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A lot of buzz is happening around Employee Central right now. Over 2,000 of you have eagerly read Jarret Pazahanick’s “SuccessFactors and Employee Central – Whats New”.

My colleagues and I literally have a dozen conversations each day with customers, each more engaging than the last. But the burning question we keep hearing is “but really, what is Employee Central, and how does it fit in our roadmap?” 

I guess when we look into a pot every day, we know what ingredients are inside and we forget sometimes that what is clear to us may still be misty to everyone else. We are thrilled with all the interest and want to maintain it. So let me help describe what’s in this pot.

So, what is Employee Central?

Here’s the elevator pitch: Employee Central is the cloud response to HR’s need of storing demographic and personal data. Designed by SuccessFactors, Employee Central consolidates all employees’ information into one single system of record, making all data immediately available to talent processes.

Employee Central is more than the classic SAP ERP HCM Personnel Administration (PA), delivering a solid framework for all the data options required by a modern and global organization, and including automatic ESS and MSS functionality (Employee and Manager Self Service).  Its data can be  can be leveraged seamlessly and easily, by functionally advanced and visually pleasant Analytics and Workforce Planning applications.  

Similarly  to SAP ERP HCM PA, Employee Central is a global solution. Realizing that delivering a truly global tool must not be limited to provide the opportunity to build local data structures, it incorporates  local rules and compliance, delivering country-specific fields and information, country identification, rules, compliance reports, and translations, offering extensive flexibility to adapt the solution to specific customer needs  

This enables a globalization,  or better yet, “glocalization” approach, ensuring that a local solution is provided as a standard across geographies and languages.

That’s nice, so what does it represent?

It represents what all customers want these days: Choice and Flexibility . HR Core processes in the cloud is the new counterpart delivery method to the classic SAP ERP HCM on-premise solution. It complements the SuccessFactors BizX suite, working in tandem with the SAP Cloud Payroll to provide a complete end-to-end HR processes suite. Also new is the quarterly release approach, adopted by SuccessFactors for all products, including Employee Central. A quarterly release cycle ensures that all customers can benefit immediately from all new developments without the need for upgrades or patches.

There you go again with the cloud…does it mean that we must all move to the cloud?

Definitely not. Indeed there is a lot of excitement and apprehension about the cloud, yet I believe that the cloud is one option, and that on-premise solutions have a long future as well. The choice of the appropriate strategy is to be defined by and with each specific customer, and must be adapted to each situation, global reach, scope, previous investments and overall strategy.

By keeping alive the ongoing conversation and discussion with customers, and having lived through many different projects, requirements, needs and strategies, I came to realize that the decision between cloud and on-premise solutions (or hybrid) is as unique as each of our customers. In other words, the decision is up to YOU, and SAP can act as a strategic advisor, with the customer’s best interests at heart.

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2 Comments

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  1. Jarret Pazahanick

    It is great to see the commitment the SAP HCM team is making to sharing information on the SAP SCN and big thanks Chiara for the mention of my article (another one coming in two weeks on the enhancements planned for the SuccessFactors Oct Release).

    As far as Employee Central I am in agreement with the recent Gartner report that calls it lightweight HRMS that doesnt have functional parity with the leading competitors (including SAP HRMS).  With the investment SAP/SuccessFactors is making in the product it will start to catch up over the next 12-18 months and has signed up some large customers this year but customers should beware of the hype and promises of the sales/marketing folks as the product has quite a ways to go.

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  2. Grzegorz Wesierski

    Excellent, brief article.

    It was a relief to read especially the last paragraph, where I can sense the SF-hype going down finally. I totally agree that it is each customer’s individual decision whether to go to the cloud or not, and as such a number of companies will remain on premise for years to come.

    Fully agree with your comment too, Jarret.

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