Configuring SAP HCM & SuccessFactors: A Comparison
For many customers and consultants it has been difficult to get a full understanding of how the configuration landscape of SuccessFactors differs from SAP HCM. Many customers have concerns about Provisioning and the role it plays in setting up the SuccessFactors instance due to the access being limited only to trained SuccessFactors consultants. Due to the different designs of the systems they do not share the same methods of setup and configuration. In this blog I will attempt to explain the similarities and differences between SAP HCM and SuccessFactors from a setup and configuration perspective.
What is Provisioning?
Provisioning is the “backend” of SuccessFactors. However, it is not like the IMG of SAP – rather it acts more like the Switch Framework and is primarily used to enable different features within the SuccessFactors system. In addition, it is where XML configuration files are uploaded and jobs can be setup. For some modules it is used to setup features in more depth than in others. Generally once Provisioning of the instance has been done it should not be required again. However, there are some exceptions such as quarterly release opt-in features and adding new modules. Many of the technical limitations of Provisioning are being addressed over time with each quarterly release. One example is making changes to the Succession Data Model, which has a Config UI now available for basic to intermediate configuration changes in OneAdmin instead of via XML that must be uploaded via Provisioning. Over time more and more changes will be available via this Config UI.
Why is Provisioning not available to customers?
Provisioning settings, although simple to activate, often have technical repercussions that need to be widely understood before features should be activated or deactivated. Some features also require multiple activities to be performed to enable them fully or require an additional license before being activated (some of these features have no technical restriction to being activated). In the SAP HCM world it is similar to a Basis consult enabling Enterprise Business Functions in the Switch Framework or configuring switch table T77S0. These are not activities generally performed by customers, although it is not unknown for customers to perform them if they have experienced or qualified resources. There is nothing to stop a customer from hiring an experienced or qualified SuccessFactors resource to Provision their system. The key difference is that SuccessFactors will not provide Provisioning access unless a consultant has completed the Intro to Mastery training course. This protects the customer from having an unqualified resource attempting to make settings within Provisioning that can destabilize their instance.
What sort of things would be configured in Provisioning?
Provisioning is where a consultant can configure the following types of settings:
- Languages and Language Packs
- Single Sign-On (SSO)
- Jam integration
- Payroll integration
- Dell Boomi AtomSphere account details
- Session Timeout warning message period
- Document Attachment storage and limits
- Restrict access by IP range
Provisioning is where a consultant can enable the following types of features:
- Applications (e.g. Employee Central, Succession, Recruiting, etc)
- Application-specific features (e.g. Performance Management features such as Writing Assistant, Workflow, and Legal Scan or Workforce Analytics & Planning features such as Ad Hoc Report Builder, Dashboards tab, and Gap Analysis)
- V12 Revolution UI
- Talent Search
- Position Management
- Metadata Framework
- Position Hierarchy
- Web Services and APIs
Provisioning is where a consultant can upload the following types of files:
- XML Data Models
- Competency Libraries
- Skill Libraries
- Goal Libraries
- Templates (e.g. Goal Plan, Job Requisition, or Career Worksheet, etc)
In addition the job scheduler, API debug logs, and advanced API settings can be configured in Provisioning. Notice that within Provisioning the items that configured are overall system settings. The individual application settings are just enable/disable or template/XML uploads. This is because applications are configured within the “frontend” of SuccessFactors in the administrator module, called OneAdmin. Over time SuccessFactors has and will move more and more of the XML configuration to OneAdmin so it can be modified via UI, further giving customers more control over the system.
Within the application both customers and consultants will – depending on their permissions – have access to OneAdmin. Depending on their permissions they will have access to different types of activities. For the purpose of this blog I will discuss OneAdmin as if I had been granted full permissions. OneAdmin is where consultants and customers can configure the following types of features:
- Applications (e.g. Employee Central, Succession, Recruiting, etc)
- Application-specific features (e.g. Performance Management features such as manage Templates, manage Route Maps, or manage Rating Scales or Employee Central features such as Employee Files portlets, Workflow recipients, or data propagation rules)
- User Accounts
- Employee data
- Org Chart
- Picklists (i.e. F4 Helps in SAP)
- Home Page tiles
- Metadata Framework
- Position Management
- E-mail Notifications
- Themes and Company Logo
- Talent Search
OneAdmin’s features are split by application/process in Company Processes & Cycles. System and employee management activities are within Manage Employees. Both are shown in the screenshot below.
OneAdmin configuration is GUI based. Let’s look at Foundation Objects – these are the equivalent of Object Types in SAP, such as Organizational Unit (O) or Job (C) objects. Creating Foundation Object data is done through a single screen. In the screenshot below is a Job Classification object, which is the equivalent of a Job object in SAP.
If we now look at Permissions, these are also configured via a GUI. In the screenshots below, the Manager Role is being configured to permission which effective-dated data can be visible, have its history visible, be edited, corrected, or deleted.
Even through these brief examples it is easy to get an idea of the simplicity of configuring SuccessFactors and how an administrator user could do the sort of activities that usually require Basis, ABAP, technical, and/or Security consultants to maintain. Over time OneAdmin will become even more powerful for customers.
How Provisioning and OneAdmin compares to the Implementation Guide (IMG)
It’s hard to compare the IMG, because simply the system is configured differently. The settings are done differently and there are very few like-for-like screens. In fact, in preparing this blog I spent a large amount of time trying to find some like-for-like screens in the IMG and OneAdmin and had little success. While it is possible to show screens of different configurations – for example configuring Performance Management templates – there really is a different design behind configuration of the two systems.
One quick example I found to show some difference between the configuration of each system is within the Performance Management process. The following two screens demonstrate creating a Performance Management template in SAP HCM and in SuccessFactors:
As you can see, there is little similarity between the two configuration processes and the latter is certainly more customer friendly.
Hopefully I have provided some clarity about the purpose of Provisioning and OneAdmin, as well as how these compare to the Switch Framework and, more importantly, the IMG. The key here is to remember that these are different systems. They are designed differently and configured differently. The concepts behind what can be configured by an administrator in SuccessFactors versus what needs Basis or consultant support in SAP HCM differs quite significantly. Both systems have their pros and cons, but form my perspective SuccessFactors favors the less technical administrator and thus removes TCO versus SAP HCM.
I appreciate the effort you've put into your overview of the SAP HCM vs SFSF setup and configuration options - it makes the logic behind restricting Provisioning access more accessible from a customer perspective.
You mentioned that Provisioning is required to schedule jobs - can you perhaps expand on the rationale for this? Running programs in background mode is often required for administration of HCM modules such as ECM out of system performance considerations. Is there an equivalent for background job scheduling and display of application logs via OneAdmin?
With thanks and best regards,
Thanks for your comments. Background jobs are generally used for scheduling reports, integration jobs, or data synchronization jobs (e.g. between Employee Central and Employee Profile tables). These sort of jobs, once scheduled, usually remain. There are logs in OneAdmin that can be accessed by the system administrator and usually no action is required for the job itself. There may be instances where a job might need to be accessed and most likely a consultant would need to access the system for a customer in this scenario.
Thanks for clarifying.
Not sure if I agree in principle that a consultant needs to access the system for a customer to access a job. To give a current example, now we are in the middle of testing for an ECM project and we have to run a number of reports in background mode to generate the budget structure, process support, salary activation etc. These are reports that normally would be available to a business user with a compensation admin role. Same would apply to Performance Management, for instance for generating appraisal forms. Perhaps I am unaware of SFSF specific equivalents but I presume some kind of mass reports would still be required?
The jobs I am referring to are things like the internal data synchronization jobs or regular analytics reports. All of the system configuration - e.g. configuring forms to use your example - is done in the frontend or with the addition of the SuccessFactory application. In SuccessFactors you do not need to run batch jobs to generate forms like you may have to do in SAP HCM. The jobs in SuccessFactors are not quite the same as the jobs process in SAP.
The system is quite different and that is one of the challenges of trying to explain the differences 🙂 .
This is more along the lines of what I had expected 🙂 . Thanks Luke! Indeed it is challenging trying to compare options theoretically but I believe the key is using specific examples in terms of business functionality to educate users without hands-on access to SF configuration tools.
On a side note, am finding it very distracting that SF seems to be using different terminology from SAP most of the time - do you know if it is planned to align any commonly used concepts such as "personnel actions" across SF and HCM?
I would be interested to hear from Howard Marshall or others particularly on the customer side which specific configuration options they are missing in SF, which are not available either from the SF frontend or via OneAdmin.
I'm not 100% sure on the terminology. SAP folks tend to do use terminology that they or SAP customers are used to.
Even the new branding ("SuccessFactors HCM suite" instead of "SuccessFactors BizX suite") isn't widely used across both parties so I don't expect much change soon.
I'd also be interested to hear from other customers on gaps. Very few of those gaps can be found in Provisioning, since it's not really a configuration tool.
thanks for the article luke. this article confirms my previous pov that for a customer to be able to fully configure successfactors, they will need to always have a consultant on hand. so in addition to SaaS customers are now having to pay for CoaaS if they want to have a fully configured successfactors solutions. i see this as a huge negative as customers want to be able to configure their own instance, they cannot do many items as listed in your article. why not allow customers to attend the mastery courses? because then successfactors and/or their partners lose out on $$$. smells to me like a scheme akin to insider trading
SuccessFactors can be fully configured using the frontend. You might be getting confused with activating settings, which takes a small amount of time (around 15 to 30 minutes for Employee Central, for example). There is a reliance on a consultant to do this, but the cost of hiring the consultant is significantly less than hiring a full-time basis consultant in-house and therefore the customer wins in the long-term. If you look at it from a customer perspective, they have significant cost savings over time and don't require consultants to do basic administration of the system. Often with on-premise the customer has to hire a full-time consultant, but with SuccessFactors they don't need to. They can simply have a HR administrator do it, because it takes significantly less time. SuccessFactors means less expenditure by customers on SAP HCM consultants.
are we reading the same article? you may want to reread your own article. and I quote from your article "There may be instances where a job might need to be accessed and most likely a consultant would need to access the system for a customer in this scenario."
again. not all companies want to have to call in consultants. if it so easy that a caveman can do it, why should sfsf not allow customers to do it?
Name a customer project that implements and/or configures SAP HCM without hiring a qualified resource? Even when comparing the two, you are comparing a customer that has a SAP HCM resource against a customer that doesn't have a SuccessFactors resource. If you compared them directly, your argument would break down because the cost and need for a SuccessFactors qualified consultant is significantly less than a SAP HCM qualified resource. If a customers needs to implement or configure SAP HCM they cannot do it without an experienced consultant. In the scenarios I describe, they need an experienced SuccessFactors consultant. The only difference is that the customer needs a SuccessFactors consultant for a shorter amount of time than they would an on-premise consultant. Therefore they save a significant amount of time and money, whether doing a full implementation or a small piece of work.
While I appreciate that you are looking out for yourself here, I don't really understand your negative commentary. The simple truth is that SuccessFactors significantly reduces the number of hours required for external and in-house consultants versus SAP HCM. But maybe as a SAP HCM consultant whose livelihood depends on customers remaining with SAP HCM instead of going to SuccessFactors, you already know this?
The future of SAP HCM is clearly with SuccessFactors and no matter how you attempt to position it, the cost saving in the short and long term is with SuccessFactors.
as I have mentioned multiple times before, and what is my main complaint. why can't a customer that goes to successfactors be allowed to configure their own instance? you state "If a customers needs to implement or configure SAP HCM they cannot do it without an experienced consultant". why can't the experienced person be an in-house resource? are you trying to say that every single customer has used consultants? I doubt that. I am not looking out for myself. I am looking out for customers that may be looking at successfactors. I am an employee of a company looking at successfactors. I, with training should be able to configure successfactors like I configure sap. when we need something done in sap, we do not have to call in external consultants like we will have to if we go to successfactors. so it is you who are looking out for yourself and your consulting company. with respect to cost saving, can you prove that Saas over a period of 10 years is in fact cheaper than 10 years on-premise? I bet not because with SaaS and CoaaS is the cost really lower?
Howard, they can configure their own instance. Are you saying that customers should be able to perform an entire implementation on their own without any experienced resources? I have never come across a customer that has sent an employee on a training course and then implemented SAP HCM in-house. What you are saying is that you should be able to send someone on a SuccessFactors course and then implement it in-house? The fact is that it's not that straight forward. This is not SAP HCM. As I said, the main issue behind Provisioning is that some parts of the software need technical assistance when activating features and also unlicensed features can be enabled. SuccessFactors are working on moving more and more functionality to the frontend, but it's not something that can be done overnight. And really they don't have to make it the same as SAP HCM. Customers aren't forced to implement SuccessFactors. There are other on-premise and Cloud vendors available.
The bottom line Howard, is that no matter how I explain it to you, you will always find a negative way of looking at it. SuccessFactors is not SAP HCM and some things are different by design. But customers are not hard done by this way. Maybe you are hard done by because you won't be able to offer any value as an in-house SAP HCM consultant that can't get trained on SuccessFactors, but that's not the same. Should Provisioning be better designed for customers? Yes. Should it be more open for customers? Yes. Are customers disadvantaged by the current situation? No.
As for protecting my own consultancy, what exactly am I protecting here? I am explaining the situation so customers are informed about Provisioning so they know what to expect.
The world is a-changin' and while I am sorry that you might get left behind, you're just going to have to accept that change is coming and it doesn't benefit everyone in the SAP HCM world. It benefits customers, but it doesn't benefit everyone on the implementation side.
I will respond to each point where I think you are not been 1005 truthful
1) "Howard, they can configure their own instance" - this is not 100% true. from a reply to an earlier question you clearly state "There may be instances where a job might need to be accessed and most likely a consultant would need to access the system for a customer in this scenario" - so here you are contradicting yourself. provisioning is something that a customer cannot do and should be able to do to be able to do the list of items you mention
2) "I have never come across a customer that has sent an employee on a training course and then implemented SAP HCM in-house" - I was an employee at 2 customers where we did our own implementation. it took about 12 months longer but cost us less in the long term
3) "What you are saying is that you should be able to send someone on a SuccessFactors course and then implement it in-house?" yes that is exactly what I am saying. why should consulting companies be able to send folks that have no successfactors experience and get them trained in successfactors. employees working for companies looking at this product are just as smart as the consultants and can pick it up just as quick
4) "Customers aren't forced to implement SuccessFactors" - you know as well as I that this is hogwash. if customers want the latest and greatest functionality they have to move to successfactors since on-premise tm is dead as indicated by you and many others. On-premise customers prefer successfactors so they do not have to rip and replace core hcm
5) "But customers are not hard done by this way" - they are hard done. they have to spend $$$ to pay for consulting resources that are in no way smarter than there own employees that maintain systems today
6) "Maybe you are hard done by because you won't be able to offer any value as an in-house SAP HCM consultant that can't get trained on SuccessFactors, but that's not the same" - exactly. I am hard done by. I am an employee with a company looking towards using successafctors. but again, why can't customers be trained? this is a monopoly
7) "Are customers disadvantaged by the current situation? No" - they most definitely are. they have to spend more $$$$ for consulting that they would not if they were doing tm on-premise. if their employees could get the same training as consultants, the consultants would not be needed
8) "The world is a-changin' and while I am sorry that you might get left behind, you're just going to have to accept that change is coming and it doesn't benefit everyone in the SAP HCM world. It benefits customers, but it doesn't benefit everyone on the implementation side." - I am a customer and that is why I bring this up. I am not the only one left behind. my company will be left behind. it benefits consulting companies more than customers. it is a closed system akin to a cartel.
my basic point is this. customers should be able to configure their own systems without needing consulting resources. why pay $$$$ to a consulting company when this should be and can be done inhouse. this is a monopoly by successafctors. if they don't change they will be overrun by other cloud vendors.
I am always 100% truthful and do not take kindly to being accused otherwise.
Creating a job is not configuring a system. However, I do agree that jobs should be available to customers. That being said, jobs are not required in the same way as in SAP and once setup should not require changing. But still, a customer should have the option of modifying or cancelling it if needed.
I admire customers that can do that. Sometimes they miss expertise, but ultimately if they get the ROI they want and it costs less then that is beneficial. But remember, a SuccessFactors implementation will take significantly less time than an on-premise implementation. A customer could also expect to do it quicker in-house with the right trained resource(s).
I agree that customers should not pay for inexperienced consultants on their projects unless they accept this beforehand and under certain circumstances (e.g. they are shadowing an experienced resource).
Customers are not forced to implement SuccessFactors and I stand by that. They can continue with SAP HCM on-premise modules. But the fact is that if they want innovation in core HR and Talent Management then it will not happen in the on-premise solutions. It depends on what a customer wants and whether they can achieve it with on-premise solutions as they are.
I can't agree on this point for many customers, although there are some examples where this is true. However, I feel that is few and far between and does not reflect the majority of the ecosystem.
Well things change. How do you think all of the employees in the industrial revolution felt when machines took their jobs? You need to adapt to survive and if you have to change your employer then so be it. Complaining, being negative, and feeling sorry for yourself will not change the reality. I hope that SuccessFactors will open up their training to others outside of the partner ecosystem and that is likely to happen as the partner ecosystem moves onto SAP PartnerEdge. Part of the reason is that training is not the same as traditional SAP training. It requires a myriad of systems and access points that partners get as part of their partnership agreement. Making this all available otherwise is not as easy as it sounds.
I appreciate your concerns, but the Cloud is reducing implementation costs. Yes you have to pay consultants, but these implementations are shorter. It is possible to hire a consultant in-house to do the implementation. Eventually I expect customers to be able to train resources, but that is not the current situation. The entire HCM industry is in a period of transition and things are changing. There are winners and losers. A lot of customers are winning. It seems that some - like yours - may be losing. I hope there are positive changes ahead so that all customers can be winners.
What would SCN be, Luke, if Howard didn't feel the need to chime in and "bust SAP's balls" on every SF related blog, post, etc? haha I don't feel like a SF blog is worthy until Howard lays into the author and/or "experts"! 😆
Hard to argue with that 😉
This is very informative and useful.
Thank you for the blog. I had almost started an article myself, but would have sent it across to you for review before posting as my knowledge in SF is still at its nascent stage. Maybe on another topic. On 'How Provisioning and OneAdmin compares to the Implementation Guide (IMG)' it IS hard to compare in terms of configuration. I recently started to read the 'Time-Off Configuration' Handbook and was amazed at the simplicity with which time structures can be created via One Admin. I could create a work schedule on a single screen compared to multiple tables via IMG. Although I did not find a field for break hours, all I needed to do was add a custom field for object Work Schedule Day. Time type (Absence type in IMG) can be configured on a single screen and associated with a Time Account Type (Absence Quota in IMG) if required. There is a lot of flexibility around adding features which are similar to IMG configuration if there is a requirement. Though I'd rather configure SF as it is to appreciate its beauty. Then there are accrual rules which can be fixed or set up according to Seniority and Age. This is very interesting because it has replaced a part of an important aspect in IMG which is schema processing in Time Evaluation. Although the output of time evaluation also consists of time wage types among other things, I always believed that time evaluation and payroll schemas were irreplacable. Maybe not the payroll schema. But...for the times, they are a changing...!!
Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you've had the opportunity to see how easy it can be to configure some of the standard features. As you can see with the guides, customers can configure this functionality themselves in just a couple of hours. There will be additional flexibility coming in over time to make it even easier to configure more features.
Some more questions from me regarding the following passage:
"Provisioning is where a consultant can upload the following types of files:
To what degree is it possible to configure an existing template without using Provisioning? What is the rationale for customers not being able to upload libraries/templates directly? Using recruitment process templates as an example, this would normally be a superuser/admin task.
Thanks in advance.
For those items templates can be uploaded in Provisioning, but this is really a "legacy feature" as these can also be uploaded via OneAdmin. A customer (and consultant) would just use the frontend to upload templates. Some templates can be designed in the frontend, otherwise they are done in SuccessFactory.
For libraries, if you purchase a new library from SuccessFactors then this is where they would load it. Goals can be imported, created and managed in the frontend. I'm not 100% sure on Skills as this may be an MDF object now and they are managed in the frontend.
Hi Luke, thank-you for writing this article!
I am very new to SuccessFactors and immediately found this article when I searched "SuccessFactors timeout".
You mentioned that the session timeout may be configured through provisioning undertaken by a consultant. I recently submitted a ticket through the SuccessFactors support portal and was informed that the 30-minute timeout feature in the "SuccessFactors BizX suite has a hard default setting of 30 minutes timeout on no activity. This applies to all cloud clients and cannot be changed at all, no exceptions as there is no instance level capability".
I understand that there is a possibility that you simply included this as a hypothetical example of a function which could be changed through provisioning, rather than one which actually has been changed before. If that is the case, then I am clearly reading too far into this example.
However, if you can in fact confirm that it is possible to extend the 30 minute timeout feature, please let me know.
The 30 minute auto-logout feature has clearly been implemented for security purposes; however, at my workplace, it has created the unintended consequence of deterring employees from using the program altogether (employees return to their workstation to write a note about peers, etc., only to find that they have been logged out).
The link is correct and I apologize that I wasn't clear in enough in what this settings means in my blog. The timeout itself cannot be changed, but the timeout warning message can be set to appear at any number of minutes before the time out occurs. This is 10 minutes by default, but can be set in Provisioning to be a different value (e.g. 15 minutes before the timeout).
I hope that clarifies the topic and I'll update the wording in my blog to be more clear. Thanks for pointing it out and thanks for your comment.
Oh okay, I understand. Thank-you for your swift response!
Good work and extremely commendable for taking the effort to come up with the post and also individually replying to messages.I did do a detailed read through and coming from my Payroll & time config background, i can comment SF is a totally different game altogether .
Thanks Harris. I'm glad you found it useful and interesting. It is a very different world at a number of levels and I might try to follow this up with another similar blog in the future.
Thanks for the detailed blog. After going through this blog, I am just wonder my self how is it possible. Let me describe one example, we have implemented Employee Personal Information and Benefits application a year ago. The amount of efforts and stress we put was tremendous.
In our case : Requirement is to provide employee Personal Information and benefits application to end users via SAP Portal.
To deliver this project , we almost took 12 months to build the infrastructure, configure the systems, build the applications, security and release to the End Users.
The below is our team:
1. SAP HCM Functional team with 2 people
2. Portal consultant
3. Basis Consultant
4. 2 ABAPers
5. One project tech lead
6. Project head.
7. 4 HR Associates from business.
8. SAP Security.
9. Performace Testing
Almost nearly 15 to 18 people involved an year time to get this job done. What I understood from your blog is that the similar kind of requirement can be done with success factors more quicker and with less number of resources and pain, is that my understanding is correct?
if we wanted to configure the same above requirements with SuccessFactors what is the effort involved , this question may not be relevant to your blog but just a comparison SAP vs SuccessFactors from TCO and ROI perspective and ongoing maintenance wise.
Thanks in advance.
Wow - that's some project team. That's about 28,000 hours of effort. Depending on how deep this requirement is, it could be done by 1 or 2 people in 2 or 3 months if Employee Central was already installed. The Personal Information would actually take 1 person about 1 month or less, but it's the benefits that would be tricky since standard functionality doesn't exist. You would need to build it via Metadata Framework or SAP HANA Cloud Platform, or you would have to use an external provider and embed it in Employee Central.
I hope that helps.
I was looking for this long time ago.... thank youuuuuu .... best regards
You're welcome - I hope it was useful to you.
Thanks for sharing the information and your knowledge Luke. We are just starting to kick off our project to implement Employee Central, so has been a great insight.
Thanks Rod and good luck with your implementation!
I have never been a fan of SuccessFactors configuration, the many levels of it, and the guarded secrecy around how to get to the advanced options. Things like SuccessFactory (I know this is getting phased out, just an example) and Provisioning aren't advertised anywhere. There's no reason these tools should be hidden from SuccessFactors customers. Just provide documentation and training options.
Luke, I appreciate you posting this information, it simply does not exist anywhere - which is immensely frustrating. I also understand your argument, however I agree with Howard here. It's insulting to hear, you can't do that, a consultant has to do that for you. That is simply not true. Is Provisioning powerful and can it possibly wreck your system? Yes, but you're kidding yourself to suggest customers shouldn't have access. Anyone with an IT background and common sense can understand what is going on. Just use with caution and utilize your Test environment.
I haven't said that I don't think customers should have access, I've just said why they currently don't. But I think many people miss the point. There are settings that if made can cause issues and when you're in a multi-tenant environment the impact of issues can be widespread. Imagine if your system goes down for a few days because another customer did something they shouldn't have. Imagine how angry you would be and how much money you would lose? It's all about education, but the risk is still huge.
I hope Provisioning gets an overhaul in the future because the design is not particularly useful, logical, or safety-proofed enough to let customers (and some consultants!) loose on it. I don't know if there is a timescale for this, but it doesn't seem to be a priority for SuccessFactors right now given the other priorities they have. Few customers are finding this to be an issue and would rather have extensibility and integration options. But I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Some of my favorites are Only works on IE, not Netscape, Should be used for Radio Shack ONLY!!!, and the CheapThrills section. 🙂
CheapThrills is quite funny 🙂
Great summary and overview of SF config. I am looking forward to comparing config myself throughout our project.
Thanks Rob. I look forward to your feedback on your own comparisons!
Thanks for sharing details on comparison SAP/SSF,we find it very helpful. 🙂
could you also throw some light on licensing as well,it will help us pitching in to potential clients during sales discussions.thanks for understanding.
Licensing is done via subscription, based on the number of users accessing the system. For more details you should speak to your local SuccessFactors representative, particularly around pricing.
Thanks much for your prompt response as always,shall check with local SuccessFactors representative.Thanks for the useful directions.much appreciated 🙂
Indeed a great article on SAP SF Vs SAP HCM , I still have few queries
1. IS SF provisiong going to get extended even for payroll schemas ?
2. Do you mean to say all SAP HCM consultants at one point of time need SAP SF knowledge
3. Do you think that customers will save a lot if they convert from on premise SAP HCM to SAP SF ( Already many cloud users felt the long term use may not be cost effective , because you have no control over system and you dont own it , although you can terminate the contract the frequent changeover also practically impossible ?
Thanks. Let me know answer your questions:
Only if Payroll becomes parts of SuccessFactors HCM suite from a product perspective, which it currently isn't.
Eventually it will be important to have SuccessFactors knowledge and experience
There are many cost efficiencies outside of the normal license v subscription debate. I think it's incorrect to say that customers don't have any control over the system. Sure they don't have it sitting on a server in their own data center or server room, but that doesn't mean they don't have control. It just means that they don't have "totalitarian" control, which is not necessary anyway. A customer can terminate their license agreement and move to another provider if they wish. They are free to extract their data from SuccessFactors at any point they wish.
Just saw your query only now. As someone who is working with SF now and coming from a pure Payroll/time background.
Payroll will still remain within ECC for a very long period and will be hosted in the cloud.Same functionalities as in ECC but hosted.It is very hard to replicate Payroll functionalities within EC even common ones like Pay scale levels and grades within the Basic pay.
SF eventually will become the face of SAP HCM as it is SAAS, Cloud based, Cheaper to implement, and has a great UI.If they can improve on the integration which they are , i reckon it is the future .
The fact that Customers will not have control over thier systems is not true.An user with adminstrative privileges can do so much more than what a user can do within ECC.I could do so much in the SF system without a provisioning access to a clients instance.
SF is a good product but it would take time to mature just like SAP HCM did .From what little i know of working with SF it has its pluses and its drawbacks but overall a good product with a future.
Interesting read, and interesting comments and ensuing discussions. Howard Marshall shows a very relevant POV, and one that we all in the community have better not to under-evaluate.
The cloud products are great products, but we have to factor in large companies and their inertia. I have spent many years of my life accompanying corporations on the path to global systems, and while I see the advantages of the new ways I also know that it will take time to design roadmaps AND to retain knowledge.
The configurators of the old system - SAP, PplSoft or else - not only know the system, but also understand to a T the internal, specific corporate processes and the company. This is real knowledge, and companies will be (understandably) unwilling to let go... Not all of course. it is a matter of critical time.
Your post takes a positive step in the right direction, by comparing point per point the HCM config approach and the SF provisioning. It makes it more "familiar", and I am sure it helps many in clarifying the approach and what makes sense (or doesn't).
Some great points Chiara and for some customers this is an ideal approach. While there are good consultants that can help them, it is fair to say that they should be able to do more in-house. Hopefully as the partner ecosystem scales and becomes more independent then SuccessFactors can begin to onboard independents and customers into their training and Provisioning access programs. I know that right now SuccessFactors do not have the bandwidth for more partners and more training, even though they know the more they have then the more they can grow. I hope 2014 sees this change.
Thanks very much for the answers & the topic , discussion and everything goes interesting on this blog.
Great Blog, very Informative, Infact its excellent comparison between SAP HCM vs SAP SF.
It would be gr8 If SF announces any IDES version on this, but still as its on cloud its not so easy..but i wish.. 😏
Keep posting more on SF & HCM as ur blogs are drugging me.. getting more addicted. 😛
Thanks for your valuable contribution. I'm glad you also raised the first pont, as it seemed to have been missed when I mentioned it. As good as giving full backend access can be, there are just too few reasons a customer would need access and too many things that can go wrong (as well as unauthorized activation of unlicensed content).
We are right now in implementing SFSF in our Company. I am right now in search of Task list which can be done from IT and which Tasks can be done from Functional.
Do you have such type of List ? Ofcourse I have seen the above list of Tasks in your doc, but may be there is more precised list. It would be great if you such list.
It depends on what modules of SF you are implementing and what is your overall solution architecture and what is your business requirements .
For ex. If you want to implement EC with integration to EC payroll then you have a very different set of tasks both from a functional point of view and also technical.Similarly if you are creating MDF objects to suit your organisations business requirements then it is a whole set of different task list.Also from the IT side depends on what is your middle ware for example. If you are using Boomi then it is a whole set of different stuff to what you would do if you are using PI.
Luke : I hope i am right in spelling out this based on my limited experience.
We are implementing the Modules EmDev, PEM and LMS. As I am not the Project leader I can't tell you which Framework is been used.
I am from the Ongoing Support where we must ensure that activities are performed in SF irrespective of customer side or in cloud.
So for this I Need to have activity split from functional and Technical Tasks.
Your implementation partner should have provided this as part of the kick-off for the project. Harris is absolutely correct that it varies for each module. Largely the work is done by the functional consultant, but for integration and data migration IT would be heavily involved.
I appreciate questions from Raghavendra.
I dont see a clear information regarding SF regarding End to End Process. How about Time Integrations Is that there in picture.
If i want to suggest SF to my company How would I? My Company has already implemented ESS and MSS Module Which model i would suggest? The companies invested lot of money on modules in SAP. It is a question to buy license?
You should engage some experts to help you understand. I could write a whole series of blogs to cover this information - a comment is not enough!
Who is Expert in SF Could you please tell me? I dont think so .....Till now SF Expertise not born as it is recently released
Iam getting incomplete information.
The expertise on the area is surely available in the market. Though, what we are talking about is a value assessment/engineering activity to be done for your company. There are services on offer from SAP/SuccessFactors and offcourse the Partners to carry out these activities and provide analysis on TCO and provide possible roadmap design for customers. Though, a bitter truth for most customers is that these services are paid. Expertise comes with a certain price and the value of paying this price gets realized quicker than most customers believe.
I am not sure about partners, but SAP and SuccessFactors has certain services like Business Transformation Services and Solution Services respectively, where the subject matter experts can design a whole picture for your company to drive or be driven through or by a solution.
I dont think internet can provide you a true insight on what value a certain solution may add to your company, as every company has its own dynamics and we should not be mistaken with applying a consistent approach for every business.
Hope this helps,
Thank you Shahzad Naseem
I appreciate your answer.
I have seen in the thread . The question posed and answered Is that is assumption.
Iam totally confused on this .Posting number of threads regarding SF may be to attract people but it wont help any in the forum. How many of them are implementing practices from above that is main question When we think about time management and integration I haven't seen any with correct information.
Below is an example I got confused with an answer.
That is exactly why i believe that its always fruitful to get experts engaged through paid services. The information that you find on different threads on the internet, may or may not be applicable for your business. In most cases, the experts/consultants/customers posting on the internet have particular experiences which again may just not be right for you as a business. These threads sure cannot be reffered to as a single point of truth, as there may very well be a whole car behind the headlights that you see through these posts.
As far as "SF being too early for you" is concerned, i can only say that its an individual's sight. There are customers who realize the value of early adoption of cloud solutions like SF, and believe that they will gain benefit, but then there are those who believe that its not yet time for them to move to that dimension. Either or, my view is that a full blown value assessment of a solution cannot be based on information available on internet forums, as these solutions are usually heavy on the pocket, and right information is the key to successfully realize your ROI.
Hope this helps,
Good to see your information. 🙂
More likes or praising in the thread doesn't help in the forum More questions and finding solutions for the same would really help all in the forum.
Thank you Shahzad for your valuable information.
Loving your blogs.
Wanted to canvas opinion on configuration import / export and SF landscapes compared to SAP.
SF config may be contained within modules eg LMS or in the core - & without our old friend 'SAP transports' - moving config from test to prod relies on manual steps with inevitable human error.
Larger clients are used to many more environments - QA, training, pre-prod, entire project & BAU tracks...
Is the lean environment approach going to work for large clients? Will SAP introduce a 'transport' mechanism to SF to better automate and control & track changes between systems?
Be great to hear your thoughts! Stu
Thanks for your comments! Transporting configuration is not as straightforward as with SAP and I share your concerns. Luckily things like RBPs, data models, and generic (MDF) objects can be transported via the system or via exporting data files. However, you are correct that some manual work is still required in each system to replicate configuration. bearing that in mind, it is essential that consultants document their configurations - as they should be doing anyway.
Customers can request additional SuccessFactors instances, so if they want to have several instances then that is possible. It does increase the configuration effort, but it means that customers can maintain their existing landscape testing processes.
I do hope that the transport mechanism improves, although SuccessFactors have bigger priorities and good consultants will be able to handle the existing "transport" process as it stands.
Some useful information here.
I have a question over Provisioning access, whilst I understand that you must have completed the Mastery course as a partner (but don't understand why I can't get my internal team certified as they are in HCM.....) I have just recruited someone from a Partner who is certified so I presume he will still be able to access it and support us internally?
Provisioning access is company-specific, not individual-specific. So if you have hired someone they may have their Provisioning access already but if their employer cancelled their Provisioning and partner access then they will need to apply through your company. If your company is not a partner then they won't be able to apply.
So Luke, who do we need to speak to at SF to discuss this further? Is there a user group forum we can use?
and as an aside, what would stop me in 'seconding' my team member to a partner so he can get provisioning access and support us?
Thanks for responding Luke, unfortunately other than for revenue generating purposes I just don't get it. What is the difference with him being to Provision for a partner on behalf of a customer, or directly for the customer? If you are certified on an application then you are certified, it does not matter who you work for....... Historically for HCM my team and I have been able to implement and support anything we want without external support, why has this changed for SF?
I am now going to have to factor in additional costs, which I have not budgeted for, for any future changes or implementations.
No wonder partners are pushing customers to migrate to SF, guaranteed revenue stream......
well said steve cooper
Agree 100%. I have been vehemently opposed to this since day one. Who's to say partners are more qualified than customers? We've been left with some pretty raw deals courtesy of 'trained experts.' Answer is simple. Offer training to everyone. Educate people and the product and community will thrive.
Well said Jim
people who want to learn SF They dont get a chance to learn nor the information will leak . because they are afraid that there will be threat to their own job or their will be less demand for them if at all All will learn.
All i can say rightnow Stop all these ...
People who are certified It doesnt mean that they are experts They just got a piece of paper nothing else...
Introduce SF in the market Provide equal opportunities to all Open the doors to learn I dont know why they give certification to the companies who are tied up with SF. People who wants to get certification There shouldnt be any norms that they have to be from particular company where it has tie up .
They have to introduce a policy for all and can appear for exam without any experience nor any tie up companies with SF
Please dont stop the importance of product by closing the door .
I agree. SAP are going to change this, but it takes time due to the legal scenario around current access etc. Patience is required, but expect some movement by the end of the year 🙂
Great blogs.. keep up the good work. Your blogs are the only source of help for people trying to learn SF. Well any update if sap has taken any decision on allowing individual consultants to do certifications? Was really hoping get some positive reply soon.
Neways really gr8 job with all your blogs. It actually shows how much efforts you take to write each blog with so much explanation.
Thanks Neha, I appreciate it a lot. Independents are soon able to take SuccessFactors training. There are lots of announcements due soon.
So can I confirm that from next year customers will be able to attend all courses, become certified and then have access to Provisioning?
I can't confirm this right now, but in the long-term I believe this is under consideration.
So what Shahzad stated is incorrect??
Unfortunately I still think the current support model is a revenue generating opportunity for partners.....
As I have stated before I have someone in my team who went through the mastery course and got certified with a partner and could use provisioning. Now he has joined us he can't do anything......
Someone must know what the strategy is, all I keep hearing is nothing can be confirmed and everything is under consideration.....?? Back in July you said we could expect some movement by the end of the year, this is coming round very quickly and we haven't seen anything yet.
I've not heard of customers being allowed to attend yet, but under SAP Education it should be feasible. I just don't know if they will have Provisioning access, Partner Portal access, etc. Access to these are imperative for being able to implement.
Had to double check today is October 1st, not April 1st. Opening Mastery classes to customers is the best news yet. Quickest way to overcome knowledge constraints and limited resources is to train everybody who is willing to learn.
I agree Jim, hence I wanted clarification that I had understood things correctly........
Lets hope it is correct
I am new to SFSF. And needed clarification on Provisioning & Instance.
This blog definately gives a clear insight.
This effort of has made the understanding about SF provisioning smooth.
Thanks & Regards
A very useful blog with good comparison's given.
Hi, Currently i am working with SAP Partner company and having my self effort i have done my Success Factors - Employee Central Certification last month and currently my company having Provisioning system. How can i initiate to get Provisioning system access to myself?
Thanks in Advance.
You need to do it through the Partner Portal. You need to request access internally in your organization.
All the best,
One Query - Who should be installing Language Packs in Successfactors - Implemenation Partner or SAP/SuccessFactors
my client want to enable a language for specific country which is supported by Successafactors.
Now can anyone through some light on how to install language packs and who should be doing this job - Implementation Partner or Successfactors ?
As mentioned in Successfactors Busineess Execution Suite Supplement Terms and Conditions v7 - 2013.pdf
1.3 Customer understands that not all content is available in each language but that language packs may only provide
translations for the text strings used in the software system interface, not the content such as goals wizards texts
and the like.For clarity, if Customer purchases an Enterprise Language Pack (”ELP”), such ELP includes language packs
that SAP presently and in the future makes generally available thereunder for so long as Customer continues to subscribe
to the ELP. Access to and delivery of any future language packs will occur only when such language packs are made
generally available to all customers. Implementation service fees set forth in a Schedule 1, if any, are only for
those language packs Customer has initially selected for implementation.
Implementation of any additional language packs will result in additional service fees, which fees will be
documented in an additional Schedule 1.
From Provisioning is it sufficient if we just check - Language pack checkbox ?
Does my client need to enable language packs separately for every language?
please share your inputs.
Hi Karthik; Luke does such a great job with this blog on Provisioning and all his other EC and SF blogs, I thought he could use a little help with the language questions. So I added a blog specifically about the languages area. See the new blog: SuccessFactors - Language Packs - General discussion for all SuccessFactors modules.
Hope this helps! --Margaret
Thanks Margaret! I'm currently writing the EC book for SAP PRESS so I don't have as much time to blog as I'd like. Business is also booming which really doesn't help either cause!!
All the best,
You are most welcome. We all love your blogs, consistent help, and commitment to all of our success. You are a great role model for all of us and I'm glad to help.
Thankyou... Very useful information... good one for beginners....
we also have OY19 to compare configuration sets across clients.
Thanks for the blog. In the Provisioning, there option to enable the feature against each module.
If my customer has bought some modules (eg: EC, Recruitment) and if enable all the features related to Recruitment (all the check boxes) even though my Customer may not know or not aware and anyway, we are restricting the users or Admins for utilising the features via RBPs.
Now, by enabling all the check boxes, what exactly the issue that we can encounter. Was there impact to other modules which are not implemented by enabling this features.
Across the landscape, does it lead to inconsistencies. Usually we enable only the features which are applicable to our customer or based on requirements. But, if i enable all the features how does it impacts the system.
You can select most check boxes, but just check the text alongside them as usually if there is a warning or concern it is mentioned.
Luke, Great work and effort !!
Its an interesting effort to help individuals understand the different. As you pointed out, its not really comparing like to like.
I have one specific question for you. I was earlier with an SAP Partner and got certified on Employee Central. I have now joined a customer of SAP. Would I be able to continue with my provisioning access since I have already completed the Intro to Mastery training.
You can't have provisioning access if you are a customer employee.
"You've leased the use of this Ferrari that we parked in your own garage. Feel free to drive it, but you are not allowed to look under the hood, change the tires, replace the brakes, put aftermarket parts on it, or change the oil. Enjoy! " 😛
If I owned the Ferrari I wouldn't want someone doing that 😉
In all seriousness, you don't need provisioning access to do a lot of configuration in SuccessFactors. Depending on the module, you only need it to flick on some switches. Modules like RCM that do use it more heavily are moving from it in the next 12 months or so. It's a common misconception that you can't configure your system without it. You can't kick off an implementation without it, but a lot of stuff you can do in Admin Center and more and more is moving there.
I am new to SF and got my partner portal access, but how i can get access to provisioning test and production. Also if someone shares me those url's would be of great help.
You need to get an approval email from a client and then raise a "Restricted Access Request - Preview & Production" request in HCM Cloud Ops portal to get provisioning access to production instances of a client.