SAP SuccessFactors H2 2020 Release Analysis: Learning

SAP SuccessFactors H2 2020 Release Analysis: Learning featured image

The SAP SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning release is now in preview. According to the SAP SuccessFactors 2020 release schedule, the second-half update will go into production on November 20. We have broken down the major updates to help you get ramped up for the latest Learning features.

More H2 2020 Analysis: Performance and Goals | Employee Central | Calibration | Succession and Development | Recruiting | Onboarding | Compensation and Variable Pay | Employee Central Payroll

Additionally, we hosted a LinkedIn Live with our in-house experts to discuss the H2 2020 Learning release.

Now that the SAP SuccessFactors releases are bi-annual instead of quarterly, they tend to be fairly sizeable with many added features. Continuing on from the huge enhancements and updates from H1 2020, the H2 Learning release also has plenty more in store for users and administrators alike. Whilst there are a few “under the hood” enhancements, the majority falls into functionality that makes a real impact on the UI and additional updates that strengthen the learning management system (LMS).

Let’s dig into the SAP SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning enhancements.

SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning Updates

API New Features and Enhancements

In the 2020 H2 release, SuccessFactors have updated and added new features to the LMS API. Below are what was updated in this release:

·      New API: Catalog Info

  • Ability to get various catalog information from the system including Catalog ID, Locale, Item/Curricula/Class details as well as being able to return summary information

·      Learning Plan API Enhancements

  • Enhanced API calls to gather additional information from the Learning Plan, including Source and Image URL. Program details can be expanded, and the update now reduces the number of calls required to get the required information.

·      New User OData API Parameter

  • This enhancement includes changes and updates to the OData API call to gather the parameter for “UserSourceSystem,” which is used now to support external users that have been migrated over to the SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication Service (IAS). This update may be required for subsequent releases to support External users that are migrated to IAS.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Competency Connector Enhancement

This is a small but great update to how the Competency Connector works for system admins and implementation partners LMS. Previously, if the default “competency type” value didn’t exist in the LMS references and a connector was initiated, the connector would fail. There was an incorrect requirement that the competency type field should be mandatory. This has now been corrected. Additionally, if the type does not exist in the LMS but has been declared in the Competency Connector configuration, LMS will automatically create references’ references’ value.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Class Time Zone Changes to Match Facility Selection

This is another nice enhancement for customers that use facilities in different time-zones. Previously, when creating a class, the time-zone would default to that of the administrator setting up the class. If there was a mismatch of the administrator/facility time-zone, then the administrator would need to manually adjust this. In this release, creating a class now automatically defaults to the time-zone of the facility that the class is assigned to. In the event that the facility does not have a time-zone set or the class is not associated with a facility, then it will fall back to the time-zone of the administrator.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Language Support for Personalized Recommendations

Previously, Personalized Recommendations were only supported for a select few languages in the system. However, in the H2 release, this has now been opened up to an additional 20 languages, including Italian, Polish, Korean, and Swedish.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Personalized Recommendations to Include Collections

Continuing with the enhancements to Personalized Recommendations, in H2 2020, SuccessFactors have now added Collections to the already available Items, Programs, Curricula, and Classes. Having access to user-curated Learning as part of recommendations adds a lot more flexibility to LMS’s user experience.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Self-Assignment of Programs and Curricula in Personalized Recommendations

Learners are now able to assign themselves not only Items and Classes but now also Programs and Curricula. Before the H2 Release, the “Assign to me” button was not available in Personalized Recommendations for either Programs or Curricula. This again makes self-learning much more accessible to users of the system.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Add New Items

As of November 2020, Adobe Flash is no longer being supported by any of the popular internet browsers, and as such, SuccessFactors have migrated to HTML5 based user interface. To close the gaps on legacy admin with the new LMS admin UI, during H2 2020, the “Add Item” functionality has been migrated across.

Some features about what is available in the new UI include:

  • The setting of visible/required fields as well as those that are custom is managed in “Entity Configuration.”
  • Revision Number can now accept up to 90 chars
  • Required fields are all validated before the item is created.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

New Tokens Added to Certificate of Completion Template

Administrators have been able to customize, via HTML, Certificates of Completion for a number of releases; however, some of the tokens that can be brought into the certificate have been fairly limited. In this release, SuccessFactors have now added a number of additional tokens that can be utilized at the Class, Item, User, and Program levels. These include:

  • Start and End Dates (Class)
  • Item IDs, Descriptions, Item Types, and Revision Dates (Item)
  • User ID, Job Location Description, and ID (User)
  • Program ID

The inclusion adds more flexibility in the information that can be pulled through onto certificates and, in some cases, can satisfy legal compliance requirements.

SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning Release

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Default Filter for Assigned Items

Again, in trying to achieve the same functionality that was available in the old Flash UI, the default filters for Assigned Items will be applied using the “Requirements” and “Other Needs” filters. By default, the “Completed” filter is not active but can be amended by the administrator user.

SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning Release

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Search by Status for Assignment Profile Tab for Item and Curricula

Enhancing the user experience for administrators has been a key focus for SuccessFactors throughout the last 2 releases, and this feature is added to that list. Previously, when searching for entities within Assignment Profiles, administrators were only able to search using the Item/Curricula ID and/or description. During this release, SuccessFactors have now added “Status” to the fields that can be used. The field also has been renamed simply as “Search” rather than “Search by ID or Description”

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Virus Scan for .zip Connector Files

To enhance overall system security, now whenever importing data and entities through zipped connector files, the system will now perform a virus scan before they are processed. Files are rejected AND deleted if a virus is detected in the file.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Sensitive Data Safeguards

As before, security and privacy are paramount to the features of SuccessFactors as a whole. This particular enhancement prevents any data that has been mapped to any Sensitive Personal Data (SPD) fields from being stored or synced with the LMS. As many customers are already up and running, with data being exchanged between the LMS and the platform via regularly scheduled connector files, currently, if any fields are mapped to SPD fields, a notification is sent to the administrator of the system, and the field is not synced. After 7 days, any data held in that field will be deleted.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Limit for Maximum Report Runtime

To better manage reporting resources across customers, SuccessFactors have now implemented a maximum report runtime of 24 hours. Previously this had no limit but was causing resource issues in the reporting engine. By implementing a maximum runtime, the resources are now more fairly distributed.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Limit for Maximum Report Size

Similarly to the above Runtime enhancement, SuccessFactors have also enforced an upper limit of 5gb for reports storage space, again citing better resource and space management,

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Time Period for a Scheduled Import or Export Job

This enhancement now allows you to set a time period for when scheduling the import or export job. Previously, there wasn’t a time period, but during this release, you are now able to set a time period of up to 30 days.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Reply-To Email Address Change Option

An enhancement that has been requested many times by both customers and partners was the ability to have a “reply to” email address rather than an email address that was, in most cases, a donotreply@x.x. This gives customers the option to use a different email address when sending notifications from the system.

SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning Release

How to get it: Admin Opt-In

Removal of Flash-Based Administration User Interface

As communicated over the last number of releases, due to the unsupported nature from major browsers of Adobe Flash (which is what the LMS administrator interface was using for the UI), the legacy UI has now been removed and replaced with the Fiori HTML5 based UI. This brings consistency across the suite to the other Fiori based UI’s.

SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning Release

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Printed Exams in Assessments

Another big request from customers was the ability to print out Exams in Assessments so that a hard copy exam could be administered by the student. The score is designed to be entered manually by an administrator using the Scoring Interface.

This brings a lot of flexibility now when administering exams to learners.

SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning Release

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Proctored Exams in Assessments

Bringing up the Assessments and Exams feature set, SuccessFactors have now introduced Proctored Exams. This enhancement allows for controlled assessments, especially in environments where compliance is key. The enhancement adds functionality whereby the instructor can enter a unique Proctor Code to begin the exam and for customizable text to guide the student on the details of the exam.

SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning Release

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Assignment Profile Rules Support Comma-Separated Values

Administrators are now able to use comma-separated values in the Assignment Profile Rules field of the new UI. This was possible in the legacy UI but was not possible after the H1 2020 release of the Fiori UI.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

New Configuration for Unsupported File Types in AICC and SCORM Zip Files

Another security based enhancement, Administrators are now able to specify which file type is supported and which ones are not when importing AICC and SCORM Zip files.

Some files could be added maliciously to the zip contents of an authored Online course, and this could cause security concerns. During this release, SuccessFactors have now enabled “unsupportedFileExtensionsInZip” where executable or javascript (to name a few) filetypes can be blocked.

SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning Release

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Learning Program Enhancements

With each release, the Programs functionality is getting stronger and stronger. In the H2 2020 enhancements, the following features have been added to ensure that Programs continues to be feature-rich:

  • Ability to see all programs associated with an item in a table. Administrators are able to navigate from this table to the relevant Program directly.
  • Delete Programs from Learning History for Learners
  • Use Programs as a filter in Library Search
  • Use Programs as a filter in Item Search
  • Add and Remove programs on the user entity.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Multiple Contents for Imported Open Content Network Course

This is something that has already existed for manually created items in the LMS, where you can associate more than one content object to items. SuccessFactors have now added this ability for items created by Open Content Network (OCN) integrations.

This was an enhancement that was requested by customers that had OCN integrations and made the spread of available learning in an LMS instance even more powerful.

Once additional content has been added to the OCN Course, it automatically gets updated, and this content is automatically assigned to the learners that have the course assigned to them.

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Updated Sorting for Users Entity

Enhancements to the Administrator search experience has also been looked at during this release cycle, and SuccessFactors have added further options to the Sort function when searching for user entities:

  • Sort Completed Items by the Completion date
  • Sort Assigned Items by Required Date or Assigned Date
  • Sort Assignment Profiles by Date Added

SuccessFactors H2 2020 Learning Release

How to get it: This is a universal update.

Zoom Supported for Virtual Learning

Saving what I think is the best for last here, finally, SuccessFactors have added another web conferencing solution in the form of the popular Zoom meetings.

A lot of customers have been asking for more than the 3 vendors that have been integrated for a few years, and with the uptake of Zoom with more and more organizations, this is going to be a very welcome addition.

There are some caveats to using Zoom as a Virtual Learning service, and these are:

  • Scheduled programs are not supported at the moment.
  • Each Instructor needs to be a licensed user on the Zoom virtual learning server

How to get it: Admin Opt-In

More to Come for the latest SAP SuccessFactors Releases

The H2 2020 Learning release is just a part of the latest SAP SuccessFactors update. Follow Rizing HCM on LinkedIn for release analysis and watch the complete LinkedIn Live H2 2020 release series. Customers should also follow the SAP SuccessFactors Community Page for the latest updates and roadmaps.