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Get insider info on HCM solutions for core HR and payroll, time and attendance, talent management, employee experience management, and more in this SAP blog.
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Former Member

SAP Payroll Deployment Options

What’s Right for Your Company?

I am frequently asked why SAP offers so many payroll deployment options. There is a lot of misinformation regarding these offerings and a general lack of understanding as to why we created them, so I figured it would be an appropriate time to write a short blog to explain the whys, whats and for whoms

Let’s start with an obvious albeit often overlooked premise: when it comes to payroll, one size does not fit all. SAP has 15,000+ HCM customers, 9,000 payroll customers; each customer has different requirements and strategies for their future. We believe a payroll solution is never about the vendor. The needs of our customer base are highly diverse with distinct payroll use-cases. Simply offering one payroll solution and expecting our amazing customers to conform is not only unrealistic, it’s wrong. The SAP SuccessFactors payroll delivery options are in place to address and meet the needs of each customer’s unique objectives.

The whys, whats, and for whoms of SAP SuccessFactors Payroll Offerings

The Partner managed cloud for SAP SuccessFactors solutions, SAP SuccessFactors solution for managed payroll and the SAP HCM on-premise for S/4HANA deployment options were all created based on requests from our customers.



SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll is available exclusively to customers using the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution. With SAP SuccessFactors solutions, you can solve your unique HR needs by tapping into a breadth and depth of global HR solutions spanning core HR, talent management, and analytics. Addressing both the strategic and operational aspects of HR, our cross-suite solution helps you find the right talent, develop future leaders, and engage all employees with automated, transparent, end-to-end processes and tools. SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll is fully integrated with the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite, offering a fully comprehensive solution to help ensure that employees are accurately paid for their recorded time based on their contractual obligations in their core HR system, thus eliminating double data entry while ensuring accuracy. Our market-leading solutions offer a proven global payroll engine that is seamlessly tied with a leading next-generation core HR system, so you can be assured that your payroll will be safe, fast, and accurate.

Most Suitable Customer Profile:

  • Customer size >2K employees

  • Cloud payroll solution offering

  • Employee Central is a pre-requisite

  • EC Time, Workforce Software or 3rd Party for time requirements

  • EC Benefits, Benefitfocus or 3rd Party for benefit requirements

Partner managed cloud for SAP SuccessFactors solutions is a channel program whereby SAP partners deliver Employee Central (EC) and Employee Central Payroll (ECP) + Talent (Enterprise) to customers in a managed cloud service or Business Process Outsource (BPO) model   The SAP partner establishes a direct contract with the customer. This is a perfect offering for customers that want a single provider and contract for both the SuccessFactors software as well as complementary services (e.g. implementation, support, ongoing management, customer onboarding and training, BPO, etc.). Customers can decide which services and/or processes they would like to have the partner to be responsible for.

Most Suitable Customer Profile:

  • Require a high-level of service

    • Implementation

    • Full Application Management Services, including legal change management.

    • Payroll Processing

    • Tax Deposits and Filings

    • Support

    • Administrative Services

    • Time and Attendance and/or Benefit Services

SAP SuccessFactors solution for managed payroll is a subscription offering for customers who have existing on-premise SAP Payroll deployments and are not interested in migrating payroll, time and benefits, but want to move to a cloud solution. SAP SuccessFactors solution for managed payroll provides a new subscription payroll license with hosting and application management services on a SAP contract. This allows customers to move their on-premise SAP Payroll solutions, including other components like SAP Time Management and SAP Benefits to the Cloud along with Employee Central.

This option enables customers who want to migrate their HR and Payroll systems to the Cloud to reap the benefits of moving to a cloud delivery and subscription model and get the most out of the cloud innovations that SAP offers. These benefits include more flexibility in licensing costs as business changes, moving from capital to operating expenses, less infrastructure to manage internally, etc.   However, many SAP HCM customers have customized on-premise SAP Payroll & Time Management working well and for these customers Employee Central Payroll is not an appropriate option. Therefore, these customers either need to maintain their on-premise SAP Payroll and integrate it to EC or separately hire a partner to host it for them. The managed payroll offering allows SAP on premise Payroll customers to move to a subscription-based model and have their SAP Payroll hosted and supported in the cloud.

Most Suitable Customer Profile:

  • Existing on-premise HR and payroll customer

  • Planning to deploy EC and seeking a non-disruptive solution for SAP Payroll & Time

  • Complex Time Management and Benefit requirements

  • Existing system modifications

SAP HCM for S/4HANA, on-premise is planned to be available in 2023 and will be based on the existing ERP HCM solution specifically for S/4HANA. This offering is fully integrated with SAP S/4HANA and can be deployed as a “sidecar” on a separate instance.

This solution is targeted to the SAP installed base desiring to keep SAP ERP HCM / SAP S/4HANA deployed in an on-premise environment. We see it as a bridge for customers who are not ready to fully move to the SuccessFactors cloud in the mid-term (2025-2030). This offering is only available for on-premise deployment and will be designed to offer customers a comparable functional scope as the S/4HANA Compatibility Pack including all enhancements shipped until the new solution is available (see corresponding SAP Note). This on-premise offering will have the same country coverage, including key components of SAP ERP HCM like Personnel Administration, Organization Management, Personnel Development, Payroll, Time & Attendance, and Benefits. SAP Learning Solution (LSO), SAP e-Recruiting, and Travel Management (FITV) are excluded; those shall be replaced by SuccessFactors Learning, Recruiting and Concur.

SAP HCM for S/4HANA, on-premise will be based on the existing SAP ERP HCM codeline, but it will be available on SAP HANA database only, which means it will not support anyDB. The offering will be modernized and optimized to comprehensively leverage SAP HANA capabilities following the S/4HANA methodology. (Note: This is not to be misunderstood as native HCM within S/4HANA. Instead, this offering is an independent solution run side-by-side with S/4HANA). The maintenance strategy for SAP HCM for S/4 HANA, on-premise is independent from SAP Business Suite 7.0 (and SAP ERP HCM), and SAP S/4HANA.

Most Suitable Customer Profile:

  • Existing on-premise payroll customer

  • Not yet ready to move to the Cloud, but want an offering that extends support until at least 2030

Wrap Up

As you can see these deployment options are unique and designed to meet the needs our diverse HR and payroll customers. Hopefully this helped to provide you with some clarity around the available deployment options and which one may be appropriate to your organization. Please reach out to your Account Executive or Customer Engagement Executive to discuss which option is best for your organizations requirements and strategy.