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SAP HCM Mobility and Roadmap

I would like to acknowledge some of the progress the SAP HCM mobility team has delivered over the past year as well as outline what is planned in the roadmap over the remainder of 2012. SAP has focused on building mobile applications for three key target groups which include managers/executives, employees and HR business partners.  I recently spoke with David Ludlow who is group vice president of Human Capital Management and he said:

“With these mobile HR apps, SAP strengthens its commitment to the mobile app space and expands the delivery capabilities of HR processes that enable employees to increase their productivity while working on-the-go.”

Enclosed in this article is a description of the SAP and partner delivered applications that are currently available as well as the offerings on the future mobile HR roadmap.

SAP HCM Delivered Applications

SAP is currently offering the following mobile and tablet applications.

SAP Manager Insight: – This tablet app provides managers with quick access to HR data, reports, KPIs and organizational chart and facilitates collaboration on HR topics and captures follow-up actions. Watch a demo of this offering.

SAP Interview Assistant: This tablet app allows managers to access and view candidate documents capture feedback during interviews and collaborate to act quickly during the hiring process with hire or reject functionality. Watch a demo of this offering.

SAP Employee Lookup:This mobile app provides provide access using a flexible search to any employee’s details/profile and organizational information residing in the SAP HCM. Watch a demo of this offering

SAP Leave Request:This smart phone mobile app allows employees to create, modify, delete and review leave requests as well as view vacation days that are available. Watch a demo of this offering.

SAP Timesheet: – This smart phone mobile app enables time entry to be captured immediately as work is performed and the flexibility to create, modify, or delete time sheet entries. Watch a demo of this offering.

SAP HR Approvals: – This smart phone mobile app provides notification of approval work items, viewing of team calendar and the ability for managers to approve or reject’ HR-related employee requests. Watch a demo of this offering.

SAP Travel Receipt Capture: – This smart phone mobile app reduces the administrative overhead of saving, sorting, and scanning expense receipts and reduces the chance of lost or inaccurate paper receipts by creating expense items on the go. Watch a demo of this offering.

SAP Travel Expense Approval: – This smart phone mobile app accelerates accurate billing to customers and reimbursement of expenses to employees, and manage the timely processing of travel expense workflows on the go.  Watch a demo of this offering.

3rd Party HCM Applications

SAP has a a long term stated goal of having 80-90% of their mobile and tablet applications coming from 3rd party partners. Enclosed are two that are currently available.

Sovanta iPeople: – The iPeople application provides leadership relevant organizational data and key HR metrics to make better decisions. It contains a predefined set of HR KPI’s, multilevel navigation and leverages SAP HCM data and structural authorizations.

EPI Use SkillScanner: – The SkillScanner application gives Line Managers a single view of their employee’s mandatory certifications and the compliance thereof. This includes the certification timeline, current status, contact details and employee photograph. It is designed specifically for Regulated Industries to support their compliance reporting requirements.

Future  HCM Roadmap

Special Thanks to David Ludlow and Julia Yatskar for sharing the 2012 roadmap information and I was happy to see a lot more innovation and applications are on the way. It is important to note that these are planned (could change) and the names below are not final.

Timesheet (for pay purposes, project time tracking and/or charging time to cost objects) – A basic timesheet for pay purposes only is currently available for Apple iOS 4.2 and higher and RIM Blackberry device OS 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0. A new, cross-application timesheet which allows recording of time for paypurposes, project time tracking and/or charging time to cost objects is planned to be delivered later this year. This timesheet will support the device platforms Apple iOS 4.3 and higher, RIM Blackberry device OS 6.0/7.0, and Android 2.3.

Mobile Pay Statement – This smart phone mobile app will allow employees to view their current or previous pay statements.

Work Management – This provides managers visibility as to who has clocked in and is available, access to work schedules and assigned tasks/locations, alerts for missing time or overtime limits and ability to enter time corrections, substitutions and absences.

TeamBook – Is focused on performance feedback with the ability to quickly capture of notes, pictures, actions, emails and voice memos on specific employees or teams. It also includes a dashboard for quick overview of the current status of processes.

HR Approvals –The HR Approvals app currently supports the device platforms for Apple iOS 4.2 and higher and RIM Blackberry device OS 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0. It is planned to deliver an extended version which includes approvals for the full scope timesheet. This app will also support the device platform Android 2.3 in addition to the Apple iOS and RIM OS platforms.

Leave Request – The Leave request app is currently available for the device platforms Apple iOS 4.2 and higher and RIM Blackberry device OS 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0. Android support is planned later this year.

Learning Assistant – This application will allow learners to search for and display details of eLearning content and classroom trainings.  Learners will be able to play podcasts and other learning content online as well as offline. They will be able to book, cancel, pre-book and confirm classroom courses on the go.

Clock-in/clock-out – The application will allow employees to record time punches using device location information and capabilities.

Expertise Finder– The iPad app Expertise Finder is planned for this year. This application allows a user to quickly identify and contact the best matched experts for a requested topic by searching data from numerous SAP and non-SAP backend systems. Target users are client facing employees in sales and consulting in Professional Services.

While I have been publicly critical of Is SAP Using the Right Mobility Strategy as well as their engagement with developers it is obvious that the SAP HCM leadership is showing real commitment in building out their SAP delivered mobility applications and that is promising. I have also been encouraged as SAP has recently started to offer a new run time license model for customers where the full Sybase Unwired platform is not needed but I don’t have all the details to share at this point. The bottom line is the mobility space is evolving very quickly and would recommend that if you are considering deploying mobility in your company that you pay close attention to the SAP Store as there are new apps being delivered every month by SAP or its partners.

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  • Hi Jarret,
    Thanks for adding to the mobility discussion.  In particular its good to see the roadmap for new apps we might see during this year. 
    Great work!
    • Thanks John for the kind words and it was good to get some perspective on what is coming.

      I think a core group of us has been critical of SAP mobility (rightfully so) but there are some good things going on as well and it seems like HCM is a real area of focus for SAP.

  • Hi Jarret,

    Good job listing the SAP HCM specific apps. With the new licensing model it’s easier to build a solid business case for the full blown Sybase Unwired Platform and SAP NetWeaver Gateway Architecture and infrastructure. This way we can position certified partner apps as a decent entry point to Enterprise Mobility with SAP and Sybase.

    To add an application to the list: Check out CIBER mTime: a full blown mobile time administration app for iPhone and Android. it’s built by colleagues of mine and has more functionality than the standard SAP Timesheet productivity app you listed.

    Best regards,


  • Hi Jarret,

    This is a great overview. I’m looking forward to Nakisa releasing mobile applications later this year (or early 2013) that will also extend SAP HCM Mobility while leveraging existing investment in SOVN or STVN implementations.

    Best regards,


    • Thanks for the comment and the tweet. It is a bit surprising that Nakisa does not have a SAP certified 3rd party application as it is a logical candidate for their SOVN & STVN products and hopefully there is one coming.  Are you see demand from SAP Nakisa customers?
  • Hi Jarret,

    I too was following SAP on these mobile applications in HCM area from long time but couldnt gather functionalities from third parties. Good One!

    • Thanks Harinath as it took awhile to pull together and it was great to be able to talk with SAP to get insight into their future roadmap.  Mobility in HR is a very important topic.

  • Hi Jarret,

    Thanks for this great overview of SAP HCM Mobile Strategy. The company I work for and myself are trying to get involved on mobile technology for SAP HCM, and this blog entry is really helpful to understand whether we are pointing in the right direction or not. Im glad to realize we are 🙂 .

    Despite I was aware of the current SAP HCM Mobile Offering, I haven’t heard of partners solutions, which by the way aren’t that much ( Good Market Niche?).

    Is good to know SAP is taking such an important subject as Mobile seriously.



    • Hi Ivan

      Thanks for the comment and the kind words as it was educational for me to pull everything together as well as get visibility into what SAP had planned in 2012.

      SAP has a long stated goal to have 80% of the apps come from 3rd parties but so far at least in HCM that has not been the case. My guess is the bigger partners want to wait until there is more adoption in Sybase by larger customer before they make the investment and for small developers SAP is just getting the development environment and tools available for them (been a long struggle)

      There is a major SAP press conference planned for later this morning at 10am PST 1/2 of which is going to be devoted to mobile so it will be interesting to hear if there are any strategic changes planned to help with the overall adoption as it has been slow to date (due to costly licensing of Sybase/Gateway)

  • Very good blog … right on time for some work I am doing .
    I must admit the “Mobile domain” is not my primary professionnal area of expertise.
    I am little bit sceptical on the SAP statement like : SAP has a a long term stated goal of having 80-90% of their mobile and tablet applications coming from 3rd party.

    I understand this goal but I am wondering if more is not equal to less in some circumstances.

    Let’s take the example of “Org. Chart Navigation” :
    For on premise approach SAP is ‘marketing” the Nakisa extended solution.
    Now I see “Sovanta iPeople” which provides “Org Chart” type of navigation.
    I do agree “Sovanta” is a subset of Nakisa capabilities but frankly I would expect SAP to push Nakisa to deliver a mobile Apps sooner than later so customer could leverage their current investment.

    Can anyone position Sovanta vs Nakisa (assuming Nakisa will deliver a Mobile Apps) ?

    • Thanks for the comment and kind words Patrick as glad you found the article helpful.

      Like you I believe the 80-90% is wishful thinking as SAP has done very little to embrace the developer community and due to the fact that not enough customers are willing to invest in SUP/Gateway needed for many of the HR Mobility apps which means not a large customer base for a 3rd party to sell their apps into.

      Your example is interesting as they are pushing Sovanta on the mobile side, up until a few months ago Nakisa on the OnPremise side but going forward it is going to be SuccessFactors.  My guess is the future using the SuccessFactors mobile functionality which is by the way “free” as part of the base subscription.

      We live in interesting time for sure.