Sabre had been a longtime SAP HCM on-premise customer. However, the leading technology provider for hotels and airlines saw the trend of SAP’s investment in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. Sabre had already opted to move to SAP S/4HANA and decided to make a change on the HCM side as well.

The company tapped Rizing to help implement Employee Central, along with Recruiting Management, Recruiting Marketing, and Onboarding for its almost 10,000 employees.

“We wanted to move to one integrated platform—it was important for us to integrate Finance, Employee Central, Recruiting and Onboarding,” says Jennifer Korba, Principal HRIS Analyst at Sabre.

Here are four tips from Sabre’s SuccessFactors implementation:

1. Have a Plan for Deploying Instances

When purchasing SAP SuccessFactors, Employee Central comes standard with three instances, while Recruiting and Onboarding come with two instances. Korba says it is important to manage those instances because it greatly benefits the integration of modules if you can do cross module configuration and testing—this won’t work if your Employee Central instance in one step ahead.

Make a plan ahead of time for how you will use the instances provided for development, testing, and deployment. Engage your consultants early and often to determine whether or not it makes sense to purchase more instances from SuccessFactors.

2. Know Your Workbooks Inside and Out

“Robust workbooks are imperative, and it is important to know your workbooks,” says Korba. “Workbooks are your new best friends. We looked at those every day, they help you understand your system and help you make the right decisions.”

Workbooks help review functionality that’s already live. It’s important to know that thoroughly because you need to know how that functionality will fit with the new modules coming in. Reviewing workbooks frequently will ensure you know when consultant advice is needed for modules to get along well.

Korba adds that you should define who owns workbooks at each phase of the implementation ahead of time, and as you go along you need to bring in teams to do cross-module reviews of workbooks so that integrations are planned appropriately.

3. The More Training the Better

Training should build an understanding of all modules for your implementation team, so that they are put in the best position to succeed. That training should go beyond PowerPoint and be hands-on. Again, cross-module training should be happening.

“Any exposure you can get to SuccessFactors is essential to the end-to-end process review, to really understand the modules and how they work together,” says Korba.

4. Planning Ahead for Updates

SuccessFactors updates on a quarterly basis, so it is likely to change in some way in the middle of an implementation. You need to take that into account and stay on top of the release calendar.

“Understand that when releases happen, functionality will change,” explains Korba. “When a release happens, your configurations could be wiped out.”

She stresses that it is important to pay attention to the release notes before the upgrades go live to avoid having to go back and make unexpected changes.

Next SuccessFactors Steps for Sabre

Sabre’s SuccessFactors implementation is ongoing, with plans to partner with Rizing on work with Compensation, Variable Pay, Performance, LMS, and continued Recruiting elements.