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SuccessFactors is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, meaning that system management responsibility is left to the customer while the software maintenance and deployment optimization remain with the provider.

Being hosted on the cloud offers many benefits which increases efficiency, but in this article I'll focus on the SuccessFactors Release Management as one of the major key function.

SuccessFactors release management helps customers to learn and adopt the improvements that come within each release and keeps the customer always engaged on the most recent release. In addition, new releases are installed automatically and require no effort from the customer.

Each year SuccessFactors provides 4 releases called Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 it comes with a combination of updates, new features, enhancements and bugs fixes. Which hits changes on your instance and interfaces.

Quarterly releases are released into a preview instance, allowing you 30 days before the production instance deployment. In order to review new features and functionality and see how the features will impact your HR Process.

As I mentioned before releases are pushed into the system automatically and require no effort from the customer side, however the features have a configuration type which explains how a feature is enabled.

In general, configuration type is either Universal or Optional.

  • Universal features: are enabled automatically and you cannot disable them. They include enhancements that have little or no impact on your existing processes.

  • Optional features:

    • Provisioning Opt-In:
    • Provisioning Opt-Out:
    • Admin Opt-In:
    • Admin Opt-Out: Administrators can disable this feature in Admin Tools.

As in last but not least each release is identified by the number of four-digit the first two-digit year (16: 2016) and two-digit month (05: May) of the release some time. For example, the May 2016 release was called b1605.

In order to reach out to SuccessFactors to ask about features a reference number is the internal tracking number for a feature or enhancement.For exemple : PAY-1640. Contact SuccessFactors with the reference number to find out more about a new feature.

As an SAP SuccessFactors Implementation Consultant the good thing about the SuccessFactors release management is the fact that we know exactly when to expect new features and additions and we can schedule these updates to ensure an easiest adoption of the latest innovations that can keep us fully engaged with the customer.

As a customer your challenge comes at deployment phase. Which features in the release are right for your business? How to integrate them into you existing SSF instance?