Technical challenges in Hybrid environment – Workday / Successfactors

In this blog, I am focusing on the technical challenges in the Hybrid environment where the Payroll & Time is still with the SAP HCM and you are moving your other HR function like WFA, Talent etc into cloud based services. It becomes important to focus on granular level then just middleware decision making as I believe there are tons of blogs on various options like SAP PI/Adds-on/HCI/Dell Bhoomi/Mule etc middleware available. However when it comes to decision making pragmatic approach considering various technical challenges need to be considered for any of the Hybrid environment you chose to go for.

Technical challenges in Hybrid environment – Workday Or Successfactors.png


In the picture above please have a closer look at To-Be Systems landscape (out of many different options) where you have to make the following decisions as a work  stream lead or as an Architect, as you don’t have single source of truth in To-Be environments:-

1) Interface between Cloud Service provider and ECC HCM to support the retained functionality.  Like Payroll in ECC HCM or maintaining the mini master for various other process, other than HCM supported by your ECC system like FI,PS,SD, MM, PM,SRM,CRM and their respective workflow which might require light weight OM structure in the ECC.

2) Segregate the interfaces depending on the system of record as well as the where the complete information is available. For example in particular case where all the WFA related interfaces like head count etc should be moved to cloud service provider (SF or WD). Please note in this particular case the interface need to be built from the scratch and you have to consider time required for establishing the connectivity as it might depend on the SLA of the infrastructure service provider and obviously the 3rd party.

3) On similar lines, you have to retain many existing interface for which the true system of record is still SAP ECC for example the entire payroll related interfaces or time related interface which is still supported by ECC HCM. Interfaces which provide data to third party for payroll run (for some countries) or benefit provider.

4) This is one of the most complex bit of interfaces (Same is the case with Reports), True hybrid interface that will be many, where the information is coming from both the systems i.e cloud service provider and SAP HCM. You have to make the decision on how to handle these interfaces and which system will be the best place for these interfaces to run – Cloud or Premise SAP HCM. You have the following options:-

i) Maintain mandatory fields not available by operation team in the system where the interface runs.

ii) Prepare interface between the systems to receive the missing information in the system where the interface runs.

iii) Identify impact of delay in passing the missing information in the underlying processes, interfaces or reports.

iv) Ask your third party provider if the missing fields are required for the underlining processes, if not then you can simply send blank information and hence changing the interfaces may not be required.

5) You have to do the similar exercise for all the reports – Standard and custom reports. Please keep in mind the legal reports, operation critical reports etc. In addition, you need project decision well in advance to handle those Standard reports as well as standard Idoc and Idoc processing logic, which may be impacted by these hybrid solutions, as modifying standard reports has its own pitfall.

6) A similar exercise for the payslips may need to be carried out if you are generating from your system.

7) Please don’t underestimate the impact on the workflow please see below for further information.

To do all this analysis, a clear understanding of As-Is Data Model is required. So, you have to revisit the whole system to properly identify and populate the entire important information stored in various tables/infotypes in ECC. But please note how these data are store in the new cloud service provider systems. Here is the some pointers to build your data model.

1)  How the cloud service provider is storing the historical records and what all historical records are available.

2) You have to analyse all your processes and the underlying Infotypes to have a clear data    model for your organization.

3) Careful consideration is required for the entire number range objects. For example it is highly likely that service provider employee hire number might be different than that of HCM and therefore you need to store that link somewhere in both the system to link. Example: PERNR in ECC with SF employee number.

4) All the enhancements need to be captured in the data model like:-

a) Mandatory Fields

b) Custom Infotype developed to support various processes.

c) Custom Tables & Persistence objects if any.

d) Dynamic Action as it populates the default values.

e) All the enhancements – like BADI, enhancement point, modification.

f) Data maintained manually by the operation team.

g) Check if you have any tools for providing information to the third party for example payroll provider.

h) Features as it is another way to populate and validate.

5) Analyse report based on the selection screen parameter and check how it impacts. For example there might be action/action reason which is no more supported but you have that in the filter requirement in the existing reports/interfaces.

It is important that you deep dive into the scenarios when capturing this information. The cloud service provider might store only limited information or it stores information in different format altogether which might impact your data model and you have to make some provision for the same.  For example in case of hiring run all the scenario for all combination of Employee Group, Subgroup, personal area sub area and note all the mandatory fields in the SAP Screen, custom validation For example:-

1) National ID (It is country specific) is store quite differently and you might have extensive validation behind that which might create some problem when you are coding interfaces. As the front end (WD) might not be doing any validation as such in the frontend.

2) Organization structure in workday is very different from that in ECC. In WD, Manager can’t sit inthe same organization structure and therefore it might impact the integration and therefore underlying Interface / Report / Payslip / Workflow. In Success factor there is no default position to position relationship etc

3) WD stores only the current Cost Centre and split is not possible as in SAP HCM.

Last but not the least, you have to consider about local requirement so that they can capture them in your data model  and does not cause any impact in the Payroll, Payslip or legal reports at least.

Below excel sheet is the likely representation of you Data Model Capture screen. Once populated it will give you clear idea and improve your decision making on all your design specific queries.


Sample Data Model.png

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