The SuccessFactors second half (2H) 2020 release is scheduled for deployment in Preview data centres on 16th October and Production on 20th November. Finding the relevant information can be challenging at times, these are the key resources SAP provides, so make sure you have access to the SAP SuccessFactors Customer Community for all the information hot off the press.
This year SAP changed from a quarterly release schedule to a half yearly deployment schedule, which means a longer wait to receive goodies (i.e. enhancements, new features) but also more time for businesses to bed down each release before being managing another one.
The Road to Release Document – 2nd October 2020
This document is usually a high-level explanation of the release process more than actually giving away much of what’s coming out. It’s aimed at system administrators and includes the following key points:
- Understanding the update process, e.g. the release and scheduled patches
- Steps for administrators to prepare for the release, including using the What’s New Viewer tool, subscribing to useful newsletters, internal planning with key business resources, and activating and testing the release features.
- A timeline of when the information and release is scheduled for delivery
- Explanation of Universal versus Opt-In features
If you’ve been through releases before, there’s no real surprises here. This is mostly useful to understand the timelines of when certain information is available.
What’s New Viewer – 9th October 2020 at noon PDT
The What’s New Viewer is the one we all eagerly await, as this will explain every feature/update/fix that’s included in the release. It replaced the old Excel spreadsheet that used to be provided with a searchable, mobile-responsive view which can be filtered as well as exported.
You can use one or more of the following filters to narrow the list:
|Module (changed from Solution in 2H)||Use this filter to limit the release items to specific products or modules.|
|Feature (changed from Feature Group in 2H)||Use this filter to find release items related to a set of features within or across solutions.|
|Type||Use this filter if you want to look at release items based on whether they are a change or something new.|
|Availability||Use this filter to limit the release items based on their availability status.Release items with Full Availability are available to all customers, subject to their configuration type. Most release items are fully available.Release items with Limited Availability are only available to a subset of customers, usually because they require an additional agreement.|
|Major or Minor (new in 2H)||Use this filter to limit release items by their impact to your business.|
|Configuration Type||Use this filter to limit release items to those with a specific configuration type.|
|Software Version (new in 2H)||Use this filter to limit the release items to those in the release you’re adopting. By default, the viewer is pre-filtered to the current release. We keep older versions in the viewer so that you can go back and see all changes to a feature or module over time|
The What’s New Viewer also includes:
- Links to more information and resources
- Indicates whether the feature is Universal or not
- Which module/s it relates to
- Short demo videos for some topics.
Recent updates to terminology help make the filters clearer as well as including a filter to differentiate between releases. For more detail and screenshots read this blog post in the SuccessFactors Customer Community.
There’s a LOT of information to digest in the What’s New Viewer, so one of the services we offer our AMS support clients is to provide analysis of relevant features based on our knowledge of their system, to help highlight the most critical feature that may be of interest or resolve known issues.
Release Highlights Video & Document – 16th October 2020
This information includes high-level module summaries of what to expect, not a lot of detail, more a 1-pager executive summary per module.
Similarly there’s a short overview video and additional videos for some modules giving a taste of key changes.
Release Q&A Series Held – 1st-13th November 2020
This is the real gold right here! Make sure you pre-submit any questions you have about specific updates, Q&A Release Series Question Pre-Submission opens 12th October in the SuccessFactors Customer Community.
Customers can already register for the Q&A sessions and there’s APJ friendly times as well. There’s a different registration process for partners to follow via the SuccessFactors Partner Delivery Community.
What Can You Do Now?
Don’t have access to the SuccessFactors Customer Community? Get set up now!
- To access the Community, an SAP-ID (S-user ID) OR a Universal ID linked to an S-user ID is required.
- Your company’s user administrators manage S-user IDs and authorizations.
- If you do not have an S-user ID, contact your company’s administrator to request an account without additional privileges.
- If you do not know who your administrator is, please contact the SAP Customer Interaction Centre.
Then you can register for the Release Q&A Series webinars relevant to your modules.
What Can You Do Later?
- Review the What’s New Viewer for your modules when it’s released to the customer community on 9th October 2020 to see what might benefit your organisation.
- Run some regression tests in your Preview system before AND after the release is applied on 16th October, this gives you time to identify and raise any questions or issues that come up!
- Activate any new upgrades or features you’d like to test further, in some cases you’ll need partner support if Provisioning changes are required.
If your business would like assistance to manage the on-going release cycle and ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment in your SuccessFactors system, get in touch to talk about our support and Health Check options.