SAP Commissions
Landing Pad – a useful tool that won’t be there anymore
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In 2018, SAP’s acquisition of marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of their flagship Incentive Compensation Management product. Renamed as SAP Commissions, the product is undergoing a comprehensive architecture rewrite, transitioning to core SAP technologies and rebranded as SuccessFactors Incentive Management. This transformative change is a response to the ever-evolving landscape of technology and a strategic move to align with SAP’s broader ecosystem.

The crux of this transformation lies in the departure from the existing architecture, which is based on Oracle. This change is not merely a technological shift but a strategic necessity. The current Oracle-based architecture is set to lose support beyond 2026, prompting a critical decision for existing customers. They now find themselves at a crossroads, faced with the choice of either upgrading to the SAP HANA platform hosted on Google Hyperscalers or exploring alternatives within the Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) and Sales Performance Management (SPM) landscape.

One of the aspects of the migration is the fact that some companies that used Callidus’ product also used an intermediate data processing stage called the Landing Pad (or LP for short).

The LP was basically a platform as a service, and it came with an Oracle database and Informatica PowerCenter ETL tool based on a Unix machine.

The platform was fully managed by customers and allowed to massage and preprocess the data before it reached the Commissions.

In the new architecture there won’t be a Landing Pad anymore if a customer decides to migrate to SuccessFactors Incentive Management, all processing from LP will need to be taken somewhere else.

An example of a simple Informatica mapping

SAP provides their proprietary technology for data preprocessing

SDI (Smart Data Integration), which unfortunately is as not powerful as a combination of Oracle/Informatica/Unix in the old architecture.

There are quite a few considerations to take into account when moving from the Landing Pad to SDI:

  • It’s not possible to migrate automatically from Oracle/Informatica to SDI. Informatica Workflows and Mappings will have to be manually converted to SDI, which will be time-consuming and costly process,
  • If a customer decides to use a different ETL platform than SDI to preprocess data for SuccessFactors Incentive Management, the migration will have to be manual too.
  • The skillbase for SDI is much narrower than for Oracle/Informatica/Unix, and the cost of service of SDI experts is much, much higher.
  • Informatica PowerCenter offers a wide array of connectors and adapters for various databases, cloud platforms, and applications, making it versatile in terms of data source and target support. SAP SDI, on the other hand, is optimized for integration with SAP systems and databases.
  • Informatica PowerCenter includes advanced data quality and profiling features, which are particularly useful for cleansing and standardizing data. SAP SDI provides data quality features but may not be as comprehensive as Informatica.
  • Landing Pad could access Commission’s internal repository through a database link called tc_link. This will be gone in the new world and only REST Web Services will be available for that purpose – unless the customer uses a combination of SDI and ABAP

An example of SDI flowgraph

In other words, if a customer relied very heavily on in the Landing Pad to preprocess incoming data into an ODI format needed for the old SAP Commissions systems to digest, the task to rewrite Oracle/Informatica/Unix is not a small one to consider. 


A few recommendations from Sands Partners on the migration:

  • If you’re an SAP powerhouse and SDI/HANA is already widely adopted in your company, it’s only natural to strongly consider upgrading to the new architecture for Incentive Management
  • If tc_link was not extensively used on the Landing Pad and your organization has a corresponding tech stack in their infrastructure, the most effective migration path may be to replicate Oracle/Informatica/Unix from Landing Pad to customer’s infrastructure.
  • Intermediate store (Oracle on LP) is gone in the new world, and SAP charges a lot per GB in their cloud. Think carefully if using intermediate storage is really necessary for your processing and if so, consider alternatives
  • There isn’t much of a difference between moving from Informatica PowerCenter to SDI vs moving to any other ETL tool. If your team has skills to migrate from Informatica to another platform you own, there’s no compelling reason to move to SDI.
  • Last but not least, do consider if the migration should be planned and executed by your team or the professionals that have done it several times already

No matter what, the deadline for migration is set to 2026. So, if after reading the above you still need some advice on the Landing Pad migration strategy, SANDS Partners are here to help.

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