SuccessFactors Module Integration – 10 Years Later

By: Jose Lopez, Center of Excellence (CoE) Manager

As I think about the number of years that I have been working with the SuccessFactors solution, it’s still hard to believe it’s been 10 years. It was 2007 when I was hired on as an employee at SuccessFactors and first exposed to their platform.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing the evolution of the SuccessFactors solution – from its Version 10 to what the solution now entails today. The day that I accepted the position at SuccessFactors, I remember my hiring manager saying to me, “You will never go back.” At the time I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant, but his comment was in reference to the fact that although I had spent most of my career in the on-premise world, venturing into the world of SaaS (Software as a Service) was a move I was not going to regret. It turns out that my manager was spot-on. To this day I am a strong advocate of SuccessFactors’ cloud solutions after seeing firsthand the transformative impact they have had on hundreds of organizations around the world.

One of the most interesting aspects of the SuccessFactors evolution over the past decade has been in the area of module-to-module integration. You see, 10 years ago, the SuccessFactors solution was not nearly as intricate as it is today. As depicted in the diagram below, in 2007 SuccessFactors used the term “Six Degrees of Separation” to describe their solution.

A Look Back to 2007: Six Degrees of Separation 

Here are a few key differences between the SuccessFactors solution in 2007, and what the solution has evolved into today:

  • Many modules available today did not exist 10 years ago. Those missing from the diagram above include:
    • SuccessFactors Learning (LMS)
    • SuccessFactors Recruiting Marketing
    • SuccessFactors Onboarding
    • SuccessFactors Calibration
    • SuccessFactors Employee Central
  • SuccessFactors was considered a talent management system, not necessarily a mission-critical system.
  • In 2007, one implementation consultant could implement all of the modules shown in the diagram.
  • SuccessFactors was considered a “closed” system from an architectural standpoint, as it did not have the APIs that it does today. Instead, flat file interfaces were used to send data to or from the SuccessFactors system.

The SuccessFactors solution has undergone a major evolution over the last 10 years. It is now a comprehensive solution that supports the entire employee lifecycle, from hire to retire – something that was not available in the early years – as shown in the diagram below.

10 Years Later: Hire to Retire Process Integration Model

Examining the diagram above, we can see that the SuccessFactors solution today:

  • Has indeed evolved into a mission-critical system
  • Supports the entire employee lifecycle, from the time that a job requisition is created in SuccessFactors Recruiting Management to the time an employee is offboarded at the end of their employment
  • Continues to incorporate new utilities – like the Integration Center and Intelligent Services – that simplify the user experience and improve HR service delivery

I’ve truly enjoyed watching how the SuccessFactors solution has evolved over the past decade, particularly in the area of module integration. Given the number of projects I have been involved with over the last 10 years, I am also a firm believer that understanding module-to-module integration at the beginning of an implementation is key to ensuring a successful deployment. The more the project team can break down silos and think about design decisions from a holistic perspective, the more successful the SuccessFactors implementation will be.