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What data should you migrate from SAP HCM to Employee Central?

Replication goes far if you still need SAP HCM for some things. If migration is inevitable, you must choose what to move, how to move it and what happens to the data left behind.

Historical employee data is important to many processes and can play a role in analytics, particularly predictive...

analytics. But when moving from SAP HCM to SuccessFactors Employee Central, many customers are unsure about just how much historical data should be moved as part of the data migration process.

No employee data should be moved from SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) if there will be integration back to SAP for other processes.

The first record of the employee in Employee Central will be a record dated on what SAP calls the Full Transmission Start Date. This is the date on which data replication between Employee Central and SAP HCM begins. Historical data is retained in SAP HCM and new records are added with each replication, meaning a complete historical picture is kept there in case historical employee data needs to be reviewed.

For terminated employees, it is OK to replicate as much historical data as needed. The main reason for migrating terminated employee data is because the employee may be rehired. How much data you migrate will depend on how many rehires you make and the typical tenure employees spend away from the company. 

Migrating data of terminated employees can be more simple than for active employees, since not all of the data may be needed. In many cases, rehires don't return to their previous roles and all historical employee data is already in SAP HCM.

What should you do with items not moved in the data migration process?

The key question about the historical data that isn't migrated is what to do with it. Among the possibilities are the following:

  • Creating a custom portlet -- Generic Object -- to store the data; this means enabling free text values instead of converting objects.
  • Exporting the history as an Adobe PDF document and attaching it to the employee record in Employee Central.
  • Dumping the data into a database, which is only needed if you're decommissioning SAP HCM.
  • Performing a full migration of employee histories.

When migrating the full history, you will need to build out all the related historical objects -- e.g., companies, departments, cost centers, etc. While SAP's Infoporter data migration tool can migrate some Foundation Objects, not all Foundation Objects can be migrated by their framework.

In addition, the way different infotypes are joined together can often create unnecessary historical records in the job information extraction.

Finally, if you don't execute a full data load and instead use the Variable Pay module for variable pay-based compensation planning, you'll need to do manual loads of historical employee data for the first two or three years of the compensation planning cycle.

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