SAP HCM and SAP SuccessFactors have these effects on your HR processes

Published August 3, 2023

Laura Funke d.velop


Personnel management in companies is one of the areas with the greatest potential for automation. Especially as recurring HR processes can now be carried out almost independently by software. The software manufacturer SAP offers two solutions that can be used to improve and automate HR processes: the on-premises solution SAP HCM (Human Capital Management) and the cloud-based human experience management software (HXM) called SuccessFactors. In this blog post we will go into both variants and analyse the biggest advantages and differences.

Definition: What is SAP HCM?

SAP HCM is an integrated software solution for human resources and personnel administration. It offers a wide range of functions for the administration of personnel information, payroll accounting, time and talent management and performance appraisal. SAP HCM helps to automate processes and make the management of employees and their data more efficient. HCM is part of the comprehensive SAP ERP system and can be seamlessly integrated with other SAP modules.

Definition: What is SAP SuccessFactors?

SAP SuccessFactors is cloud-based Human Experience Management (HXM) software for people management. It encompasses a variety of HR-related core functions in the areas of recruiting, onboarding, performance management, goal management, competency management, payroll and training. The software solution supports companies in improving their HR processes and employee performance. SAP SuccessFactors can be seamlessly integrated into a company’s existing systems and enables flexible adaptation to the needs and requirements of the organization.

HCM and SuccessFactors: What are the differences?

Companies that want to optimize their HR processes, often use SAP HCM and SAP SuccessFactors in combination because they complement each other well. But what are the main differences between the two systems? The following overview provides clarity:

  1. Architecture: SAP HCM is an on-premises solution while SuccessFactors is cloud-based.
  2. Functionality: SuccessFactors offers a broader range of functionalities in the area of talent management processes, such as performance management, goal setting, learning and development. SAP HCM, though, relies more on traditional HR management processes.
  3. User Interface: SuccessFactors offers a more modern, user-friendly interface compared to SAP HCM.
  4. Configurability: SuccessFactors is more easily configurable. It offers greater flexibility in adapting to the individual needs of the company.
  5. Integration: Because SuccessFactors is a cloud-based solution, it can be more easily integrated with other cloud-based applications, such as SAP S/4HANA. SAP HCM is more geared towards integration with on-premises systems.
  6. Upgrades: SuccessFactors automatically pulls its upgrades from the cloud, while with SAP HCM companies have to upgrade themselves.
  7. Data Analysis: SAP SuccessFactors offers more extensive possibilities for data analysis and reporting than SAP HCM.

What are the advantages of SAP HCM?

SAP HCM is a software solution that helps companies manage and develop their employees. The benefits range from automating processes to improving employee satisfaction. Specifically, this means:

  • Centralisation: With SAP HCM, the central administration of all personnel-related data of a company can be achieved. This includes information about employees, payslips, performance reviews and much more.
  • Increased Efficiency: By automating people-related processes such as absence management, employee reviews, and payroll, HR can work faster, more efficiently and more strategically. Benefiting from the reduction of time-consuming and repetitive tasks.
  • Improved decision-making: Collecting and analysing data in SAP HCM makes it easier for managers to make the right decisions. Performance data is used to identify training needs or to adjust salary structures.
  • System integration: SAP HCM can be seamlessly integrated into financial and procurement systems, which enables a holistic evaluation of all company data.
  • Compliance: Human capital management helps HR comply with legal requirements related to human resource management. This includes, for example, the fulfilment of reporting obligations and compliance with data protection regulations.

What are the benefits of SAP SuccessFactors?

SAP SuccessFactors is one of the most popular HR management software solutions. Companies benefit from automation and optimization of HR processes. SuccessFactors focuses on the people in the workforce and the user experience (UX). This improves efficiency, increases productivity and increases employee retention. Examples of the benefits of SAP SuccessFactors are:

  • Cloud-based: Unlike HCM, Success Factors is cloud-based. Employees can access the system quickly and from any location. As an example: view the digital personnel file without the need for additional IT infrastructure. What’s more, companies that use SuccessFactors can offer their workforce employee self-services: requesting vacation, submitting sick leave, everything is possible digitally and mobile. This puts them in a position to manage things independently. Businesses further benefit from automated maintenance and updates via their secure cloud connection.
  • People management: SAP SuccessFactors supports a variety of strategic HR management tasks , including talent management, recruiting, performance management, training and development, and compensation management.
  • Data security: The data is stored in SAP’s own data centers and accessed via encrypted connections. The protection of data protection in human resources and GDPR in general has high priority.
  • Flexibility: SuccessFactors is a flexible solution. It is adaptable to the individual needs and requirements of each company.
  • Data analysis: Extensive analysis functions support companies in gaining important insights from their HR data and in making informed decisions. For example, based on the available data, the software can automatically compile proposals for project teams that may fit together well.
  • Artificial Intelligence: The HR software uses AI technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), predictive analytics and AI-based automation. They help automate and improve processes like recruiting, onboarding, performance management, and talent management by making decisions based on data and analytics. In addition, the supportive AI functionality provides employees with a perceived personal touch.
  • Ease of use: The user interface is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, so that employees and managers can quickly and easily access the system and start working without extensive training. Additionally, a via mobile app is available for greater user functionality.
  • Integration: The software integrates seamlessly with other IT systems to ensure smooth and effective data transfer and usage.

d.velop DMS connection to SAP HR solutions

d.velop offers an interface to SAP SuccessFactors. With the help of the in-house DMS d.velop documents can be connected to SAP SuccessFactors and alternatively, also connected to SAP HCM. For example, HR professionals can use the advantages of the digital personnel file in a digital DMS, connected to their SAP, because digital document management is possible in the SAP HR solutions. In addition, other HR features from d.velop such as the digital signature or the employee app can be connected to SAP.

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Create smart HR processes with SAP

HR processes consume more resources the less automated they are. HR software such as SAP HCM and SAP SuccessFactors can help and relieve the HR department, especially with repetitive activities. Both software solutions have individual advantages, which in the case of HCM, are more in the classic HR areas. Whilst SuccessFactors strengths lie in cloud technology, strategic personnel management and the use of AI. With a document management system such as d.velop documents linked to SAP as a knowledge store, audit-proof digital archive , when combined can provide HR with far greater productivity, enhanced reporting and a fully supportive environment for day to day business operations.