HireToRetire in SAP’s Integrated IE-Triple Shot of Espresso!

Rueter Stefan
Early Participant

By Stefan Rueter, Jochen Thierer, and Neetin Datar, SAP


The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in so many ways, including our world of work. While the idea of ‘working from home’ was once a coveted perk, it has now become the norm for individuals, teams, and entire companies, across many industries, globally. The prognosticators of future-of-work are now predicting that this may very well be the ‘new normal’. In such unchartered ‘new normal’ times, among other existential challenges, companies will need to continue to adapt and be hyper vigilant on issues such as business continuity of end to end HR processes; security, identity management, and role-based access & governance of all remote workers, while threading the needle on employee health & wellness, engagement, and overall productivity.


SAP’s strategy to focus and double down on delivering the Intelligent Enterprise is incredibly opportune. One of the key processes of an Intelligent Enterprise is the Hire to Retire business process, which has now taken on an added importance during these ‘new normal’ times. SAP’s Hire to Retire business process runs across SAP SuccessFactors, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and SAP Identity and Access Management solutions. With the latest product releases i.e. First Half 2020 release of SAP SuccessFactors and SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005 release (May 2020), this business process just got a triple shot of espresso!


Espresso shot #1: Domain model alignment leads to One Data Model for People Data and Cost Center Data


One of the primary areas SAP focused on for the latest releases of SAP SuccessFactors and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, was domain model alignment, a top a top suite quality ask from our customers. This is no surprise as data and information is the lifeblood of any digital organization today. Master data represents the single source of basic business data used commonly across all enterprise business applications. SAP conducted a rigorous domain model alignment exercise across all SAP business applications portfolio and has now defined the One Data Model (ODM) for Cost Center Data Model (mastered in SAP S/4HANA Cloud) and People Data Model (mastered in SAP SuccessFactors – Employee Central). These data models will now be consistently used across all SAP and 3rd party business applications as shown in the diagrams below.


One common People Data Model


People-Data-Model (1).png



One common Cost Center Data Model




The benefits of One Data Model for People Data as well as Cost Center Data is incredibly valuable to our customers:


Business BenefitsTechnology Benefits
  • Consistent (and semantically understood) master data across business applications
  • Enable out-of-the-box SAP to SAP integration and dramatically lower IT costs
  • Power end to end business processes to run seamlessly across the enterprise landscape
  • Consistent APIs based on open standards
  • Enable data driven decision support e.g. CHRO and CFO analytics
  • Foundational to other suite qualities e.g. Identity Mgmt., One Inbox and Cross Application Analytics


Espresso shot #2: One central Master Data Integration service across SAP Business Applications

The latest releases also deliver a central Master Data Integration (MDI) service on SAP Cloud Platform for distributing master data like Cost Center and People Data from the mastering system to the consuming systems. For data distribution, MDI uses the data models defined in SAP One Data Model (ODM). The benefits of having a central master data service are manifold as shown in the diagram below.





Espresso shot #3: One Identity and Access Management across SAP Business Applications

The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the digital transformation agenda of enterprises and as such, the urgent need for a secure, reliable and consistent identity and access management solutions. Companies supporting a remote workforce have been challenged with:

  • Ensuring a seamless sign-on experience for all users across the myriad of business applications that they need to access to keep business continuity and get their job done effectively
  • Having proper access controls in place to safeguard company sensitive information while managing user access with minimal disruption and ensuring employee productivity
  • Managing the full identity and access lifecycle i.e. from being newly hired to changing roles due to promotions, job changes, transfers, terminations etc.
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance e.g. SOX and GDPR compliance
  • Increasing enterprise agility while keeping a close tab on IT costs


With the latest releases, SAP has centralized and further simplified the identity and access management. See the diagram below. SAP Identity Access Governance (IAG) application orchestrates authentication and authorization management. Identity Authentication service (IAS) handles the Single Sign-On management for a seamless experience. User access is also handled in an automated and compliant way so that the entire identity and access lifecycle of an employee (from Hire to Retire) can be managed securely and proactively.





Enabling Hire to Retire process to flow seamlessly

The following diagram shows the high-level architecture of using MDI on SAP Cloud Platform with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Identity and Access Management applications to make the Hire to Retire business process flow seamlessly.




In the Hire to Retire scenario, Employee Central provides employee (“worker” in MDI terminology) data to MDI, which is then consumed by SAP S/4HANA Cloud and by the Identity and Access Governance applications. SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides roles to the Identity and Access Management applications and provides cost centers to MDI for Employee Central to consume. The Identity and Access Management applications ensure authentication, authorization and SSO management in both Employee Central and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. It also manages the event-based identity lifecycle of employees i.e. from Hire to Retire.


Espresso machine is cranked up and we have further innovations to look forward to  

As you can see, significant progress was made in first half of 2020 in delivering an integrated end to end Hire to Retire process as well as harmonizing a couple of the suite qualities. More innovations (likened to espresso shots) can be expected in the upcoming releases across the Hire to Retire, Travel to Reimburse and External Worker business processes. And across additional suite qualities such as one Workflow inbox, Set up and lifecycle management, Cross-application analytics (e.g. blended CFO and CHRO dashboards) and more.


Undoubtedly, our journey to provide best-of-breed business applications (e.g. Finance, HR, Travel, External Worker) and best-of-suite solutions (Intelligent Enterprise Suite) is becoming a reality. This is terrific news for customers as they look to become Intelligent Enterprises and be the best run businesses during the prognosticated ‘new-normal’ future.


Established Member

Thanks @Rueter Stefan for detailed explanation on how SF EC, MDI on SCP and S/4HANA Cloud can be integrated seamlessly in Hire2Retire scenario of IE. Though I understand the basics, I have few questions :


1. The architecture shown in the diagram has MDI on SCP. Does it mean that we do not need to configure anything in CPI (Cloud Platform Integration) at all if we want to integrate Org data and Employee master data from SF EC to S/4HC?


2. Suppose we have complex setup, where Hire2Retire, Trave2Reimburse (Concur) and External Workforce (FG) all are implemented. In that case as well, do we need to configure integration flows in CPI or MDI is enough to flow the data across products.


In short, I am more interested in knowing whether MDI can be considered as replacement of CPI when it comes to these IE scenarios.





Rueter Stefan
Early Participant

Hello Ankit, many thanks !


Master Data for Workforce provides a subset of Employee Master Data for integration which is commonly required by (primarily) non-HRIS applications, such as S/4, Fieldglass, Concur and other (non-HRIS) future SCP applications. This includes employee data such as biographical and personal details, address information, bank details, employment information, as well as job, org, and cost center assignments.  Additional Org Master Data may be added in the future as a master data integration service. Until then, existing integrations via CPI need to be used. In case rich employee master data is required, e.g. for payroll or time processes, then the existing CPI-based integration is needed.


For a complex setup, where Hire2Retire, Travel2Reimburse (Concur) and External Workforce (FG) are all implemented, MDI is enough to flow the data across products as described. Contingent and employee master data is centrally orchestrated via MDI.


Best regards, Stefan

Leading Contributor
(SFX Accredited)

Hi @Rueter Stefan ,


first of all many thanks for the 3 espresso shots 🙂

The topic around one master data model is particulary interesting and will definitely make life easier for those of us who are managing different SAP systems. 





Established Member

Thank you @Rueter Stefan for clearing my doubts. This architecture of MDI is indeed great and useful for customers having complex setup.