I have been engaged with SAP and non-SAP customers for the past year assisting them to assess the design that fits them best, On-Premise, Cloud or Hybrid. There is increased awareness amongst customers, thanks to our active community on LinkedIn and contributors like Jarret Pazahanick and Luke Marson. Some of the universal questions that are posed to us are as follows:
- Why should we go for SuccessFactors?
- Should we wait until the next 2 releases for the most advanced functionality?
- What is the best way to handle the transition and new functionality being released every quarter?
- Is it not possible to build the entire offering and do one big release?
As we meander through these questions - and many more – and we guide our clients to help them design a solution that will stand the test of a dynamic workplace and changing organizational processes and strategy - while keeping current with the new releases - there are a few factors that keep me going.
If you have been following blogs on SCN and SuccessFactors marketing materials you must instantly recognize the key phrases – “Intuitive UI”, “Easy to Use”, “Attractive” and “Toy like design” Every product release demonstrates staying honest with the promise made to the customers. The fact that all the functionality cannot be packaged in a big cardboard box and brought to your doorstep is because your needs are changing and SuccessFactors products are designed to fulfill those needs and providing a platform to accommodate your business needs in future. Throughout the blog we will see examples of the same.
I decided to cover Platform and Admin Tools alongside Employee Central as they are integral to implementing and using Employee Central. I have organized the blog into 2 sections.
- Brand New Features in 1302 Release
- Enhancements to 1210 Release
Brand New Features in 1302 Release
Platform and Admin Tools
1. Custom Home Page Tiles – Customers can create custom tiles to display on the V12 Homepage in addition to the standard home page tiles introduced in 1210 release. For more information on Release 1210 go to http://www.cloudave.com/21141/successfactors-and-employee-central-whats-new/
- a. The key features of custom tiles are as follows-
- b. You can share any sort of information, photos, links, feeds, videos
- c. You can control who has access to custom tiles
- d. You can add an expiration date for when the tile is pulled off the Homepage
2. To Do List – The items in the To Do list are now grouped by Due Date first and then alphabetically, so items due on a particular date are stacked. Previously the items were sorted by due date which made it difficult for the user if a large number of items appeared on the To Do List.
3. Security Permission Reports – If you are using RBP (Role Based Permissions) you can report on users who have access to manage employee imports. In the absence of this report, for ease of tracking and preventing data inconsistencies customers were limited to granting this access only to the System Admin or create a Permission Group for Employee import and assign all users with Employee Import access to this group. Now it simple to go to Admin Tools and generate this report.
Follow the path, Admin Tools > Set User Permissions > Security Permission Reports > Manage Employee Import Permission report
The following features are only available if you are using Employee Central 2.0. Important to note Employee Central 2.0 does not support MS Internet Explorer 6.0.
1. Financials on Demand (FIN OD) and Travel on Demand (Travel OD) running on Employee Central Data – Employee Central can now be used as the master employee data behind your financial and travel on demand transactions.
Cost Center replication from FIN OD to EC enables usage of Fin cost centers in EC employee master data. This information can then be used for default account assignment in Travel OD
* Not part of Employee Central
The figure below shows a data replication hob running in background to extract employee data into Travel On Demand
2. Time Off – The new Time Off functionality makes it easier for employees to request time off and managers to approve time off. Employees can request or cancel time off requests and can flexibly manage many types of leave (sick, educational, extended and other). Time Off capability is available on mobile devices as well.
3. Configure Objects Tool (Metadata Framework) – In one of my EC implementations, one of the biggest constraints faced by the customer was being limited to the standard foundation objects (Organization, Pay and Job Structures) that prevented the true representation of organizational hierarchy.
With this feature the MDF (Metadata Framework has been exposed such that you can create custom foundation objects and support more specialized business processes. Associations can be built between standard and custom foundation objects. The following figure shows that Employee Related information generally configured in the Succession Data Model and Country Specific Succession Data Model can now be configured on the Admin Tools through the Meta Data Framework.
Go To Admin Tools > Manage Business Configuration
In order to see Manage Business Configuration in the Admin Tools UI the following options must be activated in Provisioning.
Enhancements in 1302
Admin Alerts –You can now personalize your Admin Alerts through the Admin Alerts settings page. For example, you want to see workflows that have been stalled for more than 3 days.
2 new alerts have been introduced viz. Invalid User in Dynamic Role Assignment and Invalid User in Pending and Sent Back Workflows.
Help Text for Role Based Permissions – Folks who have implemented EC can truly acknowledge the value of this feature. You no longer have to make guesstimates of the impact of each permission setting on the UI. There is now rollover Help Text to see a brief description of each, and pretty usable one at that! This is my 2nd favorite in 1302, the 1st being Configure Objects tool (MDF).
Global Assignments – It is now possible to create multiple future dated assignments. Prior to this release the expatriate (global employee) could only have one global assignment maintained.
Dependents Management – A number of enhancements have been on the Dependents Portlet
- Dependent Info portlet has the Edit Link Permission
- Unnecessary customer specific fields have been removed from the Dependent UI. For customer specific fields only person Relationship HRIS element is used
- Dependent’s National ID is no longer used to match to a user record
Employee Central API Enhancements
The Compound Employee API has been extended by the following information:
- Custom Fields
- International and country specific personal information
- Payment Information
- User Characteristics
- Workforce and Benefit Focus Integration Requirements
- Log Items
Configuration Sources on Confluence
- New EC Implementation Handbook published on Confluence for the 1302 release
- New Employee Central and Financials on Demand Integration Handbook
- New SFAPI Data Integration Guide
- New EC Entity Type Guide
The above mentioned documents can be found in the SuccessFactors Confluence website (note that you need to be connected to the VPN to access Confluence).
You can hear more about my Employee Central musings on Twitter via @jyotisharma20.