How to Customize your Cloud Solution using SAP BTP Extensions
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. When implementing standard and best practice cloud solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors, many organizations experience functional gaps. The result of these gaps can be that business critical process needs are either not covered by the solution, only partly covered, or tweaked to fit the system.
By implementing extensions tailored to your organization’s process needs, functional gaps can be closed, optimizing the potential value of the system. SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) is a cloud-based platform that provides businesses with the tools they need to customize and extend cloud solutions like SAP SuccessFactors.
SAP BTP Extensions allow businesses to tailor their cloud solutions to their specific needs, thus closing the functional gaps and making the SAP SuccessFactors solution more efficient, effective, and user-friendly. In the following sections, we'll explore how to customize SuccessFactors using SAP BTP Extensions.
Define Your Business Requirements
Before customizing your cloud solution, you need to define your business requirements. This involves clarifying your business processes, identifying pain points in the system, and determining which exact process the system should cover. An important aspect of this process is making sure that all pain points are identified and well described. Once you have a clear understanding of your requirements, you can start exploring SAP BTP Extensions.
Explore SAP BTP Extensions
Effective People’s Extensions team specializes in designing and developing BTP Extensions to extend the functionality of SAP SuccessFactors. Based on the 20+ applications our team has developed for clients, the following approach is recommended to achieve the best result.
Design & Specify Requirements
Initial design workshops are recommended to draft the desired Extension. This step establishes the functionality needed to ensure the Extension relieves the pain points caused by the system. This includes an assessment of whether the Extension should solely leverage the SF API, or if any third-party systems should be brought into play.
Proof of Concept
To optimize the use of resources, a Proof-of-Concept (POC) must be developed as early in the process as possible. The purpose of the POC is to test whether the intended design and functionality are achievable.
Once the design has been finalized and validated, it has been proved that the specific Extension will solve the discovered pain points when implemented.
Develop and Implement SAP BTP Extensions
Once you have identified the Extension that meets your business requirements, you can start developing and implementing the Extension. Effective People recommends an iterative development approach, so functionality is continuously developed and evaluated to assure the correct development activities are prioritized.
In this phase, developers with experience in SAP BTP Extensions development are crucial for the final Extension. If internal capabilities are not sufficient, it is recommended to work with a third-party SAP BTP Extensions development partner, such as Effective People.
Test and Deploy SAP BTP Extensions
After implementing the Extension, you need to test it thoroughly to ensure it meets your business requirements and is working as expected. If any bugs occur in the testing phase, these should be fixed before moving on to the deployment of the Extension.
Once the Extension has been tested thoroughly, it should be deployed to the production environment. In our experience, this deployment should be followed by a short period of hyper care, where resources are allocated to fix potential issues with the Extension during a fixed time frame. Bugs or issues might occur because the Extension now will be tested by a vast amount of end users. This scenario is not possible to fully replicate in the test phase, which is why the hyper-care period is crucial.
Monitor and Maintain SAP BTP Extensions
Customizing your SAP SuccessFactors solution using an SAP BTP Extension is not a one-time fix. You will need to monitor and maintain your extension to ensure it continues to meet your business requirements and remains compatible with any updates to your SAP SuccessFactors instance and/or third-party services. Updates to SAP SuccessFactors can impact how the Extension behaves when interacting with SAP SuccessFactors through the SF API. In addition, if you change a business process without checking the extension, the solution might not cover the business processes anymore.
In this case, you’ll need support from your SAP BTP Extension developers to receive best practice advice on how changes may impact the Extension and to make changes to the Extension to keep it fully operational. Furthermore, specific changes might need to be added to the Extension due to a change in the business process.
The monitoring and maintenance task might not seem important, but it is essential to ensure that the BTP Extension still serves its purpose and brings value to the business.
SAP BTP Extension: EP Fast Hire
New hire administration is a pain point for many SAP SuccessFactors customers, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Effective People has, together with a large Scandinavian retail chain, cracked the nut and built an SAP BTP extension, EP Fast Hire, to support the processes. Want to see how it works? Check out the video below.
Check out our additional extensions available on SAP BTP for SuccessFactors.
EP Easy Apply: Simplify the candidate experience in your SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting solution.
Download one-pager | Full solution description for EP Easy Apply.
EP Mass Hire: Upload new users in bulk directly into SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central.
Download one-pager | Full solution description for EP Mass Hire.
Enhance your SAP SuccessFactors solution today
When implementing standard and best practice cloud solutions such as SuccessFactors, some business processes might not be covered by the system. Customizing your SAP SuccessFactors solution using BTP Extensions will give you a more efficient, effective, and user-friendly SuccessFactors solution that meets your business needs.
Building a BTP Extension with an experienced SAP BTP Extension development partner, such as Effective People, assures that your business requirements are covered in the best possible way. We have great experience in driving the full process from uncovering requirements to supporting operational BTP Extensions.
Contact us to start customizing your SAP SuccessFactors solution and driving business growth by enabling your business to extract the full value from the investment in SAP SuccessFactors.
About the author
Tobias B. Nielsen is a BTP Solution extension developer at Effective People. He has extensive experience with SAP BTP integration within SAP SuccessFactors and SAP HCM.
He has deep technical knowledge of scripting, and building custom solutions.