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Part 1: SuccessFactors Employee Central – An introduction to how SAP and SuccessFactors enable HR data to drive business processes

SuccessFactors Employee Central, a modern, state-of-the art cloud solution for core HR operations, has gained great momentum; more and more customers are moving to a SaaS model in the core HR area and taking advantage of fast update cycles, reduced IT infrastructure costs, and the like.

Changing the core HR offering implies that HR master data, such as employee name, personnel identifier, user, and so on are now stored in SuccessFactors Employee Central. Naturally, the next question that comes up is often:

How do other solutions (whether they are part of the SAP ERP solution portfolio or are other SAP cloud solutions, SAP partner solutions, or are even non-SAP solutions) integrate with SuccessFactors Employee Central?

Core HR data is at the center of every business process beyond HR and includes relevant key data to ensure security and granting authorizations. For example, reporting line information can drive workflow processes throughout the solutions in use – i.e. approving travel expense requests or purchase orders. Another example is the assignment information of cost centers to employees, which supports more accurate financial costing and profitability analysis. Plants and factories are safer and more efficient if employee skills information flows into the production as well as health and safety systems. These are just a few ‘real world’ examples; the list could go on and on.

SAP customers, who are leveraging SAP HCM are accustom to extensive integration within the entire SAP ERP suite, are now asking whether integration to or from SuccessFactors Employee Central is as robust as what they are already leveraging today. The answer is yes – it’s even better! SAP benchmarking studies show 40% higher revenue per employee when HR is integrated with the enterprise. It is clear that SAP and SuccessFactors are investing in integrated business processes to provide a higher quality HR solution. The intention is not just to rebuild what is currently available for SAP HCM and integrate it with other solutions. We are enhancing the experience with additional features such as increased cloud solution portfolio, partner solutions, outsourcing functions and third party products as well as better technical options. All of these enhancements will improve integration beyond what is available today for SAP HCM.

An overall view on integration for SuccessFactors Employee Central:


Note: The graphic reflects status prior to the 1402 release delivery. Roadmap items becomingpart of the 1402 delivery will be indicated as delivered soon.

What is available today for the integration of SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP ERP?

ERP processes rely on HR data and HR systems rely on other data. As a result, one of the first integration scenarios that was made available is the option to integrate cost centers from SAP Financials with SuccessFactors Employee Central.

The integration scenarios between SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP ERP are essential use cases SAP builds integration for.

Today, the following integration scenarios are available:

  • SAP ERP to SuccessFactors Employee Central
    • Cost center integration

Allows the HR system to allocate HR relevant costs against cost centers, maintain employee-to-cost-center-assignments to control cost distribution and to gain transparency about employee related costs.

  • SuccessFactors to SAP ERP
    • Employee data integration

A set of employee data is integrated with SAP ERP systems to support processes such as, time reporting via the cross-application time sheet (CATS) or enables users to create travel request as well travel expense reports. The employee data integration builds the foundation together with the reporting line information integration to support workflow processing in the connected ERP systems.

    • Reporting line integration

Employee-to-line-manager reporting information is kept in SuccessFactors Employee Central as part of the employee job information and is essential information for other SAP ERP systems. By integrating the manager information with SAP Organizational Management especially workflow execution, such as approval processes, are supported.

    • Employee-to-cost-center-assignment integration

The integration of cost centers from SAP ERP to SuccessFactors Employee Central allows assignments of cost centers to employees. Once this information is back in the SAP ERP system by mapping cost information to the employee’s position, it can be leveraged for cost evaluation and cost analysis.

    • Employee-to-department-assignment integration

In addition to the reporting line integration, the recent integration investments offer deeper organizational information integration, primarily to support SAP organizational management and act as central view on organizational data that can support variants of workflow or global reports against SAP ERP based on interpreted organizational information. The employee department assignment integration is interpreted within SAP Organizational Management as the relationship between the employee’s position and the appropriate organizational unit.

    • Department integration (beta version as of 1311)

From the existing integration scenarios, it is obvious that SAP and SuccessFactors have invested in integration that is very essential, namely to allow users to access any SAP ERP applications and run basic workflow processes. This together is built on the employee data replication and the reporting line integration. Already these two integration scenarios focus on extensibility that allows customers to extend integration logic by adding more or custom-specific fields and logic without putting the advantages of standard integration – maintenance by SAP, upgrade ability – at any risk.

The other scenarios mentioned in the above list give a clear hint to SAP’s strong investment into an end-to-end business process integration, driving value that is built on deep organizational data integration, linking the SuccessFactors Employee Central enterprise structure information with organizational data of SAP Organizational Management.  The integration of the SuccessFactors enterprise structure with SAP Organizational Management is a key to enabling end-to-end integration scenarios that today rely on the strong “engine” SAP Organizational Management.

Moving forward, the investment will continue. Two main areas of investment to come are further organizational integration, adding business units, divisions, jobs and positions as well employee assignment information to these entities and integration with other solutions, such as SAP Governance, Risk and Compliance, SAP Environmental Health and Safety to extend the standardization of integrated processes.

Department integration is already available as a beta version. This scenario integrates SuccessFactors Employee Central departments with organizational units in SAP Organizational Management.

For details on the roadmap, keep an eye out for my next two blogs:

I hope I have provided you with an overview of all the integration scenarios available and what we are working on. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards, Heike
Solution Manager – HCM Solutions, SAP AG

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  • Hi Heike,

    This is a great summary of the available integration points. The increased focus and investment around integrating the SuccessFactors enterprise structure with SAP's Org Management is evident and a critical value add. Building these integrations at the employee level as well as the organizational level is a big differentiating factor. I will have my eyes out for your next blog in the series as GRC is of interest to a few of my customers as well as integration of SAP OM with additional Foundation objects in Employee Central.



  • Great job Heike!

    I'm really glad that you mentioned that.. "The intention is not just to rebuild what is currently available for SAP HCM and integrate it with other solutions. We are enhancing the experience with additional features such as increased cloud solution portfolio, partner solutions, outsourcing functions and third party products as well as better technical options. All of these enhancements will improve integration beyond what is available today for SAP HCM."

    .. both sides win! 

  • Hii Heike,

    Great overview of the integration from EC to SAP and other systems. I will be particularly interested to follow the Org structure integration as it is a very critical piece at a project I am working on and also the GRC part.

    In addition to this I would also like to know what is the future integrations in terms of the integration of EC with the SAP time management functionality especially around Leave accruals as it is part of legal requirements in countries like Australia.Would EC eventually have a Time evaluation engine like SAP to calculate accruals ?



    • Hi Harries,

      thanks for your feedback. With regards to go forward with time management we are currently evaluating what the future could look like. Your requirements are known. We need some time until a decision.

      Regards, Heike

  • Dear Heike,

    This is a excelent  Information of the integration points. This will very important on give the focus on integrating of the SuccessFactors.

    Here is important things is integration of employee level and  organizational level.

    But in the India some of the company using simply +/- ve time management. Is this possible to integrate. They are not using CATS.

    I am also waiting your coming soon blogs.


    Santosh Shivane

    • Hi Santhosh,

      thanks for your feedback. With regards to time management integration this is up to the customers momentarily. We are further evaluating what the time management scenarios in Employee Central should look like in future releases, including integration strategy. So we are in a decision phase and update accordingly with our next roadmap versions.

      Regards, Heike

  • Hi Heike,

    Thanks for this excellent summery from the integration perspective.

    It would be interested to see from where we get more details about the enhancement of additional features such as increased cloud solution portfolio, partner solutions, outstanding functions and third party products as well as better technical options. Customers travelling towards SaaS model may be interested to see these benefits before take their decision.

    In granular level, it is good to know the list of Common Foundation Objects Entities, Personal and Employment Object Available for Integration in each Integration scenarios you have explained. Please guide where to refer.

    Also, how flexible these pre-packaged Integration when it work with HCI - HANA Cloud Integration - in terms of Cloud-Cloud and Cloud-On-Premise integration, Core runtime processing, Transformation and routing of the messages ( performance ? )

    Best Regards,


    • Hi Loganesh,

      When looking at Cloud-based solutions like SF, you will find added value in extremely short implementation times, overall flexibility of the configuration to move along with the organisation and generally lower costs in implemention and maintenance.

      Heike, thanks for a great article. Can't wait to read the rest 🙂

      • HiLuuk,

        thanks for answering, yes the general cloud arguments are the drivers.

        @Loganesh, in the broader context of where the cloud solutions become more and more important as a deployment model with the advantages Luuk described our intention is that customers benefit from this deployment model as much as possible but without loosingt he business value of full cycle processes.In terms of an HR system, it is extremely important that we still enable the respective integrations as they are available today within our SAP ERPsolution offering. in addition,we have the chnaceto modernize the integration and deliver better solutions, like granting more flexibility.

        Regards, Heike

  • Hi Heike,

    Thanks for good overview of Integration.

    Are there AddOns available for replication of Personal and Employment Information from SAP (i.e. SAP HR Info Types) to SF Employee Central ?



    • Hi Bhoghesch,

      that direction is not yet supported by standard integration. But on the roadmap in the context of what we call the side-by-side scenario where customers use SAP HCM and Employee Central inparralelas theirproductive HR master data systems. The business driver for that could be that they want to strat their cloud transition for certain countries, legal entities and the like or consolidate countries where they do use heterogenous or no solutions on one SAP solution platform. The plan is to have that scnerio supported by first delivered integration starting Q2/Q3 this year.

      What is available from a migration perspective,is an RDS for a one-time migration from any HR solution (SAP or non-SAP) to SuccessFactors Employee Central.

      Regards, Heike

        • Hi Akhil,

          In the Service Marketplace, you will find all the detailed information about the package, a recorded demo and how to download and deploy the content.

          In case of migrating from SAP HCM on Premise, you will also find the mapping from source to target for EC. The package provides a migration framework, including documentation, templates, methodology, tools and expertise to analyse, extract, cleanse, validate, upload and reconcile legacy data and accelerate your migration project.

          Rapid data migration to cloud solutions from SAP package including content for SAP customer on Demand ( CoD) and SFSF Employee Central.

          Best Regards,


  • Hi Heike,

    Thanks for the excellent blog, a fantastic insight on SF and SAP HCM. Are the integrations  between SAP ERP -Employee Central- third party systems happening using work flow methods or via XML?  Trying to understand how the flow of data happens between these integration points.

    Yes looking forward to your next blogs.


    Vinu Kumar

    • Vinu,

      We are using the Compound employee API to extract data from Employee central .Dell Boomi is the Middle ware and we are using Web methods for the data mapping.You can specify within the Compound employee API various filters on the basis of which you want to extract data . For ex. SELECT only for a certain divison and only if there is a modification after the last API extract. This extracted data is then processed through the middle ware and can be Ftp'd to a secure server from where it can be picked up and uploaded .

      There is detailed documentation on Third party Payroll and third party time management integration on the Partner portal and also documentation on the Compound employee API.



      • Harris,

        Quick question, please response when you get time.

        In general when you use Compound Employee API the picklist object returns external code, but when you use Compound Employee for Time-Dependent Foundation Object which has Picklist the external item can't be determined- how did you manage to get this?

        Best Regards,


  • Hi Heike,

    Thanks for the great overview. I was wondering if an update from your grafical overview would contains a box with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform Integration?

    From everything what I heard is this the platform where SF, SAP and Partners can offer additional applications to e.g. SF EC.

    Best Regards


  • Hello Kolar,

    This is Feiran from Globalization Service HCM develop team.

    I think your article is very useful for me.

    But I have one question as one of my customer ask me the question about the integration roadmap of SAP ERP HCM / Successfactors with SAP Concur travel management.

    Do you know anything about this?

    Thank you very much!

    Best regards, Feiran

  • Hi Heike,

    would you be so nice and just add the info what has to be done in SAP HCM ERP ECC 6.07 System to use Employee Central. I found different reuqirements in the web and it would be great just to point this out.

    like: You need EHP 7 an SP xy and business function "what ever" and you need to get it from where ever...