Consultant advice on SAP payroll with SuccessFactors

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Hybrid Implementation with On-Premise SAP Payroll

Created on January 4, 2022
Last updated on January 10th, 2022 at 12:17 pm by Susanto Lay

This article provides guidance for companies considering implementing SAP® SuccessFactors® and integrating it with their on-premise SAP payroll system.


Business Integration Builder (BIB) is a standard SAP solution designed to help integrate an on-premise system with both the ERP Central Component (ECC) and S/4Hana using SuccessFactors.

This solution is quite flexible. It can be configured to map data from SuccessFactors to an on-premise system, transforming the data if necessary.

With careful pre-planning, SuccessFactors implementations can stay on time, on budget, and result an easy-to-use process for customers.

Challenges and Considerations

Create a clear objective

A clear project objective will define the scope of the work for the proposed business process change. This allows faster answers to questions like:

  • Which system will get updated or new data?
  • Which system will generate a particular HR report?

For example, if the organisation structure will only be reported from SuccessFactors, there is no need to keep the existing ECC or S4/HANA organisation structure module up to date.

Consider Historical Data

Take the time to determine what to do with historical data. SuccessFactors can be launched with no historical data, or with all the historical data available. Either way will work – it all depends on the project budget and how much data is available.

We do recommend loading enough historical data in SF to support being able to report job/position information and compensation for employees.

Custom Solutions

The number of custom solutions implemented at a given location varies. Part of kicking off any new SF implementation should be taking inventory of any existing custom solutions and determining if:

  • It’s no longer applicable
  • It will work as-is
  • It will require updates

It’s best to complete this inventory process as early and as completely as possible. The later custom solutions are discovered, the more likely it will cause re-work in the BIB or SF configuration.

For example, we had a project where we discovered a custom program that was using a complex formula to determine the wages for a specific group of employees. We had to create a new pay component in EmployeeCentral and make some BIB configuration changes to accommodate the custom program.

Interface to third party systems

An inventory of third-party systems should also be completed at the start of each SuccessFactors implementation. The inventory should include both inbound and outbound transfers of data. Most of your HCM data will now reside in SuccessFactors, so each interface should be reviewed to see if:

  • It’s still required
  • If it will work as-is
  • If it contains data that should be kept in the on-premise system

As with custom solutions, do the third-party interface inventory as early and as complete as possible to avoid rework later.

Decommission SAP on-premises module

Another decision to make early on is what SAP HCM modules should be decommissioned after your new project goes live.

Depending on the project scope and what your inventories have discovered, this might be an easy decision to make.

Or not.

Things to consider for each core SAP HR module:

Organisation Management

SuccessFactors’ position management replaces Organization Management with better functionality, a friendlier user interface, and more powerful reporting.

We recommend decommissioning this module if:

  • All HCM workflow was migrated to SF workflow.
  • No other non-HCM module uses it for workflow or reporting.
  • It doesn’t have an interface to or from a third-party system.

Time Management and Timesheet

This is a powerful module in on-premises SAP, offering flexible time schemas and rules as well as a framework for customer developers to hook onto.

Many organizations have taken advantage of that framework to build add-ons ranging from simple to complex.

While SuccessFactors Time Tracking, Time Off and Timesheet are getting more mature, it’s still a closed system that can’t be enhanced with a custom solution.

We recommend analysis to determine if time management and the timesheet module can stay as-is or can be migrated to SuccessFactors.

Personnel Administration and Payroll

The Personnel Administration and Payroll module won’t be decommissioned, but minor changes to the Personnel Action Configuration and Integration setting in the Personnel Administration Module will be required for it to align with SuccessFactors.

You probably won’t make any changes to payroll schemas or rules, but you might need to reconfigure a wage type characteristic, as SuccessFactors will now handle indirect valuations.

You will no longer need to perform transaction PA30 – info type data will now be updated automatically during the BIB replication process.


SuccessFactors should take over most ESS/MSS functionalities. For custom solutions that use Fiori or ABAP web dynpro you have the following options:

  • Decommission the solution
  • SuccessFactors might be able to work with an ESS-based solution, depending on how it was built and if it triggered workflow in the on-premises solution.
  • Custom solutions based on MSS will most likely require modification to work with SuccessFactors.

Other HCM Modules

Other HCM on-premises modules – such as Learning, eRecruitment, Performance Management – will usually be decommissioned if the project scope includes using the relevant SuccessFactors module.

For example, SuccessFactors OnBoarding and Recruiting will replace the ECC eRecruitment module, SuccessFactors Performance and Goals will replace ECC Performance Management Module etc.

If you are considering an SuccessFactors with an existing on-premises SAP system, I hope this helped!

As always, please contact us if you need additional help.

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