we can do. We are also simplifying the integrations by making necessary code changes to both ends of the software, rather than making the integration itself complex and overloading the integration middle ware. This is important because customers use multiple integration middle-ware technologies and even switch integration middle-ware technologies for business reasons. We want to be as flexible and as open as possible when it comes to middle-ware technologies. We also want to minimize integration technology switching costs. Again, this is something only we can do, because we have control over software on both ends of the integration.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I calculated that these integrations will save billions of dollars in cost for SAP ERP customers over the life of their software. These diagrams will become part of the integration overview presentation and will be shared at FKOM with sales colleagues and at HR Insider conferences with customers. These diagrams will also become part of the integration training content for my colleagues and SAP SuccessFactors partners.

When it comes to building integrations, my product management colleagues and I are increasingly thinking like landlords rather than architects. We are thinking about long term implications, maintenance and complete landscapes rather than focus on just getting the integration work the first time.

Apart from the integrations mentioned above, SuccessFactors professional services teams have done custom integrations with tens of time, benefits, Core HR and payroll providers. They have done such integrations with most major providers in the world. We do not plan to turn all that intellectual property into pre-packaged integrations at this time for various business reasons. However, if you use a time, benefits, Core HR or payroll provider not listed in the diagrams above, check with the SuccessFactors professional services team to see if they have built an integration with your provider before. The SuccessFactors professional services teams may be able to save you tens of thousands of dollars in integration costs and weeks in the integration timeline.

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