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Today organizations are grappling with their biggest challenge to attract, engage, retain the best talent in the world and the core differentiator for an organization is its workforce. A World Class Global HR System is the key for increasing user adoption, engaging the workforce and driving business results for the organization. Here are the 10 things you must consider before you implement Employee Central in a complex and dynamic environment to get ROI and Value that it is meant to deliver.

1: Shifting Mindsets – Moving to the Cloud

Moving to the cloud calls for a new mindset from customers, vendors and partners. If you are implementing a new system to recreate everything that your legacy system did you are not going to get any value from your implementation. You must use this opportunity to re-define your business processes. Define a clear set of goals as to why you are moving to the cloud, why did you chose SuccessFactors and use the software to transform the way you do your business. Mike Ettling’s article on ‘Cloud haves and have nots’ is a great read if this is the first time you are moving to the cloud.


2: Partner with SAP

There are several avenues available to you as a customer to partner with SAP. Connect with your Customer Engagement Executive to get more details and ensure you become our partner in reinventing the product and help us deliver those innovations that truly matter. Have a say in the future road map of the product.


3: Re-define your business processes

Implementing a new HRIS is an opportunity to review and redesign your business processes to be simple, global and extensible for changing business needs. Prepare your workforce for digital transformation and innovation that will be delivered with your SuccessFactors HCM solution. With SF delivered workflow functionality you can design and revamp your business processes with a click of a few buttons.


4: Design with your integrations at heart

It is critical to understand and gather the business requirements for all the external/third party systems that your will be interfacing with, early in the project. Putting Integrations at the heart of your system design ensures that your system design is robust and will not need any major rework.

5: Defining Your Org Hierarchy

This is so important and I can’t stress enough that if this is not done right, it can become your single point of failure. You are implementing a new HR system for better reporting and analytics, so if you don’t fully understand how your business is organized or how this organization will change in the future, your new HRIS system will not yield any meaningful reports. Employee Central’s MDF framework gives you the flexibility to adapt your Org hierarchy for your changing business requirements and extend beyond what is delivered in the product.


6: Know your data, Cleanse and Test

A well-designed system is not going to serve any purpose if the data it stores is not meaningful. Once your design is complete, be prepared to extract and transform your legacy data to populate all the data elements you need for your new system. The purpose of every data element should be defined to understand how/where it will be used. It is important to define your strategy to convert historical data early in the project and start analyzing and cleansing your legacy data. Organization must define an exhaustive plan to test their data and have enough resources and time allocated for data extraction, cleansing and testing in your project plan.


7: Follow an iterative approach – Design – Configure – Test

When you move to a new system it is very important to understand that Design is not a one-time process, but it is an iterative process as your design cannot be refined until your business users have completed the unit testing. SuccessFactors recommends the iterative implementation methodology which allows you to follow a Design-Configure-Test approach a couple of time before you begin your integration and user acceptance testing.


8: Your HRIS system should support Extensibility

There will be no cloud HR solution that can meet 100% of your business needs. Also with the current pace of change happening in businesses, your requirements change at a much higher pace.  With SuccessFactors Extensibility Center (Metadata framework), SF puts extensibility in the hands of the customer so you you can extend SF HCM  to meet your unique business needs.


9: Stabilize and then Scale

Typically for a large enterprise customer, system implementation is rolled out over multiple phases/releases. It is extremely important that in your planning you allocate time to stabilize the previous phase before beginning the next one. This will ensure you are building on strong foundation and not shaky grounds and your final solution is scaleable.


10: Plan for post go-live

Quarterly releases of our product are packed with new features and functionality and hence it is important that you have few key system admin resources trained on Admin tasks to maintain your system post go-live when your implementation partner is gone. SF HCM provides many admin capabilities in the hands of customer through tools like Admin Center, Extension Center, Upgrade Center, Instance Sync and Integration Center so you can change your system configuration and implement additional functionality.


Moving your Core HR system to the Success Factors Employee Central comes with distinct advantages and requires careful consideration and forethought before you start your implementation. Doing some pre-work and following the above implementation guidelines can enable a successful implementation.


Thank you for reading and please leave your comments and thoughts.

SAP’s Mike Ettling on Cloud’s Have and Have nots.