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Still on Onboarding 1.0? It’s Time You Migrate to SAP SuccessFactors’ New Onboarding

The New Onboarding solution was released in November 2020, and since then, many enhancements have been made to the product to provide feature parity and beyond.

It’s time to plan the transition to New Onboarding as Onboarding 1.0 is nearing its end of life. The deprecation of SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding 1.0 is planned for the 1H 2026 release. SAP will begin the initial steps to sunset the SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding 1.0 solution starting in the 2H 2025 release when the application will enter the End of Maintenance lifecycle phase, and the application will no longer be maintained (i.e., no patches or bug fixes, only security patches will be provided). This also means 2026 compliance updates will not be made to the product. However, the system will still be available for use until the End of Life in 1H 2026.

Customers should transition to the new Onboarding platform before 2H 2025. Below I’ve listed the reasons for you to make the move and how to start preparing for it.

The much-talked-after and expected automated migration tool does not offer the possibility to lift and shift the configuration. It is very limited in its scope and is targeted to certain specific areas like transitioning documents from Document Centre. Hence the move to the New Onboarding solution will require a reimplementation as the products are fundamentally different from a technical perspective.

To quote SuccessFactors: “A transition to the New Onboarding may seem daunting, but with careful planning and internal support, it can be much easier than you think.” 

While the purpose of the reimplementation might be to phase out the outdated product and replace it with the New Onboarding solution from SuccessFactors, this might also be an opportunity for customers to revisit their current processes for improvements—to identify what works well and what does not. Simplification is the key to this transformation.

The New Onboarding product is vastly different from its predecessor. We at Effective People recommend that you start the process of this transformation with a demo where we can walk you through a best-practice guided solution.

Benefits of the New Onboarding product: 

New Onboarding shares the same platform and codebase as Employee Central (EC). Leveraging EC eliminates all the dual maintenance that comes with Onboarding 1.0. You will no longer have two corporate structures and two security systems, nor will you have to maintain two fieldsets/picklists and localizations. Redundant configuration becomes a thing of the past, thus reducing administrative costs. Important benefits also include:

    Integrated and improved UI for a better and more consistent user experience

    Standardized data flow and mapping across various modules.

  • Pre-day 1 integration for SAP SF Learning

  • Enables comprehensive reporting and analytics across SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding and other HXM modules with People Analytics

    Unified document storage (DMS)

    Improves the flexibility and extensibility for integration with third-party solutions

Recent interesting enhancements from SuccessFactors: 

Prerequisites for New Onboarding:

SAP SuccessFactors EC must be scoped in the suite. If you do not use the EC module, take note that EC mini master is needed. This will not require a full EC implementation, and there is absolutely no additional license cost. For a cross-boarding and offboarding workflow implementation, a full SuccessFactors EC HRIS deployment is required. 

Migration support from SuccessFactors:

As mentioned before, there is no easy way to migrate as the products are technically very different. The automated tool will focus on components that do not benefit much from reimplementation like the migration of documents from document centre to DMS and I-9 reverifications. Reimplementation is needed for forms, notifications, policies, advanced conditions, data dictionary, custom integrations, and reports. 

Transformation strategy

By having a well-thought-of transformation strategy, you’ll have the opportunity to rejuvenate onboarding processes and tasks. An optimized solution reduces complexity by standardizing processes and leveraging best practices– Effective People provides best-practice solutions based on experience with onboarding solution implementations across industry verticals. With New Onboarding, you’ll deploy a solution designed to meet the future needs of the organization.

Hybrid model

You can choose to do a phased rollout of the New Onboarding solution starting with some countries, while others may continue to be on Onboarding 1.0. For example, you continue to use the US compliance in Onboarding 1.0 while the rest of the countries migrate. This is still supported today, and we at Effective People have experience doing this rollout within time and budget. The benefits of following the hybrid model include:

    Deploy the new solution for a region/country with low complexity 

    Exiting processes remain uninterrupted

    Slow adoption to help overcome resistance to change

    Allows for the identification of functionality and process improvements after go-live

Cost-effective approach 

For small– to medium–sized customers with existing EC installation and limited complexity regarding the processes and third-party interfaces, Effective People can offer a fast-track deployment service. The implementation can be done by leveraging existing content from Onboarding 1.0 such as forms, policies, tasks, and using the standard email notifications available in New Onboarding. We have experience helping many customers deploy processes to meet the needs of all types of hires. We have done several full migrations as well as migrations to hybrid setups as described in this article.

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Harsha Vernekar

About the author

Harsha Vernekar is an SAP SuccessFactors Consultant at Effective People.

Harsha has a wide range of consulting experience across multiple modules within the SuccessFactors HCM portfolio. Her core area of expertise includes Onboarding, Recruiting Management, and Recruiting Marketing. In addition to Recruiting and Onboarding, Harsha is also certified in Employee Central and Performance and Goal Management and has helped Danish customers in solution building and handling changes post-go-live.

Harsha writes about topics on and around recruiting, onboarding, and master data.

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