You're only limited by your imagination... and the API's

14 September 2018

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Recently SuccessFactors released some exciting mechanisms for further customization of the standard processes. Without touching the core application, you can now make so-called extensions by using SAP Cloud Platform. These extensions allow you to create completely new applications, fully integrated within SuccessFactors. However, these applications can be used to create new functionalities but not to intervene in a standard SuccessFactors process.

We’ve noticed that often, there is a need to make small enhancements to the standard functionality within SuccessFactors. Without looking for a fully-fledged extension. Even though these additions are small, they have a big impact on system adoption by the end-users.

What we did at our customers:

1. Enhancement of the standard recruiting moduleto include more complex candidate scoring mechanisms. More information on this specific enhancement can be found here.

2. Making a connection between Recruiting and Performance Managementto automatically generate prefilled feedback forms. In this way you ensure a close follow-up of new hires during their first weeks on board. It’s easy for the manager to get feedback and he can immediately discuss this feedback with the new team member.

3. Enhancing the hiring processby automatically advancing certain types of candidates in the selection process. (e.g. internal candidates do not need to go through a telephone screening and can automatically advance to the job interview)

These types of add-ons are relatively easy to implementand do not require any SAP Cloud Platform licenses. Therefore, they are perfect to further tailor the system to your specific needs.

Below image shows an example of an add-on used by one of our customers. The assessment of a candidate in the recruiting module has been changed, based upon the customer’s logic:

The only components requiredto create this type of add-on are:

• A web servicethat allows you to read data from SuccessFactors and write it back afterwards
• An IT development that contains the custom logicof the add-on
• Anintelligent serviceto trigger the add-on (optional)

Let's take a closer look at these prerequisites...

What about web services?

Web services are at the heart of every integration with SuccessFactors. To be able to create an add on, you need a web service to read data from SuccessFactors and update the data afterwards. Luckily for the majority of the modules, web services are available allowing both read and create/update operations.

IT development with the custom logic of the add-on

This is where the magic happens! The technology used for development will most likely depend on what’s included in your current system landscape. As this type of integration is based upon open technologies, any type of technology can be used. As long as it can handle web services (which is pretty much everything nowadays).
In most cases development is done by using middleware to take care of communication and monitoring. You can use any type of middleware (SAP Cloud Platform Integration, but also Biztalk or Tibco). If no middleware is available, a direct link can be created using a .NET application.

Trigger with Intelligent Services

Intelligent Services offer a mechanism in SuccessFactors to send out triggers to external applications in case an event happens, the so-called publication/subscription mechanism. The external application can then, depending on the type of trigger, perform the appropriate actions to respond to that trigger. This allows you to create real-time enhancements to the standard processes. Even though the list of intelligent services is limited for the moment, we have seen some exciting & promising developments at SuccessConnect in Berlin. They should be coming your way very soon!

Let’s take a closer look at an example of such a trigger in the hiring of an employee or a change in a requisition. When intelligent services are used, the process flow would look like this:

The possibilities of using this mechanism are endless (as long as we have an API).

Some potential use cases:

During the hiringprocess you sometimes want to perform additional checks or fill out data coming from a third party application. As soon as the hiring process is finished in SuccessFactors, we can trigger an external process that will:

  • Trigger a workflow in an external system (e.g. placing a laptop order)
  • Calculate the travel distance between the home address and work location by using google maps. The system automatically writes the distance back into SuccessFactors
  • Perform a series of complex checks that are not possible using business rules, and generate a SuccessFactors workflow if one of the conditions are violated.

As soon as an employee finishes a specific learningcourse, a bonus is generated in the system (e.g. in case of compliancy trainings).

Sometimes small changes can make a big difference.

We have highlighted a lightweight way to enhance the standard SuccessFactors processes and functionalities without the need to build fully fledged extensions. We have already implemented this type of add-ons at our customers and are happy to discuss how we can help you to take your HR processes to the next level!

The bigger the challenge, the better. Get in touch!

Author:Tom Rottiers, Solution Architect

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