4 reasons to consider an Integration Life Cycle Manager for your SuccessFactors implementations

If you’re reading this blog the chances are that you’re somehow involved with a SuccessFactors (SFSF) Employee Central (EC) implementation - either as a customer, or as a system integrator helping a customer with their implementation. The EC value proposition , akin to other cloud HR offerings, isn’t complete without integrations — integrations with Payroll, Benefits and other essential systems play a pivotal role in enabling the whole Hire to Retire process for an enterprise.

1.Lifecycle of HR business integrations is no different from any other SDLC complete with specification, development, testing and deployment. Notwithstanding its critical efficacy in cloud system implementations, integration hasn’t seen a great deal of standardization/process either in the whole software lifecycle or in terms of tooling e.g. Integrated Development Environment (IDE) or accelerators that aid in agile development. Net result: a SDLC stuck in the 90s. Prone to errors, rework, high costs and long development life-cycles.

2. Hardly any tools developed specifically for citizen integrators. 
Our experience with SFSF integrations tells us that a bulk of time spent during integration is infact spent in the initial analysis and blue printing phase — a handiwork of Business Process Experts (BPx) and Functional consultants. In integration terms, they are called Citizen Integrators. Citizen Integrators generally have a solid background in data and are tech savvy, but they are not classically trained on the legacy tools of the trade, read middlewares and IPaaSes.No prizes for guessing their tool of trade — MS Office ExcelSheet! It’s 2016 — these hardworking folks need better tools.

3. Integration is an exercise in funambulism. Integration is an activity that relies on the data models/pick-lists in the SFSF system and their counterparts in the ERP system. Changes to data model invariably affect the integration specification. Every change means rework — the BPx has to painstakingly thread through the field level changes, find their counter parts on the payroll system and map them. The hundreds of field level codes also need mapping. Iterations, rework, manual copy-pastes (from system tables/XMLs to spreadsheets) aren’t just time and cost intensive, they are also a recipe for an error prone blueprint/spec.

4. Post go-live support. It’s go-live time! After the roller-coaster ride, it is an uptick phase. Integration tests are all green and the high and very high priority incidents are at an all time low. Also your integration spec now spawns across 12 countries and has reached version 18. That’s the last spec your trusted BPx works on. Post go-live, operational support is awarded to an all new vendor who, succinctly put, has no idea of what transpired between version 1 to 18, for the key decision points are lost in Outlook inboxes of the BPx and other stakeholders. Your BPx who has now moved on to a different customer has little or no time left for a formal knowledge transfer. End result: Lacklustre support and shoddy incident turn around times — affecting your business processes.

Introducing integrtr — The integration lifecycle manager for SAP® SuccessFactors® Employee Central.

We, at integrtr have carefully considered all these pain points and have come up with a citizen integrator cloud service that manages the life cycle of SuccessFactors® integrations.

Business process experts and power users can now use Integrtr with little or no training and get to the core of their work — the all important field/code mapping between the SF data models and their counterparts in the ERP system. As integrtr is always connected to the data models on the participatory systems, the fields and their codes are always at their disposal. Ease of work and error-reduction starts right at the spec phase.

Visit us at www.integrtr.com . We are currently in private beta — signup for our beta program to test firsthand.

disclaimer: SAP, SuccessFactors, HCI are all registered trademarks of SAP SE.