I have been engaged with SAP and non-SAP customers for the past year assisting them to assess the design that fits them best, On-Premise, Cloud or Hybrid. There is increased awareness amongst customers, thanks to our active community on LinkedIn and contributors like Jarret Pazahanick and Luke Marson. Some of the universal questions that are posed to us are as follows:

  • Why should we go for SuccessFactors?
  • Should we wait until the next 2 releases for the most advanced functionality?
  • What is the best way to handle the transition and new functionality being released every quarter?
  • Is it not possible to build the entire offering and do one big release?

As we meander through these questions – and many more – and we guide our clients to help them design a solution that will stand the test of a dynamic workplace and changing organizational processes and strategy – while keeping current with the new releases – there are a few factors that keep me going.

If you have been following blogs on SCN and SuccessFactors marketing materials you must instantly recognize the key phrases – “Intuitive UI”, “Easy to Use”, “Attractive” and “Toy like design” Every product release demonstrates staying honest with the promise made to the customers. The fact that all the functionality cannot be packaged in a big cardboard box and brought to your doorstep is because your needs are changing and SuccessFactors products are designed to fulfill those needs and providing a platform to accommodate your business needs in future. Throughout the blog we will see examples of the same.

I decided to cover Platform and Admin Tools alongside Employee Central as they are integral to implementing and using Employee Central. I have organized the blog into 2 sections.

  1. Brand New Features in 1302 Release
  2. Enhancements to 1210 Release

Brand New Features in 1302 Release

Platform and Admin Tools

1. Custom Home Page Tiles – Customers can create custom tiles to display on the V12 Homepage in addition to the standard home page tiles introduced in 1210 release. For more information on Release 1210 go to http://www.cloudave.com/21141/successfactors-and-employee-central-whats-new/

    1. a.  The key features of custom tiles are as follows-
    2. b. You can share any sort of information, photos, links, feeds, videos
    3. c. You can control who has access to custom tiles
    4. d. You can add an expiration date for when the tile is pulled off the Homepage


2. To Do List – The items in the To Do list are now grouped by Due Date first and then alphabetically, so items due on a particular date are stacked. Previously the items were sorted by due date which made it difficult for the user if a large number of items appeared on the To Do List.

3. Security Permission Reports – If you are using RBP (Role Based Permissions) you can report on users who have access to manage employee imports. In the absence of this report, for ease of tracking and preventing data inconsistencies customers were limited to granting this access only to the System Admin or create a Permission Group for Employee import and assign all users with Employee Import access to this group. Now it simple to go to Admin Tools and generate this report.

Follow the path, Admin Tools > Set User Permissions > Security Permission Reports > Manage Employee Import Permission report

Employee Central

The following features are only available if you are using Employee Central 2.0. Important to note Employee Central 2.0 does not support MS Internet Explorer 6.0.

1. Financials on Demand (FIN OD) and Travel on Demand (Travel OD) running on Employee Central Data – Employee Central can now be used as the master employee data behind your financial and travel on demand transactions.

Cost Center replication from FIN OD to EC enables usage of Fin cost centers in EC employee master data. This information can then be used for default account assignment in Travel OD


* Not part of Employee Central

The figure below shows a data replication hob running in background to extract employee data into Travel On Demand


2. Time Off – The new Time Off functionality makes it easier for employees to request time off and managers to approve time off. Employees can request or cancel time off requests and can flexibly manage many types of leave (sick, educational, extended and other). Time Off capability is available on mobile devices as well.


3. Configure Objects Tool (Metadata Framework) – In one of my EC implementations, one of the biggest constraints faced by the customer was being limited to the standard foundation objects (Organization, Pay and Job Structures) that prevented the true representation of organizational hierarchy. 

With this feature the MDF (Metadata Framework has been exposed such that you can create custom foundation objects and support more specialized business processes. Associations can be built between standard and custom foundation objects. The following figure shows that Employee Related information generally configured in the Succession Data Model and Country Specific Succession Data Model can now be configured on the Admin Tools through the Meta Data Framework.

Go To Admin Tools > Manage Business Configuration


In order to see Manage Business Configuration in the Admin Tools UI the following options must be activated in Provisioning.



Enhancements in 1302

Admin Alerts –You can now personalize your Admin Alerts through the Admin Alerts settings page. For example, you want to see workflows that have been stalled for more than 3 days.

2 new alerts have been introduced viz. Invalid User in Dynamic Role Assignment and Invalid User in Pending and Sent Back Workflows.


Help Text for Role Based Permissions – Folks who have implemented EC can truly acknowledge the value of this feature. You no longer have to make guesstimates of the impact of each permission setting on the UI. There is now rollover Help Text to see a brief description of each, and pretty usable one at that! This is my 2nd favorite in 1302, the 1st being Configure Objects tool (MDF).


Global Assignments – It is now possible to create multiple future dated assignments. Prior to this release the expatriate (global employee) could only have one global assignment maintained.


Dependents Management – A number of enhancements have been on the Dependents Portlet

  • Dependent Info portlet has the Edit Link Permission
  • Unnecessary customer specific fields have been removed from the Dependent UI. For customer specific fields only person Relationship HRIS element is used
  • Dependent’s National ID is no longer used to match to a user record


Employee Central API Enhancements

The Compound Employee API has been extended by the following information:

  • Custom Fields
  • International and country specific personal information
  • Payment Information
  • User Characteristics
  • Workforce and Benefit Focus Integration Requirements
  • Log Items

Configuration Sources on Confluence

  • New EC Implementation Handbook published on Confluence for the 1302 release
  • New Employee Central and Financials on Demand Integration Handbook
  • New SFAPI Data Integration Guide
  • New EC Entity Type Guide

The above mentioned documents can be found in the SuccessFactors Confluence website (note that you need to be connected to the VPN to access Confluence).

You can hear more about my Employee Central musings on Twitter via @jyotisharma20.

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  1. Luke Marson

    Hi Jyoti,

    Great job with this and congratulations on your first SCN blog. Hopefully this is the first of many. It’s good to see the new functionality and see how Employee Central is evolving.

    Best regards,


    1. Jyoti Sharma Post author

      Hi Luke,

      Thansks for the wishes and all your help in guiding me through my first blog…SAP Mentor at his best. I am very excited at how EC is evolving..stay tuned for more.



  2. Jarret Pazahanick

    Great job with your first blog and it was excellent to meet and chat with you last week at HR2013.

    It is pretty impressive some of the large deals Employee Central deals that SAP/SuccessFactors sold in Q4 and I would expect these customers will drive a lot of changes in the product over the next 12-18 months which will ultimately be good for everyone. I think that Steve Bogner did a very good job providing some perspective for customers in this recent article.


  3. Nico Thirion

    Hi Jyoti,

    Well done with the blog I know how much you energy you put into this.

    When do you think linking custom foundation objects will be available or is this already part of the new release?

    Kind regards,


    1. Jyoti Sharma Post author

      Hi Nico,

      Associations can be built only in the corporate datamodel. Currently the custom foundation objects are created as follows. Custom FO is nothing but a generic object similar to the Position object first introduced in Position Management in 1207 release.

      You create custom FO as a Generic Objects (GO) in admin tools, note down the code. In the Succession datamodel you select the HRIS element e.g. jobInfo where you want this custom FO. You add a custom field and with the atribute “type” you link the GO using the Code. Association can then be built between a standard FO and the newly created Custom FO. I have provided the feedback to the Product team that there is a need to be able to create associations between custom FOs and hopefull we see it soon.

      Just FYI the implementation handbook was updated with instructions to configure custom FOs on March 6 and an updated version can be accessed from the Confluence link mentioned in my blog.



      1. Jyoti Sharma Post author

        Hi Nico,

        I wanted to quickly supplement my comment on association between custom foundation objects that there is a way to configure it, however it is not done in the Corporate Data model as one would expect, It is done in the Configure GO definition in Admin Tools. I just implemented this early this week and will have detailed instructions with examples in my next blog on custom FOs, stay tuned!



  4. Marcin Gieracha

    Hello Jyoti,

    Thank you for this very valuable blog! As it was indicated by Luke – it is good to see how Employee Central is evolving.

    If you don’t mind I’d like to discuss a bit the new ‘Time Off’ functionality in terms of time registration perspective. As you mentioned: ‘Employees can request or cancel time off requests and can flexibly manage many types of leave (sick, educational, extended and other).’. Is EE able to register certain absence hours? How detailed in terms of EE planned time such absence requests are, i.e. can we deal with any EE work schedule against requested absence? Calculate absence / payroll hours? Or rather we are dealing with whole day events?

    Another issue – attendance registration. Can one imagine to use this new ‘Time Off’ functionality to register and ask managers for approval of their overtime, for instance?

    All my thoughts above are in a considered more and more often hybrid SFSF – SAP PY solutions, where SFSF EC is about to be integrated with existing On Premise SAP PY solution. Organizing even very simple time registration in SFSF EC for payroll purposes would be very promising and gives a valuable option for customers.

    Best regards, Marcin.

    1. Jyoti Sharma Post author

      Hi Marcin,

      Thank you for the detailed question. It definitely requires more discussion but I will give you a sense of the Time Off capabilities in a little more detail.

      1. You can create time off requests
      2. As a manager you can approve and cancel such requests, hence have workflow associated with it (also available on mobile devices)
      3. Set Up holiday calendars in order for the system to correctly calculate the time used for an absence
      4. Create work schedule and assign to employees
      5. Create a time account type, similar to time buckets in SAP
      6. Create a Time types for each Time Account type
      7. Create Time Profile–>Assign Time Types to a Time Profile
      8. Lastly you assign the holiday calendar, work schedule and Time Profile to employees

      Attendance Registration: At this time, the time related functionality being built in EC is only from a Absence Management perspective. Workforce is the preferred vendor for EC to manage time, of cours eof the customer does not plan or already have SAP Time Management implemented.

      I hope this puts some of your worries to rest. If I get time to a POC on this I will keep you posted, but if you get to it, please do share with the community. If we aren’t already let’s get LinkedIn.

      I think I answered all your questions, but please feel free to add any more comments or if my response sparked more questions.

      Warm Regards,


      1. Marcin Gieracha

        Hello Jyoti,

        Thank you for your reply! It definitely gives shed some light on the topic.

        At this point I’m – as the rest community, I believe – very interested in combined, hybrid, SFSF and SAP Core environments. Therefore, if anything from that area become worth sharing I’d be happy to get know.

        All the best, Marcin.

  5. Nishan Dev S

    Hello Jyoti,

    Great work on first blog, some people strike and shine like star, and you may be one of them…. Good Luck !


    Nishan Dev

  6. Sagar Gadre

    Hi Jyoti

    It is a well structured blog as it states clearly what is new and what are the enhancements along with screenshots.



  7. Jyoti Sharma Post author

    Hi Sagar,

    Apologies for the late response, blame th crazy but exciting life of a consultant. I am glad you liked it and hope it was valuable for you.

    Warm Regards,


  8. Akhil Khandelwal

    Hi Jyoti,

    Good job with your first blog. Hope you are all set for one on 1305 release.

    I have a question around ROI. Since lot of customers you work with would be existing SAP customers, what is the benefit they get from hybrid approach given that EC has its own license cost and SAP is investing on onPremise UI – HTML5 and other technologies ?



    1. Jyoti Sharma Post author

      Hi Akhil,

      That’s a very good question and one that both Partners and clients ask themselves. Here are a few win items on the hybrid approach at least what we are seeing in the market.

      1. EC has a progressive design in keeping with the evolving needs of organizations for Core HRIS, it is agile with an unbeatable UI
      2. EC is well integrated with the talent suite
      3. Only EC customers can leverage EC payroll
      4. Country specific localization elements have grown in leaps and bounds since the 1302 release
      5. There is marked reduction in support and upgrade costs when clients run Employee Central
      6. From an experiential perspective I have not had so many Aha moments with a client on SAP On-Premise implementations as on EC

      It is also important to understand the lifecycle of the solution, sure it is maturing as we go but so are the businesses and their needs. Does it keep us all on our toes? Absolutely it does but that’s where the challenge, excitement and value lies. It gives organizations a new way of managing their core HRIS and the workforce responsible for it.

      Hope this helps. Please shoot me an email if you would like to discuss further.



  9. Shashidher Kalluri

    Hi Jyoti,

    Thanks for the blog and would like to know a bit more about time functionality in EC. Does it use the concept of time evaluation to manage time data similar to on-premise SAP solution?



    1. Jyoti Sharma Post author

      Hi Shashidher,

      Thank you for your comments. Currently Employee Central is equipped with time off functionality. Workforce Software is the recommendation if customers are looking for a complete time evaluation application integrated with EC. Hope this helps.

      Send me an email if you would like more information on Workforce software.



      1. Shashidher Kalluri

        Hi Jyoti,

        Thanks for your reply and I would be interested in knowing more about Workforce software. Currently we use time schemas a lot for managing time data and would be good how can this be managed if we are heading towards successfactors solution.



    1. Venkatakalyan Karanam

      Hi Jyothi

      As am a SAP EP specialist, am more concerning on the Front end.

      It seems the front end is in SAP UI5/HTML5.

      It seems the screens are not related to SAP Frontend technologies like WD Java/ WD Abap

      Please confirm about front end technology used for these solutions



      1. Luke Marson

        Hi Kalyan,

        SuccessFactors uses JCON as the front end technology layer. In essence it is JavaScript based application. It does not leverage any SAP UI technology.

        Best regards,



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