In Q4 2017 SAP announced the new SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub offering. People Central Hub is based on the architecture of Employee Central and is designed to provide a central hub for all HR data. Essentially, it acts as a central data hub for integrating employee data with other systems where a customer may not wish to move to a full Employee Central HR system. It can also serve as a mini-master or consolidated reporting and workforce visualization hub.
People Central Hub has a number of specific scenarios and use cases, as well as various benefits. I will touch on these in this blog, starting with use case scenarios.
What type of customers fit People Central Hub?
People Central Hub could be a solution for customers that have any of the following challenges:
- Have disparate or multiple HR systems and need a central hub for employee data to distribute to downstream systems
- Need to simplify system integration landscape for employee data
- Have disparate systems but not able or ready to implement a full core HRIS (or simply are not able or ready to implement a full core HRIS)
- Want a modern front end for SAP ERP HCM data that integrates with S/4HANA and provides features like org chart, directory, and mobile access via SAP SuccessFactors Mobile app
- Want to report on HR data from multiple systems and don’t have a consolidated reporting solution (e.g. a business warehouse)
- Currently use a non-SAP HR system but also use a number of SAP applications, including but not limited to SAP SuccessFactors talent solutions, SAP ERP HCM, SAP ERP, S/4HANA, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Concur, SAP Ariba, etc.
- Want visualization of the total workforce (employees and contingents from SAP Fieldglass)
- Would like a solution to help them identify GDPR compliance issues with data from different HR systems
Not Just a Mini-Master
Since People Central Hub uses the same data models as Employee Central, it can store a comprehensive effective-dated dataset that can include historical data. This makes it much deeper in terms of data than a mini-master typically is, which usually only contains a subset of employee data. People Central Hub can store an entire employee dataset.
Total Workforce Visualization
People Central Hub enables customers with different systems to see data in one place. For example, customers utilizing SAP Fieldglass can use People Central Hub to see the different types of workers in the workforce. The Org Chart can be used to visualize employees, global assignments, concurrent employments, and contingent workers from SAP Fieldglass.
Use Case Scenarios
People Central Hub has been designed to meet some of the most common customer uses cases, as well as some less seen, but nevertheless critical business scenarios.
SAP S/4HANA: S/4HANA customers have three options for core HR:
- SAP ERP HCM
- SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central
- Another core HRIS
However, if an S/4HANA customer is not looking to implement a core HRIS but instead wants a centralized hub for HR data, then People Central Hub is the solution to use.
Multiple HR systems: Customers may have a multitude of different types of HR systems (e.g. regional systems, country-specific systems, etc.) that need to be integrated with other SAP and/or non-SAP systems. This data can then be used to integrate with other systems or for consolidated reporting, thus creating a single source of truth for employee data.
Essentially, customers can roll out a small scope of Employee Central functionality but without thinking about processes, workflows, validations, and change management. Additionally, customers can use all of the SAP SuccessFactors reporting tools on the consolidated dataset.
Using a non-SAP HR system but use several SAP applications: Customers who have a non-SAP HR system but use multiple SAP systems can use People Central Hub as their conduit to pass data from that HR system to the SAP systems using productized integrations from SAP. This is demonstrated in the diagram below.
- Lightweight central data hub for people data
- Consolidated “source of truth” for HR data
- Good integration capabilities with productized integrations, SAP Cloud Platform Integration middleware, and OData API
- Get rid of manual activities required to create global reports or distribute data; reduces risk or errors, as well as helps identify data privacy and GDPR compliance issues
- Quicker and easier to deploy than a “full” Employee Central implementation
- Builds a foundation for a later, accelerated implementation of Employee Central
Architecturally, People Central Hub is the same as Employee Central, but it has a “lite” set of features versus Employee Central. It follows the same data model and structures as Employee Central and contains a limited subset of functionality, largely focused around employee and organizational data access, visualization, and integration. It is important to note that People Central Hub data is read-only and cannot be edited within People Central Hub.
Specifically, People Central Hub includes the following features:
- Org Chart
- People Profile
- Directory search
- Employee Quickcard
- Admin Center:
- General administrative activities
- Release Center
- Upgrade Center
- Execution Manager
- Data Retention Management
- Integration Center
- SFAPI, OData API, and Compound Employee API
- SAP SuccessFactors Mobile
All of these features are available to existing SAP SuccessFactors customers. Additionally, Role-Based Permission and API capabilities are also available to People Central Hub customers.
Configuration and Extensibility
It is possible to add custom fields to People Central Hub, although at present extensions created in Extension Center are not supported. However, due to the standardized nature of People Central Hub, it is recommended to minimize any configurations made to the standard-delivered data models and product.
Business Rules are available for use in People Central Hub. A key use cases would be for validation during the loading of data.
SAP has several productized integrations available for People Central Hub, integrating to SAP ERP, SAP S/4HANA, other SAP systems (such as SAP Fieldglass, SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, etc.), and third-party solutions. In essence, the integrations available for Employee Central are available for People Central Hub. However, since People Central Hub is intended to have limited configuration, the productized integrations should work out-of-the-box with only minimal effort for setup and testing of the integration needed in the SAP Cloud Platform Integration middleware.
One benefit to using People Central Hub when you use another HR system is that the productized integrations to other SAP systems can be used to integrate and that these integrations can be implemented and maintained quickly and cheaply. Only the integration between the HR system and People Central Hub needs to be built and maintained by the customer or their partner.
SAP Cloud Platform Integration is provided as a middleware to execute and manage productized and custom integrations from People Central Hub to other systems. The subscription includes 2 tenants, the “Process Integration” feature pack, and unlimited connections to SAP or third-party solutions from People Central Hub.
People Central Hub is licensed on a subscription basis, just like all other modules in the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite. The People Central Hub subscription includes a subscription to SAP Cloud Platform Integration. Customers can understand exact pricing by speaking to their SAP SuccessFactors sales executive.
Upgrading to “full” Employee Central later
Since People Central Hub is a subset of Employee Central, upgrading to the full Employee Central application later is a reduced effort. With the technical “basics” implemented, adding additional functionality takes less time and effort.
With that said, introducing full core HR processes and functionality into People Central Hub will still require design workshops, iterations, testing, training, change management, and rollout. Although it’s still a full implementation, the technical basics are covered and allow you to focus on HR business processes versus the technical foundation.
Integration work should be reduced if People Central Hub is acting as your integration hub already.
Using People Central Hub with SAP SuccessFactors Talent applications
Customers using SAP SuccessFactors talent solutions can use People Central Hub. Like with Employee Central, it feeds the talent solutions with employee master data. Talent-specific data can be maintained in SAP SuccessFactors but data coming from People Central Hub can only be maintained in the source system(s).
Customers using People Central Hub and SAP SuccessFactors talent solutions can report on data from both solutions using the SAP SuccessFactors Reporting solutions or SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics (WFA). This also has advantages when moving to Employee Central later, as the WFA data structures will be set up to receive data in that format. This is much more efficient than feeding data from third party systems into WFA directly and then changing the data source later.
Using People Central Hub with Reporting and/or Workforce Analytics
Like when using People Central Hub with SAP SuccessFactors talent solutions, you can leverage SAP SuccessFactors Reporting solutions or SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics (WFA) for reporting and analytics capabilities. This enables consolidated reporting and analytics to be used with your SAP SuccessFactors and non-SAP SuccessFactors data.
Essentially, you can combine the value of consolidated HR reporting and data visualization into one place using People Central Hub.
Using People Central Hub with Workforce Planning
At present Workforce Planning is not available for use with People Central Hub. Workforce Planning works with core HR and workforce data and since People Central Hub is not the system of record for core HR data, the dataset is not intended to be provided for this use case.
Using SAP SuccessFactors Mobile for People Central Hub
By using SAP SuccessFactors Mobile, People Central Hub customers can use the Org Chart, People Profile, Directory, and Search on their smartphone.
Can I use People Central Hub if I have Employee Central?
Simply put: no. People Central Hub is based on Employee Central and is essentially the same application, just with limited functionality. If you have Employee Central, you already have all People Central Hub capabilities and more.
Luke Marson is an experienced solution architect and widely-recognized expert in SAP SuccessFactors and SAP ERP HCM. His expertise includes end-to-end HR and HR technology strategy, advisory, assessments, roadmaps, transformation, optimization, and implementation services for large, global enterprise customers.