The Admin Tools functionality in Employee Central is great. For a technical/functional associate within our IT team, we can accomplish many (but not all) of the requests from our business partners.
The role-based permissions functionality is beyond great (in my opinion) and is honestly more robust and flexible than any other security setup/process that we have with other business software that we use (and have the ability to maintain security roles with).
Improvements to My Organization:
Prior to implementing SuccessFactors, we had nowhere to go for a single snapshot of our entire company. Today, we have our entire North America, Europe and Hong Kong businesses in the system and therefore easily accessible.
SuccessFactors allows us to have an online performance/review process that is consistent across the organization.
SuccessFactors has a workflow/approval process in place to ensure that updates are made/approved by the official ‘manager’ and 2nd level ‘manager’ for that associate. Prior, everything was done on paper and faxed to payroll for entry into the legacy JDE system.
All department/store leads now have the ability to see employee information for those reporting through them (initial level and cascaded down).
All department/store leads now have the ability to make change requests for anyone in their reporting tree without having to fill out a form and faxing to payroll.
The entire company now has a tool to view basic information (including associate photos) on their fellow associates.
Room for Improvement:
I think the integration methods can be more user-friendly.
SuccessFactors modules must become more integrated than they are today (i.e., EC with Performance, Goals, Onboarding, Compensation, etc.).
SuccessFactors modules must become more integrated with other SAP products (i.e., SAP ERP, Concur, Fieldglass, etc.).
Would be nice to have more standard integrations created for SuccessFactors. Currently, we are aware of standard integrations with WorkForce Software Time & Attendance and BenefitFocus. Others would be good to have (i.e., ADP).
The new hire process should have direct deposit entry as part of the initial step; we had to custom build this to ensure that every associate had at least one direct deposit record upon hire (we are 100% direct deposit company).
Use of Solution:
We went live with EC, Performance, Goals and Compensation in May 2014; a little over 2 ½ years ago.
We have not really had any stability issues. During performance review time (i.e., August/September) there seemed to be data center issues where associates were all having system timeout issues, data was being lost from Performance Reviews documents, etc. This has been resolved, but was an issue at one time.
I am not aware of any scalability issues.
Technical support has been an issue since day one. We have made our concerns quite apparent. We pay extra for Premium Support (SAP Preferred Care) and honestly cannot see what we are really getting at times. We have an assigned CSM, but this is our 3rd one (although we like our CSM now). When a priority issue is sent to ‘Engineering’, it becomes a black hole of sorts. The priority of our case is no longer relevant as the CSM (and team) cannot do anything once it gets sent to the Engineering Team. This is a problem, since for us, SuccessFactors support is SuccessFactors support, regardless of what department/level the case sits in.
More direct interaction with the case specialist would be very helpful. When we occasionally have the ability to speak with the person actually working on the case (i.e., not CSM or initial support team), we find it extremely helpful (but unfortunately, doesn’t always happen).
We had no specific HR system. Employee data was housed in the payroll system and not available to anyone outside of HR Payroll. Performance reviews and comp were all manual with Excel and other Microsoft tools. The organizational chart was basically Excel and not always accurate.
Setup was straightforward, but that was only because our implementation team (IBM) did all of that for us and walked us through everything. Eventually, we realized how intuitive the process actually is.
Other Solutions Considered:
The only other product we were going to use was SAP HCM On-Premise for HR and payroll with a connection to SuccessFactors for the Talent Management suite (i.e., Performance & Goals, etc.). That project never got started and once we saw Employee Central as a SaaS offering, we determined to keep the existing payroll process (it has since been upgraded to ADP) and go forward with the Employee Central/SuccessFactors integration (especially since SAP purchased SuccessFactors and should’ve had SuccessFactors/Employee Central fully integrated, which it wasn’t).
I would make sure they do their homework on an implementation partner, as that can make all the difference in the world.
I would make sure that all potential business changes are reviewed ahead of time so that the implementation partner can incorporate accordingly. For example, organization hierarchy changes, performance/goals modifications, job code changes (if necessary), etc.
Inquire about what all of your integration and reporting options are within SuccessFactors.
Inquire about how much you, as a customer, can do (i.e., Admin Tools) once implementation is completed.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.