SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

3011146 - SAP SuccessFactors Operations Best Practice: Organizational Model


You operate SAP SuccessFactors and want to know about SAP Best Practice Cloud Operations. You want to embed SuccessFactors into a Customer Center of Expertise organization to establish efficient and effective operations of this cloud solution.


SAP SuccessFactors (SaaS)

Reproducing the Issue

You need to design, adjust, or otherwise establish a support organization for your SAP SuccessFactors environment.


SAP Best Practice Cloud Operations are not yet followed.


1 Introduction

SAP introduced the concept of "single source of truth" in management of an SAP solution. The "single source of truth" is the comprehensive and up to date knowledge of the deployed SAP solution. This knowledge should be well structured, comprehensive, reliable and should reflect the current state of all your SAP projects and live SAP solutions.

Single source of truth came about when SAP solutions were on-premise. While hosting options and solution options may have changed over the years, the objective of the "single source of truth" is still the same: create a foundation to support fact-based decision-making and actions along the entire SAP lifecycle. As customers look to continue to optimize their SAP organizations and revisit how they’ve aligned operations with their business goals, it is important they do not lose sight of the "single source of truth" objective.

1.1  Organization Challenges

"How to best support the SAP application and maximize business value" is a common question regardless if the customer has on-premise, cloud or hybrid operations. Customers often struggle with:

  • Alignment between the business functions and IT,
  • Ability to scale to support business growth,
  • Identification of innovation potential,
  • Optimization of organizational model and reporting structure which will best support the business while managing cost,
  • Partnership with service providers and integrators and clear responsibilities,
  • Determination of how to source and staff support and programs,
  • Adoption of operations standards.

Establishing a "single source of truth" will help customers address these challenges.

1.2 Single Source of Truth Foundation

The key elements forming the "single source of truth" are centered on people, processes and tools.

  • People – the SAP Customer Center of Expertise (CCOE) which provides the management of the SAP solution and drives continuous improvement to maximize the return on investment.
  • Processes – the SAP Application Lifecycle Management processes and Operations Control Center which provides the structure and actions to take to deploy and support the SAP solution.
  • Tools – the SAP Solution Manager which reflects the current state of all SAP solutions and enables reliable execution of the processes.

2 Customer Center of Expertise

A Customer Center of Expertise (CCOE) is an expert team set up on customer side. The Customer COE comprises deep SAP skills and knowledge and generates tangible business value through sustainable and strong collaboration with the lines of business. It is the driver for continuous success to maximize the return on investment.

 Customer Center of Expertise

Figure 1 – SAP Customer Center of Expertise

2.1 Customer COE Characteristics

A Customer COE is established by each customer to efficiently manage SAP-related topics such as releases, cases, contract, security, business processes and related landscapes, business requirements, and future innovations. Because the Customer COE is a team of experts on SAP topics, they need to gain skills and experience not only in the current SAP environment, but also for a future that grows through improvement and innovation with SAP.

The Customer COE is a team of experts on SAP topics in your company:

  • a central point of contact for interaction with SAP for leveraging full potential value from SAP solutions and services,
  • a single source of truth and a trusted advisor for supporting decision making related to SAP topics in the company,
  • a trusted advisor which acts as a collaboration hub across Business and IT within the company and as a continuous success driver for the current and future business-oriented challenges.

2.2 Customer COE Model

SAP has identified the components which make up the Customer COE model. It is this model that is used as a reference framework to help customers create scalable, optimized SAP organizations and processes. The model consists of three functions areas, Customer COE Core Functions, Value Stream Functions, and Business Applications Functions. The Core Functions area is the foundation of the Customer COE and an integral part of achieving the Customer COE's ongoing success. The other two areas are prioritized by focused strategies on a Customer COE journey for continuous improvement and innovation.

 CCOE Model

Figure 2 – CCOE Model

3 Customer Center of Expertise and Cloud

When customers consider moving to the cloud, there are many things to consider with the Customer COE. Customers must always remember the objective of the "single source of truth" when determining how to address potential changes the cloud brings in the organization and processes. The natural reaction is to only look at the processes being removed and the staff changes. It is imperative customers always remember regardless of the solution, they are accountable for the foundation needed to support fact-based decision-making and actions along the entire SAP lifecycle.

3.1 Customer COE Changes

The cloud and hybrid operations present many changes in the CCOE. The responsibilities once contained within one team or multiple teams within a company will get spread across multiple companies. The management, however, remains within the CCOE. Considering people, processes and tools, the CCOE can expect the following changes:

  • People
    • Increased need for people with relationship management, IT security, cyber security, integration and new methodologies (e.g. DevOps, Agile, bi-modal IT, etc.) skills
    • Decreased staffing in areas supported by cloud providers (see Figure 3)
  • Processes
    • Improved governance/demand management
      • Faster handling of change
      • Increased willingness from the business to invest in innovation
      • Decreased interest in investing in projects with long run time
    • Automated updates of releases
    • Instant access/instant reply to issues/questions
  • Tools
    • Faster deployment and issue detection

3.2 Cloud Deployment Model

Defining the different types of deployment models provides an idea on the types of changes that could happen in a Customer COE.

  • Private Cloud
    • Service is assigned to one dedicated customer (single-tenant)
    • Access via protected network channel (Virtual Private Network)
      • If hosted on-premise, there is little change in the SAP CCOE and operations is performed by the customer
      • If hosted with a service provider, operations is provided by a Managed Service agreement
  • Public Cloud
    • Systems are shared between multiple customer (multi-tenant)
    • Service usage by self-service access and tools
    • Operations by service provider (varies based on IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS)
  • Hybrid Cloud
    • Mix of multiple deployment model
    • Integration through standardized or specific interfaces ensuring access and data transfer

 Cloud Responsibility Model

Figure 3 – Cloud Responsibilities by Layer

3.3 Bi-Modal IT

As responsibilities shift to cloud providers, the SAP Customer COE traditional IT tasks reduce. Its focus on Relationship Management and Governance becomes more important. There is an increase on automation in the remaining operations areas and in enriching the IT tasks with responsibilities for increased business effectiveness, leveraging new technologies and methods, connecting people and things.

 Bi-Model IT

Figure 4 – CCOE as Bi-Modal IT

3.4 Customer COE Function Changes

Typically, there is little to no change in a customer's COE organization model in the private cloud on-premise scenario and minimal change in the Private Hosted Cloud and IaaS scenario (IT Infrastructure is typically not part of a CCOE organization, though it is part of the model). The changes are realized in the PaaS and SaaS deployment models.

  • Information Management
    • Get information faster, smarter, more efficient by using all from SAP/eco-system
    • Connect information and build networks
  • Contract and License Management
    • Bundle responsibilities
    • Create new metrics for cost transparency/cost distribution (internal/external)
  • SAP Influence
    • Align with business departments
    • Participate in the new solutions influence councils
  • Support and Hybrid Support
    • Create a governance model for holistic support
    • Design authority

The following role changes are realized in the cloud deployment models.

CCOE Role Changes – IaaS/PaaS

  • Strong collaboration with business owners
  • Increased focus on technical/IT challenges/security
  • Typical tasks disappear and new tasks arise

CCOE Role Changes – SaaS

  • Strong collaboration with business owners
  • Increased focus on technical/IT challenges/security
  • Typical tasks disappear and new tasks arise
  • Continuous innovation

CCOE Role Changes – Hybrid

  • Integrated environments
  • Increased business demand for
    • Alignment with IT standards
    • Integration/data management
  • More importance regarding
    • Design Authority
    • Governance Owner
  • New corporate standards for integration/security
  • New skills and roles

See Also

Knowledge Base Articles:


OCC; Operations Control Center; CCOE; Customer Center of Expertise; E2EHO; SFSF; SuccessFactors; Cloud Operations; Operational Model , KBA , XX-SER-MCC , Mission Control Center - Knowledge Management , How To


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