Connect SAP ByDesign to best-of-breed HCM Solutions
The cloud ERP solution SAP Business ByDesign has been designed for small and midsize businesses (SMB) as well as subsidiaries of large corporations with multiple possible HCM setups:
For Small and Midsize Businesses SAP Business ByDesign offers embedded HCM capabilities that are sufficient for most mid-market companies and tightly integrated with all business areas of ByD incl. financials, project management, supply chain management, etc.
Professional service companies or other companies with very sophisticated requirements to manage their workforces beyond ByD HCM capabilities may consider using SAP SuccessFactors’ HCM Suite that includes additional HR services such as Learning and Development, Performance and Compensation, Recruiting and Onboarding, and more.
Large corporations and globally active companies that are typically organized in corporate networks may consider organizing HR processes on a global level using line of business solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors with world-wide visibility of workforce availability and gaps.
For these companies SAP Business ByDesign offers pre-packaged integration scenarios and APIs to connect best-of-breed HCM solutions. This blog post provides you with an overview on SAP Business ByDesign APIs and integration scenarios to connect best-of-breed HCM solutions.
You have the choice!
Using the cloud ERP solution SAP Business ByDesign you can decide which setup fits best your company: You can use SAP Business ByDesign embedded HCM, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central or some 3rd-party HCM systems as your employee system of records and to run personal administration processes.
SAP Business ByDesign offers a pre-packaged integration scenario to connect SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, and interfaces/APIs to connect SAP S/4HANA or 3rd-party HCM system.
If you decide to use ByD embedded HCM capabilities, you can use ByD APIs to enhance ByD or to connect complementing use case specific HR solutions.
When create or change employee data, you should take into account some employee data model specific characteristics:
Main parts of employee data is time dependent. An update on one time slice may change/impact neighbor time slices as well. In result the effective employee data at a certain point in time is a combination of multiple time slices of all relevant employee data segments.
Furthermore employees implicitly create further data such as positions, organisational assignments (reporting line units, cost centers) and identities (user and business role assignments).
In order to simplify employee replication interfaces and to ensure consistent employee data in ByD at all time, ByD provides a staging area “Employee Replication Request” for new employees and employee updates from external sources. New Employee Replication Requests are processed automatically if possible. The work center Master Data Replication provides work center views to review the status of employee-, reporting line unit- and cost center replications and detailed UIs to solve conflicts and errors of Employee Replication Requests.
Integration with SAP S/4HANA or 3rd-party HCM solutions
ByD provides the pre-packed communication scenario “Employee Replication from External System” to connect external HCM solutions.
The base-line assumption is that the external HCM solution is the system of records for employee master data and all personal administration processes are done in the external system (for example hire new employees). Hence the communication scenario is available only if ByD personal administration is inactive.
The communication scenario can be activated in the ByD Business Configuration via scoping question “Do you want to replicate employee data from an external application to your cloud solution?“.
Employee data becomes read-only on the ByD UI, if you activate the replication of employee data from external applications.
The communication scenario “Employee Replication from External System” contains 2 web service APIs to read and write Employee Replication Requests:
- Employee Master Data Replication In
- Query Employee Master Data Replication Request In
The web service API EmployeeMasterDataReplicationIn can be used to map external employee records to ByD employees, to ByD service agents and to assign employees to organizational centers (e.g. reporting line units and cost center). The asynchronous Soap service supports bulk processing, forward error and conflict handling and offers an optional ID mapping for remote object IDs using the ByD key mapping service.
You find more information on SAP Help >> Integration Scenarios >> Employee Master Data Integration from external application.
Integration with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central
ByD provides an out-of-the-box integration with SAP SuccessFactors EmployeeCentral.
Again, the key assumption is, that SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is the system of records for employee master data and all personal administration processes. This means ByD personal administration has to be inactive and all employee data will be read-only on ByD UIs.
The Employee Central integration can be activated via ByD Scoping option “You can integrate your solution with SuccessFactors Employee Central” and configured using the communication scenario “Master Data Integration to Employee Central“.
As result ByD pulls employee data from Employee Central into ByD Employee Replication Requests, which are subsequently processed to create and update ByD employees. The integration uses ByD ID-mapping and code mapping services to map code lists and employee-, business partner-, reporting line unit- and cost center IDs.
The ByD interface to Employee Central provides you with a number of plug-in points for SAP Cloud Applications Studio Add-ons incl. exits to modify the Employee Central select statement, to filter and package extractions and to map Employee Central persons to ByD employees or service agents. Furthermore the Employee Central query response can be stored in a technical business object that can be accessed by a ByD Add-on using the SAP Cloud Applications Studio.
Special attention require reporting line structure and cost center assignments:
ByD has a master organizational management (MOM) unifying all aspects of an organizational structure, i.e. legal, financial (managerial), reporting and functional. In ByD you can model functional units below a cost center and assign an employee to the functional unit. The employee then gets assigned to the cost center above the functional unit implicitly.
Employee Central derives reporting structures from the relationships between the employees and their managers. Furthermore each employees can be assigned to a cost center independent from the manager relationship.
To bridge those two different setups the interface generates a separate reporting line structure in ByD using the employee-manager relationship imported from Employee Central.
Additionally employees can only be assigned to cost centers directly, but not indirectly via functional units, or in other words a functional unit that you want some employee to be assigned to must either also be a cost center itself (you then assign the employee to this cost center in EC) or be above the cost center in the ByD organizational structure.
You find more information on SAP Help >> Integration Scenarios >> Master Data Integration to Employee Central. In our ByD Wiki you find the Integration Guide – SAP Business ByDesign & SuccessFactors Employee Central.
SAP ByDesign APIs for employee data and personal administration
You can use SAP Business ByDesign embedded HCM capabilities to manage your employees.
Selecting Personal Administration in your ByD scoping, ByD becomes your leading system for employee master data incl. employment information, compensation and payment information, and personal administration processes such as hire, rehire, transfers and terminations.
ByD Web Service APIs are available to read employee data and to trigger personal administration processes, for example by some external recruiting system.
ByD Web Service APIs:
- QueryEmployeeIn: Query and read employee data incl. biographical data, workplace address information, job assignments and employment data.
- QueryEmployeeBankDetailsIn: Query and read employee bank account details.
- QueryBusinessPartnerIn: Query and read business partners incl. employees. The service returns general business partner data, address data and attachments (e.g. the picture of the employee).
- QueryOrganisationalCentreIn: Get organisational center and if employees can be assigned.
- OrganisationalManagementJobQueryIn: Get positions incl. validity.
Communication scenario “Personnel Administration“:
- ManageEmployeeIn: Change employee general data, biographical data and address data. The service cannot be used to create/hire employees, but to change employee data only.
- ManagePersonnelHiringIn: Hire an employee.
- ManagePersonnelRehireIn: Rehire an employee.
- ManagePersonnelTransferIn: Transfer an employee to another organisational center or job.
- ManagePersonnelLeavingIn: Terminate an employee contract.
Beyond Soap APIs most employee data can be accessed using OData Services and custom web service APIs using the SAP Cloud Applications Studio.
If ByD personal administration is active, all employee replication inbound interfaces for SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP S/4HANA and 3rd-party HCM integration are deactivated.
Phased Implementation of ByD and HR Solutions
Sometimes software implementation projects are executed in phases over multiple months or years. You may for example plan to go live with ByD Personal Administration first, and implement SuccessFactors Employee Central or some 3rd-party HR system at a later point in time. Such phased implementations mean you are changing the employee system of records and integrate the HCM system with ByD after the ByD go live. This activity comes with some challenges to keep your data consistent and compliant with legal requirements.
In the following I describe some aspects to be considered for such a switch of the employee system of records:
The ByD business configuration is designed to protect the consistency of your data and processes in ByD. For that reason ByD Personal Administration cannot be descoped after go live due to a scoping veto check. Before we can remove this veto check we have to do some homework and provide a guideline and test the implications of such a decision. Furthermore all required activities in ByD must be feasible for a key user or SAP partner.
Almost all employee data is time-dependent and hence the decision to switch the employee system of records impacts not just the future, but as well your historical data. You will have to decide how much employee history shall be migrated to the new HR system (“earliest migration date”). At the same time you have to define an earliest date for retroactive changes in the new HR system and the earliest date for future data replication into ByD. Employee data before the earliest replication date must not be changed to keep your system consistent.
ID mapping and code mapping:
ID mapping for business partners, employees, reporting line units and cost centers has to be created to avoid creating duplicates with the first replication run between the HR system and ByD.
Code mappings have to be configured to ensure proper data transfers.
Align organizational structures:
ByD has a master organizational management (MOM) unifying all business aspects of an organizational structure, including legal, financial (managerial), reporting, functional, etc. Other HR systems such as Employee Central have different data models and organizational structure capabilities. The perhaps most important task will be to align the organization structure of ByD with the capabilities of the HR system (for example cost center assignments and reporting line units). This may imply that you have to change your organization structure in ByD and forgo some capabilities of the ByD master organizational management. In section “Integration with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central” I already described some more details. Overall, the goal of preparing the organizational structure in ByD is to make sure that the replication of cost center assignments and manager relations does not disrupt business processes in ByD.
Please note: Changes of your organizational structure may require to update work distribution rules, approval hierarchies, work flow rules, project data, etc.
The initial load of shared data (for example employee data, job catalogs, company codes and business residences) and the setup of the replication of cost centers, employees and reporting line structures are the last step in a phased implementation project.
You find more details about Phased Implementations of ByD and HR Solutions on SAP Help in the SAP Business ByDesign and SuccessFactors Employee Central Integration Guide.