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Author's profile photo Gabriel Henrich

Employee Central Side-By-Side: Deployment and Solution Architecture Considerations

When starting an Employee Central implementation, whether coming from an existing SAP ERP HCM installation, from a non-SAP HR system landscape or even from a mixture both, the question arises on the deployment model to be chosen for the Employee Central roll-out.

Although SAP’s recommendation is clear: “…Employee Central is the leading global HR-Core system and it replicates data to the connected HR systems for payroll and local processes…”, sometimes customers are not able to achieve this outcome all at once, especially starting from a heterogeneous country/HR system vendor landscape. That’s where the Employee Central side-by-side deployment model comes into play, allowing at first for a global HR data consolidation and transitioning to a EC-leading setup (such as the Core Hybrid setup).

In order to provide more insight into the Side-by-Side deployment model and to state a clear scenario-based recommendation, we released an “Implementation Design Principle” covering the subject. You can access it as a customer here, and as an implementation partner here. The document´s abstract and problem statement you can read below.


“Side-by-Side” is a deployment model which allows companies to consolidate workforce and organizational data in Employee Central while keeping existing HCM systems as system(s) of record for those data. This document details the recommendation for Side-by-Side solution architecture, explains how it can be applied to a cross-country multi-system environment and how it is possible to transition from a Side-by-Side deployment to a Core Hybrid deployment. This document also covers implementation considerations for supporting use-cases in the area of global mobility in the Side-by-Side model.

Problem Statement

Customers end up with a distributed HR system landscapes due to multiple factors.  Sometimes, it is the result of continuous mergers and acquisitions, sometimes it is the need to have independently, locally optimized HR processes running in local systems blocking the consolidation on a single globally harmonized system.  In all cases, customers are lacking a global consolidated view on their HR data and suffering from the consequences.

Side-by-Side provides a globally consolidated view on HR data while at the same time respects the need to leave the distributed HR system landscape (their SAP HCM systems) basically unchanged.  By doing so, Side-by-Side also enables customers to focus on implementing EC for a specific country while leaving the rest of the system landscape unchanged.

In all these cases, EC will be leveraged as consolidation system plus optionally as a system of record for a subset of the global population. The way Side-by-Side achieves the consolidation is by means of multiple data integrations feeding HR data from the to-be consolidated SAP HCM systems into EC. Chapter 5 will explain different use-cases in more detail…


We encourage you to read this and other IDPs and bring your comments and ideas / feedback to us either by commenting on this blog or by contacting us at

We are planning to continuously publish more documents addressing relevant topics, hence it is worth to drop by regularly and bookmark the links!

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      Author's profile photo Sharath T N
      Sharath T N

      Good read for customer going live country by country

      Author's profile photo Umesh Chaudhari
      Umesh Chaudhari

      One of the key criteria is also Time Management solution as with current limitations customer still wants to keep SAP HCM systems.


      Umesh Chaudhari.