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Expert tips for moving to SuccessFactors Employee Central

Moving your core HRIS to the cloud with SuccessFactors Employee Central can transform and add value to your HR function. Here are tips for making the move.

Moving your core HRIS to the cloud with SuccessFactors Employee Central is an excellent opportunity for human resources...

transformation and for adding value to your HR function. Here are a few tips to think about when considering a move.

Don't rebuild your old HR system in Employee Central. If you are considering moving your current processes to Employee Central, clearly something is not right with your current HRIS or processes. Implementing a new HRIS is a great opportunity to examine your existing processes -- re-engineering them where possible to simplify and economize -- and to investigate how you can take advantage of the cutting-edge features and functionality found in Employee Central, as well as those processes and functions that work differently in your current HRIS. Many features will most likely work differently in Employee Central. For example, the organizational structure in Employee Central differs from that found in SAP ERP HCM and is extremely flexible; it can be tailored to suit any organizational structure purely through configuration.

Analyze how you use your HR system now. To move forward into a new era of HR, you need to fully understand your current HR system and technology landscape. This involves analyzing your current HR processes, your HRIS usage (e.g., data, transactions, workflows, self-service) and system landscape (e.g., ERP, payroll, time and attendance, benefits).

As mentioned, this is an ideal time to perform process simplification or re-engineering, so having a sound understanding of how you do things is imperative. Once you understand the processes clearly, you can identify how you use the current HR system to support those processes. This will help you understand how you can support the processes in Employee Central, which gaps may exist, and which new functionality will be available to better support or complement the processes.

Finally, understanding the landscape can be equally important if you use other systems for other business processes. For example, you may have payroll in one or more external systems or use SAP ERP modules such as Finance or Materials Management where HR data may be used directly (e.g., for cost postings) or indirectly (e.g., for workflows). Consolidating some systems in the future landscape may be possible, but even if it's not, it is a necessity to understand the future data flows and which integrations will be required.

How many other systems do you have and what data do you need in those systems? Finding out which data you need in which systems will help you identify the integration effort and may affect how you build a roadmap for rolling out other SuccessFactors HCM suite applications. Integration is not to be taken lightly, no matter how seamless it is intended to be. Even without unique customer requirements, a standard integration can take time and effort to set up and configure, particularly across multiple systems. And some processes may not be covered by a standard integration; they may require a customized integration. Additionally, there may be limitations for certain data types or field lengths within part of the integration landscape that you need to address early.

Data migration is always a challenge and you will have bad data in your existing system. An often underestimated part of any implementation is data migration. The problem is usually two-fold: First, it is quite common for some data to be of poor quality in places and to require cleansing; second, conversion of data from the existing format to a new format is significant.

Consider both hard and soft ROI in the system of engagement versus system of record, as well as savings from system and staffing consolidation. ROI goes beyond savings from process efficiency, systems consolidation and retirement; reduced hardware, support and staffing; and maintenance -- it also includes aspects like these:

  • Increased adoption and engagement
  • Leveraging self-service to target communications and drive employees to other processes
  • Reduced change management and training efforts
  • Easier maintenance
  • Enhanced compliance and diminished risk through quarterly updates and localizations
  • Better data transparency and accuracy
  • Improved reporting and analytics
  • Identifying internal talent
  • Mobile capabilities

Some of these soft aspects of ROI can provide intangible benefits beyond the financial savings.

Although it comes with significant advantages, moving your core HR system to SuccessFactors Employee Central requires consideration and forethought before you plunge into an implementation. Some up-front preparation and analysis can enable a smooth and value-adding implementation for your organization.

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This was last published in January 2015

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