Integration Helps Bridge HR Across an Intelligent, Sustainable Enterprise
by Neetin Datar, Carrie Klauss, and Ralf Mundt
Companies today still struggle to collaborate seamlessly across their enterprise. There are silos between the various departments, like HR, finance, sales, procurement, and customer service. A big reason behind this is the segmented technology these departments are using. Integration is missing and often must be cobbled together as a custom solution that is expensive to build and hard to maintain.
SAP’s product strategy is to enable companies to become intelligent, sustainable enterprises. We provide the foundation for companies to break down departmental silos and adopt dynamic, cross-functional business processes that provide optimal customer and employee experiences.
Here are three significant innovations and integrations that SAP has delivered over the past 12-18 months to bring the Intelligent Enterprise strategy to life for customers:
Aligned Data Models Across SAP Applications
A primary challenge for integration is the different data models between the segmented solutions. Based on different semantics and field definitions, they don’t speak the same ‘language,’ and when you translate them, you have to make compromises. To address this, one of the first areas that SAP has focused on in the latest releases of its cloud solutions is the area of domain model alignment. Data and information are the lifeblood of any digital organization. Master data represents the single source of primary business data used commonly across all enterprise business applications. SAP conducted a rigorous domain model alignment exercise across all SAP business applications and has now defined the One Data Model (ODM) for master data, including cost center data (originating in SAP S/4HANA Cloud) and people data (originating in the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution and SAP Fieldglass). These data models are now semantically understood between the systems and are consistently used across all SAP and 3rd party business applications. It solves the challenge of consistent data that is foundational in making the Intelligent Enterprise strategy a reality.
Seamless Distribution of Master Data Across SAP Applications
SAP has also delivered a central master data integration service (MDI) on SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) for seamless distribution of master data like a cost center and people data from the originating system to the consuming systems in real-time. MDI uses the data models defined in SAP One Data Model (ODM) for data distribution.
The benefits of having a central master data integration service are manifold. It allows customers to move from a one-to-one integration to a hub-and-spoke model or one-to-many integration. Unlike a one-to-one or point-to-point integration – which requires costly integration efforts for every new and changing implementation – this one-to-many integration provides a standardized model that is proven to reduce the cost and complexity of managing a heterogeneous enterprise IT landscape.
Consistent Security and User identification Across SAP Applications
As part of SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise strategy, we have also invested heavily in the foundational security capabilities of user authentication and provisioning. SAP Cloud Identity Services is a group of services on SAP BTP that enable companies to integrate identity and access management (IAM) between systems. The goal is to provide a seamless single sign-on (SSO) experience across systems while ensuring that system and data access are secure. With the latest releases of our cloud solutions, this service comes pre-integrated, enabling single sign-on and user data synchronization between these solutions to be available out of the box.
In summary, with the above integrations and innovations, we have ensured that our solutions speak the same language (One Domain Model) and that they are all part of the same conversation (Master Data Integration service) while ensuring a unified user identification and access control. Based on these technologies, we have created a set of end-to-end business processes like ‘Total Workforce Management’ (a.k.a. ‘Recruit-to-Retire’) anchored on a standard technology platform (SAP BTP) to bring our cloud solutions seamlessly together. This is a game-changer that fosters collaboration, provides insight, drives productivity, and increases business success across the whole enterprise. Simply put, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Business Value of a Smooth Flowing Hire-to-Retire Business Process Across SAP Applications and the Enterprise
Customers of all sizes are leveraging SAP solutions to strengthen the connection of HR across the business. Here are a few of the specific business benefits reported by our customers:
- Their HR function is no longer operating in a technological silo but is well integrated with other systems within their IT landscape. For example, people data in HR is now used in downstream finance systems and processes.
- Their IT landscape is powered by SAP BTP across their SAP business applications, enabling faster investment returns. Plus, their landscape is more harmonized and simplified.
- The master data for cost center and people data are always synchronized in real-time between HR and Finance, meaning that the information is always accurate, consistent, and available for processing. Their CHROs and CFOs now work off the same consistent dataset for joint talent decisions and legal reporting obligations.
- Their user provisioning is single sign-on (SSO) enabled across their SAP cloud solutions. It ensures a better employee experience and proper access to systems based on their roles.
- The processes around system access and privileges are now automated, helping to minimize security risk. This includes initial access for new hires, adjustments for changing roles, and access removal for departing employees.
Ready to become an intelligent and sustainable enterprise? Consider RISE with SAP.
As companies look to transform and move their workloads to the cloud, just having Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is not enough. They need a more holistic offering and a trusted partnership. SAP’s answer is our offering RISE with SAP, including RISE with SAP for HXM. We call it ‘Business Transformation as a Service’, and it bundles both software and services together. It provides a comprehensive solution for companies in their transformation journeys, bringing together the applications, platforms, tools, and services you need to adopt continuous business innovation offered by the cloud.
Take Advantage of the SuccessConnect Conference in Las Vegas on Sept 12-14th, 2022.
This year we have an in-person SuccessConnect conference at the Venetian Hotel Convention Center. There is a dedicated track, “Bridge HR Across the Business,” covering the content covered in this blog and much more. Please take this opportunity to meet with and learn from your peers and SAP experts as you begin, continue, or optimize your HR digital transformation.
Additional Resources For Your HR Digital Transformation Projects:
- OpenSAP Learning Track
- Juergen Muller and Thomas Saueressig, Members of the Executive Board of SAP SE: Updated integration strategy paper
- Frank Bareis, Jochen Thierer, and Neetin Datar of SAP Product Engineering: SAP Reimagines HR Business Process of Recruit to Retire for its Intelligent Enterprise Suite
- Stefan Rueter, Jochen Thierer, and Neetin Datar of SAP Product Engineering: HR business process of Hire to Retire in SAP’s Integrated Intelligent Enterprise just got a triple shot of espresso!
- Michael Uhl and Neetin Datar of SAP Product Engineering: SAP delivers integration booster-shots for the External Workforce business process to accelerate a path to the Intelligent Enterprise
- Neetin Datar of SAP Product Engineering: From unsung heroes to superheroes