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SAP and SuccessFactors talent hybrid model: what lies ahead, plus a few small hidden jewels

Hi everyone!

I had the pleasure to meet with many of you at HR2013 Amsterdam last June. The conference is now history, and if there is one thing that I took home: EMEA is the hybrid market. All the customers I spoke with told me that they were considering moving at minimum some talent applications to the cloud. It’s great when your customers tell you you’re doing the right things at the right time with the “talent hybrid” model. This model helps our customers protect and expand their HRIS at the same time.  That is unique in the marketplace (others advocate a “rip and replace” approach which we do not feel is respectful of customers’ wallets) and leading analysts Josh Bersin and Katherine Jones confirm how valuable our work has been to our customers stating that SAP clearly understands this complexity, and the company now has a well thought-out strategy to address nearly every possible scenario”, from an article published recently.

I mentioned in my previous blog SAP and SuccessFactors’ hybrid model: what is next? that I’d share complementary information on our hybrid roadmap as soon as possible, and now is a good time to write again, although we are still ironing out the details.  Today I’d like to bring some clarity on things we have shipped but maybe not been loud enough about (at least I’ve heard that comment) and update you on our development plans.

The road behind us, plus a few small jewels

  • Workflows: we have never been very vocal on this one although workflows truly complement the talent business processes themselves. They are enabled by the initial integration add-ons delivered over a year ago. Business workflow in SuccessFactors – like a workflow between employee and manager in Performance, the approval for the booking of a class, or the workflow behind the compensation worksheets – are mainly based on the reporting lines. This is fairly simple, but mandatory.
  • Permissions: this is another topic we’ve been discussing with many customers. Permissions in SuccessFactors are support by SAP objects like Country (the famous “MOLGA”), Personal Area, Personal Group,… and this crucial data is provided by the first add-on and speeds up tremendously the deployment of permissions in the talent suite. Of course, you are not done after this, but the foundation is set up though.
  • Reporting and analytics: application data get their meaning only when you can analyze them. The integration allows consumption of the data in all the SuccessFactors analytical solutions; from Dashboards to Analytics to Reporting. You can run a report or build a dashboard with SAP HR data and SuccessFactors Talent data out of the box thanks to the integration add-ons (you will more details on Workforce Planning and Analytics here)
  • Performance and Goal management: we have not mentioned it enough as it is obvious for most of us, but for completeness of the list I wanted to add it. To run SuccessFactors Performance and Goal on top of SAP ERP HCM you do not need anything more than the data provided by the first integration package. You will find the next level of information here:, this picture is showing the shipments until today (Recruiting still in ramp-up as of July 24)

Hybrid roadmap 1.JPG

So, what lies ahead?

  • Compensation Management: these are actually 3 components: fixed pay, variable pay and compensation calibration.  Fixed pay integration – component like base pay, bonuses, lump sums or LTIs – has been shipped end of last year and very well explained in last year’s great blog from Paul Hopkins and Luke Marson. More technical details here : are currently examining the global need for variable pay integration, as it really varies from customer to customer. Here I’d like to hear from you: how important is SuccessFactors Variable Pay integration to SAP for your customers? Is variable pay too “customer specific” to become part of a standard integration package?
  • Recruiting Management:  we are just about to exit the ramp-up for the phase one “from SuccessFactors to SAP”, please see more details here: . Recruiting phase two will close the loop and give our customers a competitive advantage with a hybrid end-to-end process running like in an integrated suite. The 2nd phase is planned for August 2013.  
  • Learning Management: this is one of the most asked-for topics right now, in a market with its own dynamic. The first shipment is planned with the 1311 release, and is planned to include “Skills and competencies” and “learner history” integration. This will set up the foundation. In the subsequent releases the first half of 2014. We plan to ship the cost allocation integration with SAP Financials, and are thinking about scenarios with other SAP solutions like SAP Environmental Health and Safety ManagementSAP Sales on Demand
  • Succession Management integration: this is under discussion but I think we are almost there. The first add-on brings employee and the organizational data over to SuccessFactors. The skills and competencies for an open position are managed in SuccessFactors already. The only missing piece of the succession domino is the “position” and its attributes (like Name, Core, Incumbent…). We plan to consider Succession in a 2014 release. Until then consulting organizations should be able to leverage existing technical integration options (like CSV). This is summarized here:

Roadmap 2.JPG

  • Hybrid models will evolve by nature, as customer will bring more and more applications to the cloud. SAP has been working on in another crucial scenario: the integration between SAP HR core and SuccessFactors Employee Central. Those integration points are key for any customers that want to quickly connect subsidiaries, acquired companies, etc, to a SAP HR core backbone typically owned by the headquarter. This complements the “talent hybrid” as shown in the “two tier HCM” depicted here.

HCM delivery modes.JPG

We are never done in HR, and Professional Services firms will help you go even beyond

I would argue that the SAP and SuccessFactors “hybrid talent” integration would be complete when those business scenarios are all shipped: performance & goal, compensation, recruiting, learning (planned) and succession (planned). These are the talent management processes for which our customers are asking for a standard integration with the SAP ERP HCM core system. In addition, from a technical integration perspective, our customers can benefit from 4 integration options: CSV, SAP NetWeaver PI, SAP HANA Cloud Integration, or another middleware. Here again, this is giving our customer a lot of choice and flexibility.

Nevertheless, I see a great potential for Professional Services organizations and consulting packages, and especially for new RDS opportunities. Just to give one example that I discussed recently with an industry expert at SAP: think about industry specific components like SAP Incentive and Commission Management and how it can complement SuccessFactors Compensation Management, just to name one. Target group: a couple hundreds of customers! What do you think? Do you see the need for Any particular industry, or region, maybe your own country? Let us know. Where to find more information on the hybrid solution?

As always, you can find great resources on this hybrid model, the HR scenarios and the technology supporting them here:

These resources are updated regularly so be sure to save them as favorites in your browser.

Now I’d like to invite you already now to join our next SAPChat session that will take place August 8th from 5.00 to 6.00 PM CET with SAP Mentors Luke Marson @lukemarson and Martin Gillet @mgillet, and SAP experts like Prashanth Padmanabhan @sprabu and more. We will be tweeting regularly before the SAPChat so that you can get familiar with the content beforehand.

Hope to “SAPChat” with you soon!  Best regards, Yannick

Follow me on Twitter: @ypeterschmitt


Follow SuccessFactors: @successfactors

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  • Hi Yannick,

    Great blog very informative.

    Would you know if the 2nd phase of Recruiting would include integration with HCM Processes & Forms and HR Renewal? Is it August release?

    Thanks in advance.


    • Hello Vera, thanks a lot for your positive comment and your questions, much appreciated. The 2nd phase of recruiting will solely focus on bringing the vacancy data from SAP HR to SuccessFactors. We plan to ship in Q3. Processes & Forms and HR Renewals integration is not part of the "talent hybrid" roadmap as such. But you are bringing up the very important UX harmonization question between SAP and SuccessFactors. This is a definitely priority for us, so stay tuned. Best regards, Yannick

      • Thank you very much for the clarification. It's great to know that the requisition Data will flow from SAP to SF by the time we go live 🙂 Your confirmation on HCM P&F is also helpful. We need to put more thoughts around designing the New Hire form/workflow in P&F which is something we didn't think of.

        Thanks a lot to you and Luke & Brandon's Q&A 🙂 so helpful!

  • Hi Yannick,

    Nice blog thank you for the effort.

    What's the status of transferring the applicant data from SF to SAP HCM? What I know currently its limited to 2 or 3 info types and not all fields are integrated and double checking from HR admin will exist.



    • hi Sulieman, thank you very much for your positive feedback. As it is still in ramp-up you can find the details in the RKT area only. It will be available in the links mentioned above right after ramp-up exist. As always you can extend the standard with your own fields. But let me give you a sample of infotype/fields that we plan to include:

      -          Infotype 6: Adress, City, Home Phone, Last Name, State

      -          Infotype 105: email address

      -          Infotype 2: first name

      -          Infotype 1: Personal Idea, Employee Group, Position ID

      For more details please stay tuned and check in the Service Marketplace and the Help Portal after ramp-up exit. Kind regards, Yannick

  • Hi Yannick,

    Great job with sharing the roadmap, particularly with the newly confirmed plans. It's encouraging to see that the main parts of each talent process has been considered from different perspectives and I am watching in anticipation at the additional add-on's that will be available for release.

    It would be great if you can keep customers and the community up-to-date with how the roadmap develops on a regular basis (e.g. quarterly). Certainly blogs like this are very welcome and help customers understand what exists already to cover the talent processes offered by SuccessFactors.

    Best regards,


    • Hi Luke,

      thank you very much for your positive feedback. I am certainly planning to update this blog or write an subsequent one as soon as we can share mode details. I understand that it is crucial for our customers to plan and prioritize the sequences of their hybrid project deployment.

      best regards, Yannick

  • Hi Yannick,

    Good to know about future ideas. What I am interested in is the skills and qualifications. We need them in the backend as we have a HR server sending data to ECC e.g. for capacity planning. However, skills and qualifications are also important for personal development reviews and we are interested in having that in cloud. Is there an interface for that? I haven't heard of it.

    Best Regards, Pia

    • Hi Pia,

      thank you very much for your feedback and question. Our R&D team is currently working on skills and and competencies integration planned for Q4, and  as this stage we cannot disclose details. Nevertheless i'd be more than happy to welcome you in the ramp-up. Let me know if this is a good option for your customer.

      regards, Yannick

      • Hi Yannick,

        Thanks for your prompt answer. Sounds interesting and good to know that this is coming. I think we have a bit to do with the basics first to stabilize the situation.

        BR, Pia

  • Hi Yannick

    You mention that "skills and competencies for an open position are managed in SuccessFactors already".  Could you please advise whether the SAP Job Architecture framework becomes obsolete if organisations wish to use a hybrid solution using SAP Core HR with SF Succession Planning?

    Many thanks


    • Hi Joy,

      thanks for your question. Like always, this mostly depends on the customer situation. We (i.e. the iFlows) replicate the Job from SAP ERP HCM to SuccessFactors as "Job Code". But the customer can as well use JDM in SuccessFactors to build his Job catalog. It depends of the usage of the "job" on the SAP side: just for Talent, for workflow, or other application. Hope this helps a bit!



      • Hi Yannick

        Thanks for getting back with a response.

        It'll be interesting to hear how other organisations evolve or transition their design and functionality, especially in those companies where the SAP 'job' and perhaps even the Job Architecture is extensively used.

        Best regards


        • Hi Joy,

          absolutely! While this is just starting, I can imagine that our Professional Services organization will be able to gather information like this and document it. I guess the partner ecosystem will have a lot to day about it as well.

          Let me know if you need some contacts in PS.

          Thank you,


      • Hi Yannick,

        We are currently configuring the SF BizX and LMS (more SF modules like Recuirting, Performance Management will be rolled out in later phases), at the same time we are also implementing SAP HCM on premise in parallel. I have similar queries on SAP JOB vs SF JOB, our employees training needs are based on a combination of JOB and location. From your experiences, would you recommend to set up the JOB frame work in SAP core, which will then update SF JOBs via PO integration? If we use JDM in SF, and not to implement JOB in SAP, does this mean whenever employees transfer or change positions, we would have to update JOB details in SF for training needs which would mean having to maintain two systems to keep in sync?

        In terms of integrations, is this normally an SAP or SF deliverable?

        Many thanks for your help in advance!


          • Wow.. =) sorry for the troubles. Thank you so much Yannick.

            It would be great to get some tips and tricks on the SAP vs SF job framework. Because there is no integration between SAP structural authorisation and SF security permissioning, I would think Job codes would also help with RBP in SF.

            Because SF will go live earlier than SAP for us, we won't have Jobs in SF, which means we can't really implement RBP. We will have the SF basic permissioning just a user role and admin role. Do you see any problems/challenges if we would like to change to RBP in later phases? Or it should be pretty straight forward?

          • Hi Vera,

            If you change to RBP later it will require re-working of all of your permissions, since the Administrative Domains (AD) framework will be disabled. You will essentially be starting again with your role and permission creation. I would strongly suggest looking deeper into the Job Framework in SuccessFactors and consider going live with RBPs straight away. Your implementation partner should be able to provide information on Job Families, Job Roles, and the Job Profile Builder and some expertise on how they have leveraged them in the past. If you are going to go with Employee Central eventually then I strongly suggest looking at enabling Foundation Objects and setting up the Job Code FO instead of using the legacy Job Codes, otherwise there will be another set of re-working to be done in converting all of the Job Codes to FOs. It is worth building an integration between SAP and SuccessFactors to transfer the Job objects to Job Codes.

            Best regards,