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Integration Technology Options and Licensing Info For Customers Using SAP HCM and SuccessFactors

For a few months now, I have had the privilege of meeting several customers who use SAP for their core HR application needs and SuccessFactors for their talent management application needs. I normally share the status and plans for integration and listen to their thoughts and questions.

They always ask me about their integration technology options. Some of these customers do not have any integration middleware technology in place. Thousands of SAP HCM customers own licenses for and use SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP PI). They also hear me talk about SAP NetWeaver Cloud Integration technology that is planned for release soon.

To explain the options to them, I drew a picture for them. They found it useful. So I decided to share the picture with everyone. Please note that I am talking about both available and planned releases here.

These are the three technology options available for customers from an integration point of view.

Option 1: Customers can do a file based transfer of employee data from SAP to SuccessFactors using the integration add-on provided by SAP.

Option 2: Customers who own licenses for SAP NetWeaver PI OnPremise can use it to integrate SAP with SuccessFactors. Standard integrations provided by SAP will support SAP NetWeaver PI OnPremise.

Option 3: All customers can license and use SAP NetWeaver Cloud Integration technology, which will be available as a subscription.

integration technology options.png

Update on licensing information

There were a lot of questions from the community about licensing of the above solutions. So I decided to provide an update.

Option 1 : All SAP HCM Customers will get the file based integration add-on for free.

Option 2 : SAP ERP customers’ runtime License of NetWeaver entitles them to use SAP NetWeaver PI OnPremise to connect On Premise SAP Solutions to SAP Cloud Solutions, including SuccessFactors, for no extra fee.

Option 3: This option is planned for release in Q1 2013. Licensing information will be provided at that time.

integration technology options.png
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  • Thanks for clarifying this!

    It must be disappointing for customers that going forward the possibility for integration is yet another cost.

    It will be interesting to understand how much of the future integration pack releases will be relevant to simple file based transfer and how much will require a PI solution of one kind or another.

    It would be my view that download/upload of data isn’t the sort of solution that customers are expecting when it comes to two systems sold by the same vendor.

    One would have hoped that the cloud integration layer would have been available to customers at no cost if they were licensing both onPremise HCM and SuccessFactors. Unfortunately that does not seem to be the case. The good news is that typically cloud subscription pricing has been open – can we know how much a customer will need to pay to use this integration option?



    • Great comment Chris and I am very surprised to hear (if I understand this blog) that the only “free” integration for customers will be the CSV file as I was expecting a lot more comprehensive solution between two companies under the same umbrella.

      • I’m probably not the right one to answer the question but here are my private assumptions:

        There is no additional license fee for SAP to SAP integration, customers will always get this for ‘free’.

        Customer will have to pay only for SAP to non-SAP integration. This applies to all solutions, whether this is the classic PI or the new NetWeaver Cloud based integration.

        However the various solutions have certain costs of operations. In the case of the cloud based integration most of these costs are handled by SAP and the customer needs to install only very small and lightweight technology components in his landscape.

        • Hi Harald,

          Thanks, yes let us hope that the “SAP to SAP” integration remains “free” of the need for additional software license costs as is the normal current model. Let’s hope your assumption is correct.

          There will be some costs for integration infrastructure and management, lightweight or not, either on-premise or in-cloud.

          If the customer doesn’t already have SAP PI, and therefore has to either deploy and pay for it, or for the SAP cloud alternative then this will have to be included as well.

          Cheers, Phil G.

      • Thought I would add this comment that I put on another blog as it is relevant to this discussion.

        It is hard to agree with the fact that SAP customers see ANY benefit of paying for a platform to get basic integration between two SAP owned companies. I would consider for example SuccessFactors Compensation to SAP Payroll as a bare minimum for many customers to consider the hybrid model SAP is pushing (especially given the SAP ECM is a solid product and part of base user license for SAP HCM customers)

        As you can tell I believe free two way real time integration of the ~170 touch points should be available to all SAP HCM customers with some more “robust” than a CSV file load and the integration platform for customers that want to extend out the solution. It is good business for SAP to offer this as you referenced above and trying to nickel & dime SAP customer is a short sighted strategy if you ask me.

    • Chris, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The customers I spoke to in the US were keen to find out if they can use their current SAP PI OnPremise technology for integrating SAP and SuccessFactors. That is one of the main reasons I decided to draw the picture above for them.

      Process Integration such as SuccessFactors Compensation integration with SAP OnPremise HR will require either OnPremise PI or SAP NetWeaver Cloud Integration Platform.

  • Thanks for the information Prashanth,

    Until SAP makes the technology and pricing details behind the SAP NetWeaver Cloud Integration solution available, perhaps your Option 3 diagram should have a ? and perhaps a $ symbol inserted in the cloud picture. Just a thought.

    Cheers, Phil G.

  • Hi Prashanth,

    Thanks again for a short but sweet blog. I really like how you are providing information to the community via SCN and long may it continue.

    I echo Chris’ comment about licensing. It has become SAP’s strategy in recent years to offer new technologies for additional licenses, so I’m not surprised, but I didn’t expect there to be a triple whammy of licensing to use cloud technology.

    Best regards,


    • Luke Marson Thanks for your kind words. I read in the book “What would Google Do?” by Jeff Jarvies that a blog is not only about sharing views. It is also about the conversation that it induces. I value the feedback and the conversation more than I value the ease of information sharing.

      The integration technology team, with whom I work very closely to prioritize and define the standard HCM integration is aware of your feedback. The sales and product leadership at SAP will do what is best for customers. I will take all this feedback to the team.

      • I agree! I love some of the debates and discussions that are created/caused by blogs. Often it sparks some interesting insights that might not have been known to the user.

        Congratulations on becoming a SAP Mentor 🙂

  • A great article and discussion but I believe for data integration completeness, I need to throw future option 4 into the mix – Dell Boomi. The Dell Boomi integration is bundled with SuccessFactors subscription and so there will be no additional license cost for non-PI customers. SAP and SF will support PI (OD and OP) as well as Boomi as integration brokers for the medium term future – for as long as the subscription contract duration of the last customer who opts for using the Boomi broker. In Q4 2012 SAP plan to deliver Boomi content to integrate SF EC to SAP HCM (Ehp6) and plan to deliver the equivalent PI content in Feb 2013. So in late Nov 2012 standard SAP-supported integration for Ehp6 customers is planned to be available (Integration broker, SAP and SF API’s and Mapping). SAP and SF are committed to will never force customers to buy PI to integrate HCM OP to SAP HCM Cloud.

    • Hi Kim,

      I hope your move is going well! This is a very important contribution to this blog and I am interested to hear about this additional integration option. Is there more information available anywhere that is specific to SF?

      Best regards,


    • HI Kim

      I am a bit surprised to read your post as I know that SAP has plans to use Boomi for the integration between Employee Central and the SuccessFactors Cloud payroll but ever indication I got was the longer term plan was to replace that with Netweaver PI.

      Are you saying that SAP customer that choose a hybrid approach can use Boomi (at no additional cost) to get the integration functionality such as recruiting or compensation data from SuccessFactors to SAP (once that functionality is released)

      Thanks in advance as this is a VERY important topic for customers.

    • Hi Kim,

      I am taken by suprise by your comment .No where in the integration roadmap did I read about proces integrtion, especially using ‘free’ Boomi. Would you be able to point to or provide a roadmap document for the pocess integration since we have quite a few SAP HCM clients who are in various phases of deploying SF ( or are considering SF ) and would be pleasantly suprised by this ‘new free option.’

      And would also be intrested to know more detais as to what will be delivered and when( applicant SF to core SAP etc )


    • Hi Kim,

      Welcome West and thanks for this information, especially on the Boomi content for SF EC to SAP HCM OP being available soon although my alerts go up when I see (Ehp6) used as the qualifier. I’ve been looking into Boomi integration with SF, SAP and Dell and I must say from a an SI perspective there it’s a tough world out there since you need yo have an SF subscription (not just demo) instance of SF to qualify for the Boomi integration (for which there is a connector), plus you need to have a proper Boomi subscription. Add to this the JIT Ehp6 ++ software components to make this happen – I’m guessing some of the new flat file architecture for SF to SAP HCM will be leveraged for this. Please keep this up, let us know what it will take for similar information on SFAPI which is another chestnut needing cracking – perhaps you feel obliged to follow Prashanth’s good example and write us an eloquent blog 😉