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A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to visit SAP Labs for a Influencer Briefing and was lucky to get a chance to sit down with Robert Moeller who is a Solution Owner for HR Core On-Premise, and covers areas such as Personnel Administration, Org Management and HCM Processes and Forms to get some updates on HR Renewal. I have gotten to know Robert over the past 18 months providing feedback for the HR Renewal in a Co-Innovation capacity as well as recently participated eight Ramp-up Knowledge Transfer (RKT) PA/OM HR Renewal sessions. Overall I have been very impressed with him and the teams passion and understanding around the importance of fixing the long criticized user-experience.


For years customers have complained about the user experience (UX) of the SAP HCM offering and it is great to see SAP finally make a sizable investment to offer them a more user friendly, harmonized and intuitive experience. In talking with David Ludlow, Group Vice President, Line of Business Solutions he confirmed the HR Renewal will continue to be a major area of investment in 2013 with a core focus on building out the content for additional countries. Having been on the ground at multiple large Fortune 500 companies over the past 14 years there is no doubt that the HR Renewal 1.0 is going to be well received in the marketplace and after seeing more than 18,000 views of my initial blog New SAP HCM Functionality – HR Renewal it shows the level of interest that is out there.


SAP made Feature Pack 1.0 for HR Renewal generally available (GA) on September 14, 2012 and enclosed is sample screen shot of new landing page that utilizes SAPUI5 technology to give a richer visual appeal. The page itself helps organize and prioritize tasks, quickly find objects via favorites, recently used, or with the built in search, and then launch tasks on an objection (e.g., employee or organization) from a context sensitive action menu. At the core it is all about changing the user experience for HR Administrators and making their lives easier.

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To give you a sense of what is coming, Feature Pack 2.0 (Q4/2012) will add more content to the WebDynpo version of HCM Processes and Forms (P&F) while Feature Pack 3.0 (Q1/2013) will provide more depth to some of the framework and PA/OM content that was in Feature Pack 1.0.  Here is a great chart Robert provided me which gives a breakdown of the functionality that has been released and is “planned” for the remainder of 2012.

PA/OM/P&F Parts of HR Renewal (2012)

HR Renewal 1.0 – Generally Available

Key Need

Innovation Scope

Key Benefit

  • Ability to create and deploy easy to use HR processes at low cost
  • Easier method of deploying HR processes using UI of my choice  (not SAP standard)

Additional UI based on SAP native technology

  • Employee and manager initiated processes
  • Design-time to support new technology
  • Service-enablement
  • Improved UX, including harmonization of UIs, helps drive efficiency and satisfaction
  • Better leverage common and existing skill set to create HCM processes
  • Reduced technical infrastructure requirements and associated costs
  • Service enablement to facilitate use of non-SAP standard UIs (e.g., MS SharePoint)

Feature Pack 1.0 for HR Renewal 1.0 – Generally Available

  • Increased HR productivity
  • User demands for increased usability
  • User needs for job related collaboration tools

User experience (UX) enhancements for administration of employees and organization:

  • Contemporary look and feel
  • Efficient navigation (everything within one click)
  • Social media integration (profile, feeds, collaboration)
  • Focus on infotypes/sample actions for: Brazil, China, India & USA
  • Easier-to-use, Web-based interface offers improved productivity, engagement and user satisfaction; potential data quality improvements with collaboration
  • Easier access to analytics and reports

Feature Pack 2.0 for HR Renewal 1.0 – Planned Q4/2012

For WebDynpro based HCM Processes and Forms

  • Ability for HR Admins to initiate processes
  • Ability to associate supporting documents
  • Ability to store end-result digitally
  • Ability to print processes
  • Ability to search processes
  • Collaborate with colleagues to complete process

Additional UX and TCO enhancement for HCM Forms based on WebDynpro

  • HR Admin start process
  • Attachment support
  • Support update of Digital Personnel File
  • Process Browser enablement
  • Integration with collaboration engine (optional)
  • Lower TCO and increased end-user satisfaction
  • HR Admins can initiate processes in the new UI
  • Supporting documentation can be attached as an aid for approval or reference
  • Process can be stored digitally for efficient and legal reference
  • HR Admins can easily locate processes for reference or help complete changes initiated by others
  • Collaboration can help complete processes correctly and efficiently

Additional Country Support – Planned Q4/2012 *

Australia

Canada

Germany

Mexico

Netherlands

Switzerland

*Planned Q4/2012 via Support Package: Only single infotype scenarios (analogous to /PA30) planned currently.  Multi-infotype scenario (analogous to /PA40 or P&F under discussion 7/2012

Customers can also benefit from enhancements to the license free WebDypro version of HCM Processes and Forms to build out their own HR Processes that can be deployed to employees, managers and HR professionals. I have also heard that SAP is working to come up with a mechanism to offer “dynamic action” like behavior within the HR Forms so fingers are crossed this makes it into a future release.  For those that don’t know, dynamic actions are used in the existing backend transactions to trigger additional information entry.  For example, in the US, when maintaining a permanent residence address, dynamic actions might be used to pop-up an associated tax infotype. Here is a Sample screen shot of new Design-Time for the WebDypro UI version of HCM Processes and Forms based on Floor Plan Manager. 

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One of the biggest and most valid criticisms I have heard on the HR Renewal is “How come is the new Landing Page is only available for NWBC 4.0” which has a very small market share worldwide. Reportedly there were problems rendering the landing page in the portal and this caused it to fall out of the Feature Pack 1 shipment released on September 14th. In talking with SAP I can tell they understand the importance of having this available within the Portal and all indications are it will be available before the end of the year (potentially in Feature Pack 2.0).


All along there has been an impression that SAP planned to make the HR Renewal functionality available at no extra charge for customers but digging under the covers I noticed that Gateway is required for the landing page to talk to the backend which carries an extra license. Normally I would be very concerned by this development but in my SAP Briefing it was mentioned that customers can expect some major announcements regarding Gateway and I know the SAP HCM team is working hard internally to make this barrier go away for existing customers. I will be sure to update this article when more official details are released.


For customers wondering how to start taking advantage of all this new functionality it is important to note that the HR Renewal functionality will be delivered as an “In-advance” or early shipment of EHP7 and will require Enhancement Package 6 (EHP6) as a pre-requisite. An “In-advance” shipment is Support Package modeled, as a new type of Add-on, and it is great to see SAP starting to deliver quarterly updates for On-Premise like many of the SaaS vendors. While I don’t want to minimize some of the challenges of moving to Enhancement Package 6 (EHP6) when I look at the depth of new functionality in EHP6 and the HR Renewal Feature Packs which includes Personnel Administration, Organizational Management, Employee and Managers Self Service, Learning, HR Forms and the Shared Service Framework it is something I would highly recommend customers consider. Big thanks to Robert Moeller who is the Solution Owner of Core HR, David Ludlow, Group Vice President, Line of Business Solutions and everyone working hard to bring this functionality to market.

You can follow me on Twitter at SAP_Jarret

Update: Here is a recent podcast I taped on the HR Renewal


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41 Comments

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  1. Luke Marson

    Hi Jarret,

    Thanks for the update on this. Hopefully the Gateway announcement will be positive and also affect those customers wishing to pursue mobility functionality.

    Best regards,

    Luke

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      1. Robert Moeller

        There was a change to the NetWeaver Gateway pricing such that this should not be an issue for the HR renewal scenarios.  I did also note that there was a recent blog Owen Pettiford, called “Need a New User Interface (UI) or User Experience (UX) instead of SAPGUI?  Read on to find out what you need to use (Part 1)”  available here (http://scn.sap.com/community/sap-mentors/blog/2012/11/07/need-a-new-user-interface-ui-or-user-experience-ux-instead-of-sapgui-read-on-to-find-out-what-you-need-to-use-part-1) that alludes to this price change in the section titled “SAP NetWeaver Gateway” you can find the following statement “It should also be noted that usage of Gateway is included in your SAP User license – so any info that can be accessed by a user type via SAPGUI can be consumed via Gateway with no consumption charge”.  Customers should check pricing with their SAP Account Executive if there are questions.  I expect that more information about this price change will find its way out in time.

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        1. Chris Paine

          Believe official announcements should be coming v shortly if not already made in Madrid. But it is a great relief to see this “issue” being put to bed for HR Renewal customers. I expect to see some real ramp up in partner delivered mobile solutions too to take advantage of the new model.

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  2. Raja Kishore Jogam

    hi Jarret,

    thanks for the rodmap. Your articles on HR renewals have been providing very nice insight into whats to come in HR core.  Very useful.

    I echo Luke’s comment that hopefully gateway announcement is positive.

    WDA is a good alternative to costly Adobe. But it still a very heavy UI.

    thanks

    Raj

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    1. Jarret Pazahanick Post author

      Thanks Raj for the comment and kind words. I think everyone can agree that the WDA Forms is going to be a great alternative to the license heavy Adobe HCM P&F

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    2. Robert Moeller

      Don’t forget!  As part of the base HR Renewal 1.0 release, the HCM Processes and Forms framework was also “service enabled” to make it easier to plug-in your favorite non-standard SAP UI.

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      1. Vinay Naithani

        Hi Robert, thanks for the tip however can you or anyone else elaborate on what is meant by “plug-in your favorite non-standard SAP UI”. What options are we talking about here.

        P.S. Jarret thanks for the informative blog. I like the landing page screenshot. Something to look forward to.

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        1. Robert Moeller

          Vinay,  so for example, instead of using SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe, or the new SAP WebDynpro based interface, you could use MS SharePoint as the UI technology – there is at least one case where I know a customer did this.  The fact that the Processes and Forms frameworks are now “service enabled” means that they can be called from outside, thus, it is easier to use a UI technology not already integrated by SAP.

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          1. Vinay Naithani

            Wow. That sounds very interesting.

            Robert, thanks for responding to the query and as Jarret says its great for the community. Its much appreciated by all of us.

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      2. Raja Kishore Jogam

        Robert,

        Is  the service enablement for corer ESS / MSS anywhere in the roadmap? some of my clients are still intrested in the Sharepoint front-end ESS MSS but are scared of the custom code. so wanted to check if there is anything similar to this Service enablement for ESS MSS

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  3. John Moy

    Hi Jarret,

    Great blog as usual.  I can’t wait to hear about whatever SAP intends to announce for Gateway.  Hope it is positive news.

    Regards

    John

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    1. Jarret Pazahanick Post author

      Thanks for the comment and kind words John.  Lets just say I think people are going to happy with the overall gateway announcement and leave it at that 🙂

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  4. Chris Paine

    Hi,

    got to be jealous of your connections to Robert Moeller to get this info before the rest of us! 😉

    Am really looking forward to understanding how the HCMP&F collaboration will work, as the inability for teams to be able to manage and process forms (and be aware of where forms that were originally for a team to process but had be taken up and the “forgotten” by one user) was something that I was always having to design around. Hope that the ability of a shared service team to interact with the HCM P&F flow is greatly improved.

    And of course I’m very happy to see Australia in the list of to-be supported countries. May be that I can get to use this admin WDA interface now!

    On the dynamic actions front, it’s been quite a while now that I’ve discouraged the use of this functionality, as it doesn’t flow through when using the DCIF – which I and seemingly all new SAP developments use a lot. There is a cleaner alternative with the update BAdI. However, if there were some functionality that could allow for a replacement to the very useful “MAIL” functionality, without so much code, that would be great!

    Looking forward to more news (and the end of user and volume licences for landing page and standard ERP use of Gateway 🙂 ).

    Cheers!

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    1. Jarret Pazahanick Post author

      You know that jealously will get you no where plus that is a trait that might get us both kicked out of the SAP Mentor program 🙂

      In all seriousness Robert Moeller  and everyone involved with the HR renewal is doing a great job at working with customer (via co-innovation) and listening to customers (licensing extra) which is why this might be the best new offering SAP has released since I have been in the industry.  I always say that competition is good for customers and I dont believe this functionality would be available today if it wasnt for the threat from Workday and others.

      As far as Australia being on the list it got moved up because some components of the HR Renewal will be reused for the Cloud Payroll solution and it was one the 10 countries announced for that offering.

      I dont have much specific details around what is coming for Dynamic actions so will be eagerly awaiting more info but I know that Robert is monitoring this thread and listening to feedback from the comments so hopefully more folks chime in.

      Hope all is going well down under

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      1. Chris Paine

        Thanks, it is great what is happening in this space, and really good to see HR yet again taking the lead in the UI space (with the landing pages etc.)

        I’d agree, we wouldn’t have new functionality if it weren’t for competition, and I hope that the SuccessFactors internal “competition” will also help in this. The good things from both onPremise and Cloud solutions could (where relating to core) appear on both sides of the solution.

        Happy to see the cloud payroll solution co-opting the WDA admin screens and/or decoupled infotype framework. I had thought that the cloud payroll solution running on hosted SAP systems was a temporary measure – but even if it isn’t, it’s good to be getting a better interface into it for the cloud users, and if this benefits the onPremise users, even better!

        Having moved 3 clients now through the journey from Web Dynpro Java and ITS ESS/MSS to the new WDA ESS and MSS, there is a real appreciation that SAP is getting better at understanding user interface requirements, and with the new solutions, it is only getting better.

        However, and I’d be wrong to myself not to call it out, being able to listen does not equate to getting it right first time. Being one of the first to adopt has had its share of pain. The amount of time that is spent convincing some parts of SAP that issues really are issues, for example the start-up time for the MSS landing page is concerning. Yes SAP are listening to customers and doing co-innovation, and even are very keen to do this, but better will be (and this appears to be happening to some extent with HR Renewal) that it works first time.

        About to head over to your side of the world for a week at SAP TechEd LV, Hopefully I can turn my jealousy to some good use and use it as a motivating factor to encourage me to write some good blogs – like this one of yous 🙂 .

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        1. Robert Moeller

          Regarding getting it right the first time: we hear you, it should work certainly but always room for improvement (and, no! The “bug” message is not lost on me either).  Even with more engagement from customers up front, I am sure we will get useful feedback that can lead to more improvements once it gets in more hands.  Frankly, with the “agile” development methodology and quarterly release cycles we are employing, my ambition is that we get more out quicker and then can apply the feedback sooner.  We knew that we were not done with HCM Processes and Forms with the base release of HR Renewal 1.0 but we also heard the calls from our customer base for another option and wanted to all you to get started on that path ASAP.  We hope that customers and partners that work with us see the investment pay off.

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          1. Raja Kishore Jogam

            Robert,

            I did not notice that and am really looking forward for the option.  That is an excellent option.

            Changing gears slightly, is there any plans ( roadnap) to provide similar kind of options for the core ess / mss functionality as well?

            thanks

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            1. Robert Moeller

              I am not sure exactly what options you are talking about but ESS and MSS are part of HR Renewal. Also, our Customer Engagement Initiative spans all areas.  Projects push out advertisements for potential customer/partner participation – I know at least one channel used is the user-groups.

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  5. Kir Chern Loh

    Hi,

    May I also add, that SAP should provide more webinars to create and promote awareness of all these exciting new products and releases such as via RKT and Live Expert Sessions, and more importantly, free of charge. I am sure with more greater awareness, that would naturally translate to sales for SAP. I really hope such knowledge and deeper know-how can be freely propogated.

    My 2 cents worth.

    Regards,

    Kir Chern

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    1. Jarret Pazahanick Post author

      Thanks for the comment and hopefully articles such as this will help raise awareness and in this case there is nothing they are “selling” as everything is free (assuming gateway issues get worked out) that said the more information that is shared across multiple channels is good for everyone.

      On a side note Robert Moeller has graciously agreed to join our monthly SAP HCM podcast series http://www.insightcp.com/insights so be on the lookout for that as it will be coming in the next month. 

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  6. Derrick Banks

    Jarret.

    Thanks for the advanced info. Any indication from SAP on which processes will be delivered standard in the new WebDynpro version of Processes & Forms?

    Derrick

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    1. Jarret Pazahanick Post author

      Thanks Derrick and hear is what I understand is coming in FP2 although some of it may be in FP2.

      Enhanced framework for HCM forms based on SAP standard technology (WebDynpro)

        • Application for HR Admin to start process
        • Capability to attach supporting documents
        • Ability to record process outcome in Digital Personnel File
        • Ability to print process outcome
        • Ability to search and display for processes
        • Integration with collaboration engine (optional)

        Process content based on WD ABAP (i.e., process examples)

          • Hiring
          • Org unit change


          Hope everything is going well and will be looking to hear from you and Chris once you worked with this given your status as Adobe P&F gurus.


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      • Victoria Albors

        Thanks for this ‘article’. I’ m HCM consultant in Spain, and all this sounds a bit like science fiction 🙂 !. I was trying to deep into P&F with Adobe Forms, but I see perhaps is worth to wait to the ‘new Renewal’ and use Webdynpro ABAP ( at least cheaper ! ).

        My question is, any idea when Renewal will be available for the ‘rest’ of European countries ( Austria, France, Italy, Spain  etc ) ?

        Thanks in advance for your answer,

        Victoria Albors

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        1. Jarret Pazahanick Post author

          Thanks for the comment Victoria as I have heard SAP has tentatively planned to localize several more countries in 2013 as it relates to the HR Renewal but I will keep you and the SCN community updated as I hear more information.

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        2. Robert Moeller

          Hello Victoria,  with regarding to HCM Processes and Forms, you are not necessarily dependent on the country content/county build-out plan.  Up to now, only employees and managers can launch the new WebDypro based processes.  However, any country dependent processes that you can build today, can be done with WebDypro.  That is, most configuration other than the form layout is re-usable.  One of the key for building P&F with Adobe or WebDynpro is that the infotype is decoupled.  That said, with the HR Renewal program and the country build-out, we plan to add to the number of decoupled infotypes but you should find that the most important ones are usually already done.  Regarding future related items mentioned in the blog, please keep in mind these are plans, and as usual plans are subject to change.  This is also why we don’t publish the country roadmap too far out.  I especially want to caution on the country build-out date Jarret mentioned (i.e., 2013) – that date would be very aggressive and you definitely should not rely on that in particular.

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          1. Victoria Albors

            Hi Jarret & Robert,

            Thanks for you answer,  ( sorry for my late reply ! )

            If I understand, HCM P & F using Webdynpro ABAP instead of Adobe is already available.

            As of which version ?.  We are on a SAP ECC 6.0 Enh. Pack 5 . Is this functionality available and supports the same features as with Adobe ?

            Thanks for your help,

            Victoria Albors

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            1. Jarret Pazahanick Post author

              Hi Victoria

              This functionality is available but you have to be on EHP6 and SAP has currently released Feature Pack 2 in which you can see from the chart above the additional functionality that has been released for the HR Forms (WDA).

              My understanding is the goal is to offer like functionality between WDA HR Forms that Adobe HCM P&F has and when you consider there are no licenses with the new option the total cost of ownership is a lot lower for customers and I am seeing a lot of interest in the marketplace.

              Thanks,

              Jarret

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      • Beata Ciepiel

        Hello Jarret,

        Great insight. Do you think that there is any idea to invest in Adobe forms for new implementation of HCM P&F now in 2Q 2013? Or better to start with WDA HR forms assuming the environment SAP ECC 6.0 EhP6?

        Kind regards

        Beata Ciepiel

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        1. Chris Paine

          Hello Beata,

          unless you have a requirement for offline processing I think it would be most sensible to go down the WDA forms direction.

          My thoughts.

          Chris

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          1. Jarret Pazahanick Post author

            Agree with Chris as for most customers it will be a no-brainer to use the new WDA forms given there is no additional licensing costs while the expensive licensing cost of Adobe P&F has had a lot to do with their slow adoption.

            On a side here is a good Q&A that Brandon Toombs recently did that you might want to check out.


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      • Sumit Harwani

        Hello Jarret,

        I have been trying to evaluate the upgrade possibilities From ESS/MSS EHP3/4 to HR Renewal.

        As per my understanding HR Renewal is an Add-on to EHP6.

        Would  it be possible to directly upgrade ehp3/4/5 to HR Renewal.

        Please provide your inputs.

        Regards,

        Sumit

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        1. Robert Moeller

          Jarret, pardon me for answering Sumit directly.  You may upgrade to Ehp6 directly from 3 or 4 but since Ehp6 is a prerequisite, that needs to be installed before putting the HR Renewal Add-on in.  While I am at it, I might as well state here that Feature Pack 3 was also available in March.  The high-level features for FP3 by role are:

          • Employee
            • Leave request – multiple approver capability added
          • Manager
            • Performance optimizations with Object and Data Provide (OADP) speeds up home page/team viewer especially for manager with large number of reports
          • HR Professional
            • Process lanes for landing page
            • Addition of Work Schedule (OM infotype) support
            • Hire mass action

          Regards,

          Robert Moeller

          Solution Owner, Core HR

          HR Line of Business Solutions

          SAP Labs, LLC.

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          1. SANGHAMITRA KARTHIK

            Hi Robert,

            This is great information Feature Pack 3.I bet the HR Administrators around the globe will be thrilled to use it. Any news on Dynamic actions yet ?

            And thanks for answering my questions earlier this morning.

            Thanks

            Rinky Karthik

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