Human Capital Management Blogs by SAP
Get insider info on SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite for core HR and payroll, time and attendance, talent management, employee experience management, and more in this SAP blog.
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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Over the years, after talking to many organizations, I fully understand that replacing an existing core HR system is nothing our customers take lightly. Indeed, it can become quite a puzzle, considering how many business processes depend on it, how many compliance rules must be obtained and how many connection points to other business systems exist.

On the upside, it is also clear that moving from an outdated legacy core HR system to a modern cloud-based solution elevates these business processes to a new (digital) level of user experience and provides many opportunities to drive innovation and employee engagement. Therefore, it is often the centerpiece for a larger HR digital transformation project and subject of a thorough roadmap planning process.

At SAP SuccessFactors our mantra is “Start anywhere, go everywhere!”. We believe that each customer’s situation and needs are different and we design our solutions to provide maximum flexibility. This also holds true for deploying our core HR solution SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central.

Generically speaking there are four deployment options, giving customers choice to build their individual roadmap:

  1. ‘Full use’: Here SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is used as a full-blown core HR system. This includes record keeping for internals and contingent labor, organization and position management, time management and global benefits.

  2. ‘Extend and Connect’: Here SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central extends an existing legacy core HR system and serves as a ‘view-only’ core HR system, for record viewing for org., position, and people data on all devices for internals and contingent labor, and can also be used as a ‘data layer’ or ‘integration hub’ for one or multiple legacy Core HR solutions based on the Employee Central data model and integration tools. This deployment option is made commercially attractive because customers are not using the full capabilities within SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. Note that this option replaces the former price list item ‘SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub’ (commercial change only, technical infrastructure remains the same).

  3. ‘Side-by-side’: In this deployment option SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is combined with a SAP ERP HCM on premise core HR system. Both systems serve as ‘master system’ for part of the workforce, and data is combined for e.g. reporting purposes.

  4. ‘Core-Hybrid’: In this deployment option SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is combined with a SAP ERP HCM for customers that want to keep running payroll and/or time management in their on-premise system, and want to modernize all other core HR processes.

These deployment options allow our customers to transition to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central directly or in a two-step approach, as shown in the following graphic.

  • Top scenario “Full use”: the most commonly used scenario is when the customer replaces their legacy system fully in one transition project. Advantages: Immediately utilize all benefits of SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and the wider SAP SuccessFactors Suite

  • Second scenario “Extend and connect”: this deployment option is often an intermediate scenario where the legacy core HR system stays in place for now, but SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is added/connected and acts as an extension. This means that the legacy system is still the system of record and all data is maintained there, but the data can be transferred to Employee Central to harmonize it and to utilize additional integration services. Advantages: Firstly, all employees will have online access to people data with innovative features like org charts or people search on mobile devices. Secondly, for customers with multiple distributed core HR systems, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central can be used as a consolidation hub for centralized corporate reporting, and all integration tools and content can be used to connect to other applications within the SAP portfolio or beyond.

  • Third scenario “Side-by-side”: also, an intermediate scenario where SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is implemented for part of the organization while the rest remains with SAP ERP HCM as the master core HR system. E.g. a multinational enterprise might decide to move one country over first, then follow with the rest in phase two. Our integration between the two solutions ensures that data is kept in sync and that global reporting is possible.

  • Bottom scenario “Core-Hybrid”: again, an intermediate scenario where time management and/or payroll keep running in SAP ERP HCM. Often chosen by customers who want to move to the cloud in a phased approach. In the first phase most of the self-service processes are implemented as part of Employee Central and connected via standard (pre-packaged) integrations to the time and payroll processes in SAP ERP HCM. In a later phase payroll and time can be migrated to the SAP SuccessFactors cloud.

Transitioning a core HR system is always a challenge, but with the flexible deployment options for SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central customers can make the transition a lot easier and build their optimal individual roadmap to bring people to the heart of the Intelligent Enterprise.

If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out!

Best regards,

Frans Smolders