I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy as we all manage our way through this unprecedented time. I have spent more time than ever remotely talking to customers, partners, and colleagues and am proud to be a part of a great ecosystem where people are coming together to get things done. HR teams in particular had to take charge of change and it is nice to hear the collaboration and perseverance!
In case you missed it, SAP SuccessFactors made the decision to extend our preview release window to give customers additional time to test system In light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Here is the post in the SuccessFactors Community with the latest updates for the First Half 2020 release extension. The updated dates are as follows:
- First Half 2020 Preview Release was delivered on April 10, 2020 and has been extended by three weeks.
- First Half 2020 Production Release will now occur on June 5, 2020.
“Reading through the #1H2020 release notes, and I have to say I’m impressed. It feels like way more than twice as much innovation as the most recent quarterly release. Also digging the links to the videos highlighting the new features. Good work #SuccessFactors!”
Without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at updates throughout Core HR!
Employee Central Core
If you are not familiar with it, SAP SuccessFactors has had “auto delegation” functionality that allows a user to pass their workflows to others for approval. This is intended for when someone goes out of the office tasks do not get held up and can continue through the approval process. The system does record in our audit trail that the delegate approved on their behalf for full transparency. In light of COVID-19 it is as important as ever to have business continuity in spite of challenges and uncertain schedules.
With this release we now allow end users to specify start and end times for when delegation of workflows should happen. During this time, teams need to work together and working together on approvals is a part of that. With this update it becomes more flexible.
In addition, we have added the ability for users to accept or reject delegation requests that come to them. This makes sense for users who may receive a request only to have planned time out of the office within the same window. They may want to reject the request so it can go to a more appropriate resource.
For more information on this enhancement see the following SAP Help URLs and demo videos:
- SAP Help Page for specify Start Time and End Time of Auto Delegation including a video demo of this functionality
- SAP Help Page for accept or Reject Auto Delegation Requests including a video demo of this functionality
Improved Pending Hire
We have continued to improve our “Manage Pending Hires” page that stores employees that are in a pre-hire status and ready to be hired into Employee Central. We now allow filtering capabilities from the drafts folder. In the current environment some organizations need to hire employees faster than ever before so this will allow them to be able to filter data for those employees who are in the drafts and find the right person as quickly and easily as possible.
For more information on this enhancement for see the following: Filtering on Manage Pending Hires Columns in Draft Folders including a link to a video demo of this functionality
Concurrent Employment for Contingent Workers
This is a significant and requested item we have been working on around the contract workforce and concurrent employment (When an employee has multiple jobs in the same organization). This is a requirement that comes up in certain industries and one we are happy to deliver in this release!
Funny story on this item as I was writing this blog! I was starting to go into a demo system and set this up in order to get screenshots and explain it properly, but then I saw Brandon’s latest Employee Central newsletter that fortunately had a blog directly on this topic right in the nick of time! No need for me to reinvent the wheel when you have a detailed explanation with screenshots! (I also borrowed one of your screenshots) Thanks Berlinda for writing it and Brandon for raising awareness! You saved me a lot of time on this one!
For additional information on this enhancement for see the following: Concurrent Employment for Contingent Workers & additional information in our Contingent Workforce Management section in the Employee Central Implementation Guide.
We have existing functionality to allow the triggering of workflows (using business rules) during the import process, but with this release we have made enhancements to the existing functionality to enable workflows for non-recurring pay components (Such as a one-time bonus) that are loaded via the import process.
This is important for customers who want to have their data explicitly approved via the normal workflow process even when it is loaded in batch via and import process.
For more information on this enhancement for see the following: Enable Workflows with Pay Component Non-Recurring Imports & additional information in our Triggers Workflows with Employee Central Imports section of the Employee Central Implementation Guide
With this release we have continued our strategy of putting more functionality at the fingertips of customers Administrators by moving access to the Corporate data model out of Provisioning (Which require a certified partner) and into our Admin Center. We now allow administrators to import and export Corporate Data Models (Including country specific). Back when I was in Education and used to teach the Employee Central academy this was always an item that customers would ask about – well why cant you give us access to this as I am perfectly capable of doing the work? Well now they can!
For more information on this enhancement for see the following: Import and Export Corporate Data Model Information including a link to a video demo of this functionality
Change History Improvement
A minor but significant request from customers was to show a person’s name in the change history section when viewing the historical record of an employee. Previously, this would show only the user ID and this could be a random number which means very little (183044) to now show the full name of the person who made the change.
For more information on this enhancement for see the following: Show Full Name in History Pages
Public Sector Financing Objects
One of the areas we continue to strive for improvement is in industry features such as Public sector.
With this release we have made enhancements to allow the usage of public sector financing objects such as funds, grants, functional area, funds center, and budget period within Employee Central. We have provided real time integration with S/4 HANA (Cloud & On-Premise) to support derivation and validation of assignments.
*Tip* – Did you know that you can see industry specific Roadmap items in our Innovation Discovery website (Sort by Industry and Product)?
Using Public Sector Financing Objects in Employee Central additional information in our Integrating SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central with SAP Public Sector Management Funds and Grants Management section in the Implementation Guide
Visa & Permits Management
If you have not kept up with our SAP SuccessFactors Visa & Permits Management you might be surprised by this offering! Make no mistake about it, this product is a differentiator that has so many use cases people do not realize!
Ironically, in this post COVID-19 world you might think your organization will need less Visa’s than ever before so this solution does not make sense, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As we have worked with customers we have found many use cases around tracking of certificates, licenses, and much more!
In a post COVID world there may be the need for medical clearances, immunity passports, return to work docs, or other certificates/forms that need to be stored, tracked, renewed in an easy, systematic, compliant, audit-able, and intuitive way. It is clear these processes fit beautifully in Visa & Permits Management. They begin pre-hire and last throughout the employee life-cycle. Let’s look at some of the differentiators and specifics for why VPM stands out.
- Integration with Employee Central
- Can pull employee & dependent information
- Can send data to Employee Central
- Integration with Recruiting Management including the ability to use candidate data
- We also allow usage of attachments from the recruiting process.
- Integration with our Onboarding to start paperwork for Onboardes pre-hire.
- Our roadmap includes further integration to ONB 2.0. including additional administrative abilities and automatic initiation for our H2/2020 release
- Built in analytics with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) for easy reporting and transparency.
- Reporting can be consolidated to include
- Workflow & Approval processes are designed for these type of activities
- Administrative tools for easy ongoing managing of processes
- Ability to do mass processing activities such as initiations, renewals, or cancellations.
- Ability to track dependents, contractors, and even third parties as necessary
- Ability to store attachments
- Flexible configuration engine to handle a variety of processes
- APIs for third party integration from external vendors.
- Ability to provide access to externals if needed.
- GDPR Compliant framework
- Separate application that can be classified as Protected Health Information (PHI) and can store data that may not be appropriate in an HR employee master data system
Overall, organizations may need to revisit recruiting, onboarding, and hiring processes to store and track things they never have before and this is the product built specifically for tracking and storing use cases which we have been building out the last few years as part of building an intelligent enterprise.
If you would like more information here are some terrific and brand new resources that I would highly recommend!
- My colleague Negar Naderi recently wrote a blog on “The Latest on SAP SuccessFactors Visa and Permits Management” I would highly recommend.
- A few days ago we had an ASUG presentation: Meet SAP SuccessFactors Visa and Permits Management” which included a live demo, key features and capabilities, use cases, customer success story, and more!
If you have questions about this solution, you can reach out to me directly.
Employee Central Service Center (Ask HR)
In this release, we have added the ability for employees to be able to close a ticket using our Ask HR application that have the status Open, In Process (By Agent), or In Process (Waiting for Employee). Previously, this option was available only to agents. This capability enables employees to remove all unwanted or duplicate/resolved tickets from their queue, improving the look and feel of the Ask HR portal, and further increasing performance.
For more information on this item see Close a Ticket using Ask HR.
In addition, you can now allow your employees to create tickets on behalf of a colleague. This is especially useful if you manage a team (such as a maintenance crew) who may not have access to the system. You can do this with the Affected User field in the Ask HR portal.
For more information on this item see this video.
Finally, you can now configure various service catalogs for different countries by using Ticket Type. As a result, employees will only see the catalogs and ticket categories that are relevant to their country, improving the employee experience when creating tickets, by only seeing categories that are relevant for their country or region.
For more information, see Enable Different Catalogs for Different Countries
For more information on Service Center updates for Employee Central see the following SAP Help Page and filter by Solution Employee Central and Feature Group Service Center.
Employee Central Time Management
We have continued to improve Employee Central Time Management at an extremely fast pace. A few of my terrific colleagues have already written great blogs on our updates for EC Time Management in the first half 2020 release.
For more information on Time Management updates for Employee Central see the following SAP Help Page and filter by Solution Employee Central and Feature Group Time and Attendance Management.
Employee Central Payroll
Last week I wrote a detailed blog about our H1/2020 release for SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll that covers this content which I have received a tremendous amount of feedback on! For more information see my blog
For more information on Employee Central Payroll updates see the following SAP Help Page and filter by Solution Employee Central Payroll
API & Integration Improvements
API improvements are not the flashiest topic or ones that get highlighted often, but it is an important one we continue to invest as it a critical part of the intelligent enterprise. In this release we have over half a dozen API improvements including updates to the ability to query the hire data change of an employee, adding a new employment filter for assignment class for global assignments, the ability to suppress global information within personal information based upon country and region. A lot more in the details as well!
For more information on the API updates for Employee Central see the following SAP Help Page and filter by Solution Employee Central and Feature Group API.
In my SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll H1/2020 release blog I wrote about the No-Show functionality that we released in Q4/2019 for Employee Central and how this improved the lives of end users by no longer requiring manual intervention when an employee does not show up for their first day of work and preventing them from accidently being paid.
In addition to providing this integration for EC to ECP we have also made it available for hybrid customers using SAP ERP HCM Payroll.
For more information on the No-Show update updates for Employee Central see the following SAP Help Page.
S/4 HANA & SAP ERP HCM: Country/Region-Specific Full Transmission Start Date
We now allow organizations to specify a full transmission start date (FTSD) for different country/regions for integration of data between SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP ERP HCM or S/4 HANA.
This is relevant if you have different timelines for your integration in payroll such as going live with one country beginning in 2020 and going live with another country in 2021 to allow for a phased go live.
For more information on this update see the following SAP Help Page
S/4 HANA & SAP ERP HCM: Status Changing Event Reasons
We have provided additional configuration options for the handling of status changing events to allow the system further flexibility to prevent integration errors. Specifically, we now allow further configuration flexibility such as allowing two status changing (Ex: Termination) events on the same day.
For more information on this update see the following SAP Help Page
S/4 HANA & SAP ERP HCM: Increased Flexibility in Split Data for Organizational Assignment
We now allow customers to specify how the Organizational Assignment (IT0001) should react when data is sent from Employee Central that results in a split in Actions (IT0000). We now can do the following
- Retain default behavior – system reacts the way it did before (If the mapping was not specifically defined then a split would not occur. If it was defined then a split would occur)
- Define all splits in Actions should cause a split in Organizational Assignment
- Define no split in Actions is set to result in a split in Organizational Assignment
For more information on this update see the following SAP Help Page
Where can I find out more about the H1 2020 Release?
- For information on release highlights across the SuccessFactors suite, see this blog from my colleague Beate.
- For the full list of deliverables for 1H have a look at our “What’s New Viewer”
- You can find helpful material on how to implement our latest functionality in the implementation guide on the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll Help page.
- I would recommend reading and subscribing to Brandons Employee Central Intelligence Newsletter
- I saw this terrific blog from our partners at Rizing HCM on SAP SuccessFactors H1 2020 Employee Central Release Analysis: Part 1
Here are additional resources for those interested in learning more about SAP Core HR solutions