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Exploring the Q2 2017 SuccessFactors Update B1705 (Part 1)


2017-05-06 — Eliette Marcial

Last October, SAP announced that they would be making the Q1 and Q4 releases smaller than the Q2 and Q3 releases. So this is the first "bigger" release of 2017.

SAP SuccessFactors continues to focus on user experience and Fiori styling as well as introducing new features such as Headcount Planning. I'll leave you in the capable hands of ROC's HCM Cloud team as they explore in more detail below.

Part 1 below covers the Q2 2017 updates for Employee Central (EC) & EC Payroll

Part 2 covers the Q2 2017 updates for EC Service Centre.

Part 3 covers the Q2 2017 updates for Foundation ("Platform"), Workforce Analytics & Planning, SAP Jam and Mobile.

Part 4 covers the Q2 2017 updates for Talent Management; Recruiting, Onboarding, Performance & Goals management, Calibration, Succession & Career Development, Compensation (inc. Variable Pay) and Learning.


Stephen Burr, ROC UK HCM Cloud Practice Manager

P.S. Don't forget … preview instances of SuccessFactors were updated on the 5–6 May 2017 and the remaining instances will be updated on the 2–3 June 2017.

Employee Central

This quarterly Employee Central release offers new tools for Time off and time attendance, document generation and for position management. As usual a lot has been also done to improve existing tools with a major highlight on Employee Profile, Employee Central Payroll and Enterprise Resource Planning integration.

More fun - The new features and new tools

Company Structure Overview

It's going live! In the previous release review, we gave you a first taste of the upcoming major enhancement of this quarter, the brand-new Company Structure Overview. Why is it so important? Because it gives a clear sight of the Company Structure. On the one hand, it benefits employees by helping them to understand how their team fits into the company and the relationships to and between other teams, thus facilitating increased communication, as well as knowledge transfer between team members. On the other hand, it also benefits the managers with strategic decision making. The new feature is easy and intuitive to use, and the visibility can, of course, be controlled with Role Based Permissions.

Company Structure Overview

Time off and Time Attendance

Time off and time attendance is such a broad and complex theme for HR staff who maintain employee data and who have to deal with a great variety of time types and time account types. Add accrual rules and entitlement, and it becomes even more complicated.

The Time Account Process Simulator is a new tool that assists the user on the subject, helping to understand how the time off accrual policy works by facilitating simulation of the process on a particular employee.

Time Account Process Simulator

There is also a recalculation of accruals on a change of Hire date which saves time. To make it easier to trace time data records, it will now be possible to show the external code of Time accounts and closed accounts.

Payment Information

A new field has been created on the Payment Information portlet; this is the 'Bank ID' field. This enables the Bank field to be visible in Analytics, and allows for bank related attributes in reporting. 

It will also now be possible for Managers to set an end date for recurring payments in the Hire process as well as in MSS.

Document Generation

Two new features will be introduced to make it easier when dealing with Document Generation. First it's the introduction of the new "category" field and second is the "Reference" field, useful for document template mapping. An improvement has been made to Document Generation, which will now be handled on a unified level instead of two. Previously, it was managed by the Template level plus the Role Based Permissions screen.

More flexibility - enhancement on existing tools

Employee Profile

Until now, have you found that you've not been entirely satisfied with the People Profile? Have you thought a few more titles to distinguish sections properly would be appreciated, and you would have liked more room to customise the classical configuration? That will now be possible, as SAP is granting more control on the way background information will be displayed on the profile.

The "Attachments" field is now also available on the Personal information portlet.


Regarding the Benefits section, HR Administrators are now able to view, enroll, claim and edit benefits on behalf of their employees. This both saves time, and reduces enrollment mistakes.

Contingent Workers

The Employee Central platform on SuccessFactors is also becoming more flexible with this new release for contingent workers. The data models can now be separated for contingent workers and employees, enabling distinct customisation for these specific workers. You will be able to involve them more within your company by giving them access to the platform and, for example, letting them enroll in the learning program of your choice. Consequently, more commitment can be invested in these workers.

ERP integration

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration is one of the biggest challenges for customers integrating SuccessFactors to their ERP system. This release is definitely a bearer of good news for this topic! This process will be greatly facilitated since the replication of employee master data and employee organisational assignments from Employee Central to the ERP system have been combined into a single process.

On MSS, a minor enhancement will also be time saving for a manager. When updating job information which has an impact on the compensation section, updates will be automatically triggered before the manager saves them.

Employee Central Payroll

The major enhancement with this release is that multiple-type payments such as spot bonuses per payroll are now supported. It's an improvement in covering all different specific pay types within companies.

Moreover, the UK clients will also enjoy the fact that Multiple Employments will now be available in Employee Central Payroll for their country. It also gives more flexibility, such as covering local businesses.

More accuracy, Fewer mistakes - Improvements on existing tools

A great deal of attention has been paid to mistake prevention on this release. 'Checking' tools have been introduced at several levels, and the following are worth highlighting:

  • Two new 'check' reports which are relevant for Employee Central Payroll have been introduced. They check if there is an error in data maintenance within Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll. These reports are the following:
    • "Time Types Attendance and Absence Types Configuration Check"
    • "Time Pay Types and Wage Types Configuration Check"
  • To avoid trying to terminate the same employee twice, you will now get an error message on the Termination/Retire screen if you try to create multiple workflows for the termination of the same employee. The first one needs to be approved before creating a new one.


This release also provides useful filtering enhancements made for workflow management. HR Administrators can now utilise a filter to sort person-based workflows by company, location, cost center, business unit, division, and department, plus they can also sort workflows by received date.


Country improvements

Country specific fields can now be activated for Botswana, Uganda, Ski Lanka and Cambodia. A new country version for El Salvador will be available.

Addresses fields have been added to Hungary and South Africa.

Finally, Master Data replication for the USA as well as UAE have been enhanced for Employee Central Payroll.

In the next blog, Stephen Millard will look at the EC Service Centre module. Part 3 will discuss Foundation, Analytics, Jam and Mobile with Part 4 discussing Talent Management.

If you would like to know more about SAP SuccessFactors, contact ROC at