Yes we can…

In the summer period of 2013, the Amsterdam traffic organization put out a Request for Proposal to implement for their 4000 employees SAP ESS/MSS in their SharePoint based intranet. The assignment would be adjudged to the respondent with the best proposal, calculated on rewarded points for the categories functionality, price, architecture, future-proof, mobile support.

We responded with a proposal to implement Cordis Solutions myHR, a SAP certified solution build on Duet Enterprise and SAP NetWeaver Gateway. This made our proposal a bit tricky, as the organization did not have Duet Enterprise and Gateway yet in the productive landscape. But since we are convinced that myHR is the best nowadays fit to expose SAP ESS/MSS in SharePoint, we had no real doubts to base our solution on the implementation of that standard-of-the-shelf product. In practice, the inclusion of Gateway and Duet Enterpise, actually added to the received score of our proposal as their architects immediately recognized the added value of these platforms to extend beyond this first possible application.

And even with Duet Enterprise as additional necessity in our package, we still made the best cost-benefit proposal, compared to a.o. an offer to custom build the ESS/MSS integration in SharePoint. And because we with myHR also scored best on the aspects of ESS/MSS functionality [as we expected] and future-proof, we ranked out overall best of the submitted proposals.

We started the project middle of September. In the initial weeks, the focus was on getting the infra (SAP Gateway, Duet Enterprise, Cordis Solutions myHR modules) up-and-running in the combined SAP + SharePoint development landscape. Besides some minor hurdles, we managed to achieve this in an elapse time of little more than 2 weeks! After these 2 weeks from project start, the focus of the infra effort transferred to repeating the installation in the acceptance environment, and after that to the production landscape. Parallel an ESS/MSS business consultant and a SharePoint consultant joined the project team at customer premise, for together execute the necessary customizations to adjust myHR to the customer demands and situation. The customization on one side is on ESS/MSS process level, and for the other part on customizing the standard Cordis myHR controls to the look&feel of the existing intranet. Important aspect here is that the intranet already is Responsive Design aware, and used by the employees from their desktops, tablets and also smartphones. As integral part of the intranet, the layout of the included myHR controls must conform to this modern UI-behaviour.

Now, only 4 months further, we reached Go-Live of the first set of ESS/MSS modules: myData, myAddress, myPayslip (!), … And myExpense plus myApprovals to follow next week (it is coupled to the introduction of a SAP MSS workflow for expense handling). And despite that this date was a hard and therefore also judged demand in the RfP (the contract of the system used up to last year, was already planned to be retired per January this year), the customer was pleasantly surprised that we actually managed to deliver on the agreed date. In their words, “this is the first project that actually delivers in such short period, on time, and with the agreed functionality”.

As side effect of this Go-Live of the first myHR modules, we have also another Duet Enterprise customer life, and of the substantial size of 4000 users.

So, SAP ESS/MSS implementation in SharePoint within 4 months…An achievement on which we are very proud. One that we were able to deliver in close and pleasant collaboration with stakeholders at the customer, at diverse levels: HR, business and process analysts, communication, IT (SharePoint and SAP teams, Enterprise Architecture), and not to forget legal. Also we cooperated in close harmony with Cordis Solutions as the myHR product supplier. And last but certainly not least, I could resort to the Duet Enterprise product team (in particular Holger Bruchelt) in case of questions before, and issues encountered during installation (this was the first direct SAP/SharePoint integration in their application landscape).

The story does not end here. The projectteam continues to implement more of the myHR modules next months (e.g. myTime, myCompensation, …), and release them in a Sprint planning. For some customer-specific functionality, the standard myHR suite will be augmented with custom build extensions. Their architecture will comply to the standard myHR modules, and be built utilizing the functionalities inhibit in the Cordis Solutions Harmony platform, Duet Enterprise + Gateway.

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  1. Xiaosheng Lu

    This is very impressive! 4 months live with ESS/MSS integrating SAP with Microsoft. Thanks again for sharing William! Hope to see more success stories to come.

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