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Author's profile photo Former Member

Shared HR Services Delivery Model for ESS/MSS

HR Shared services model has been well adopted by organizations across the globe in last couple of years. As organizations rollout Employee Self Service / Manager Self service solutions across regions there are challenges along the way which makes sense to extend the traditional ESS / MSS services to Shared HR Services model. Some of the challenges which forces us to move in this directions are

  • Headcount split across many countries across the globe (for example, <5 employees in 20+ countries).
  • Lack of good network connectivity to some of the remote countries
  • Low Return on Investment(ROI) – Overhead on end user training, setting of network infrastructure for relatively small headcount
  • Employees works in remote locations (for ex – Oil Rigs) which post challenges to system connectivity
  • Large floating population due to inherent business nature
  • In spite of all the change management, Manager community unwilling to take up HR transactions for their subordinates.

When we have challenges mentioned above, it makes sense to adopt a combination of traditional ESS rollout and Shared services model for overall HR Service rollout for an organization. I.e., Rollout ESS to majority of the population and for the rest, adopt a shared services model.


Another reason we may look into this direction would be when the organization is not in favor of global big-bang rollout but still there is a need to replace existing legacy solution (may be due to expiring contract). In such cases – services can be rolled out to most critical regions and for the rest we could start with a Shared HR services. As we rollout services to more countries / regions, role of shared services could be reduced in proportion.


Though above situation/challenges are applicable to many large organizations across the world, there wasn’t a very efficient way of do this. Some of the expectations from business were

  • Single point of access for all services such as 1) HCM Forms & Processes 2) Standard ESS based on Webdynpro Java 3) Custom ESS services based on WebdynPro ABAP
  • HR Service center representatives being able to transact on all the services on behalf of employees
  • Solution to be accessible via Portal and very limited / No access to SAP via sapgui
  • Ability to view basic master data of employee in a single page view
  • Ability to access documentation, user manual, training material etc by the service centre representatives.


The below screenshot is an output the solution we came up with. The solution was based on a custom application in WebdynPro ABAP.






Choice of WD-ABAP made some of the task simpler and some challenging. Some of the learnings were

  • HCM F&P framework was built on WDABAP and had similar concept. i.e., Select an employee and then move to list of services before launching the Form. We were able to use the same framework with necessary parameters to make the Form launch from our page.
  • Custom WDA ESS services  again due to same technology and more control being custom developed, were a walk in the park
  • WebdynPro Java – standard ESS services were animal from another planet. Though concept was available in MSS (Manager launching ESS services for an employee), Launching standard Java services from ABAP was really tricky. We ended up using a custom table and exporting and importing memory variable to pass information across the technologies
  • Displaying employee master data, Link to documentation etc were standard stuff which we were able to achieve easily as a custom development.
  • When launching WDJ services – Service could only be launched in a new window. So the Go-to previous page did not work.

Overall, the solution was well received by the end users and the stakeholders. This solution is in use for last one year for a large organization with 50K+ employees across 87 countries.

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      Author's profile photo Jarret Pazahanick
      Jarret Pazahanick
      It is important to note that in EHP5 SAP is delivering ESS/MSS in WDA not WDJ so some of the issues you spoke of may not be applicable.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      Valid Point. Ehp5 was out of question when we started this. Though we move to WDA, do we have something similar coming up in Ehp5? ie, HR Admin doing all services on behalf of employees?
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Is there anyy configuration document available for ESS/MSS for EHP5?
      Please help me since i am new to this topic.

      Thanks in advance,