Human Resources

What Does an SAP SuccessFactors Administrator Do?

Administering SAP SuccessFactors involves a wide range of activities to ensure many different aspects of the system are running without error.


This includes proper day-to-day management of the system and the processes it supports, as well as keeping the system optimized to enable users to get the best out of the system. These activities can vary from simple activities like password resets to more complex activities like establishing a roadmap for enhancements or rolling out new features.


Activity Types

Many SAP SuccessFactors administration activities can be categorized into two types: tactical and strategic.

Tactical Activities

Tactical activities are those that are operational in nature and enable continued operation of the system and processes. These include such activities as:

  • Resetting passwords
  • Adding or updating employee announcements on the Home Page or in Work Zone
  • Managing workflows
  • Managing proxy access
  • Launching new annual cycles, such as performance forms or compensation planning
  • Creating new reports and dashboards, or modifying existing ones
  • Purging data for data privacy and compliance reasons, such as GDPR compliance
  • Making configuration changes, such as adding new fields or adjusting business rules
  • Creating or importing data
  • Monitoring integrations
  • Monitoring scheduled jobs and troubleshooting failed jobs

Strategic Activities

Strategic activities are those that create real value to HR and go beyond just maintaining operation of the SAP SuccessFactors system. These activities include:

  • Establishing a roadmap for enhancements, new rollouts, and/or new features
  • Defining the instance synchronization strategy; for example, when to synch which instance with which one
  • Reviewing the integrations landscape, integrations performance, and new opportunities to automate the flow of information to and from SAP SuccessFactors
  • Defining a testing protocol for critical processes
  • Setting user adoption goals and managing adoption campaigns
  • Conducting Train-the-Trainer or Train-the-User programs
  • Managing biannual releases, including assessing impact on universal changes and implementing opt-in/opt-out changes justified by a business case

An administrator may perform some of these tasks more than others, depending on the make up of the organization and the workforce, as well as the maturity of the SAP SuccessFactors landscape and the wider user base. For example, a large, global organization will most likely deal with a significant number of workflows to manage, while a company with a large European presence will need to ensure that data is purged as per GDPR rules and possibly Works’ Council rules.


The number of SAP SuccessFactors modules implemented can impact the effort required for biannual releases, as well as the roadmap and future planning for expansion into other areas of the SAP SuccessFactors HXM suite that are not yet implemented.


Daily Work Examples

Let’s take a look at a few of the above activities in more detail.

Adding or Updating Employee Announcements on the Home Page or Work Zone

Communication with employees is a critical aspect of the employee experience. Whether you use SAP Work Zone for HR or the SAP SuccessFactors Home Page to communicate announcements and messages to employees, these need to be periodically updated or changed—or new communications need to be added—by the SAP SuccessFactors administrator.

Managing Workflows

Workflows usually route through to multiple approvers, so there are many steps in the approval process where a workflow can stall or fail, which prevents the process from moving forward or stops changes from becoming effective. Sometimes the problem is as simple as an approver missing a notification or an approver being too busy to approve pending workflows. An SAP SuccessFactors administrator regularly monitors pending workflows and actions any stalled workflows accordingly.

Managing Proxy Access

Proxy access allows a user to log in to SAP SuccessFactors as another user and perform actions and activities as if they were that user. An SAP SuccessFactors administrator is often responsible for granting proxy access to a user and monitors proxy access assignments. Because some users have a high level of access and permissions in the system, it is important to ensure that proxy access is only given to a proxy for the period that it is approved for and that proxy access is assigned to someone that has the authority to act on behalf of the user that they have been given proxy access to.


Sometimes it is also required to troubleshoot a proxy access assignment; sometimes a proxy access assignment may not have been given with the right permissions and the SAP SuccessFactors administrator needs to investigate why the proxy doesn’t have the access they were expecting.

Managing Biannual Releases

An important activity for an SAP SuccessFactors administrator is managing the solution’s biannual releases. Depending on how many SAP SuccessFactors modules you have, the effort can vary significantly. Managing each release has a number of activities, including reviewing new features released in the SAP What’s New Viewer and in SAP SuccessFactors-provided webinars, checking and performing some regression testing in the SAP SuccessFactors system after a new release, activating any new features for testing, making configuration changes for Universal features, and communicating information about new capabilities to stakeholders.

Establishing a Roadmap

Based on the where your organization is on their HR transformation journey and on the biannual releases we discussed previously, a roadmap determines the priorities, processes, applications, and capabilities that should be implemented and adopted over the next few years. This roadmap drives the projects and work performed by the SAP SuccessFactors administrator, as well as the wider HR and IT teams.


How Can You Get Started as an SAP SuccessFactors Administrator?

The route to becoming an SAP SuccessFactors administrator can vary. Being a HRIS administrator for a company that implements SAP SuccessFactors is, of course, one of the easiest ways to become an SAP SuccessFactors administrator! Administrators with a background in HRIS administration or HRIS consulting would be suitable to move into an SAP SuccessFactors administrator role. HR professionals that are adept with using SAP SuccessFactors or another HRIS could also move into an SAP SuccessFactors administrator role.


SAP SuccessFactors administrators—as well as project team members for preparing or beginning an implementation project—can leverage the SAP SuccessFactors Administrator Learning Center (SFALC) to get on-demand training resources. These resources include e-learning training courses, e-books, and training materials like Project Team Orientation (PTO), Admin Guides, and Job Aids. These resources can be used to help equip a team for an implementation and give administrators and potential administrators the knowledge they need to administer the system.


SAP SuccessFactors administrators working at a customer can take the SAP SuccessFactors eXpert (SFX) Accreditation Program training. SFX provides experienced and knowledgeable SAP SuccessFactors administrators with a way of becoming accredited for their expertise. It includes a set of exams that are taken by the candidate to become SFX accredited.


It’s worth noting, that learning to be an SAP SuccessFactors administrator requires some support from an experienced SAP SuccessFactors professional. This could be an implementation consultant during the course of an implementation or a fellow SAP SuccessFactors administrator that is training someone new.


Learn more about different SAP careers on this page.


SAP SuccessFactors: An Introduction
SAP SuccessFactors: An Introduction

Take a tour of the SAP SuccessFactors suite! Discover what SAP offers for cloud HR: personnel administration, payroll, recruitment, onboarding, learning, workforce analytics, and more. Learn about integration tools that connect your system to SAP ERP HCM and SAP S/4HANA. Consult expert tips for your implementation, and see how SAP SuccessFactors can improve your HR operations!

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Luke Marson
by Luke Marson

Luke Marson is a leader, architect, principal consultant, and globally recognized expert for SAP SuccessFactors solutions and is a certified professional in Employee Central.