Employee Central Implementation

Spinifexit for employee central
How to get the most out of Employee Central?
How to get the most out of Employee Central? 1024 512 SpinifexIT

During the last few months of 2018, we have had the opportunity to check in and reconnect with some of our customers to see how they are using our solutions and where else can we add value.
One of the questions often raised while discussing the possibility of moving to Employee Central Payroll (ECP) was, “Do we still need add-on solutions when we have Employee Central Payroll?”

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As a solutions provider and having over a decade in the development and implementation business within the SAP HCM area, we believe that the answer is yes, and I’d be happy to explain in my blog why this is so.

Developing flexible software solutions for SAP

The Employee Central Payroll solution, whilst being a new cloud-based deployment option, has the same underlying architecture as the core SAP Payroll solution. The key difference between On-Premise and ECP is that the Employee Data is maintained via Employee Central. 

The ECP solution though, has been designed with better options for integration with SuccessFactors Employee Central. This helps to accelerate and improve the implementation of Payroll.

SpinifexIT’s SAP-certified solutions can add further value and help companies maximise their existing investments by providing easy-to-use solutions that can also be deployed into the Employee Central Environment.

SpinifexIT has been providing software add-on solutions to SAP On-Premise for over 15 years. With thousands of deployments of our software products, SpinifexIT is the team to look to before spending time and effort in many of the common processes around Payroll. Our solutions can run in both on-premise, cloud and hybrid setups, giving our customers a huge advantage.

What is it like to move to Employee Central?

Moving to Employee Central can be a complex process. It involves the full data migration process (check out Brendon’s blog to learn more about this), integrating to SAP and potentially changing your existing Payroll solution and configuration, rebuilding your reports and interfaces, adding your custom functionalities, acing your parallel runs, and finally, setting up your BAU processes which includes Employee communication and support. All these with a usually thin and inflexible timeframe. I go through this in detail here.

Using Employee Central Payroll

Employee Central Payroll has many common processes you see within most payroll solutions. These run normally around a weekly, fortnightly or monthly process. Like many payrolls, this revolves around data input for the payroll, validation of data and pre-checks, running payroll and verification of results, and then often creation of reports and interfaces. On top of these items are often additional items such as queries from employees on their pay, adhoc reports and requests for information, and even throughout the year, various adhoc reconciliation activities such as Year-End, or even just Month-end processes.

SAP have recently introduced the Payroll Control Center solution, which puts a lot of control around many of these processes.

The HCM environment is quite a complex environment and as many of these processes are dependent upon the specific customers requirements- many of these need to be setup specifically for the customer which may involve manual processes such as Excel Spreadsheets or the development of custom reports.

So how can SpinifexIT solutions help?

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SpinifexIT’s easy-to-use solutions can help companies who have implemented Employee Central Payroll to…

  • Streamline the creation, automation and distribution of their Reports and interfaces without the need for a technical guru. It’s straight forward, point-and-click, drag-and-drop features not only allows you to easily recreate your existing reports, but also build new ones in no time.
  • Vastly reduce the implementation time of your Payroll Control Center and use additional functionality which includes drilling down into payroll results, linking of reports into the Payroll Control Center and allowing the user to setup their own exception rules with no technical knowledge
  • Securely copy and scramble Employee Payroll data to make Payroll testing activities more efficient
  • Reconcile per-pay and year-end payroll information in compliance with local legislation
  • Easily address pay-related questions and issues and troubleshoot on the fly
  • Create and distribute full employee lifecycle documents which include Total Compensation / Rewards statements, Salary Breakdowns, Overpayment Details, Benefit Letters, and more

But do we really need all of these?

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Many SAP customers go without any additional software in their system and they can still run their payroll department with the base solutions that SAP provides. It will work just fine.

However, for companies who want to get the most out of Employee Central Payroll without investing additional time, cost and effort, our solutions can help you in terms of maximising what you currently have while optimising your existing processes.

Aside from these time, effort and cost savings, our solutions can also help companies keep their data and results more accurate and improve their employee services and communication.

The above gives some high level areas that might be able to be streamlined in your SAP Payroll Environment. These are relevant for ECP and also for On-Premise customers though. If you would like more details about some of these areas, you can read more in the following blogs:

If you have any questions in this area, feel free to reach out to me by replying to this post, or send our team an e-mail at [email protected].

SpinifexIT blog solutions to support your move to employee central
Using SpinifexIT Solutions to Support Your Move to Employee Central
Using SpinifexIT Solutions to Support Your Move to Employee Central 1024 512 SpinifexIT

The Challenge

So you’ve decided to move to Employee Central from your on-premise SAP HCM system, congratulations you are joining the ranks of some of the world’s top companies and will be getting a best in class system. Hopefully you’ve found an excellent system integration partner to help you with the move, once they completed the design and build all you need to do is migrate the data.

Yep that’s right, everyone’s favourite topic. While you may not have to complete all of the technical aspects and will have support from your SI team at the end of the day, you are ultimately going to be responsible for ensuring the success of the data migration to Employee Central. This is actually a good thing, of course the business best understands the data and is in the position to provide the most accurate information to the SI team. The bad news is the standard migration tools are all a bit technical so who has time to really learn some new complex system just for a once off migration?

If you are still a bit earlier on in the process I’d highly recommend reviewing the articles recently published by Darren Souter regarding important considerations before and during the move to a new system. You may also use the free downloadable checklist we’ve included to start planning with your team.

About me

You can call me Brendon. I’ve been working with SAP HCM for a little over ten years now and in that time I’ve worked on a number of large SAP implementation and migration projects, in some I was lucky enough to be able to use the SpinifexIT solutions and in the others I had to do things the old fashioned way! As a Solution Architect at SpinifexIT, I’m here to help highlight the ways we can help in an Employee Central implementation. Read on to find out more.


Where SpinifexIT can fit into the Employee Central Data Migration process

You can call me Brendon. I’ve been working with SAP HCM for a little over ten years now and in that time I’ve worked on a number of large SAP implementation and migration projects, in some I was lucky enough to be able to use the SpinifexIT solutions and in the others I had to do things the old fashioned way! As a Solution Architect at SpinifexIT, I’m here to help highlight the ways we can help in an Employee Central implementation. Read on to find out more.

Step 1: Data Cleansing – All data should be as accurate and correct as possible before extraction and load. Easy Reporter’s powerful functionality allows you to quickly detect exceptions before they become hard-to-solve errors.

Step 2: Data Extraction and Translation – There will always be some translation required between two systems. Easy Reporter provides the tools to quickly convert data formats or values from one system to another. The extracted files can be provided in the exact format needed for Employee Central upload.

Step 3: Data Reconciliation – An optional add-on allows Easy Reporter to connect to the Employee Central system and provide reports with both SAP and Employee Central data, allowing you to quickly and easily confirm the success of the data load.

Data Cleansing Before Migration

When you are populating your shiny new system with data, the last thing you want to do is bring over inaccurate information. Hopefully in the past you have had a focus on data integrity which means you shouldn’t have too many issues with your data. But even if that is the case, there is likely some things you’ll need to check to ensure a smooth migration.

As a simple example, think of a field in SAP that is not mandatory currently but will be mandatory in your Employee Central environment, maybe the employees preferred name.

Easy Reporter can help you to identify those issues and track them throughout your project so you can ensure a smooth migration when it comes to completing the final data load. Along with the standard pre-delivered data integrity checks, it will be quicker and easier to configure your own reports looking for missing data or other data integrity issues.

Spinifexit Easy reporter employee central data migration

Data Extraction and Transformation

When you are populating your shiny new system with data, the last thing you want to do is bring over inaccurate information. Hopefully in the past you have had a focus on data integrity which means you shouldn’t have too many issues with your data. But even if that is the case, there is likely some things you’ll need to check to ensure a smooth migration.

As a simple example, think of a field in SAP that is not mandatory currently but will be mandatory in your Employee Central environment, maybe the employees preferred name.

Easy Reporter can help you to identify those issues and track them throughout your project so you can ensure a smooth migration when it comes to completing the final data load. Along with the standard pre-delivered data integrity checks, it will be quicker and easier to configure your own reports looking for missing data or other data integrity issues.

Spinifexit Easy reporter employee central data migration

You can take advantage of a number of great features to really get the files you need with minimal effort:

  • Advanced mapping capability
  • CSV interface file output with simple or complex field assignments
  • Field format conversions directly in the report
  • Upload your mappings from a spreadsheet to quickly complete the report

Verifying the Accuracy of the Data Loads

Once you have run the files through the load programs in Employee Central, you’ll want to check the logs and ensure that everything made it through okay. Not only, that but I’d suggest you take it a step further and verify that the data in Employee Central ended up in the system as you expected, and it is correctly to match your data in the source system. Easy Reporter can help you here as well!

Using the SuccessFactors connector add-on for Easy Reporter, we can report on SAP HCM data side by side with SuccessFactors Employee Central data. This means you can build some simple reports to verify that the data in Employee Central matches SAP HCM.

First off you probably would need to at least verify that you have the right number of employees in the right groups in Employee Central, then you will likely want to drill down on some specific key fields to ensure their accuracy. As an example the report below verifies an employee’s name and employment status:

Spinifexit Easy Reporter employee central data migration

The good thing about building these reports early is that they can also be used post go-live to ensure your replication is working correctly.

Comparing Your Results in Parallel Payroll Runs

Once you have all of the data populated and your system is ready for testing, you will definitely be planning to complete a number Parallel Payroll runs to ensure that the payroll pre and post-implementation are providing the same results. The complexity of this stage will depend a lot on how you have chosen to proceed with your implementation – maybe you’ve made significant changes to your payroll system to support Employee Central or maybe you’ve kept the payroll system almost exactly the same. Either way, this is a critical part of your implementation and Easy Reporter is again here to help.

Easy Reporter includes some simple but powerful functionality that will allow you to import data from a text file in to your report. In the parallel run example this can be used to run a report against the payroll in SAP HCM, import the results from a previous run and quickly tell you the differences. Depending on the level of change you have made, you may want to transform the data a little bit – for example grouping multiple legacy wage types in to a single wage type in the new payroll calculations. You can easily map the data as you import the file or once it is imported and displayed in the report. You might want to see a list of wage types together in the report to compare without losing the details.

As an example, see below where we are reporting the SAP Payroll results alongside imported data from the legacy payroll:

Spinifexit Easy Reporter employee central data migration

This high level report will help you identify any major differences between your payroll calculations. Alternatively you can run additional reports to compare at a more detailed level and show wage type by wage type differences.

Find out more about Easy Reporter, our easy-to-use, flexible solution for Employee Central Data Migration.

Some Final Considerations Before Starting your Employee Central Data Migration Process

I’ll admit that I set out to make this sound easy because I believe that we can simplify the data migration process but of course there are a few things you might want to also look out for.

  • Are you planning on performing many data loads for various stages to the system build? In most cases, you can expect to need to populate some data in to the development, test and production environments to support the design and build.
  • Will each of those loads will have different requirements? Almost certainly the scope of employees and data fields will change.
  • How quickly can you respond to new requirements in the load files? With Easy Reporter it takes just minutes to add a new field or update your transformations.
  • Once you go live how will you keep the data up to date across your SAP HCM and Employee Central systems? SpinifexIT Easy Clone allows you to copy and scramble data between both SAP HCM and Employee Central to keep all of your systems aligned and up to date with secure scrambled data. Click here to find out more about Easy Clone..

That’s just the start!

This gives you just a small sample of the many ways that SpinifexIT solutions – specifically Easy Reporter – can help in your implementation project. Of course there is a huge amount we can also help with once you go live, so make sure to keep an eye out for additional posts with more information about our solutions. You can also pop over to our website here to find out more about our range of solutions and use cases.

SpinifexIT have been specialising in providing user friendly reporting tools to SAP customers for 15 years now and are always looking for new ways to help our customers optimise processes using our best in class tools.

Stay current on all SpinifexIT news. Follow us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook to get free invitations to our webinars and discovery group meetings in your area.

This article was originally shared by Brendon Andrews-Warmuth on his Linkedin profile. Brendon recently moved from Melbourne to Frankfurt to support SpinifexIT’s growing presence in the EMEA network. Brendon is primarily focused on SAP Successfactors implementation, Cloud technology, and Partner and Client engagement.

webinar moving from sap to employee central payroll
Moving from SAP On-premise Payroll to Employee Central Payroll? | [Moved to October]
Moving from SAP On-premise Payroll to Employee Central Payroll? | [Moved to October] 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Click here to register.

Date: Will be rescheduled sometime in October

Time: 10:00 AM EST (GMT-4)

Host: Paige Elkins

Make your move to the Employee Central Payroll faster, better & easier!

Find out some of the considerations you and your team should think about when moving from SAP On-Premise Payroll to Employee Central Payroll.

In this session, Paige Elkins shares how SpinifexIT customers made their migration to the cloud faster, better, and easier by optimising their Payroll Control Center (PCC) implementation process and addressing their post go-live reporting requirements.


Find out more about SpinifexIT solutions.