Now that we are all back from our holidays, I wanted to highlight an excellent book that was released in the 4th quarter authored by Amy Grubb and Luke Marson titled: “ SuccessFactors with SAP ERP HCM”, available through Galileo Press and here is the link in case you want to order it:

SuccessFactors with SAP ERP HCM

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This book is a must have for anyone who is interested in a comprehensive manual on all the latest features of SuccessFactors HCM solutions – especially Employee Central, but of course I’m biased. 

I immediately turned to Chapter 6 to read up on Employee Central.  It’s very easy to follow and very early highlights one of our key differentiator with Employee Central – Globalization.  One thing Luke and Amy didn’t mention in that section is the fact that SAP Globalization Services (it’s actually a department) is comprised of over 200 Globalization Product Managers.  These people are responsible for being up to date on all legal requirements and to deliver legal changes into our solutions.  In 2013 alone, we had over 1500 legal changes of which about 600 were HR related.  – That’s a lot of legal changes that we automatically update in Employee Central so that HR Executives don’t have worry about.   Chapter 4 covers the Upgrade Center which I like to call our ultimate enabler for legal compliance. – check it out!

The Employee Central Chapter delivers very detailed information on the types of information captured to cover Personal Information, Employment Information, Events and Employee Statuses are listed here.  There is also a very nice section on Processes, Transactions and Features. Here you will find some great examples of how New Hires and Rehires are simply executed.  Other key features covered in this chapter are:

  • Time off and Absence Management
  • Advances and Deductions
  • Position Management
  • Workflows
  • Global Benefits
  • Employee Central Service Center
  • Employee Central Payroll

I plan to do some more deep dives blogs on some of these topics and will definitely refer to portions of this book. 

I can continue to go on about this book, but I’d like to ask a few questions to one of the authors Luke Marson.

Question:  This is your second edition, besides updated features from your last edition, what else did you add to this book?

Answer:

In addition to all of the new releases, terminology, and UI updated we also decided to add a chapter on Platform and Extensibility and a chapter on administering SuccessFactors. We also re-wrote some chapters – namely Employee Central and large parts of the integration chapter – to ensure that the information was more relevant and consumable by the reader. I think it is important that readers can get comprehensive information from all topic areas of SuccessFactors in a way that is easily understandable. I wrote a blog post late last year that covers some of the new additions to the book in detail.

Question: This book is quite comprehensive and not each section pertains to everyone, what are the key chapters that someone interested in going to the cloud should read?

Answer:                        

This depends on how much a reader might already know, but I think it’s a really good start to read the implementation, platform, and administration chapters. These will give the reader a really good overview of what implementing and using SuccessFactors entails and will give a foundation for the application-specific chapters that follow. Of these, it really depends on what the areas of interest are.

Question: I really like the Implementing SuccessFactors HCM chapter because provides a great detail on the phases to implementation. Is there a particular phase that you want to chime in on that you think folks should pay particular attention to?

Answer:

I think some of the important points that we don’t touch on in the book (and are therefore worth highlighting here) are the time and effort that should be put aside for integration, as well as some of the differentiating implementation practices of some of the third party vendors. This is something we are going to cover in the forthcoming SAP PRESS book “SuccessFactors Employee Central: A Comprehensive Guide”. Aside from this, the first phases of the BizXpert methodology really provide a solid foundation for the implementation and it is worth getting an understanding of how these things work.

Question:  Last question, (luke if you want to end with a plug for something you are up to or? If you don’t have one here is one) besides this book, what other resources or groups do you recommend that would be useful for people to learn more about SuccessFactors with SAP ERP HCM?

Answer:

There are a few resources and readers will be pleased to know that these are covered in the back of the SuccessFactors book. For me the key resources that customers can use include:

Blogs and articles on SuccessFactors are regularly posted on the SAP Community Network as well as in respected publications like SearchSAP.

I really hope you will get as much out of this book as I have. Would welcome any feedback from you all. Happy reading!

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