In my three-part series on how to use Boomi to extend SAP SuccessFactors capabilities, I reviewed some examples pertaining specifically to Boomi and SuccessFactors. In this post I will take a more general approach, and discuss why it’s important to consider a cloud-based integration platform as part of your overall system architecture when implementing a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution such as SAP SuccessFactors.
There are several cloud-based vendors offering integration platforms as a service (iPaaS), such as Dell Boomi AtomSphere®, SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI), MuleSoft®, and IBM® WebSphere®Cast Iron.
Here is a high level system architecture diagram showing the typical relationship of the integration platform with other cloud-based and on-premise systems:
Here are three ways that an iPaaS can make a difference when implementing SAP SuccessFactors.
In a competitive business environment, the company with a faster cycle time has a key advantage. For example, when it comes to hiring new employees, compressing the time it takes to complete the process lowers costs and reduces risk. The most efficient way of doing this is through automation.
One example of this in a recruiting scenario is “Auto-Progression” when a candidate is moved through the application process based on certain triggers or outcomes. –Say that an application is updated to reflect that the candidate failed a background check ‑ then that person is automatically dispositioned and removed from the queue for that application. If the application is updated to reflect that the candidate passed the background test, then, the person is automatically moved to the next step in the hiring process. There are multiple ways this concept can be used to result in a significant reduction in cycle times. You can even automatically bypass some steps in the process if they’re not relevant to a particular applicant or position.
Here is a screenshot of some sample active candidate statuses.
I covered this topic in previous posts, but the general concept is to extend the capability of your SaaS solution to support additional services and features. By building a seamless integration with other vendors, you can offer a service that is not natively available in your SaaS solution. This includes Benefits, Payroll, Background Verifications, and Assessments. The objective is to summarize all the results and display them in one system so the user only has to go into that single system to complete an action. From a user perspective, even if there are two different systems and vendors, it will appear as a single integrated solution. An iPaaS makes it easier to integrate with other cloud based systems.
Below is a screenshot of how 3D Results extended a client’s SuccessFactors system to support digital interviewing. As you can see, all the key information exists in SuccessFactors for the recruiter to process. There is also a link to the recorded interviews. An additional benefit is that this extensibility can be combined with auto progression. For example, if the reviewers indicate that a candidate has failed their HireVue interview, that candidate can be automatically dispositioned. If the candidate passes the interview, then he or she will be automatically progressed to the next step in the process.
This one may seem obvious, but with a lot of SaaS systems having their own integration capabilities, it’s easy to overlook. SuccessFactors recently rolled out an Integration Center which provides enhanced capability to export data from the system. This is a really nice feature and it will work for simple integrations, but it will not be able to support complex or bi-directions integrations. As you design the future state for your system architecture, it’s critical to determine whether the integration capability delivered by the SaaS vendor will be sufficient or if you’ll need a more robust integration platform. Attempting to figure this out during the implementation will result in delays and potential reconfiguration of your system.
There are additional benefits that can be realized by using an iPaaS over an on-premise integration application or by custom developing integrations using proprietary tools. I covered these benefits in my previous blog: Top 5 reasons to use Dell Boomi for SuccessFactors Integrations.
For more use case examples of what an iPaaS can do for your SaaS implementation, you can download a copy of the presentation I gave recently at a meeting of the Leading Edge HR Network (LEHRN).