Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What are Packaged Integrations?

Today a colleague emailed me and asked me what we mean by packaged integrations and how they are different from say a custom integration that a consulting team can build. I wrote him this email and thought that it might be useful for everyone.

1. Productized integration components provided by SAP
Productized components of integration include: packaged integrations, standard integration templates, best practice content for implementation, custom integrations from SAP professional services teams, and application programming interfaces. Packaged integrations cover the common integrations needed by most customers. They take very little time to implement; usually about 20 percent of what it would take to build and implement a custom integration.

1.1.1 Packaged Integrations
SAP has invested in identifying, developing, documenting, delivering, and maintaining a library of functionally rich integrations that most customers need to connect SAP cloud solutions to on-premise and 3rd party applications. This approach makes it faster, easier, and cheaper for customers to implement such integrations.

Each packaged integration is designed by SAP software architects using knowledge gained by studying thousands of customer implementations, and in collaboration with tens of co-innovation customers. Packaged integrations are managed by SAP product managers like any other software product, and are subject to the same design, testing, documentation, and release rigor as any other SAP product. Such rigor significantly reduces the risk of business interruption for customers.  With packaged integrations, customers get access to SAP deep domain knowledge and best practices for hybrid deployments of on-premise and cloud applications. Packaged integrations cover most foundational integrations required by SAP cloud applications.

1.1.2 Standard integration templates
Standard integration templates are built to connect SAP cloud products with 3rd-party software vendors in multiple categories. For example, there is a standard integration template to connect SuccessFactors Employee Central with 3rd-party time management software vendors.

1.1.3 Best practices content and custom integration services
SAP provides best practices content, for many integrations scenarios. Customers and partners can use these to implement integrations in a predictable manner. These best practices content is delivered free of cost to all customers and partners from service market place.

Packaged integrations cannot cover every integration scenario. To address this, SAP consulting teams provide custom integration services to build customer-specific integrations. SAP consulting teams have deep expertise in connecting SAP cloud products to 3rd-party solutions both on-premise and in the cloud.  They also maintain a library of reusable code that can be used to significantly reduce the risks and cost of implementation.

1.1.4 Application Programming Interfaces for customer specific integrations
Customers and partners often strive to build unique integrations to differentiate themselves from competitors. To help customers build integrations unique to their needs, SAP offers a rich set of open, standards-based, APIs to leverage for custom integrations. SAP customers and partners have already built thousands of custom integrations using these cloud APIs.

Side-by-Side HCM Deployment Model Integration Guide

There are three cloud deployment models for the SuccessFactors HCM Suite of applications. The third deployment model is the Side-by-Side HCM deployment model. In this model, SAP ERP HCM customers who want to run human capital management software for a subsidiary, or a certain geographic region completely in the cloud can do so. For customers who are not ready to move Core HR for all their employees to the cloud, this might be a good way to test the waters for Core HR in the cloud. For certain other customers this might be a good way to keep implementation costs down for integrating a new acquisition.

For example a couple of weeks back I met a customer from the chemical industry who is planning to divest some of their divisions but continue to be the information technology provider for all those divested divisions. At the same time they did not want to start an SAP ERP HCM implementation project for those divested divisions.That would be expensive, time consuming and risky. The Side-by-Side HCM deployment model suits the needs of such customers too.

This is not something we recommend for all customers. Customer needs and current landscapes need to be carefully studied before recommending this deployment model to a customer.

The first packaged integration that supports this deployment model was released as part of the August 2014 release. The configuration document is now available in service market place.

There are a number of design boundaries that the implementation team needs to be aware of. If you a colleague recommending the Side-by-Side deployment model to a customer or a customer considering the Side-by-Side HCM deployment model, I urge you to read the document and understand the possibilities and limitations. This document is the most authentic source of information.

Monday, August 25, 2014

What is Fieldglass?

Fieldglass was acquired by SAP in 2014 and is now a subsidiary. We are in the process of integrating Fieldglass products with Ariba procurement, SAP ERP HCM and SuccessFactors Employee Central. I believe this integration is important because a significant percentage of today's workers are contingent workers (independent contractors).

American businesses spend more than $425 billion per year on contingent labor, according to a 2009 Staffing Industry Analysts Contingent Workforce Estimate. The strong contingent workforce is evidence of a shift in current employment models.  Businesses are pulling resources from the labor force when and where needed, creating a new, more fluid dynamic in the overall workforce. [Source]

This is how Wikipedia describes Fieldglass
Fieldglass provides a vendor management system (VMS) called Fieldglass VMS, a cloud-based technology used to manage the non-employee workforce of contingent workers (independent contractors). The various business processes that such management comprises include procurement, statements of work, project management, and payment. In 2014, Fieldglass was recognized in The Forrester Wave: VMS, Q1 2014 by Forrester Research, Inc., as the highest-scoring VMS provider in Contingent Workforce Management/Vendor Management System (CWM/VMS) functionality and market presence.

If you are HR Technology professional, this is an area where you may have to develop knowledge and expertise. At the very least you should know what is Fieldglass and how it is integrated with SAP ERP HCM and SuccessFactors. My colleagues have already started the integration plan. We will be outlining them soon at upcoming events and communications. Here are some resources to get started.

1. A report on the contingent workforce by Deloitte Consulting
2. An infographic on the independent workforce from hireright.

The Art Of Thinking Clearly

The Art Of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli talks about the many biases we have and how they influence us in our life and work. It is very popular in Germany, I found out. He mostly refers to writings by other famous authors such as Nassim Nicolas Taleb and Daniel Kahneman.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Let us make the world run better

I get up every day and go to work not to create a feature, not to make a screen look better, not to answer a customer question, not to fix a bug or to market a product. I go to work because, what I do touches and improves the lives of most people alive today.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Quick Overview of SuccessFactors August 2014 Release

Highlights of the August 2014 release:

NEW! “QuickGuides” feature in SuccessFactors Learning: Enable everyone in your organization to easily
create and share content with our new QuickGuides feature.

NEW! Programs feature in SuccessFactors Learning: Create and deliver academic-style, interval-based learning with the new programs feature.

NEW! Concurrent employment functionality in SuccessFactors Employee Central: Record multiple assignments associated with an employee record.

NEW! SuccessFactors Employee Central Service Center: Improve the efficiency and quality of HR services to help raise the level of employee satisfaction by leveraging call center and help desk capabilities
Global benefits capabilities: Configure and maintain benefits and enable employees to enroll in benefits, file claims, and track status updates.

Side-by-side HCM Cloud deployment capabilities: Use productized integrations to deliver a consolidated view and management of employee data across parallel deployments of the SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) solutions.

Integration add-on for SAP ERP HCM and SuccessFactors HCM Suite Side-by-side deployment capabilities:  The first set of packaged integrations to support our side-by-side HCM cloud deployment model is now available. This model provides a consolidated view and management of employee data in SuccessFactors Employee Central in the cloud and existing SAP ERP HCM deployments.

Talent Hybrid deployment model. We are also introducing SAP Process Integration technology support for the packaged integrations that connect SuccessFactors competencies and SuccessFactors Learning curricula to SAP ERP HCM qualifications.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

SuccessFactors Recruiting and Recruiting Integration Learning Material

For many months now independent SAP consultants and SAP HCM consultants have reached out to me asking me how they can start learning SuccessFactors implementation. They ask me about learning to configuring the appropriate SuccessFactors product and in some cases integrating the product with SAP ERP HCM or SAP ERP. Some even complained to me about the lack of publicly available paid training material.

We always had implementation content. But such content was available only for SuccessFactors consultants and partners. That is starting to change. My colleagues in the SAP best practices team are starting to make such detailed step by step implementation content available publicly to everyone for free. This is good news for SAP HCM partner organizations who want to make the move to SuccessFactors, independent SAP HCM consultants and even fresh graduates who want to understand the basics of implementing SuccessFactors.

SAP best practice package for SuccessFactors Recruiting
My colleagues are starting with a best practice package for SuccessFactors Recruiting and SuccessFactors Recruiting integration with SAP ERP HCM. You can access the package from

This package is not only a step by step implementation guide for recruiting, but also good learning material for beginners. It is free for download for anyone.

The next SAP Best Practice package for SuccessFactors will be for SuccessFactors Compensation including the integration of Compensation with SAP ERP HCM. More will follow.

Friday, August 08, 2014

SuccessFactors Employee Central Integration With 3rd Party Applications

There are tens of documents that describe the available productized integrations between SuccessFactors Employee Central and 3rd Party Applications. I put this together to provide a quick view of our strategy and a high level look at the current packaged integrations and standard templates.

I will post it in the internal Jam groups for SAP and SuccessFactors colleagues and in the partner Jam group for partners soon. If you are hungry for more, go to the URL under the title More details. My product management colleague Jean-Handel Bailey, who manages these integrations mentioned to me today that several customers have successfully implemented many of these integrations. We plan to talk to them and encourage them to share their experiences during future events so that others can learn from their experiences. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

SAP SuccessFactors Integration Placemat

I got some very positive feedback for the Talent Hybrid deployment model placemat i posted a few days back. Thanks to everyone who took the time to give me their inputs. I created one for the SAP SuccessFactors Integration Overview as well. I added blue circles to indicate the supported integration technologies.

I will post a PDF to the integration Jam group inside SAP and the partner Jam group in a day. Let me know what you think. 

Monday, August 04, 2014

SuccessFactors HCM Solutions Story For A CIO

From time to time I meet CIOs and their leadership teams to discuss their HR landscape and roadmap. In these sessions which last usually for 2 hours I share a overview of solutions from SAP and SuccessFactors and then talk about the cloud deployment options. We then discuss their landscape, unique challenges and white board a future state of their solution.

I posted the presentation I used recently when I met CIOs and their leadership team from a manufacturing company and a retail company, in Jam. I only focused on SuccessFactors solutions for these sessions.

I posted the presentation for SAP and SuccessFactors colleagues in my Jam profile. If you would like PowerPoint versions of the slides I used, you can look for them in the SuccessFactors Solutions Marketing Jam group. and the SAP SuccessFactors Integration Jam group. You have to be in the SAP network for accessing these jam groups.

Partners can access the presentation from the SAP Cloud Integration Jam group for partners.  Look for it in the folder named customer presentations. You need an invitation to join.

Please note that this is not a standard presentation that you can reuse. It is a sample showing how I normally tell the story. You may have to create your own. It is important that you create your own story for the best possible impact. Here are some tips for story telling.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Three Cloud Deployment Models For SAP and SuccessFactors

For integrating SuccessFactors, which is SAP’s application in the cloud for the human resources line of business, with SAP ERP HCM and SAP ERP, SAP’s integration product teams have identified three main deployment models. These are the Talent Hybrid Deployment model, the Full Cloud HCM deployment model and the Side-By-Side HCM deployment model.

Talent Hybrid deployment model

There are over 14000 customers using SAP ERP HCM for their employee administration needs. Over 700 of those customers are using one or more SuccessFactors Talent solutions in the cloud. Several more are considering the move to SuccessFactors talent solutions in the cloud, while keeping employee administration i.e., Core HR, on-premise. The Talent Hybrid deployment model is designed to help such customers.

Full Cloud HCM deployment model

There are over 35,000 SAP ERP customers using SAP ERP to run their businesses. Most of these customers use human resource management systems on-premise. Some of the human resource management systems used by these customers are built on outdated technologies that cost a lot of money to maintain. Such customers are choosing to move all their human capital management applications to the cloud, while integrating them with SAP ERP, which they use to run their core business such as banking, retail or manaufacturing. The Full Cloud HCM deployment model is designed to meet the needs of such customers.

Side by Side HCM deployment model

Many SAP customers, who use SAP ERP HCM for Core HR and SuccessFactors talent solutions, acquire companies frequently to grow their businesses. Such acquired companies most of the time use a different system for managing their employees. The cost of migrating employees of such acquisitions to the parent company’s SAP ERP system while necessary, is expensive, disruptive and time consuming. Integration of core business systems such as finance, supply chain or customer relationship management systems, always get prioritized over human capital management systems. For this reason organizations end up maintaining tens of different human resource management systems for the same organization. This leads to inefficiencies, increased cost, decreased productivity and poor talent management.

Such customers are choosing to move the human resource management systems of acquired companies to the cloud to migrate them faster, reduce operating expenses, provide a unified employee experience, and perform integrated workforce planning. In many cases, this model enables customers to try out the cloud for employee administration for a small number of employees and experience new ways to deploying software before embarking on company wide deployment of cloud software for human resource management.

The Side by Side HCM deployment model is designed to meet the needs of such customers. In a way, this deployment model is a stepping stone to the Full Cloud HCM deployment model.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Cloud Technology, Integration and Mobile Sessions at SuccessConnect Las Vegas Sep 9-12, 2014

I wanted to share some details about the cloud technology, integration and mobile sessions at SuccessConnect 2014 Las Vegas. Some of the best experts, and practitioners from SAP, SuccessFactors, partners and customers are taking time out of their busy schedules and sharing their expertise. Please consider attending if you can.

These sessions are final. However, sometimes we do make last minute changes. You can download the SuccessConnect iPhone app from the Apple App store for access to more details.

Session 1 is on SuccessFactors cloud technology.
The speaker will discuss how SuccessFactors technology delivers easy-to-use solutions that improve HR and productivity.

Abstract : Your CEO wants above-average productivity and less spent on HR per employee, but antiquated HR systems are holding you back. For HR to play a strategic role in supporting corporate objectives, the HR services must offer capabilities that combine ease of use with innovative technology. In this session, learn what SuccessFactors packs under its hood to deliver the best HCM solution out there.

Speaker : Paul Stuker, Manager of Cloud Technology Consulting will share his experience and answer your questions.

Session 2 is on Cloud Security
The speaker will discuss the formula for cloud privacy.

Session Abstract: Privacy in the cloud is a hot topic. Access to better software at lower costs is attractive, but what about hidden costs? Are you just moving your expenses from licenses and support to audit and compliance? In this session, hear how SAP ensures privacy in the cloud and gives you transparency in all aspects of the cloud delivery—resulting in lowered costs, greater trust, and better managed risks.

Speaker: Paul Stuker, Manager of Cloud Technology Consulting will share his experience and answer your questions.

Session 3 is on cloud integration
The speaker, from our customer and partner hyperCision, will discuss end-to-end business process integration and provide a customer’s perspective

Session Abstract: Does your IT landscape consist of disconnected clusters of application islands? How does your data travel from one island to another? At SuccessFactors, we make connecting your enterprise fast, simple, and affordable. Join this session to learn how hyperCision leveraged the tools and content provided by SuccessFactors to connect its enterprise.

Speakers :
Sharon Cook, HCM Practice Director, hyperCision
Brandon Webb, Technical lead, Mobile and Integration, hyperCision.

Session 4 focuses on Employee Central Integration with Dell Boomi Enterprise Application Integration technology
The speaker from our partner Accenture will share real-world experiences.

Session Abstract: This Presentation will consist of a brief introduction to the Integration Landscape comprising of SuccessFactors Employee Central and External Systems using Boomi as the Middleware Layer. The Presentation will then focus on Implementation Considerations and focus on  
• Planning of Integrations
• Common Integration Design Patterns
• Functional Design Considerations and their impact
• Implementation approaches, challenges and lessons learned from a global multi country Employee Central Integrations Implementation
• Post Production Support considerations

Speaker: Venkatesan Iyengar, Senior Manager, Solution Architect / Delivery Lead SAP HCM – Success Factors, Accenture

Session 5 is about extending SuccessFactors Applications
The speakers will talk about the technology and discuss a sample application build on the HANA Cloud Platform which has extension for SuccessFactors Employee Central.

Session Abstract: Does your cloud vendor offer you the flexibility to preserve your unique HR processes? Or must you conform to the cloud vendor’s one-size-fits-all model? In this session, learn how the extension package for SuccessFactors makes extending HR applications the domain of both IT developers and non-technical end users by combining the best of cloud-based and on-premise development.

Speakers :
Mary Kosita, Chief Learning Officer, Timken
Ari Levin, Software Solutions Architect, Accenture HCM Solutions

Session 6 will be on the value cloud can bring to HR teams.
The speaker, from our customer Dentsply,  will discuss new role of HR and why you need to move to the cloud now.

Session Abstract: For HR to play a strategic role, HCM systems should combine ease of use and accessibility with innovative capabilities and sophistication. But on-premise HCM systems lack the agility and features HR requires today. Cloud is the answer. In this session with Dentsply, learn why you should move to the cloud and how SuccessFactors cloud technology has reinvented the way HR professionals perceive HCM applications.

Speaker is Paula Caya, Corporate HR Director, Dentsply International.

Session 7 is on building extensions to the SuccessFactors HCM suite using HANA Cloud Platform
The speaker, from our partner AspireHR will discuss how you can build extensions and share the experience they gained by building a benefits enrollment application on the HANA Cloud Platform.

Session Abstract: How can you best use the extension package for SuccessFactors to extend SuccessFactors cloud solutions? This session will describe:
• The business case for the extension package
• Tips on how to use the extension package components
• Skills needed
• Options to integrate your app’s user experience, process, and data with SuccessFactors
• Do’s and don’ts for deploying your SuccessFactors extensions

Brian Collett, Managing Partner, AspireHR Labs
Abhijit Salvi, Director of Platform Product Management at SuccessFactors

Session 8 is on integrations supporting the Talent Hybrid deployment model.
The speakers from HRIZONS and SAP will discuss the lessons learned and the integration business content available for customers and partners to reduce the time, cost and risk associated with their integrations.

Session abstract: With SAP Talent Hybrid integration, SAP ERP HCM customers can use packaged integrations to connect SAP ERP HCM with SuccessFactors talent solutions. This session presents the benefits, practicalities, and considerations of implementing the SAP packaged integrations. Hear details about SAP ERP HCM, the SuccessFactors HCM Suite, process, data, and integration technology, plus the integration best practices content that SAP provides.

Speakers : Jyoti Sharma, Vice President, Cloud HCM & Technology Solutions, HRIZONS and Andreas Muno, SAP Solution and Knowledge Packaging.

Session 9 is on SuccessFactors Mobile 
The speaker will talk about using the mobile applications from SuccessFactors to provide an engaging user experience to your employees and managers.

Session Abstract: Is everybody at your company as engaged with HR as you would like? During this session, you’ll learn how SuccessFactors Mobile can help you bring HR closer to your employees, making them more productive and engaged. This session will review how SuccessFactors leverages mobile technology to not only bring a unique HR experience to your workforce but also change the way people work.

Speaker : Enric Gili Fort, Director, Solution Management LoB HR, SuccessFactors
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