Getting Started with SuccessFactors – the Landscape

I received similar questions about SuccessFactors (SF) and its landscape from our partners and customers; therefore, I decided to write this blog and enrich it further with customer feedback.

What is SAP SuccessFactors, SAP SF?

SAP SuccessFactors is a cloud-born, cloud-based software for Human Experience Management(HXM) using the Software as a service (SaaS) model. It was founded in 2001 and acquired by SAP SE in 2011/12. (What is HMX, how it differs from HCM, and why it matters?)

Successfactors

What is Software as a Service (SaaS) model that SAP SF is using?

Software as a service (SaaS) works through the cloud delivery model. Typically, SaaS apps are web or mobile apps that users can access via a web browser. SAP or one of its hosting partners (so-called Hyperscalers; Microsoft Azure, Goole Cloud, Amazon AWS or Ali Cloud) host the SF application and related data.

Where are the DataCenters and their Disaster Recovery sites?

SAP SF introduces new Data centers or migrates some of its own data centers to hyperscalers. The most up-to-date list can be found at SAP Trust Center.

Can customers or SAP change the DataCenter assignment?

The dataCenter is part of the subscription agreement, but customers can request an instance migration. (2453663 – SuccessFactors Instance Migration procedure). DC migration within the same country could be initiated/ executed by SAP as well for operational reasons.

What are the details about IT infrastructure management?

Per SaaS standards, SAP does not provide servers, storage, or networking details. All of these could be modernized. All details about cloud operations and 3rd party reports can be found at SAP Trust Center 

What are the details about System management?

Per SaaS standards, SAP does not provide the system, database, operating system, virtualization details, or patch levels. All of these could be modernized. For example, SAP SF used to run on Oracle DB and migrated to SAP HANA DB in 2018/19. Details and 3rd party audit reports could be found at SAP Trust Center 

What is the Patch, built, service pack, and batch Number?

The Software change management is done centrally and version details are shown when you click your picture upper right corner and select “software version information”

e.g. Release: b2205.20221110071101. The first two numbers are the calendar year, and the following two numbers are the release details. The 05 is for the year’s first release, and 11 stands for the second release, followed by patch details. 

What are the Supported Desktop Browsers for SAP SuccessFactors?

SuccessFactors supports the following browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari by Apple. We support browser versions that are still supported by their developers. If its developer no longer supports your browser version, it may not be supported by SAP SuccessFactors.

Moreover, supported Mobile Browsers (as of 2022), Safari by Apple for iOS 13.0 +, Google Android 7.0 + default browser, Google Chrome for Android. If you want mobile access, please use the SAP SuccessFactors Mobile Application. Not all features and tasks are supported on mobile devices.

Any hardware or browser requirements for using SAP SuccessFactors?

We recommend the following settings for optimum performance,

Network bandwidth (bandwidth that is required to surf the Internet 400kbit+), recommended available cache size for the browser up to 250MB (SAP SuccessFactors is a Web 2.0 application. We recommend allowing browser caching). adobe acrobat reader and java runtime environment 1.6+ should be installed. javascript, cookies, pop-up windows, and HTTP 1.1 are enabled for the browser.

Certificate renewals, If you receive a certificate renewal notification and if you’re using an SAP SuccessFactors integration with SAP or NonSAP application through APIs (SFAPI/OData API/Adhoc API), then renew the certificates to assure continued service. Your internal IT resources conduct certificate renewals. Certificates are used for the SSL/TLS 1.2+ handshake for secure system protocols.

Verify SFAPI/OData Allow Listing with a Browser. Learn about the API servers of your company instance and how to construct the endpoint URLs. Click each of these URLs from within your corporate network to test if your allowlist and blocklist enable SAP SuccessFactors API calls from within your network using your browsers. If you are triggering API calls to SAP SuccessFactors from a third party, or outside of a browser, you can use CURL to verify that you can connect. List of SAP SuccessFactors API Servers

Where to find the SAP SuccessFactors Mobile app and details about restrictions?

The SAP SuccessFactors Mobile app is released every month, except for January. To ensure that all SAP SuccessFactors Mobile app users can take advantage of data protection and privacy features, and the latest security updates, features, and bug fixes, customers should ensure that employees’ devices are set to automatically upgrade.

The mobile applications Apple Store, and Google Play. (for users in China)

These are the basic features that are supported for SAP SuccessFactors Mobile. All features are currently available on iOS and Android devices except where otherwise noted.

Does Successfactors use Content Delivery Network (CDN)?

A CDN (content delivery network), also called a content distribution network, is a group of geographically distributed and interconnected servers. They provide cached internet content from a network location closest to a user to speed up its delivery. SuccessFactors work with Akamai for CDN capabilities. It is active per default it is activated upon request it could be turned off.

Use of Akamai in SAP SuccessFactors Learning

What are the available SuccessFactors deployment models?

SF is a HXM suite software and could be deployed modular. In other words, it is possible to use only the Learning Management System (LMS) piece or use it as the system of records (EC).

Successfactors could be used with diverse software solutions combinations including but not limited to SAP ERP HCM solution, Introduction to the Side-By-Side Deployment Option

What are the SF Suite tenants?

As mentioned, SF is a HXM suite software and could be deployed modular and have several tenants these tenants are out of the box integrated.

The following chart shows the core SF tenants (excl. BTP integration e.g. IAS/IDP, HCI tenants) and solution extensions e.g. Qualtrics.

BizX is the core platform, and people profiles and workflows are platform services. If EC is in use, 3 tier landscape is provided; otherwise, only a 2-tier landscape is available.

ECP, LMS, and RMK are all independent tenants and part of SF-suite.

RPOS tenants are used for Recruitment Management Posting, and only if used there will be a tenant in the landscape to facilitate the feature.

Sunsetting SF-suite “separate” tenants,

Onboarding, The onboarding module is rewritten in BizX, and all new customers typically do not receive a separate onboarding tenant. (for exceptions, 3000665 – Request Onboarding 1.0 tenant)

SAP Jam Collaboration editions are now in maintenance mode with the plan to sunset therefore, no new tenants will be provisioned since 2020. It will become a BTP microservice for the SAP Workzone.

SAP SuccessFactors Stories in People Analytics on SAP Analytics Cloud

Stories in People Analytics consolidates all legacy SAP SuccessFactors transactional reporting tools into a single tool for reporting, insights, dashboards, etc. and enables customers to perform cross-suite reporting based on live transactional data across the SAP SuccessFactors HXM suite. Stories in People Analytics is available as part of the SAP SuccessFactors platform at no additional cost to the customer, leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud technology for visualizations.