An Approachable Reference for An Approachable Reference for Migrating from SAP HCM to SuccessFactors Employee Central

January 10, 2017 by Craig Powers

The customer numbers on SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP’s cloud-based core HR system, continue to rise, topping 1,200 in 2016. Many of those customers are part of the SAP ERP HCM on-premise install base. That means SAP needs to provide a good path for migrating that on-premise data to the cloud Employee Central system.

Luke Marson, CEO Americas at SAP SuccessFactors partner iXerv, is an experienced Employee Central integrator, which means he has done SAP on-premise to SuccessFactors migrations in the past. That’s why SAP PRESS pegged him to write the e-bite SAP SuccessFactors Data Migration: SAP ERP HCM to Employee Central. We talked with Marson over e-mail about his migration and experiences and the book.

ASUGNews: What makes you an expert on SAP HCM to Employee Central data migration? What experience do you have in the field?

Marson: Data migration is an important and often painful step of every Employee Central implementation and I have been involved in the trenches of data migration on multiple projects. I’ve been involved in both manual migrations and automated/ETL-based migrations, the latter obviously being my preferred approach! I was quite excited when I first started to use the integration add-on for data migration because it provided an easy-to-setup and automated way to migrate data from SAP ERP HCM to Employee Central.

At iXerv—the global SAP SuccessFactors partner that I was a recent founder of—we focus on leading with Employee Central, and as such data migration – like integration, extensibility, and payroll—is one of the pillars that we focus on in as part of the implementation. Although it’s rather technical, it’s part of what is often a bigger HR transformation piece and is a foundation for enabling the system to be usable. Without the right data—and accurate data—the system offers little to no value, no matter what it is replacing.

ASUGNews: How has the demand for on-premise to Employee Central data migration evolved? How has SAP’s own integration there improved, if at all?

Marson: There is a demand with every project, and so there was a real need for SAP to provide a reliable solution for its SAP ERP HCM customer that are moving their core HR processes to Employee Central. SAP originally released a data migration package on SAP Data Services for data migration from SAP ERP HCM to Employee Central. SAP Data Services is a robust tool, but customers who didn’t use it previously needed to implement it in order to use the package. Following this, SAP released a data migration package as part of the standard integration add-on between SAP ERP and Employee Central. This package is also used for integration in the Side-by-Side deployment model.

ASUGNews: Why is migration an important topic? Why should customers consider a shift to Employee Central, even if they are happy with their current SAP HCM on-premise system?

Marson: Customers shouldn’t move to Employee Central for the sake of it; there has to be real business drivers. If they are happy with SAP ERP HCM, then making a move might not be fully justified. That said, there are often benefits for moving that customers might not be aware of. From my experience, there are not a whole lot of younger workers that want to work with SAP ERP HCM on-premise. From a user experience perspective, it sits pretty low against the other systems and applications they use on a daily basis. Think about Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, news websites, and more. The usage and consumption of these are totally different and SAP ERP HCM is definitely alien in their application landscape.

ASUGNews: Can you highlight a particular topic or chapter that demonstrates the book the best?

Marson: Since this book an e-Bite—and is only 90 pages—any of the chapters really highlight what the book is about. It’s relatively short compared to the other SAP PRESS books that I’ve written, but the beauty is that it fully focuses on one single topic and goes fairly deep into the topic.

ASUGNews: Who should read this book? What skillset is required to do this work?

Marson: The E-Bite is designed for anyone who wants to migrate data from SAP ERP HCM to Employee Central. This could be customers, consultants, data migration specialists, or project managers. Anyone using this book should have an understanding of SAP ERP and – to a lesser extent – integration middleware.

The learn more about SAP SuccessFactors Data Migration: SAP ERP HCM to Employee Central, check out the e-bite’s page on While there, peruse SAP PRESS titles on key SAP topics. And don’t forget, ASUG members get a discount!