Making Sense of the Changing SAP ERP HCM and SuccessFactors Landscapes

  • by Danielle Larocca, Senior Vice President, Human Capital Management, EPI-USE Labs
  • February 13, 2015
Get up to speed on the history, new terminology, and future designs of SAP ERP HCM and SuccessFactors to understand where you fit in and to help you plan your future.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will:

  • Get an overview of SAP’s recent acquisitions and changes to understand what’s happened and what’s ahead for SAP ERP HCM and Payroll customers
  • Learn the differences between the on-premise, talent-hybrid, full-cloud, and side-by-side deployment models for HCM
  • See which SAP modules are now considered legacy modules with newer versions available in SuccessFactors
  • Get a feeling for the urgency (or lack thereof) to move to the cloud, including an overview of the new features available to on-premise users, such as the new look of the user experience that comes with HR Renewal 1.0
Key Concept

The term full cloud refers to SuccessFactors cloud HR offerings, Employee Central and any of its Talent modules (Recruitment, Performance Management, Learning, and Succession Planning) in the cloud, plus the optional deployment of a hosted payroll option such as Employee Central Payroll. HR Renewal 2.0 is an add-on for SAP ERP HCM enhancement packages that contains new capabilities for some HR areas. HR Renewal contains functional as well as user experience improvements that are aimed to increase the productivity of HR professionals and overall HR administration efficiency.

The SAP HCM world has changed more in the past two years than it has in the previous 20. And with these changes come new terminology, functionality, deployment options, and platforms for users to become familiar with and learn. There is also quite a bit of confusion in the marketplace. The messaging seems to differ depending on who is speaking and who the audience is.

Reading this Computerworld article (January 2014) that quotes a Gartner analyst as saying, “On-Premise technologies like SAP may soon be classified as legacy systems as soon as 2016, although it may take 10 years or longer for a majority of companies to move to cloud-based ERP,” one would think that everyone is moving to the cloud, and right away. On the other side of that coin, at the SuccessConnect 2014 conference, Mike Ettling (President, Cloud & On-Premise HR at SAP) projected that it won’t be until the year 2020 that a third of all HCM data will be in the cloud.

So which is it? Is there a major urgency to move right now, is SAP shutting off support to on-premise legacy applications, or are there options available to users regardless of platform?

There is also quite a bit of confusion regarding duplication between on premise and SuccessFactors of some of the Talent solutions (like Recruiting) and the actual maturity and saturation of some of the SuccessFactors solutions. Here I will explain the differences of each, and what each system does.

My goal is to help you understand the options and how the decisions you make now will impact your landscape of the future, as well as determine which decisions you need to make now and which you do not.

The best place to start is the beginning. The terminology for SAP ERP HCM functionality has evolved over the years and now all the various modules are placed into distinct categories called Core and Talent modules. SAP consistently has been a leader in core HR and payroll, and they are popular as a part of the big three in this competitive space. Although SAP’s Core modules have always been well regarded, their Talent modules (Figure 1) were often not as well matured, integrated, or adopted.

Figure 1
SAP on-premise Core and Talent modules

Danielle Larocca

Danielle Larocca is currently the Senior Vice President of Human Capital Management for EPI-USE Labs. Previously she was the Executive Vice President of Operations/Chief Knowledge Officer at a technology start-up. She has more than 20 years of strategic leadership experience in multi-national business, business process re-engineering, and project and people management. Danielle is an expert on SAP Human Resources (HR) and reporting and has authored four best-selling books on SAP. She is a regular speaker at numerous conferences around the world on topics such as HR, technology, change management, and leadership. She is an official SAP Mentor, a global designation assigned to less than 160 professionals worldwide, who serve as influential community participants in the SAP ecosystem. This group is nominated by the community and selected by the SAP Mentors’ Advisory Board to keep SAP relevant. Danielle also serves as an expert advisor for SAP Professional Journal.

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