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(RP)TIME to Say Good Bye?

*** Updates***

1) *** Update: looks like Employee Central will actually be blessed with solid time evaluation functionality – See Thomas Otter’s comment below and watch this space ***

2) *** 02/09/2015: see Volker Ruof‘s blog on EC Timesheet 15_08 – more to come in future versions, most notably proper clock times instead of just durations ***

3) *** 05/08/2016: Employee Central Time and Attendance maturing and EC Payroll interface more flexible: Business Case for Employee Centrale improved even more:

By now it has become very clear that EC Time & Attendance is much more than just a token feature (see updates from Volker Ruof on Q1-2016 Q2-2016). Time Off is in some respects already more feature rich than it’s on-premise cousin and Time Sheet is growing up. Hopefully we’ll see time-clock integration and German-style flextime in the not too distant future and then a large number of SAP on-premise PT customers would be able to switch. And then there is still the option to go for a throroughbred Time&Attendance + shift planning tool like Workforce Software or Kronos, who are SAP partners and integrate with EC. SAP have also realised that the very tight policy of what should be allowed with respect to Time in EC payroll needs some flexibility on a case by case basis. See some points about EC Time and Attendance and Payroll integration here. Increasingly, I therefore see Time & Attendance as a positive contribution to the business case to move to Employee Central rather than a road block. Check this SCN blog for some thoughts about the Employee Central Business Case and implementation strategy.

*** Original Article ***

Right after the S/4HANA announcement everybody got busy interpreting, what it really means for HR. So, now it seems that with S/4HANA, only some mini master data will be left from HR on-premise, whilst the full core HR, Talent Management and everything will be available in the cloud (SuccessFactors) only. Fine. Not unexpected. By the time we get to the point, where the on-prem option for HCM is gone, a lot of water will have flown East under London Bridge and a lot will have changed in those organisations, who don’t feel cloud ready today. And if major roadblocks occur, most customers think SAP will still be able to amend their roadmap.

Then looking at payroll: for all it’s woes, SAP has arguably the most powerful global payroll and nobody would cherish the idea of re-building this (usually) benign monster from scratch on a different platform. So, SAP’s plan to re-wrap it with a modern UI (payroll cockpit), make it HANA-compatible for extra speed, take it off customers’ servers, and link it to Employee Central up in the cloud is considered a good idea by most players in the community.

So, that’s everything being cared for, right?

  • Core HR and Talent will be in SuccessFactors
  • …talking to an on-prem mini master to provide HR data for those departments (e.g. accounting) still caught in 20th century technology on-premise 😛
  • …and integrated with the nicely repackaged battle-hardened payroll engine, where thousands of local experts in many countries can built upon their multi-year experience 😎

Have you seen Time Evaluation anywhere? I think I lost it…

Hold on a minute… Time evaluation isn’t mentioned anywhere, is it? 😕

  • There’s Employee Central Time Off. A neat solution for absence management I liked from the first time I played around with it
  • There’ll be some way or other to push hours into the system for payment
  • But there is nothing to automate the dreaded calculations of overtime, flextime, lieu days, etc as time evaluation did with the program RPTIME00. So, it’s got to be co-habiting with payroll, right? (grasping a straw of hope: surely an emoticon missing in the SCN editor)

Well, I didn’t have to live with that nagging doubt for long. On our own iProConference in London last week conversations with SAP confirmed: the explanation for time evaluation not being mentioned is quite simple: it won’t be there.

Apparently, the strategy is to have some elements for capturing time (like absences) in EC, but work with 3rd party interfaces to systems like Kronos for everything else. Now, I’m not an expert in Kronos, but as far as I remember it doesn’t provide the same flexible time evaluation as RPTIME00 with its schemas.

So, can I hear the Death March for RPTIME00 now? 🙁

Let’s have one last look at its grey, stern face:



Is there still hope?

As I said above, a lot will happen until then, but at this point in time, it looks like there isa challenge coming up and customers going for EC and EC payroll anytime soon may face a significant change, if they’ve used SAP time evaluation so far. But then there are also rumours that the valuation feature behind EC timesheet may become much more powerful. Would that be the salvation?

*** Update: Cool: going by Thomas Otter’s comment below, this is more than a rumour now. Seems there will be Time Evaluation in EC. Watch this space ***

My thoughts are all based on things that have not been written and on verbal information. So, if anybody knows more, please use the comment feature generously!

The one inconsistency I couldn’t figure out yet is, that the payroll schema does include an embedded time evaluation schema, too. So, if the existing payroll engine is still being used, time evaluation will still be there anyway. Yes, the TC00 subschema, so often forgotten by would-be payroll consultants, who are then surprised by seemingly inconsistent results:


So, how can time evaluation be gone, when the payroll engine is rescued with all its features (plus more)?

Well, I’ll leave you with that question to mull about over night 😏 – maybe someone has an answer.

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    • Well, Harish, if you think about how “much” has changed in time eval since 1993, it’s only fair for it to get their share now. But I guess it will take some time for the new practice to be establsihed, be it with partner solutions, be it with more EC features or with new add ons on the HANA cloud platform…

  • Another great blog Sven and at one point there was to be no time functionality in EC and then came Time Off and last year Time Sheets both of which are not robust enought offerings for complex customers and they must look to a 3rd Party Vendor to support their needs. It will be interesting to see if SuccessFactors takes the next step forward to make the offering more robust (along the lines of what was available in SAP Time Management) or continue leveraging Workforce Software and Kronos for their more complex customers.

    • will be interesting indeed.

      A lot will probably depend on customers’ wishes – my observation throughout the last 19 years (I had to calculate again – it will be 20 years of SAP HR for me next year. I think that does excuse a lot. I used to be a normal person back in 1995) was that customers do actually have much more power to influence SAP’s offering than they think.

  • In can’t imagine time eval left out of SAP’s scope and pushed to 3rd party.

    I have seen  Kronos functionality; I remember

    a)it did not provide for historical data so that any retro’es can be dealt with as in RPTIME00, b)it did not provide to pass to SAP an absence record spanning more than one day

    c)we had to execute so many runs for extracting files to create infotype records in SAP.


    Are these problems still in Kronos?  Or has it evolved further to remove these issues.

  • Great article! Thanks!

    (mistakely delete my first comment.)

    It will be strange for SAP to give up on a basic functionality of SAP HCM.

    The TimeManagement in SAP is a powerful solution and I will be afraid if SAP decide to integrate 3rdparty into their SAP HCM solution.

    How will the build a strong offer with EC + Fiori, + 3rdParty (for time) + SAP Payroll ? Or will they also give up on Payroll to thirdparty BPO such as NGA or ADP ?

    • Hi Nicolas,

      for all I know, payroll is here to stay, just de-clustered and re-packaged.

      Sure, some customers may go for an outsourced solution, but in recent years the trend seems to be insourcing. We had quite a few customers taking payroll in-house on SAP coming from one of the big providers  and they saved a lot of money. Some of these savings came from better integration into their SAP environment. Time will show, whether oerceived strength ofmintegration will be at least as good with master data on EC and time eval possibly elsewhere. I am optimistic for the long run. There may be some pain in the short run.

      Well: if you don’t feel pain, you’re not really changing. It’s like a root canal treatment at the dentist. Pain is oart of the experience 😛

      • Hi Sven,

        I know that things will change. After trying to be more objective (I began with time management, so I do feel the pain!), the roadmap of SF is already integrating solutions such as Kronos.

        I hope that SAP will provide an integrated solution for Time Management and not lose this part, even if it will definetly change this part of the HR game!

        It’s not the loss of RPTime that will be hard but losing an area of SAP HCM solution without a real SAP alternative, as it has been for TNM with SF, or e-Recruitment with SF too (it changes the game but stay into the SAP offer).

        And there is still hope if the Time Schema is integrated into the Payroll schema.

        It will ease the declustering and the run of payroll and time. Instead of RPTIME and RPCALCxx, there will be one program [to rule them all…], and a simple process for all customers.

        So maybe the change will be more the use of RPTIME and not the time schema itself ?

        However, I’m exciting to see the future of SAP HCM! And again, thank you for your articles!

        • Working as a Access control, T&A, Jobregistration integrated solution provider I understand their choice.

          From a new business case perspective it might make sense
          T&A done properly is a world on its own and SAP only provides a “limited” functionality.

          With specialized exports from 3rd party solutions (such as Logitime, kronos or others) you can actually achieve faster and better and cheaper results.

          For example we provide full real-time calculations and frontend for SAP for of customers for T&A and jobtime. These functionalities simply are not possible with SAP alone.

          This said, the news seems very harsh for existing customers that have implemented their T&A in SAP. Especially because of their investment made in order to run into SAP.

          • Hi Alexandre!

            I have to admit that the lack in SAP T&A is planification, real-time calculations and Frontend.

            The functionality is a bit limited but that point was relevant because SAP wasn’t a realtime solution.

            However,I do believe that “from new business case perspective”:

            1. SAP Hana will provide real-time calculations
            2. SAP Fiori (or HR Renewal, or any other UI5 technology) will provide/is providing a front-end
            3. planification … oops! Don’t know about that point.

            The real question is only where the calculation itself will be manage.

            It’s the final decision/roadmap of SAP that I’m -we are- now waiting for… just to understand the impact of that decision on our clients, and on HCM consultants.

          • Hi Nicolas,

            While that might be true Realtime integration with hardware also has its advantages,

            In my line of work this is a must. Both for shopfloor datacollection and TA. (obviously also for access control).

            Our customers usually require a mix of AC/TA/SFDC.

            Think of functionalities like: (using badgreaders on the floor)

            • Enforcing correct production steps, preventing errors in realtime, providing correct feedback for users @ the badgereaders.
            • Realtime status of product fabrication
            • Shopfloor data collection affecting T&A and vice versa (extra pay for working in freezers for examples or Overtime directly affecting cost)
            • Ability of merging orders at shopfloor level (at the badgereader), providing high flexibility and still calculating everything pro-rated correctly.
            • not only Plan required capacity of manpower or skills but also realtime reporting on capacity planning/current situation, using the T&A results to show potential man or skill shortages.
            • Accesscontrol automatically defined due to TA workpaterns, qualifications, assetcontrol or other means that need to be queried for validity in realtime.

            In our niche market, SAP core is often used for the ERP side of things, with Logitime often used as a reallife “base of operation” front-end.
            Because of this we have always had good relationships with both SAP and SAP customers.

            Another issue is due to the crisis a lot of companies have started shifting their views on software and its costs.

            Return of investment is key in any business process. Most 3rd party solution cost a fraction of the price.

            Because of this and the crisis we have seen our customer shift more and more to major companies & multinationals requiring maximum flexibility and ROI. (That historically would have been more prone to be SAP-only customer in the past).

            These development of course have not gone unnoticed by SAP.

  • There are a lot of customers who won’t let SAP so easily pry Time Eval from their grip. I’m not a fan of having too many interfaced systems in core-HR – I’ve seen it, don’t like it. Too many moving parts to go wrong, inconsistent data models and so on. With core-HR, of which Time Eval is part of, you want it to work well, reliably, and at low cost because it doesn’t really add value to the company. It’s all about cost reduction, minimizing compliance risk, and paying people accurately and on time.

  • YIKES! I hope you are wrong. How can SAP take some of its major strengths in HR (payroll and time) and just let them slip away because they don’t fit so nicely in it’s “simple” new world vision?!?!? That’s just crazy talk. Next you will be telling me that they have all but abandoned CRM as well….oh wait…..  😈

  • a couple of items. since sap can take payroll and put it in the cloud, why cant it do the same for time eval? called it ect. it is really not different. i am surprised the “smart” people at sap did not figure this out. the only reason i can think of is because they believe they will keep their partners (which is a real surprise coming from sap). i recall seen eh&s when it was a partner solution. sap built it’s own and kicked the partner to the curb. surprised that this has not happened yet. as for the partners i can only speak to workforce. their system is very flexible. they have their own little “schema” language which takes care of the business requirements. as i mentioned in another post, why not do a reseller agreement with workforce and call it “US time management by Workforce software”. similiar to what they did for benefitsfocus. they have some many data models etc. even between their talent modules like lms etc. what would it hurt for one or two more data models?

    • “i recall seen eh&s when it was a partner solution. sap built it’s own and kicked the partner to the curb. surprised that this has not happened yet.”

      SAP’s history is littered with “partnerships” that ended like this. There have been many.

      • my dear danielle. semantics aside. when something is hosted “no matter the flavor” it is essentially “cloud” since it is not on-prem. not the correct definition but in my mind cloud is anything that is hosted. so my point been do the same with time eval as what they have done with payroll. host on-prem time eval. not sure why someone thought this was not a good idea?

  • Great Article! Indeed lost sleep thinking over it, if this was said couple year back, the though definitely would have been frowned upon  but with the changes happening so fast (hard to keep track of it) what you have foreseen looks pretty much realistic future. What I cant get my head around it is how SAP will be able to cater more complex things in time without the robustness of RPTIME. I hope RPTIME00 is here to stay and not turn into R(I)PTIME00.

    • It always has been my belief T&A was more of an obligation for SAP to have as an addon then a core business.

      Partner interegration become better and better and SAP is an universally accepted platform.

      Especially with SAP Certified, 3rd party solutions.

      Our company (Logitime) for example specializes in being front end for SAP on T&A and shopfloor data capture. Providing SAP with realtime results and data.. This increases functionality and flexibility within SAP.

      Some of these functionalities are so specific to customer situation I can imagine SAP not wanting them to be part of their platform.

      Considering SAP’s standing I am certain they will find good solutions for each of their customers using RPTIME however.

      • Hi Alexandre,

        I’d beg to differ on that point in some part. Whilst that may be right for time sheet front ends, shift planning or access control, the actual time evaluation has always been considered a core part of SAP HR by most European and certainly almost all German payroll users. I daresay, apart from payroll and the obvious things like PA-PA and OM it probably is the most widely used process in SAP HCM. Thinking back, I guessof the 15 or so customers I worked with before 2000, all but one used time evaluation, same as payroll, more than OM, and faar more than any other module except for PA-PA – so, you could argue it’s part of the historic core many of teh early HR customers based their decision on.

        And whilst not all customers love CATS for manual time capturing, time evaluation always did the job well and flexibly – so, organisations, who don’t need complex shift planning capabilities or assigning hours to various projects etc, are usually very happy with the solution and would feel their payroll ripped apart, if you took it away.

        So, what most people hope is that, whatever the replacement, it can do any complex calculation they need and is seamlessly integrated in payroll and master data. Not saying this can’t happen with integration of 3rd party tools, but it shouldn’t be underestimated.

        kind regards


        • Hi Sven,

          My own experience is quite different, however it might have to be coupled with the international character of our customers with various demands.

          There seems to be a very large difference of requirements due to legislative differences for each country.

          Some countries are relative straight forward/ rigid, others are almost administrative hells.

          If you look at countries like Netherlands, UK and especially france, you will see that the legislation is far more demanding.

          Ofcourse if you use T&A only to register presence or absent time you can do that everywhere.

          However if you want your T&A to automatically calculating all payroll components, applying all workprocedures within the system and combining this with shopfloor data collection and Accesscontrol this becomes a whole different story.

          Also if you want to keep the project costs below 100k (including hardware) then your choices are limited.

          On the second part
          I agree that (especially for the current SAP HR/TA users) a wish and need is present for the calculation to be available. The advantages of inate integrations are obvious, but only if done right!.

          A generic approach to T&A in general is very challenging to be done right & extensive enough to provide addequate solution for everyone.

          • Well, if you refer to a customer possibly doing SAP PT stand alone, right: noone in their right mind would do that. The normal case are customers, who use PA, Payroll etc already. Then all you pay for is some config.

            I never found it very difficult to implement SAP time evaluation integrated to payroll in any industry boring if anything after 15th time or so. Well, seems that will be history now.

          • Sven, similar to you, I have worked in both Time eval & Payroll since 1998.  I have had no problem in implementing business requirements, even beyond SAP’s functionality.

            Need to see how things go from now.

  • Great article Sven and this has been a concern for some time.

    I agree with Steve Bogner that every additional interface from a 3rd party leads to more headaches, let alone licence fees.

    Also, my understanding of the payroll schema’s Time functionality (TC00) is that it is only a subset of what RPTIME can perform and deliver.

    Hopefully, SAP will continue to build on the capabilities of Employee Central.

    • Hi Paul,

      agreed. Interfaces are not the CIO’s favourite thing. You sometimes need them, but trying to avoid them is in the DNA of most traditional SAP customers. After all, integration with almost everything in one system often was the reason to go for SAP.

      As they’ve already go sth on the roadmap there seems to be hope for a worthy successor of RPTIME00. As Thomas said above, they go by customer feedback a lot. So, if customers make clear they need strong time eval in EC chances are they’ll get it. If you don’t tell them what you expect, you won’t get what you need.

      Yes: TC00 is not a full time schema. But it’s still the only bit not clear to me, because even for that subset a big chunk of time eval would need to be “rescued” and resurrected on the cloud payroll platform.

  • One of the advantages of SCN is that consultants have a forum to ponder, question and speculate on our roadmap and product strategy. One of the disadvantages of SCN is that consultants have a forum to ponder, question and speculate on the roadmap and product strategy.

    Our strategy for “Time” has been consistent since acquisition. Start with Time Off. build a simple but useful solution, and expand that based on customer feedback. Over the last 18 months, Time Off has grown up. It now meets the needs of many complex customers, and the roadmap looks solid. There is work to do, but customer adoption has been remarkable. To call this solution “extremely simplistic” is simply wrong.

    Timesheet is on a similar curve. It is early days, but we have great expectations for that solution.

    The next stage of the journey is time evaluation. I have asked the time product team to comment in more detail, so expect a more detailed response over the next week or so.

    • Thank you so much for this comment, Thomas.

      Seems one of the advantages of SCN is getting answers you don’t get anywhere else, even official SAP events.

      You are the first person to not say that the way forward regarding time evaluation is integration with partner products to complement time off and time sheet.

      So far everybody looking at the communication around S/4HANA found this gap between EC and payroll. So would be great to learn that there actually is something coming up to close it.

    • Hi Thomas,

      Just re-read my post with dread as I couldn’t imagine I had written sth about time off to be interpreted negatively, let alone “extremely simplistic”, but I referred to it as “A neat solution for absence management I liked from the first time…”. Ok, an American colleague might have written “awesome” where a dull German writes “neat”, but if you see anything in my post to make time off look bad, let me know and I’ll change it.

      • Sven – The “extremely simplistic” was my comment which I re-worded as wrote in a rush and in hindsight was to harsh.  I do consider it simple compared to Workforce and Kronos and SAP Time Management/Evaluation but it has a come a long ways in 18 months. 

        Great to see that SAP/SF has reversed course on a couple of strategic areas (ie building out Time functionality ) as many of us were hearing this conversation 18-24 months ago as well.

        My Thoughts on SuccessFactors Employee Central

  • How can you say Good bye to Time Evaluation If you are saying good bye to time evaluation it means that you are saying good bye to SAP.

    Many companies still dont need SF  I believe They rely on SAP for 100 years  If you think of good bye to all major programs we would rather say good bye to you .

    SF is just a flavour They added flavour to curry . SAP is curry. So you can assume  now whether to say good bye to flavour or curry

    It all depends on companys requirement They added all fancy icons on SF to attract clients Clients are more focused on user friendly products and to easy their business process. SF seems to be more like social networking site.  SF is in demand now and may be infuture it might be useful still not sure It all depends on customers and not on public

    • Priya,

      as long as the full HCM is available on SAP on-premise, nobody is talking about taking time management away.
      Only when you get to the point, where you switch to S4/HANA with HCM (except for mini-master) in the cloud, then we get to the point discussed in this blog.For some customers this will be more than 5 years from now.

      As Thomas Otter has thankfully pointed out above, a time evaluation is planned for Employee Central. That’s something it seems very few people were aware of so far.  So, let’s see what that brings.

      • Hi Sven,

        Is five years a realistic time frame, I have my doubts for lot of SAP customers I have come across with, for them it might be more than a decade before they are forced to accept the changes. I mean by those organisation who are not willing to feel the change in winds or those with mature SAP implementations or even organisations which are occupied with surviving in the competitive market. the hurdle would be to convince business to have the farsightedness ( the biggest argument would be if the existing systems  provide enough support to the function what is the need?).

        On technical front I believe the typical journey for these organisation would have to be starting point B in SAP rapid deployment solution: (Upgrade to latest EHP, Migrate DB to SAP HANA, deploying the exchange innovation and then move data to cloud) but in real life deployment would not be as easy  as it is on technical front.

        So for Priya I think there is there is no need of panic immediately, no one would take away flavor from her curry as long as full HCM on premises solution is the only option for these ‘kind’(I know it a lame and loosely used word here) of organisations.

  • Just to make it clear. Partners play a vital part in our strategy. We don’t think we can build everything. We have excellent relationships with workforce and Kronos. These will strengthen rather than diminish 

    Our customer facing roadmap has been clear for some time and  strategy  evolves based on customer feedback. every release we learn stuff. How much or how little we communicate on roadmap is a balancing act. i like to think We have that balance about right, but we are learning all the time.

    • Hello Thomas,

      thank you for your feedbacks!

      I believe that, as many customers (and consultants), I’m a bit “afraid” of change. The real point is not the way that SAP communicates but more that we are a bit afraid to lose some of SAP Time Management functionalities, and mostly our own competencies on a solution. It’s time for a change, for everyone.

      I am not into SF for the moment (but will come to it sooner or later! yep, that’s a call lol) so I am not really aware of every SF functionalities. The articles of Luke Marson and others on SCN helps me to get a first view on SF but on that point, I am wondering how we are going to manage all clients complexities tomorrow within SAP/SF or other solutions such as Kronos and Workforce.

      I don’t know about others countries but French Time Management can be such a pain in the …

      Maybe we just don’t like emptyness, so we are making speculations on what will be tomorrow! It’s not really the smartest way to do but at least, we are expressing our fears and many times we have great answers!

    • Hi Thomas,

      Given the parallel development of Fiori/SAPUI5 and EC, I suspect that we could do with some further concrete information on the development paths of both, side by side.  Maybe this is something that could be provided outside of SCN in a more formalized manner?

  • A decent WFM system allows for tools such as roster costing/modelling/ect., and therein lies an issue for most customers. You need ‘time eval’ in your WFM system to do the roster costing, so you might as well build it there, and not in SAP (duplication of effort and maintenance concerns).  Further, having award interpretation build into the WFM system allows you to capture certain issues at the time of entry; things like no 10 hour break between shifts, fatigue scores, etc.  Anecdotally it is also cheaper and faster to build and maintain award interpretation in a WFM system than SAP.

    So you build your time eval in a third party tool (lets call it Kronos, cause I’m getting sick of typing WFM system), and interface it into SAP, which is now just a basic payroll calculator (gross/tax/deductions/net).

    And of course you need interfaces; a raft of interfaces.  Times from Kronos to SAP.  SF to SAP for master data.  SF to Kronos for master data.  You need a middle ware to deal with it (lets call that Boomi), so you need someone familiar with that interface technology, and someone to administer it, lest it fail….

    So data; what data goes where?  Some data is still payroll and country specific, so probably maintained directly in SAP.  Most master data is in SF…but some is now in Kronos.  Time off; does the employee do it in an ESS supplied by Kronos or SF?  Or, do we use SF Time off and interface to Kronos?  Or, mash screens to give one ‘seamless’ experience to the end user…

    And now a manager would like to run a report.  Certainly….but what do you want to report on?  Head count; lets go to SF.  Payroll results, off to SAP with you.  Attendances; Kronos.  Depending on the report you want you need to work out which system to go to.  Possibly easy for consultants to work out, but for a manager new to an organisation (or for a new go live) it’s a quagmire.  Three different systems.  Three different ways to log in (and that is assuming you’ve got SSO happening here).

    Almost seems like we need a fully integrated solution…oh wait…

    • Thanks Paul. I’m actually new to HCM/SF and while from a high level perspective it looks like seamless integration, the few blog posts and documents I’m reading at present make me feel stepping through a maze. I’m carefully selecting those sign posts that link the high level with the relevant details. Questions like master data (“So data; what data goes where?”), interfaces, integration and SSO are buzzing in my head at present.

    • Hi Paul,

      Integration is and always has been a key value proposition of ERP and particularly of SAP so I think your comments are on the nail.  It seems like we’re heading back to the ‘old’ days of (dis)integrated systems, with everyone offering a bespoke solution for their particular speciality or niche.

      The value of a fully integrated system should not be underestimated though.  That’s not to say that a diverse partner ecosystem is a bad thing.  Each customer has their own unique business needs and goals that makes choice a good thing to be able to have.  That’s a two way street though.  There will be some, or many, customers for whom a fully integrated solution will absolutely be the right choice and solutions involving multiple interfaces exactly the wrong one.

      I’m not going to claim powers of clairvoyance or of special access to SAP roadmap information but folks only have to look at documents (or transcripts) from Dr. Vishal Sikka and the information in MOOC’s from SAP showing the clear business goal of having all areas of ERP available in S4/HANA and of the big data benefits of using HANA to see there is scope for time management.  The IMG has activities for both payroll and time de-clustering and while de-clustering for payroll has country localisation dependencies, time of course does not, making for a potentially far easier transition.

      It’s worth also considering the impact of UX and the drive towards Fiori as being the unifying UX for SAP.  More and more apps and user stories are being released or are in progress.  Gertrud Beisel indicated to me some time ago that HR renewal wave 8 will bring clock in/out (to Fiori).  Those clock events will of course be in TEVEN, so not much use to Kronos or other vendors but of course there in all their glory to RPTIME00.

      Hard to imagine that with Fiori and the WEB IDE making it easier than ever to build engaging consumer grade applications (and new personas) with HANA to receive their data and supply the performance to support awesome analytics that SAP would then shut off an avenue for huge further value-add to clients… I don’t think they will.  I think diversity has been and remains the key to success and that time evaluation in a significant form will not be lost from the HCM core.

    • Nice rant Paul! 🙂

      I may cause some ire by suggesting it, but I think our issue is not that the benefits of an integrated system (at the very least for reporting purposes) are not recognised, it’s just that of a fairground stall of painted duck targets, it’s one of those that is further at the back, and perhaps not being touted as a competitive advantage by any of SAP’s competitors.

      As I wrote two years ago, I’d love to see someone somewhere come up with a viable payroll/rostering/time management system that all runs on HANA and have SAP purchase them and roll it into the product. Problem is, it’s not easy.

      There’s been more investment in SAP/SuccessFactors that ever before in the HCM space, I know we all want more (I do anyway) but on the other hand, SAP can’t deliver miracles overnight, and if they encourage partners to take up the slack and then they can’t really shoot them by building the solution internally.

      I think the time when we see real change in the space will be if and when any competitor to SuccessFactors builds a totally integrated time management solution.

      In the meantime – chat to Travis, he’s a really nice bloke 😉

  • Hi all – love this thread, the more people talking about Time and Attendance, the better in my mind!

    A lot of really interesting points, and I think there is a constant theme – for us 3rd Party Certified WFM partners, the key is to make the user experience, as well as the ‘back end’ (reporting, integration, SSO, etc.) as seamless as possible for the customer & implementation partner to be successful in their deployment.

    This is on us and our partners at SAP to make sure the customer is winning in the long run with this pivot.

    There is no doubt, some SAP customers are resistant to moving to a 3rd party system, but there are also a lot that embrace the change and the modern approach to all things WFM that we can provide – Time, Scheduling, Leave Mgmt, Fatigue Mgmt (Fitness for Duty regulation). Our area evolved beyond Time years ago, and leading organizations have recognized there is a place for HCM Time and a place for best-of-breed, tightly integrated, Time.

    Really appreciate the dialog here – helps us learn more about the expectations and historic importance of Time Evaluation to customers and consultants – don’t be surprised if I ping you for your knowledge as we evolve our integration.

    • Agreed. Love the discussion.

      Maybe some of you will be around to continue face3face at the @SAPinsider #HR2015 conference in Nice next month.

      I’ll be there and be talking about time management (the on premise version) amongst other things.

      Would love to connect offline to some online contacts 🙂

    • Hi Travis,

      Feel free to ping any time.  I wholeheartedly agree with you: “This is on us and our partners at SAP to make sure the customer is winning…”

  • RPTIME in AU is heavily used. As someone who has worked in the SAP market since 99’and briefly worked for Kronos directly, worked with integration to Workbrain, MyWorkplace Solutions, RosterON and other products

    SAP Time Eval wins hands down for functionality. I’ve even seen SAP 4.6c left running when a customer moved away from SAP payroll for the award interpretation processing as Kronos couldn’t match the complexity SAP was handling… sad day indeed when SAP don’t realise what they have on their hands.

    So in many country schemas payroll calls a modified time schema TC00 – what happens in the future?

    • Interesting points Brad. I’ve also seen other interesting posts from Doug Brown regarding the improvements to evaluative functionalities for time within SuccessFactors.  There’s a clear tension between having evaluations and sanity checks performed at the frontend within the UI and more formalized scheduled processing and award interpretation at the backend.  SAP Time Eval is massively underutilized.  Had it not been for HANA I would say there was a clear value in having the option to increase and develop evaluative functions directly in the UX layer, but now we have HANA…

      The huge power and performance available from a data analytics perspective should also lead to potential for large runtime improvements within evaluation functions.  So offloading processing to the frontend might not be so important anymore.  If the performance of the full award interpretation engine is good enough, then why reproduce the award interpretation layer at the frontend when you could perhaps just call the backend processing as an API?  We expect time eval to operate (at least) daily but risk overlooking that real-time processing also needs to be supplemented by projection in order to fill in the blanks up to the end of a pay period.  The ability to process (on demand) the full award interpretation including the future days within the payroll period is not without merit or value.  How much better is it if you can say with 100% certainty that the processing occurring day-by-day is exactly the same as processing within payroll projections.  How much better still if you can say that no layers of integration were required to achieve this?

      • Funny to recall posting around this topic this a few years ago:

        The bit that I seem to be wrong about is the processing of the time entries in the SAP time/payroll engine. Well that is if you consider the Employee Central Payroll as offered by SuccessFactors to be the “SAP cloud payroll engine”.

        I think for the value of HANA to be realised in either of the payroll or time scenario as mentioned by Jason, would require a payroll/time rebuild Blue sky thinking | Wombling – Finding areas of rapid change and that’s not something I see happening in next few years. I wish it was though!

        • Hi Chris,

          We already have declustering tools for TM and the data resulting from time evaluation can be synchronously written to the declustered tables.  For performance you’d be wanting this in a ‘one-box’ scenario where core HCM was actually running on HANA rather than using HANA as a connected platform just for analytics.  This obviously primarily caters for the data and subsequent integrated reporting (at the speed of business of course) although I gather there are some benchmarks showing some performance increase.  Refactoring RPTIME00 and RPCALCxx for HANA optimisation is something several of my then colleagues and myself asked Waldorf about many moons ago and were told that no refactoring (of either) was planned.  But this does not mean it’s not possible.  I’ve got plenty of ideas on this so perhaps I’m the kind of blue sky thinker to do it for the right organisation.

          I think there is a problem of clarity with the roadmap though and this is perhaps something Thomas Otter and Gertrud Beisel might help us further with.  On one side of the coin, we have EC, time off and timesheet and we have the the EC rules engine.  There is a gap between what I and many others know is the kind of functionality and horsepower needed to accommodate complex award interpretation / business requirements and the functionality available in EC today.  Apart from award interpretation complexity, I’m still waiting to hear of how EC time off caters for the need to provide leave liability processing for the ANZ market, let alone how we can leverage EC in an AU-PS environment (parallel deductions anyone?).  Given that public sector is a target marked for SAP in ANZ these are not trivial matters.

          I’m not knocking EC.  Far from it, I’d be happy to devote my efforts in filling those functional gaps for a company prepared to pick up my tab.  However, on the other hand we have ‘traditional’ SAP TM, which provides the horsepower needed but is of course in need of some renovation.

          Did I say renovation?  Perhaps I should say renewal.  The team in Palo Alto (and lots of other places I’m sure) have been busy providing the other side of the coin.  SAPUI5/Fiori – timesheets (yes, it’s CATS but HR Renewal brings goodies), leave request (which really, really ought to be renamed to highlight that it’s perfectly happy supporting attendances too) and in wave 8, Fiori clock corrections – which doesn’t take much effort to repurpose as a true software based clock environment, another topic I could speak much more on…

          So, what’s the roadmap looking like?  Does it really make sense to start over and build time management from the ground up in EC, or given that there could be a convergence of UI functionalities towards UI5 and Fiori in particular would it make more sense to harmonize the UI and concentrate on renewing core TM so that we have the best of both worlds without leaving a void for any damaging length of time?  Customers that invest in offloading TM to a Kronos based solution won’t be likely to throw that investment of cost and licence fees away in a hurry.  Not knocking Kronos either, although I’m still baffled that ‘integrated’ seems to mean file based transfers, use of RPTEXTPT and the PTEX2000/2010 transfer tables in a world where RESTful services and APi’s are in vogue.

          Are SAP really saying that all the effort on HR renewal and on SAPUI5/Fiori is just a Band-Aid to support on-premise customers until 2025?  Isn’t SAPUI5 the go-forward model for S/4HANA?

          Shift planning was always the lowlight of SAP TM for it’s inscrutability, complexity and non-portal-portability.  Wouldn’t it be better to focus EC efforts on building this piece out to complement the existing SAP TM functionality and focus other efforts on integration and leverage of SAP TM components at the frontend?  I’d be no less happy focusing my design and development efforts in these areas but it would be good to have the clarity of the roadmap and it’s direction to be sure where best to devote my (and customer) time and money…

          • Are SAP really saying that all the effort on HR renewal and on SAPUI5/Fiori is just a Band-Aid to support on-premise customers until 2025?  Isn’t SAPUI5 the go-forward model for S/4HANA?

            I doubt anyone from SAP would say that 😉 .

            But major investment is in SuccessFactors not on Prem. S/4HANA ‘s cloud HR solution is SuccessFactors – it does not have an alternate HCM model. So there won’t be a build out of Fiori tools to enable on prem time mgmt config – it just ain’t gonna happen!

            Rostering is a hard problem to design for well. I see some really cool opportunities in this space. Actually, all I see here are opportunities! I just hope we can grab them!

    • Hi Brad,

      I’ve been told, TC00 will not be in the Schema for Employee Central Payroll.

      Of course, you can use payroll (and time eval) on-premise incl. TC00 until at least 2025 according to current guarantees.

      But, as soon as you switch to EC payroll, the time system (be it 3rd party or the EC based solution, which we will hopefully soon see the first bits of) has to provide all the data needed to pay allowances for future dates – feeding wagetypes through infotype 2010.

      kind regards


      • Hi (great article by the way), but what about reading in the schedule data? How can part period factoring occur and UK OxP functionality work is work patterns are generate elsewhere? Afterall, Shift Planning is ok but doesn’t stack up against best of breed rostering systems. Importing millions of substitution records does seem outdated.

        • You’ll still need work schedule data for payroll – as you do today, even if you do tine management on a 3rd party.

          But you usially don’t need the same level of detail for payroll as you would for time eval.

          Whether you addign schedules in both systems or one is filled by an interface from the other would be a matter of the particular design choice

    • @Jason – there is a valid argument to have AI (Award Interp) at the UX layer when performing rostering or example so an end user can see the impact of their planning immediately, something SAP doesn’t do very well (rostering).

      Your points regarding projection are also something that is often forgotten, many customers here in AU have time eval project forward when booking absences in advance to calculate the actual quota at the start of the future absence.

  • I agree with Chris Paine & Brad Krahe.

    a)As I posted earlier, Kronos has not come up with a functionality or  history data capability  to match SAP HR & PT.

    b)SAP HR is very good for reasonably complex time management, shift planning. 

    c)I have also seen some clients in Australia having a complex functionality with user functions deriving a great flexibility. 

  • Great discussion. Keep it going 🙂

    they say a good blog is measured by comments not by number of likes, so I’m happy with this one 🙂

    I have to say I am really looking forward to a clean start in time management in EC and curious, what it will provide. For loads of customers, you could achieve what they need with a much easier tool.

    But there are those, who need the complexity. It remains to be seen, if and when EC will get there.

    Building a time eval on HCP was my first gut reaction, to, but without knowing what the new solution will look like, it’s a very risky endavour, which, honestly, I don’t have the balls to embark on.

  • Travis Burke above makes some good points.  Whilst we could move TE into the cloud, or HANA, it doesn’t do a lot of the basic functionality that clients are looking for. We’re talking shift planning, roster costing, fatigue management, etc. 

    So I presume SAP are looking at the likes of Kronos and saying ‘well we can try to build that’, or ‘lets take the pragmatic approach and get some decent integration happening’.  Why rebuild the wheel? 

    TE is great for what it can do, and granted a lot of WFM systems struggle with things like retros (something TE handles no worries), but TE is only one part of what a WFM solution offers.

  • I did say I would comment back here.

    Our strategy is two fold.

    1. We partner with key WFM vendors. One of whom we now have a solex (solution extension, Workforce Software) with. We will strengthen the integration between the WFM vendors and the various components of SF. the scope of the leading WFM vendors (Kronos, WF etc) is broader and often deeper than either SAP on-prem or what we have in EC today.

    2. We will continue to deepen and broaden EC’S native time related capabilities. TIme off has now over 100 customers, and is deployed in many countries. We have strong localization plans, and we have live customers in Australia, processing leave effectively with EC time off. Timesheet shows great promise, and we have begun work on EC time eval. The headcount commitment to the time topic is significant.

    EC will not immediately have the capabilites that on-prem time has, nor would I ever want it to.  We are learning from what on-prem time did well, and its challenges. I’m confident that the next generation of time capability will be more successful than its predecessor is and has been. We have surprised many people with how quickly EC grown, and this will be no different. We have the opportunity to exploit all the benefits of HANA, SF technologies too, and we have an awesome team working on this.

    The time and payroll teams will work closely together, making sure whatever we do for time is open and easy for all 3rd party payrolls to consume, but that it really makes the ECP rock .

    Our WFM partners understand our plans, and will adapt their offerings to work with our emerging functionality. Even in the on-prem world, these solutions are often deployed with SAP HCM time doing some of the processing. It is rare to find a large organization only using on-prem time, especially in retail. I expect it will be no different with EC.

    On-prem time does not go away. It continues to be part of the on-premise solution set, with a roadmap.For those customers deploying S/4HANA on-prem, it remains an option going forward too. There are  partners who offer on-prem time in a hosted BPO type model, so if you need on-prem time, you can have it, just not as part of EC.

    Once Germany returns from the summer break, I’ll ask one of the time product team to comment more fully here.

    • Thanks a lot for the clarificatiin, Thomas.

      Having had the privilege of discussing the strategy and roadmap with yourself and members of yor team, I’m now really looking forward to the next releases. I think I got the idea now and am convinced that many, if not most, customers using on-prem time management today have a real opportunity for simplification (apologies for using the buzzword, but it does fit here), when they switch to EC timesheet at the appropriate stage.

      One amongst several occasions to drive that home, was me considering the European Working Time Directive the other day. The way some customers want this implemented in SAP time management adds an insane chunk of complexity to the solution without really solving the problem (some readers, who’s organisation follow a more pragmatic approach, may wonder – but believe me: you can design solutions to not only spend days configuring them, but also drive your users crazy).

      Applying some common sense and using a solution that doesn’t tolerate an infinite level of complexity, but makes it easier for line managers to take control, would make more sense imo for many of those customers. Here my musings on this topic:

      • Good to hear that you like our approach, Sven.

        To sum up our strategy:

        Does EC want to build a new RPTIME? No. We are not going to rebuild a -admitted- highly flexible but for a cloud solution unbearable complex time evaluation machine that nearly can do anything you want it to do with personell rules and schemas but with outdated technology and UIs. It simply does not work in the cloud. Customers want thrilling Uis and modern technology like online time evaluation. Users want to see if they run into overtime upon time recording and not receiving a notification the next day when time evaluation has been run in job. And customers don´t expect lengthy implementation times and lots of consulting. But for this they must rethink. They cannot expect that the legacy system functionality is copied 1:1 into the cloud. Yes, it is a buzzword but it nails it down: customers who want a cloud time application must indeed simplify. If they cannot ease processes or got very complicated regulations then there is still the option as Thomas pointed out to use Kronos or Workforce as partners or stay on onprem time (when it is not in the EC Payroll where time evaluation usage is not allowed).

        Does this mean EC Time is only going to be a better excel?

        By no means. We got already a powerful and flexible overtime calculation and pay type generation engine in the time sheet (yes, you can call it time evaluation) as you can see here:

        Successfactors EC Time Sheet and Time Off – new features

        and EC Time will grow in its functionality, from each 3month release to each 3month release. We will cover core HR processes in a flexible and easy configurable way, in new modern UIs and technology. And since we integrate with our paytypes into the Infotype 2010 that hasn´t got any clocktimes, but only duration, EC Time must perform even more tasks than the onprem time evaluation. For example doing the difficult splits in pay type generation to cover tax freedom for German Sunday, Public holiday and Nightpremiums. A taks that has previously been done by the payroll engine based on the clock times it got from the on prem time eval wage types.

        So, we achieved already a lot in EC Time but there is also still lots to do. Good thing in the cloud: you will see the progress in each 3 months 😉

  • I’m sure it has been mentioned, but perhaps worth reiterating. Here in Australia I know of customers that use Kronos with their SAP solutions, but still end up using SAP time evaluation to calculate amounts (especially accruals). Why, because they are just so stupidly complex.

    I think I understand why it is said

    Customers want thrilling UIs and modern technology like online time evaluation. Users want to see if they run into overtime upon time recording and not receiving a notification the next day when time evaluation has been run in job.”


    EC will not immediately have the capabilities that on-prem time has, nor would I ever want it to”

    But, I also see customers who dismay at having functionality “taken away”. Whilst, as Thomas pointed out, onPrem S/4HANA will still allow traditional time eval, cloud based S/4HANA will not.

    I’m pretty sure that the businesses with the complex calculation would like not to have to use them, however, reality is, especially in the heavily unionized workforces, that it is not possible to change the pay and conditions of their staff that drastically (not without paying a much greater wage bill, which especially for public sector, is not an option.)

    It’s unfortunate that EC time sheeting doesn’t allow the entry of start and end hours. But I understand that’s Cloud, you design for the masses (Minimum Viable Product) and then improve, and the others have to buy an alternative solution, wait, or figure out how to adapt. However, when the work contract has different allowances for working from 6pm to 10pm and 10pm to midnight, It’s kinda important to know those hours.

    Perhaps that is coming, (I’m hopeful given talk of “Nightpremiums”) I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    I think it is possible to meet the level of complexity of result of SAP’s time eval (and yes you will need to have some damn complex config to do it – perhaps there is even space here to bring in specific SAP HCP extension points for the really stupid complex cases, don’t build a system that can be configured for every possibility like onPrem time eval, but allow customers the option to solve that problem with HCP if they want to. I agree, calculation needs to be real time, not batch. But, just because it’s cloud doesn’t mean it can’t solve complex problems.

    I have a personal view (that I’ve shared before) that SAP payroll is due a re-write to work in a real time manner – it isn’t being done (to the best of my knowledge) because it would be damn hard and cost too much. Re-writing time eval, however, such that it is real time, and lives in EC is something that I think should and is being done. Shame is that those that need the extra details won’t be able to benefit from the “standard” solution for some time. But that’s MVP and iterate 😀 .

    I hope we iterate fast – would be great to see the road map for those iterations…



    • Hi Chris,

      I just pick up this:

      It’s unfortunate that EC time sheeting doesn’t allow the entry of start and end hours.

      This is what we are right now working on. Including automated break deduction and wage type generation based on clock times. So participate in the regular One Voice calls where the new features of each release gets announced. 😉



      • Awesome news!

        This is what we are right now working on. Including automated break deduction and wage type generation based on clock times.

        I’m sure that some of this stuff would have been covered in the road-map sessions at SuccessConnect. Unfortunately, wasn’t there this year. But really happy to hear that particular issue may be solved!

    • Hi Chris,

      I think it’s very early days for time sheet. Few would be able to switch right now from PT. But if you’d like to bet against EC time sheet allowing actual times rather than just hours by next summer, I’d hold against that with any amount. (To be fair: it should be mentioned I was in Walldorf last week.)

      Give it a year or so to see what level of complexity will be covered.

      If the gap’s still large enough, get busy on HCP for partners 🙂

      At some point, maybe 16_05 or 08, when we see more, I’d love to sit down with a low-ish complexity PT customer and build a proof of concept in EC in our demo instance…  Probably in my Summer holiday 🙂

      But yes: nobody is saying EC TS will be doing everything PT did and sure some customers will be not amused. Not even trying to judge that.



  • Great thread, happy to log on to 15 messages about time and workforce management!

    A key consideration in all of this is the package we have worked with SAP on as part of the go to market for our new solution extension partnership – part of the strategy here is to do much more than time management with our solution, and offer Shift Planning/Rostering, Time and Attendance and Absence Compliance all within one package for SAP customers. This is really the core strength of WorkForce Software – handling complexity across the full workforce management domain, not just time management.

    This allows the customer to have two really good viable options in the cloud from SAP going forward – our 3rd party solution, which we are working very closely with SAP (as Thomas mentioned) on tighter integration, leveraging HCI, as well as other UX aspects of using a 3rd party system, as well as the EC TS for customers that fit that solution.

    Sven (and others) – there are some great partner enablement sessions up coming for SAP partners and consultants, send me a note if you want more details.

    • Now rostering – there’s something we can agree is a real need! Any chance you’ll bring skill based rostering (i.e. who’s got the skills to do this position in the shift) into the picture – that would be something that would be very cool!

      • agreed.
        Pharmaceutical and medical industry in particular would love that. Not so much by skill but by formal qualification, as they are constantly under pressure by the auditors like the FDA to prove that only people with an up-to-date certificate are allowed on the job

        • Indeed we did include skill-based rostering in the package a prospect can buy from SAP.

          Our Advanced Scheduler product is designed for skill and certification-constraint scheduling, as well as other typical scenarios like taking time off and availability into account. Customers can also ‘auto-schedule’ which takes all of those criteria into account to generate the best schedule for their location, and helps them fill gaps based on rule sets they define.

    • Certainly is in WA Brad, on HANA, in parallel with EC, but that’s a different story.

      As for your update – what’s your source and the details?  AFAIK the push is on for WFS to be a focus area and partner…

    • Hi Brad,

      you need to be careful here. it will be very narrow constraints, where it’s needed to feed EC Payroll with legally required input. E.g. some quota generations for Australia.

      EC is still the go forward and Rptime bridging (temporary) gaps. E.g. rptime isn’t receiving clock times from EC.

      Don’t base your strategy on comprehensive rptime use. Speak to SAP, if you think you need it.



  • You all know we have set tight restrictions with respect to usage of SAP ERP Time functionality in the context of Employee Central Payroll. There have been multiple reasons for our position: Employee Central Payroll must not be considered a backdoor for free hosting of on premise functionality. Our vision for Employee Central Payroll is a lean cloud payroll system that works with the best-of-breed cloud T&A system, be it EC Time or 3rd party solution such as WorkForce Software. This general positioning of Employee Central Payroll has not changed. We do not intend to “open up” SAP ERP Time in general, we continue to enforce restrictions. Managing leave, approving time (off) is still going to happen in EC (or 3rd party) not in Employee Central Payroll. Our target solution still makes EC Time (or the 3rd party) the leading system of record, including time evaluation and main country specifics. Employee Central Payroll implementation teams must not just implement SAP ERP Time because this is the time solution they are most familiar with. Having said this, we realize that the tight restrictions we have communicated lead to some confusion. We also see that some countries have very complex localization requirements that are not yet covered in EC Time. We have therefore refined the Time – Employee Central Payroll integration scope and lowered some restrictions in order to bridge current gaps. So what does it mean? In short, we came up some guiding principles for using (SAP ERP) Time in the Employee Central Payroll. First of all, we expect all Employee Central Payroll customers use a leading Time Management system, be it EC Time or a 3rd party system to cover processes such as absence management and time recording. With this the following restrictions will be kept and enforced – there are no time-related self-services, workflows or approvals in scope of Employee Central Payroll. Access & maintenance of payroll / time Infotypes in Employee Central Payroll is allowed for HR Administrators only. As a result, all integration scenarios (EC or 3rd party Time) can leverage standard and custom build interfaces for integrating with Employee Central Payroll. Supported out of the box are for example absences IT 2001, and remuneration info IT 2010. On top of this, there is the option for custom-build integrations to support further country specific processing. If needed, customers may decide to use additional payroll / time-related Infotypes (e.g. substitutions IT2003, absence quotas IT2006, or special absences like IT0424 for maternity leave in France…) as well as RPTIME. How they are fed in the future ranges from standard to project solutions. We plan to provide best practices for country-specific, complex processes, and will further investigate how to selectively enhance the integration – so please check our roadmap slides for upcoming changes.