Extending cross-system workflow for SAP SuccessFactors


In a scenario where you’re harnessing the power of SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central in the cloud, while also relying on SAP Payroll within on-premise SAP ERP HCM or SAP S/4 HANA systems. The task at hand is integrating and orchestrating processes between these platforms.

Enter the solution: Cross-System Workflow for SAP SuccessFactors.

This ingenious solution acts as a bridge, connecting processes that span across the cloud system, like SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, and on-premise systems such as SAP Payroll (SAP ERP HCM/SAP S/4 HANA). Not only that, but it’s flexible enough to extend its capabilities to interface with other systems in the HR technology landscape.

Please read the Document before understanding the extensibility feature of the cross-system workflow.

In the realm of enterprise operations, diversity often becomes a defining attribute. While the majority of countries seamlessly integrate SAP ERP HCM systems for their payroll requirements, exceptions prevail. In certain geographical domains, enterprises opt for third-party payroll systems, presenting a nuanced dimension to the technological landscape.

In such a scenario, the imperative emerges – the necessity for an adaptive solution, an extension of the cross-system workflow. The objective is to orchestrate a unified experience, harmonizing processes across diverse payroll systems.

The aforementioned scenario merely exemplifies one facet of the cross-system workflow extension. Its applications are diverse and expansive, addressing multifaceted business requirements. Consider a circumstance where the culmination of a process necessitates the generation of a specific document. This demand underscores the capability of the cross-system workflow extension to seamlessly integrate with the document generation system.

The Implementation design principle document describes how customers/partners can extend the cross-system workflow for the SAP SuccessFactors solution to introduce additional phases and actions.

Solution Overview and Concepts

At its core, SAP has designed a standard workflow model, readily available “out of the box” for seamless integration into the cross-system workflow. This pre-configured workflow model is a foundational architecture that encapsulates three fundamental phases:

  • The Data Maintenance step in EC
  • The Data replication to SAP HCM
  • The Data maintenance in SAP HCM (Tax data and so on)

These phases support a variety of processes like Hire, Promotion, Change of work time, etc.


Standard Scenario

HR Roadmap forms” and “Process and Forms” are the 2 supported data maintenance User Interface or Integration option on the SAP HCM side.

Extension Scenario

The below screenshots show the flexibility of the solution of adding more phases or replacing some standard phases.

The first process represents a scenario where an additional activity is required after the payroll data maintenance in SAP HCM.

The second process represents a scenario where the data replication happens to a 3rd  party payroll and then there is an additional phase to maintain data in the 3rd  party payroll.


Extension Scenario

The Implementation Principles document provides the following information:

  • Concepts to understand (Before starting the extension)
    • SAP Build Process Automation
    • Process Visibility
    • Phase, Phase Controller, Process Controller, and Action Controller
  • Low-code development environment setup
  • Communication and payload details between the phase controller and process Controller for the Custom phase
  • Common steps in creating additional phases.
  • Updating the BTP Workflow using APIs
  • Updating the process of Visibility APIs

In addition to these, it covers common scenarios with step-by-step guidance for 3 example scenarios

  • SCENARIO 1: Process Orchestration for a 3rd Party Payroll
  • SCENARIO 2: Custom phase with manual activity at the last step
  • SCENARIO 3: Document generation

From a very high level, the following steps would be required for an extension

  • Preparing cross-system workflow for adding custom phases

This step is to determine how many additional phases are required as preparatory work for creating workflows.

  • Creating a Destination for 3rd Application

Destinations are used to define connections for outbound communication from your application to remote systems.

  • Creating workflows

Depending on the functionality one or more BTP workflows need to be created.

  • Adding Actions to the Worklist -Action controllers

The actions are usually buttons that can be used to invoke a workflow on the User Interface.

  • Deployment of the workflow

Deploying the workflow that was developed in the previous steps.

  • Configuration required in Process Visibility and Decision

To include the custom workflow, several configurations are required in the Process Visibility and Decisions

Once these are configured. They should be activated and deployed.

The detailed steps are mentioned in the document.


Conclusion/Key Takeaways:

Cross-System Workflows offer extensibility, empowering customers to effortlessly configure supplementary steps within both SAP and non-SAP applications. This functionality harmonizes HR processes across 3rd party apps and SAP HCM/S/4 HANA systems seamlessly.

I extend my sincere gratitude to Thomas for his invaluable contribution to this document.

You can find all the details with screenshots in the document link.

The Benefits of this solution include:

  • Streamlined Process Integration: Achieving seamless integration within processes.
  • Flexible Workflow Management: Allowing a single Admin to manage multiple systems or enabling different admins to work on distinct systems, providing versatility.
  • Comprehensive End-to-End Visibility and Traceability: Ensuring complete visibility and traceability throughout the entire process.



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