Update: After I was half way through this blog, I realized that the content is already available on SCN and therefore posting it in own space.
Since SAP acquired SuccessFactors, there have been a considerable increase in SuccessFactors Integration related questions on SCN as well as from the customers. A lot of customers are looking for integration recommendations from SAP. I did some analysis on the possible technical options to connect to SuccessFactors in my blog. While thinking about the ways to leverage these options using SAP offerings, some obvious question customers ask are:
- What is SAP’s recommendation?
- Is the recommendation same for SAP and non-SAP customers?
- Do I need to pay something extra?
The current offerings per my understanding are the following:
- In the recent SuccessFactors documentations, I have seen HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) being promoted by SAP for customers who prefer cloud based integration solution. SAP PI is seen next in race for customers who want to leverage their existing on-premise investment. Both HCI and PI licenses are not included in the SuccessFactors license. However, once you have these product licenses, you do not need to pay extra for the adapters.These 2 blogs shows SAP’s interest and investment in these 2 integration solutions:
- But these do not seem to be the ‘real’ recommendations. SuccessFactors had a pre-SAP-acquisition partnership with Dell Boomi where a lightweight cloud/ on-premise based Boomi instance called Boomi Atom is available for customers to deploy their integration processes.
- The main advantage Boomi had over HCI or PI is that Boomi license is inclusive for customers who have SuccessFactors Employee Central license.
- This ‘big’ advantage makes it a preferred choice for not only the non-SAP customers but also some SAP customers who do not care much about the other advantages of HCI or PI like pre-delivered SAP integration.
does that make Boomi the recommended middleware for SuccessFactors Integration? If yes, isn’t it competing with SAP’s own strategic cloud based integration solution? Although HCI is made capable for integration with SuccessFactors, why isn’t HCI promoted as the primary recommended solution for customers looking for cloud-based integration. Two major points arises:
For SAP customers..
If HCI is the primary recommendation only for SAP customers, there is a potential of pushing HCI to the same bucket as SAP PI which would then be seen by some of the (not-so-well-understood) customers as the middleware of choice only for SAP products based integration scenario.
For Non-SAP customers..
With Boomi Atom available as a part of SuccessFactors Employee Central license, the only way HCI can compete with Boomi within non-SAP customer base is to offer an HCI inclusive licensing option for SuccessFactors customers.
SAP always had a plethora of offerings (sometimes competing ones) for integration recommendations. The intention was easy enough to guess – more options allow customer to choose a product specific to their needs. However, this also adds to confusion. I already know of some customers seeking clarity on these and for a specific and widely visible product like SuccessFactors, a clear direction is long awaited.