The integration between SuccessFactors Compensation and SAP HCM was released on November 5, 2012. This is a very important integration for many reasons. It moves very critical salary and compensation allocation data between SAP and SuccessFactors. This is the first bi-directional integration and the first integration to use SAP NetWeaver PI On-Premise technology. My colleague Heike Kolar announced the release. SAP Mentor Luke Marson and Paul Hopkins discussed the integration and wrote a blog post documenting their discussion. Luke Marson also wrote a detailed post about the compensation integration.
Figure: Integration of SuccessFactors Compensation with SAP HCM
Many people including Bianka Woelke, my colleague from product management and Paul Hopkins, the owner of the compensation solution worked closely with many SAP SuccessFactors Hybrid customers to design the solution. I participated in the co-innovation sessions and got to know the pain points of compensation planners and managers first hand.
We learned many things. However there was one thing that particularly caught my attention. There are many customers who are apprehensive about a cloud application pushing data to their on-premise HR system. They suggested that we design the integration in a way that data transfer from the cloud system to the on-premise system is always initiated by an On-Premise SAP HCM administrator. My colleagues listened to the advice and designed the integration accordingly.
I believe this is a good example of how we are helping our customers make the move to the cloud while addressing their concerns and apprehensions about the cloud. Customer concerns may not always sound reasonable. But we understand that not everyone wants to change how they do things and move to an entirely new way of doing things. So we are making design decisions, such as the one that I pointed out above, to alleviate the concerns and apprehensions customers have about cloud applications. Co-innovation with customers has been working very well for the integration scenarios.
The hybrid approach has been received very well by our customers. SAP HCM customers are adopting talent management in the cloud readily. Along the way we are learning a lot about integrating on-premise and cloud solutions. Not all the lessons are technical. Some of the lessons are about government policy and company culture. It has been a good learning year for us.
This does not mean we know everything or that we are doing everything right. I am sure that there are things we could better or different. If you are a hybrid customer or partner, please let me know your thoughts. I will listen and do what I can.