Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pla├ža de Sant Jaume, Barcelona

I drew this based on a photograph that my wife took while at Barcelona a few years back. The picture was taken with a wide angle lens. That is why the columns in the buildings are not perpendicular. However, the buildings are beautiful and the pattern on the ground is very interesting too. I like drawing the people walking around and the minute details like their bags, their clothes and their shoes. Those details, while may not be noticed, improve the quality of the sketch.

I will finish this sketch in the coming days and post an updated version. I might even post multiple work-in-progress sketches to show how it progressed. Since I do not have very long blocks of time like before to sketch, I sketch in multiple time slots. 

The English name of this place is St James Square. This is the finished sketch with the details added and textures completed.
After I shared this a friend of mine asked me to add some color. I usually do not add color to my sketches. But this time I gave it a try. Used the air brush tool and then used the eraser to remove some of the color. I love the way the sky turned out. 


Monday, April 28, 2014

Ariba Deployment Models

SuccessFactors has Full Cloud HCM and Talent Hybrid deployment models for its solutions. When I mentioned this to the Ariba integration product management team, they pointed out to me that they too have
two main deployment models for the solutions Ariba provides. I think of the first deployment model as the Full Cloud Procurement deployment model, even though the Ariba team does not explicitly call it that. At least not yet.

My colleagues pointed out to me that the second deployment model is were customers run part of their procurement process in the cloud with Ariba and part of the process on-premise.

You may or may not have heard the term 'Hybrid Procurement' in the official Ariba material. However, think about this model as Hybrid Procurement.

There are two main scenarios in the Hybrid procurement model. The first scenario is where customers find the things they want to buy using Ariba, but order and pay using on-premise software.


In the second hybrid procurement scenario, customers find and order things in the cloud using Ariba software but pay using on-premise software.


My product management colleagues were quick to point out that while these are the main scenarios, theoretically there could be more combinations. I have decided to stick with these two scenarios for the sake of my own understanding and for the sake of simplicity.

If you are an Ariba expert, please let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ariba Solutions Overview

On of the perks you get working at SAP is the opportunity to learn from many experienced colleagues in areas that are new to you. Today I was talking to my Ariba colleague John Lark and he explained the Ariba Cloud solutions to me. Based on his inputs, I assembled this diagram from existing Ariba material.

Ariba cloud solutions are the Ariba Network and Ariba applications. The Ariba Network connects buyers and sellers. Ariba applications help buyers and sellers become more efficient across their buying, selling, and cash management processes.


Like SuccessFactors Full Cloud solutions and Talent Hybrid solutions, Ariba Cloud solutions also have Full Cloud Procurement solutions and Hybrid Procurement solutions. I will share more about these deployment models later.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Budapest Castle Hill

When I was designing SAP Career OnDemand, part of the development team was in Budapest. I stayed near the Castle Hill for a while. I was fascinated by this arch overlooking the Danube river.

Friday, April 11, 2014

SuccessFactors Competencies Integration With SAP Qualifications

The SuccessFactors HCM suite has a competency library where an employee’s competencies are maintained. Applications such as SuccessFactors Performance and Goals, SuccessFactors Learning and SuccessFactors Succession and Development utilize the competency library for talent management processes.

SAP ERP has a qualifications catalog, where employee qualifications are maintained. Several ERP applications make use of this qualifications catalog and the qualifications assigned to individual employees for business processes.

Why “Competencies Integration with SAP Qualifications”?

Customers who use the talent hybrid deployment model  need a single source of truth for their competency library and the competencies of their employees.



Integration Data Flow from SAP to SuccessFactors 

The prepackaged integration described in this section addresses this customer need. The prepackaged integration enables customers to do the following. Customers who currently have an SAP ERP Qualifications catalog can export the qualifications into a file using a program provided as part of the prepackaged integration. This file can be then used by the customer’s SuccessFactors administrators to populate the SuccessFactors competency library. This is a one-time upload.

Customers can also do a one time upload of Employee Qualifications from SAP to the SuccessFactors Talent Solutions Suite.

Integration Data Flow from SuccessFactors HCM Suite to SAP ERP

Once the SuccessFactors competency catalog is populated, customers are required to maintain the catalog in SuccessFactors. Changes made to the SuccessFactors competency catalog will be sent to SAP ERP Qualifications catalog periodically. Competencies associated with a person are also sent to the SAP Qualifications Profile.

SuccessFactors Learning Curricula Integration with SAP Qualifications

You probably know that we are working on integrating SuccessFactors Competency Catalog with the SAP Qualifications Catalog. This blog post is not about SuccessFactors Competencies integration with SAP Qualifications. It is about a second packaged integration we are building in this area.

During the co-innovation phase my colleagues found out that customers use SuccessFactors Learning Curricula much the same way we expect them to use competencies. For example, when someone completed a curricula in SuccessFactors Learning, they treat it like attaining a Qualification in SAP.

My colleagues in product management and engineering watched what customers are doing closely and are building a packaged integration that makes it easy for every customer to follow this simple yet effective approach.

The product owner for this integration is my colleague Ganesh Kudva. Today after dinner, Ganesh and I discussed the nuances of this particular integration and talked about the scenarios, assumptions, risks and limitations if any.


Mapping of Objects
Learning Curricula in SuccessFactors Learning is mapped to Qualifications in SAP.

Transfer of Curricula Status
When an employee completes a Curricula in SuccessFactors Learning, that status is sent to SAP. That Curricula completion status creates the appropriate relationship between the Employee and the Qualification in SAP.

What happens when completion of a curricula expires in SuccessFactors Learning?
When the completion of a Curricula expires in SuccessFactors Learning, that expiry status is also sent to SAP. The corresponding qualification is them removed from the employee's Qualifications Profile.

What about proficiency levels?
There are no proficiency levels when it comes to completion of a curricula in SuccessFactors learning. One either completes a curricula or not.

Additional Learning

To understand this integration it is essential to understand SuccessFactors Curricula and SAP Qualifications. So I decided to point readers to some excellent material on the topic.

SuccessFactors Curriculum
If you are wondering what is a Curriculum in SuccessFactors, here is an excellent video I found. The video explains the concept as well as any one could.


SAP Qualifications
Julien Tuerlinckx has written an excellent post on SAP Qualifications Management on SCN.  His second post talks more about Qualifications Management.

Finally, this integration is in the works for release soon.  This post is not an official communication of release or design. Once the integration is officially released, we will announce it part of the formal release highlights.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

SAP SuccessFactors Side by Side HCM Design Pattern

I was going through the material my product management colleagues shared with me recently on the Side by Side HCM deployment models. I was also recollecting my conversations with my colleague Wolfgang Dittrich about why customers might chose this deployment model and what might be the benefit for them over other deployment models. While there are a few scenarios for which Side by Side HCM is a viable option,there is one main design patterns. I sketched this today after dinner to visualize it.

Two systems of record with a Unified User Experience.

In this pattern customers use SAP HCM for Core HR in the home country or head quarters and consolidate all other countries and legal entities in Employee Central.


I am working on getting this into the overview presentation.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Let me know what you think.

The Side by Side HCM Deployment Model

Some SAP and SuccessFactors customers have chosen a deployment model where they adopt a Core HR system, i.e., SuccessFactors Employee Central,  in the cloud while retaining SAP ERP HCM as the Core HR system for a subset of their employee population. This is not a recommended deployment model for all customers. However, there are specific situations where this model becomes viable, even attractive for some customers.

For example, there are many customers who use multiple core HR systems to administer employees. I recently wrote about a customer who has 8 core HR systems. I have spoken to customers who have more than 20 Core HR systems. Each system represented a specific legal entity or geographical region and followed its own processes and protocols. Using multiple core HR systems to administer employees has a number of problems.

1. Administrators and executives do not have a unified view of information about the entire workforce.
2. Managers who have direct reports in multiple regions or legal entities have to go to multiple systems.
3. Employees will not be able to access information about co-workers.
4. Business systems that require employee data will have to connect to multiple systems to get that data.

Customers have been addressing the above problems by building data stores that combine all this data in one place before sharing them with other talent and business systems. They then go on an build an HR analytics system to bring all the HR data together in one place to perform Workforce planning and analytics activities.These solutions solve the problem pretty effectively but at a high cost and with limited functionality, Such custom implementations, while effective, also require personnel with specific skills to maintain and update them.

My colleagues from integration product management and engineering looked into these scenarios and came up with the Side-by-Side deployment model to address some of these problems. They also designed the Side-by-Side HCM deployment model as a stepping stone to the Full Cloud HCM deployment model so that the investment here is not thrown away when and if customers choose to move all Core HR systems to the cloud.



Here are a few scenarios that my product management colleague Wolfgang Dittrich talked about recently in the SAP HR Inside 2014 conference.

Scenario 1 : Integrating an Acquired Company
A Global company acquires another company with employees in multiple countries. As a consequence HR data is not globally consolidated any more. The acquired company currently uses an on-premise core HR system. Re-implementing SAP ERP HCM for that company could be time consuming and expensive.

Possible Solution : This company could move employees from the acquired company to SuccessFactors Employee Central rather than implement SAP ERP HCM for Core HR. In this landscape, all employees will be in a single talent management system, while Core HR processes will be handled by two different systems, one in the cloud and one on-premise.

Executives can view employee information about the entire workforce in one place. HR professionals can performance workforce planning and analytics activities on one consolidated set of data. Managers can access employee information about all direct reports in one place. Employees can access information about each other and find each other on one system.

Scenario 2 : Employee Central as an Employee Data Consolidation System
A global company has multiple Core HR systems for different countries and legal entities. They neither have a single view of their workforce nor a consistent talent management process across all regions and legal entities. A typical IT solution for such organizations is to invest in an on-premise data consolidation layer at high costs but finite benefits.

Possible Solution 
Organizations with such a landscape can  use Employee Central as a data consolidation layer. All talent systems, analytics systems and business systems can access employee data from one single system. The same benefits that apply to Scenario 1 will apply here as well. While the cost of such an approach might be similar to the costs of a data consolidation layer on-premise, the benefits are more than those provided by a data store. This approach not only solves the problem of data consolidation but also acts as a stepping stone for the eventual move of all employees to Core HR in the cloud, thus saving time and money for the organization while providing better agility to the IT organizations and better employee engagement for the business.

Scenario 3 : Phased Cloud Transition Of Employees In Select Countries or Legal Entities
A global company runs SAP ERP HCM for Core HR and uses SuccessFactors for talent management solutions. Some subsidiaries or geographical regions are using a home grown system or a very outdated HR system on-premise. The global company wants to move Core HR to the cloud. But they are not in a position to move all employees to a cloud based core HR system for business reasons or budget reasons.

Possible Solution 
This company can move those employees from subsidiaries running home grown HR systems or outdated HR systems to Core HR in the cloud.

Scenario 4 : Rest of The World
In some organizations, the home country employee information is consolidated in SAP ERP HCM. But employee administration for the rest of the world is managed by country specific Core HR systems.

Possible Solution
In such cases the organization can choose to consolidate Core HR for the rest of the world in the cloud with Employee Central.

The packaged integrations enabling the above scenarios are planned for this year. More details will be revealed during Sapphire and the coming months.



Updated SAP SuccessFactors Integration Jam Group For Partners

While making structural updates to the internal integration Jam group, I got requests from partners that they would like the same for the partner Jam group as well. So I spent some time today to update the partner Jam group. You can go here by typing the URL www.sapcloudintegrationforpartners.com This is an invitation only Jam community for SAP and SuccessFactors partners.


If you are not part of the community, I highly recommend that you join. There are over 1060 partner colleagues in this community sharing insight about their real world integration implementations. My colleagues and I share key documents and updates here as and when they are ready for partners to view. I also announce training events in the community. You get the idea. It is good to be a member. Contact my colleague Lillian dot balenbin at sap dot com for access with some proof of your partner credentials to get an invitation.

If you are an existing member, check out the new Side-by-Side HCM deployment model page. I added a new presentation on the deployment model there.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Jam Page For SAP SuccessFactors Integration

I recently updated the internal Jam page for SAP SuccessFactors Integration. Jam is a good tool for product managers to share information with Sales colleagues. It is not the primary purpose of Jam. But is does the job very well. If you are an SAP or SuccessFactors colleague you can go here by clicking on www.sappeoplecloudintegration.com 


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

SAP SuccessFactors - Talent Hybrid Deployment Model Jam Page

I use SAP Jam to share information about SAP SuccessFactors integration with my colleagues and partners. After a few weeks of conferences and customer interactions, I and taking some time to update the Jam pages. The Jam user experience team has done some good work recently with Jam. The results are visible. Here is my page. I plan to replicate this for partners as well. If you are an SAP or SuccessFactors colleague, you can get to this page by going to www.sappeoplecloudintegration.com


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