employee central payroll

Take your Employee Central Payroll system to the next level (Part 2)
Take your Employee Central Payroll system to the next level (Part 2) 1024 576 SpinifexIT

In this blog, we’ll step back to consider some of the challenges during implementation, both for existing on-premise customers deciding to migrate to Employee Central Payroll (ECP) and for new Customers planning to implement ECP.  

This blog will focus on the Payroll Migration, but of course, you still need to implement Employee Central.

If you already have Employee Central implemented and connected to your on-premise solution, then the migration process could be much simpler as you may be able to just focus on the ECP side and know that the Employee Central configuration and setup is already there.

This blog comes with a FREE planning checklist.
Download it here and use it as your guide.

Moving from On-Premise? Implement, Reimplement or Migrate your Payroll

Many companies who are looking to move to Employee Central Payroll will be existing SAP On-Premise customers. If you fall into this category, you need to consider how much of your existing Payroll configuration and setup you would want to move to the Employee Central Payroll Solution.

SpinifexIT_April 2020 blog_Taking your Employee Central Payroll system to the next level part 2_Cost vs risk

Migrate your System

The intent of the migration is to move your configuration, and historical employee data (including payroll history) to the new Employee Central Payroll solution with the aim that it will run with minimal changes. This means less re-configuration, less testing and that you can continue to use your new system to report historical data.

Reimplement your Payroll

In some cases, customers may have areas that they have felt have always been a challenge.

For example: There may be an old configuration you wish to remove, or you want to reconfigure some payroll rules to operate differently. 

This is often a perfect time to do this as you have a project team and can incorporate this work into the existing project. It is also lower risk as you are only changing some areas of the configuration.

Save yourself and your company hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars!

The best course of action is to begin planning now, so you can review all the options available to you. Part of this is learning the prerequisites you’ll need to support your project more efficiently.

Aside from the migration of the payroll configuration, there are many other areas to also consider. 

Some of these include:

  • Will I migrate my prior history for the employees? For example: Do you move your payroll results, employee history, finance postings, year to date results into the new system?
  • How do I best perform Parallel runs?
  • Do I migrate my existing ABAP reports and other functionality into the new system?
  • For any reports being migrated, how will I modify and maintain these into the future?
  • Can all of my reports (Either custom reports or standard SAP reports) be executed from Employee Central, or by the Managers themselves
  • How will I cater for my Adhoc Requests that come up. Often we see customers go from 20-30 go live reports to hundreds in a period of 12 months.  If you have adhoc requests, you want to know how you will cater for these
  • Will all your custom reports and manual reports be able to fit into the Payroll Control Center process
  • If I need additional Payroll Control Center checks – How can I add these?

Author

SpinifexIT Darren Souter

Darren Souter

SpinifexIT Founder & Global Architect

Get this FREE ECP Implementation checklist to guide you in your planning and thought process!

Download your checklist here.

SpinifexIT April blog_Take your Employee Central Payroll system to the next level part 2 checklist image

If you need help assessing these questions further, feel free to talk to us, or even comment down below. We can schedule a quick discussion or even refer you to some of our customers who have used our solutions for their own implementations.

Ready to move to Employee Central Payroll?

The Easy Migration solution will help you de-risk and accelerate your migration to ECP with an integrated toolset that allows full configuration and data migration copies from On-Premise to ECP, reports to validate full payroll results, runs repeated payroll tests, and identifies data and configuration inconsistencies between source and target systems for corrections. 

SpinifexIT_April 2020 blog_Taking your Employee Central Payroll system to the next level part 2_Easy Migration

Easy Migration

Our Easy Migration solution helps you complete your ECP migration process 90% faster than traditional implementation times. It can help you:

    I
  • dentify and migrate your current payroll configuration to Employee Central Payroll.
  • Copy current employee data and results into the new system, and
  • Run reconciliation reports fast using built-in reports, powered by our SAP-Certified reporting solution

Our Easy Migration solution is also 100% integrated with other SpinifexIT solutions so it is an easy step to transition to our other products if you have the need.

What if I have already implemented ECP or plan to remain on-premise for the moment?

If you have already moved to Employee Central Payroll, or are happy to just stay with your on-premise solution for the moment, this doesn’t mean that you cannot look to areas to improve.

About 90% or more of the customers who we speak to, already have Employee Central Payroll or SAP Payroll installed and running, and are looking to improve some of their day to day manual processes.

In this case, the SpinifexIT solutions can just be installed into your existing system.  The way that most customers then start to use the solutions is as follows:

  • Train on how to use the solutions – This is about 3-5 days training upfront
  • Identify the time-consuming processes that your team is doing, and then replace these with any of our 120 pre-delivered reports. You can also build custom reports to support your HR and Payroll information requirements. This immediately removes a lot of manual steps and starts to free up your team. Here is the YouTube case study.
  • New, ad hoc requests can be delivered through Easy Reporter. Reports can be scheduled and emailed out directly to the required person so it completely removes the need for manual processing.
  • If your payroll has Year End processes for Australia, USA or Canada, start to use our predefined Year End solutions.
  • From here, you can continue to replace your existing manual processes with the automated Easy Reporter steps.

Over a quick period, you will be able to automate the extraction, generation and sending of your reports. Instead of spending a lot of time and effort manually building the perfect set of reports, your team can then focus on delivering a high quality service to your customers.

In Summary

Employee Central Payroll is a powerful solution, but like most software solutions, will have areas that can be further streamlined. Whether this is during the implementation, streamlining payroll processes, report building or reconciliation steps, there are always many ways to further take advantage of your ECP solution.

If you decide to walk the SpinifexIT path, you will find that we are not just a software solution that is dropped into your system and rarely used. 

Our team of expert consultants will work directly with your team right through the implementation and into go live to ensure you use the best practice methods from the start and build long lasting processes, based on the best practices we have seen at hundreds of other customers.

The reporting and Payroll Control Center solution (discussed in Part 1) is just part of the SpinifexIT solution set, but if you are moving to Employee Central Payroll, this is a key building block for your journey. 

Along the way, you may have a need for our other solutions, and the good thing is that most of our solutions leverage off of Easy Reporter, so you are starting with the best of breed solution.

SpinifexIT solutions can be installed in a matter of hours into your system, but if you are using any of our partner’s hosted Employee Central Payroll or SAP Payroll Solutions, then our solutions are already available in their environments. Make sure to ask them about us!

Once again, here’s your simplified implementation checklist, so you can talk about your plans with your implementation partner.

As always, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] for any questions.

On a side note, we hope you’re doing well, and that you and your loved ones are healthy, safe and well despite what the world is going through. We’re all in this together, and SpinifexIT will always be here to support you if you need help with our solutions. 

Stay connected!

Our North American team recently held a User Group Meeting for all SpinifexIT customers. Stay tuned for announcements, so you may join these online activities in the future!

Employee Central Payroll
Take your Employee Central Payroll system to the next level
Take your Employee Central Payroll system to the next level 1024 475 SpinifexIT

In this blog, we’ll provide insights on options you can take to save time and thousands of dollars in your payroll business. This includes our findings whilst speaking with our own customers when streamlining their Payroll process. 

It is always a challenge for a customer new to SAP Payroll to know some of the challenges they will encounter along the journey, so I am trying to highlight some of the areas that I know will come up during implementation and post go-live.

For 20 years, I’ve been working in and around the SAP payroll solution and have been building software that can streamline its processes from end to end.

Whilst overall, I would think that most customers would benefit from additional solutions to streamline the existing processes, I will provide a balanced viewpoint without necessarily talking about just software solutions.

Author

SpinifexIT Darren Souter

Darren Souter

SpinifexIT Founder & Global Architect

The SAP Customer’s Standard Journey

Now, let’s talk about the journey of a standard SAP customer.

SAP Customer Journey
SAP Customer Journey

Reporting takes backstage during the implementation process, but turns out to be a major requirement as time goes on. So, does this mean needing additional reporting solutions?

Let’s explore the standard reporting solutions and find out if it is enough to work with these. 

Standard Employee Central Payroll Reports

Employee Central Payroll will come standard with many reports such as Superannuation Reports, Wagetype Reporter and Various Other pre-defined reports. 

These are all useful reports, but they are generally hardcoded and cannot easily be altered.

Adhoc Query is a generic reporting tool that SAP provides, however this only reports specific data such as infotypes and does not combine this with Payroll or other Transactional Results. 

This is often the starting place for reporting and we would recommend you understand the reports that are delivered out of the box.

People Analytics

This is a new Employee Central Reporting solution that sits on top of SAP Analytics Cloud. This is for reporting SuccessFactors data and replaces a number of the existing SuccessFactors reporting solutions. 

At this time, this solution does not include Payroll Reporting.

People Analytics is a new solution and as of today, it is too early to indicate the overall value proposition.

Workforce Analytics or People Analytics – Advanced Edition

Workforce Analytics (Now known as People Analytics Advanced Edition) is a useful Management Analytic Solution, but is often more higher business level reporting.  

Whilst this delivers a subset of Payroll Reports, these are often not the day to day reports the payroll team will require, but focused more on Management type reporting. 

This solution is not generally used for day-to-day Payroll Reporting.

SAP Analytics Cloud

This solution allows you to build your own dashboards and user stories using data from various systems with powerful visualisation tools.  

It would be possible to build your payroll reporting, but you need to consider how to get the data into this solution, and then how to cater for things like security, regular updates etc. 

This requires reports to be purpose built and then updated with data.  Much like many Business Warehouse solutions, and Workforce Analytics, this is more of a management analytics solution.

ABAP Custom Reports

Within the Employee Central Payroll Solution, the Internal IT Team can build their own reports. These however require a specific skill set and often end up with fairly purpose built reports.  

This is not a cost effective approach for most reporting needs.

Excel Reports

Most customers resort to using Excel or some other tool to extract data from Employee Central Payroll. You can include multiple data sources and merge them together to produce the reports you need.  

This is a very manual process and often results in many complex spreadsheets that require an expert to maintain.

So many reports, so little time

Equipping your Payroll team with the right tools and expertise upfront saves you a lot of time and many thousands, in some cases, millions of dollars.

Here’s where SpinifexIT can help you. 

Employee Central Payroll

Our customers have found that SpinifexIT is not just “nice to have”, but a mandatory solution for their day to day work. Our accelerator is powered by our SAP-certified Easy Reporter solution, our Payroll Control Center (PCC) Accelerator add-on, and a couple of localized solutions for Australian (Easy STP) and North American (Easy Balance) payroll reconciliation, and more!

Employee Central Payroll
  • Purpose build Payroll Day to Day and Compliance Reports that can be run out of the box
  • Adhoc Report capabilities to build the reports you need in minutes
  • Distribution Capabilities that can be used for sending reports out to managers, departments or even external interfaces such as Deduction Vendors
  • Full Integration into the Payroll Control Center solution as well as Employee or Manager Self Service Capabilities for any report you want to make available
  • Additional Functionality delivered out of the box that can be used to streamline implementation of Employee Central Payroll and even Testing the Regular upgrades.

In the next blog, we’ll be featuring customer case studies where SpinifexIT solutions have been implemented and how clients have considered it a success. We’re also including a 2020 checklist you can refer to whilst planning your implementation.

Let’s continue the conversation!

Subscribe to SpinifexIT to know the latest about our solutions!

Email us at [email protected]
to book a quick 15 – 30 minute discovery call to learn more about how you can take your Employee Central Payroll system to the next level.

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?”

most-common-question-about-employee-central

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?

spinifexit-solutions-for-successfactors-employee-central

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?

spinifexit-results-optimising-hcm-payroll-employeecentral

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].

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.

Spinifexit webinar sap payroll reporting solutions update
Webinar – What’s included in our 2018.R2? Here’s a quick overview.
Webinar – What’s included in our 2018.R2? Here’s a quick overview. 1024 508 SpinifexIT

Click here to register.

Date: July 19, 2018

Time: 1 PM, EST

Host: Paige Elkins

Medium: Go To Webinar

2018.R2 goes live on July 23, 2018. We’re excited to show you our latest updates and enhancements and we’ve prepared this short webinar to give you a preview. Paige Elkins gives you a quick summary of what’s included in our 2nd release for 2018.

Following her overview, she will teach you how to access the new enhancements and features in your SpinifexIT solution once you upgrade to the latest version. The session runs for 30 minutes. 

Register here to attend.

SpinifexIT Payroll considerations during an employee central implementation
Part Two: Payroll Considerations During an Employee Central Implementation
Part Two: Payroll Considerations During an Employee Central Implementation 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Download our FREE Considerations for Payroll During an Employee Central Implementation Checklist. Fill out the form below to receive a copy.

PART 2 OF A THREE-PART BLOG SERIES BY DARREN SOUTER

Welcome to the 2nd part of our three-part blog series on Payroll’s journey. The first part of our blog discussed some of the options that you have when selecting a Payroll Solution. Today, we’ll discuss some of the considerations when integrating Payroll to a new environment that is also connected to Employee Central.

As my background is not necessarily focused on implementations, I am going to focus on a few key topics that may come up in a typical implementation and some of the key items to consider. Many of these items come up during discussions I often have with existing customers looking for unbiased advice.

Implementation Partner

As most customers would only ever want to do this once, they are best to rely on the experience of an Implementation Partner who can guide them through this process. As this can be a complex process with not only an Employee Central Implementation but one that involves data migration, integration back to SAP (for Payroll) and potentially changing the Payroll solution, it is worthwhile exploring the implications of such options.  Depending on the scope of your work, you may be fine with a partner that just works with Employee Central, but if there are changes to Payroll, you should seriously consider having a partner who also knows and has implemented SAP Payroll.

It is also important to validate which customers the partner has worked with on past projects and if such projects were deemed a success! I also believe it is worthwhile reference checking the individual consultants who will work on the project, as the last thing you want is a group of inexperienced consultants learning whilst implementing your project. 

Implementation Project Plan

Whilst this may seem obvious, please ensure that you have a realistic plan for the implementation project. This plan should include the work required to perform a full end-to-end implementation and must include many of the tasks that verify that all forms of payroll related processes and tasks continue to operate on go-live to ultimately ensure employees are accurately paid.

Hence as a tip, ensure that adequate time and effort is allowed for the accurate migration of HR data and validation processes. There should also be an allocation to make sure that multiple test payroll parallel runs are executed, bank file checks are conducted, and go-live and post-go-live support tasks are scheduled. These are the type of tasks that must be included in the scope of the project to help ensure a seamless payroll operation.

Implementing Employee Central with Payroll is a complex process, so again we recommend you verify references from your partner to ensure that they have previous experience in both Employee Central and Payroll implementations.

Data Migration To Employee Central

During any Employee Central Implementation, you will have the requirement to migrate the master data from your current SAP On-Premise system into Employee Central.  This is typical of most implementations which have a data conversion scope.

In the case of migrating from SAP HCM however, luckily SAP provides some help with this process.  This is in the form of ABAP reports that can be used for the extraction of the data. When planning an implementation/migration, it is important to understand who specifically is responsible for the data extraction, manipulation, migration and validation of this data. Is this the responsibility of the Implementation Partner, or is this something your internal team / the customer will do?

This stage can often be made more complex if there is a need for remapping existing data and catering for customer specific infotypes/fields.  This often involves additional development or extraction work, as well as significant time for manual manipulation and validation of the data once it is loaded into Employee Central.

NOTE:

Data Replication Back To SAP HCM

When implementing Employee Central with SAP Payroll, there is the need to determine which system is the key system for entering Master data (generally this is Employee Central). However, as the SAP Payroll Solution requires certain data to allow for processing, you need to be able to replicate the Master Data down to the Payroll Solution.

There are a few options here.  SAP provides the SAP Cloud Integration solution with accelerators to speed up the setup of this data transfer.  There are also other solutions such as Boomi. For Employee Central Payroll Customers (ECP), SAP provides a point to point replication program for transferring this data to the ECP environment.  

No matter what solution you may use, you need to ensure this is included in the implementation scope and plan. The replication and testing of this should also be part of the parallel run process as the Master Data will be maintained in Employee Central and then replicated down to the Payroll Environment.

Finally, you should also consider which Payroll related ABAP reports and standard reports will still be used in the payroll system. I recommend that you replicate enough data down to the Payroll Environment to allow for all relevant reporting to continue, and of course, you will need enough data to run all payroll calculations and processes accurately, including the year-end processing and validation of year-end results.

What To Do With ABAP Reports & Interfaces

There are many SAP HCM customers who have customised ABAP reports for a specific company need. In many cases, these have been either developed from scratch to fit a unique reporting requirement, or an SAP report has been copied and modified to access additional data to report against a certain set of HCM reporting requirements. Without these custom ABAP reports, the process of reporting is often performed by manual extraction of data into tools such as MS Excel in order to create the reporting that is required.  The trouble is that this is a manual process.

Luckily, with most of the options (if you are keeping SAP Payroll), you can choose to take your ABAP with you.  Whether you are staying on-premise, moving to ECP, moving to a hosted SAP Payroll option, or even moving to many of the outsourced services, there are still options around having ABAP functionality.  This may mean that the reports will work without modifications, or in some cases, they may require rework as data may be held differently in SAP, or may now be held in Employee Central.

NOTE:

PRO TIP:

These are some of the questions I’ve been asking customers for the last 15 years when working with them with regards to streamlining and automating reporting.  The need for custom reporting is often essential in SAP Payroll when you start to look at streamlining reporting and interfaces, but it doesn’t need to be done through hard coded ABAP.

This overall process is why I have seen many Payroll Teams over the years spend nearly 50% of their overall time in report production as the process of building ABAP reports is not straightforward and most customers resort to doing these processes manually with many extracts out of SAP HCM and Payroll and into tools such as MS Excel to produce such reports.

Over the years, I have observed that the scope of reports that were identified and delivered during the implementation end up being a subset as compared to, say, 12 months after post go-live. Often, customers will have 20-30 reports initially on go-live and will have doubled within 6 months later. Some customers have even reached 200+ reports after 12 months.

Luckily, SpinifexIT’s Easy Reporter is a perfect alternative here.  It is a solution that sits within your SAP System and comes with many pre-delivered reports and gives you the flexibility to be able to create customer specific reporting processes without the need for technical resources.  The HCM/Payroll Team can use this solution to create the reports, interfaces and extracts as they require directly in a production environment. Easy Reporter can actually be used in all of the Payroll Options that were identified in the first blog.

Finally, if you decide you still require the existing reports or interfaces, then you should verify that the data is fully available in the same system.  One good example I have seen with several customers is that they may choose not to replicate the Organisational Structures from Employee Central. This then means that the reports that display this type of information may no longer be relevant.

Documents – Smart Forms, HR Forms, Adobe Forms

In a similar way to the reporting decision, many customers have also created custom functionality to produce forms and letters to easily distribute information to the employees, management and external parties.  These are often done through custom programs and SAP functionality such as Smartforms, HR Forms or AdobeForms.

In many cases, this includes forms such as

  • Pay Review Letters
  • Total Reward Statements
  • Employment Contracts
  • Staff Welcome Packs
  • Local Legislative Forms

One of the challenges is that the data for these documents might need to come from both the SAP Payroll system as well as the Employee Central Environment.  In most cases, these documents need to be reproduced and accessed from within the Employee Central Environment.

Luckily SAP does have the ability to create custom documents.  These can be created by your administrator in your environment through Employee Central Document Generation. This allows you to create text based documents with field data retrieved for the employee from the Employee Central Fields.

PRO TIP:

Often, custom HR documents can be complex, and for these documents, an alternative option may be required.  If this is the case, SpinifexIT offers an integrated extension solution to Employee Central, known as Strato. Strato allows you to control the full formatting of the document with the ability to insert graphics, logos, format the text to duplicate the customer requirements.  In addition, through Strato, you can embed sections into the document based on conditional logic. Decisions such as the employees’ Company Code, Employment Type, Gender etc… can all be included in a document to allow you to easily create any document that is required. Total Reward Statements and Employee Contracts are two such examples of complex documents we have seen across our customer base.

Custom Functionality

Many customers have built custom functionality into their SAP system.  In most cases, this is an opportunity to review and remove a lot of this functionality as part of the new implementation.  In the new cloud world, whilst custom functionality can be created, it is created within Employee Central and it can be limited to simpler screens through the SuccessFactors MetaData Framework (MDF) functionality.  The more complex functionality can be created through the SAP Cloud Platform. It would be worthwhile to look for ways to achieve what you require within the standard system, but if this is not possible, it would be best to look for a specific vendor that provides what you want.  It would be suggested that if these options do not provide what you require then custom functionality would be an option.

SAP HCM Considerations

As this if often a good time to consider other changes, it might be worth digging a bit deeper into what your current On-Premise Solution is being used for. Many customers use Time Evaluation for two key purposes. The first is to interpret the time input (such as attendances) and to determine output (Wagetypes) based on the business rules such as when an employee should receive higher payments (overtime), or when an employee might get a meal allowance.  This might be a good time to review this process (including how you get these times into the system) and look at a Time and Attendance Solution. It is not advisable for customers who are migrating to Employee Central Payroll to use the standard Time Evaluation solution.

You may already have a time and attendance system though, but even if you do, you should confirm with your implementation partner whether this is integrated with Employee Central and/or part of the new payroll solution.

Another area is the Leave Quotas.  Employee Central has a Time Off module that can replace the existing SAP Leave Quotas functionality. You should ensure and validate that this module covers your business rules and requirements, and if it is being considered part of the scope of the implementation.

Lastly, if you already have an Employee Self Service or Manager Self Service portal, you should verify which functionality is still required and whether it is duplicated within Employee Central.  Often, many reports are being executed by the manager and a validation process should be conducted to verify what reports must still remain and be available. If your organisation may no longer sit in SAP, you should consider how these reports will operate after migrating to Employee Central. 

Parallel Runs

As part of all Payroll Implementations, there is the need to validate that the Payroll is running and calculating correctly before going live on the Payroll.  This generally involves a comparison of the same results from the legacy HR and Payroll system to the new system. In most cases, this involves multiple runs. The reason for multiple runs is that there is the need to validate the results flowing from pay period to pay period.

Things to consider here include:

  • Having at least 2 parallel payroll runs
  • Preferably one run going over month end
  • Parallel run for each payroll area (Monthly, Fortnightly, Weekly)
  • Validation of Payroll Results including Current Pay, Tax, Deductions, Overtime, Year to Date Figures, Leave Accrual and Finance Postings.

Pro tip:

It is also important to run these as real-life scenarios.  I’ve seen customers who have just entered the basic data for a pay, but not triggered retrospective pay re-calculations.  This has caused issues after go-live. It is much simpler to fix these issues prior to go-live, so I would recommend you try to keep your parallel runs as close as possible to real life scenarios.

You should ensure the project plan allows for enough time to perform these parallel runs, as well as allow for time to fix any issues. During this period, it’s often a challenging time as your payroll team will most likely be responsible for checking most of the results, and at the same time, they still will often need to perform their day to day role.  Hence, if possible, provide additional resources for this period of the project.

Process Changes

With Employee Central, there is going to be a large number of processes that your organisation has been doing for many years that are now going to change.  This means that there is going to be a lot of internal changes to your organisation. Whilst a system like Employee Central is much more intuitive than the previous SAP Solution, there is still going to be some changes and you should allow time for items such as updating manuals and procedures, retaining staff, changing roles, and communicating the new process among many other things. 

Go Live

It is important to plan the timing of your Go live. There is likely going to be some time required for data migration from your existing production system and switching to new processes. Many previous SAP Implementations aligned this to the start of the Financial Year (depending on your region), so that items such as Year End Reporting in the new system may not be so critical.

You should make sure that there are no other critical projects the same time you Go live, and you should make sure key staff are available and not away on planned vacation or other activities around this time.

There should also be a plan for supporting the new environment for at least the first 4 weeks after Go live.  This is often when any unexpected issues may come up and you want to be able to leverage your partners’ expertise during this period.

Finally, you should start to think about post Go live and how best to support this.  As SuccessFactors has quarterly releases, it is important to at least understand what is in these releases and what impact this may have on your system and processes.  In most cases, there should be no impact, but there is always new functionality becoming available, and your partner could advise you on what they would recommend you implement.

Summary

The implementation of Employee Central along with Payroll is a large initiative, so planning this is important.  You have a lot of expenses associated with internal resources, consultants, partners, SAP as well as other 3rd parties.  Even if you decide to leave Payroll On-Premise and just implement Employee Central, most of these items should still be considered in the scope as there will be some impact.

It is important to understand this entire process and take advantage of learnings of other customers who have been through this process. 

To help further, the above information is summarised into a checklist that you could use when planning out your migration.You may use the form above to download a copy for yourself. 

If you have any questions or if you’d like to share some of your implementation experiences, please don’t hesitate to comment on my post or e-mail us at [email protected]. I’ll respond to your questions and comments any chance I get.


consideration for payroll during cloud migration
Part One: Considerations for Payroll during Cloud Migration
Part One: Considerations for Payroll during Cloud Migration 1024 512 SpinifexIT

A THREE-PART BLOG SERIES BY DARREN SOUTER

Over the last 10+ years, I have watched with keen interest many different announcements from SAP.  Many of these ended up with little momentum, but the purchase of SuccessFactors by SAP was something quite different.  From the outset, momentum was already there with many existing customers using parts (i.e. modules) of the SuccessFactors Solution.  More recently with the continued investment in SuccessFactors Employee Central, this momentum has further increased with many more existing On-Premise customers looking to move to the Cloud.

However, for most of these customers, SAP Payroll is a huge consideration because of the close integration and dependency  to the existing SAP HCM Solution. SAP’s recent announcement which extends Payroll’s lifetime ‘til 2030 provided more options for existing customers. I’ve documented some reactions and possible effect of this extension on my blog a few weeks ago. Like most customers, we’re also hoping to hear more news about what this solution will contain, and what SAP’s plans are for the Next Generation Payroll solution.

The good news is that the current SAP Payroll is an extremely powerful  and flexible solution and that most of the customers have various options available for their Payroll and how it could be  deployed into the future.

I’m making a blog series for customers and organisations who are in this position. We’re breaking it into several parts to cover off the following key topics:

  • What are my options when moving to Employee Central?
  • Considerations During the Implementation of your new Payroll Solution with Employee Central – What functional use cases and technical areas should I be aware of?
  • Streamlining Further Payroll Operational Processes in your new integrated Payroll Environment

We will look at all the solutions that SAP provide and cover off some of the technical changes such as HANA declustered tables and many more areas.

Before I talk about these things, I’d like introduce myself.

I started working at SAP as part of the team that built the Australian Country Payroll solution. Since then, I’ve been involved in designing and building out our SpinifexIT integrated software solutions for SAP HCM/Payroll with the ultimate aim of providing capability in the hands of Payroll and HR professionals that exposes value in their work and efficiency in their payroll and HR operational business processes and the management of such processes….whether that be in the automation of reporting that exposes insights on the accuracy of employees payroll, the automation of recruiting letters and employment contracts for new hires, tools to accelerate testing in payroll upgrades, solutions to help address complex payroll enquiries, the automation of interfaces with third parties who require payroll and banking information, or delivering embedded custom payroll or HR functionality using our solutions to address a specific customer need…. These are just a few examples of the capability I am passionate about providing to such professionals, because in my eyes, Payroll and HR Professionals are unsung superheroes who work tirelessly for the care of the employee and the employee lifecycle process!

Right now,  I am proud to say that we have  over 800 installations in over 40 countries of our solutions adding values to Payroll and HR professionals everyday, this is just what we do, this is my passion!

Ok so lets now talk a little about SAP Payroll and SuccessFactors. Over the last few years, I closely followed announcements from SAP. This includes SuccessFactors, HANA, Payroll Control Center and HR Renewal. I have also worked with many customers to help them navigate in understanding these solutions and what it means to them.

Hence, it makes sense for me to blog about SAP Payroll and share my views and some best practices we’ve witnessed through our implementation and customer engagement. I’ll keep this blog general and make reference where appropriate to our SpinifexIT solutions and content since our customers found significant value in leveraging the solution in different areas of the SAP Payroll and HR Operational lifecycle.

Start following me or our SpinifexIT LinkedIn page so you don’t miss any updates about this topic.

Let’s get started.

HR & Payroll – Migration Options for Customers

As SAP has often stated, customers can start anywhere and go everywhere.  This is no different in the HCM area, and there are many options available to customers.  Some of the key current options available to customers are listed below

  • Migrate to Employee Central and leave Payroll On-Premise
  • Migrate to Employee Central and also migrate Payroll to Employee Central Payroll
  • Migrate to Employee Central and migrate Payroll to a Hosted option
  • Migrate to Employee Central and move payroll to a 3rd party outsourcer such as ADP, NGA or other Payroll services providers
  • Customers can do nothing right now – Stay on Premise and utilise tools like HR Renewal

As you would see, there are a lot of options available for the Payroll Business.  Each of these have different migration paths with different complexities.  The clear message from SAP however, is that the future of the Employee Master Data is within Employee Central (In the cloud).

This, in my discussions with many customers and partners, is an important part of the future landscape of SAP and likely one that most customers will take over the coming years.  The good news is that there is still time to plan this properly and schedule this into your future plans. The transition is a project that should be planned out carefully, as it is not just a migration, but a business transformation and you should look to review internal HCM business processes during this migration.

In terms of Payroll, there are a number of options available.

Migrate to Employee Central and Keep Payroll On Premise

One of the simplest options is to keep Payroll On-Premise and move the HR Functions into Employee Central.

We have already seen many customers take this approach, as it still allows for the future proofing of the business with Employee Central but maintaining the existing Payroll Rules thats are already in place.

This option doesn’t mean that you cannot take advantage of some of the new functionality, inside of SAP including the Payroll Control Center, which allows you to setup your payroll as a process that can be run from a browser view or directly from Employee Central.

Many customers are also implementing SAP HANA as part of their overall ERP landscape.  This has a large advantage with the Payroll Control Center as well, as the Payroll Control Center writes to new Payroll Declustered Tables that can be optimised for SAP HANA queries.  These can result in very fast validation checks to ensure your payroll is correct and accurate.

During this process, one of the larger pieces of work is the integration between Employee Central and the Payroll System. As most data now is maintained via Employee Central, you now need the Payroll Relevant Data to be migrated to SAP.  This includes most core Payroll Information, but some customers who have existing processes are also continuing to migrate data such as Organisational Structures and other more general employee data.  It really is important to consider what your goal is here in terms of information that comes out of the Payroll System and what processes are to be migrated over to SuccessFactors.

Migrate to Employee Central and move Payroll to Employee Central Payroll (ECP)

In many cases, the customer is looking to completely remove infrastructure and cost that sits within their business while moving to a full cloud solution.  In this case, one of the better integrated options is the SAP Employee Central Payroll Solution. This is a hosted solution that SAP Provides on a subscription model.

With Employee Central Payroll, this is treated as a new Implementation. The advantage of this approach is that many customers over the years have built up manually intensive practices, have complex payroll processes and in many cases use old versions of SAP Solutions, have infrastructure capability that is coming close to end of life. It is an opportunity to revisit their entire implementation and redo this process.

PRO:

You can still move transports from your old system to the new system. Custom configuration can still be migrated into the new solution to speed up your implementation, with few exceptions.

PRO:

The integration is much more tightly controlled.  The ECP solution does not require you to configure the SAP Cloud Integration. Instead, it uses integration processes that are built within the SAP ECP system.

CON:

Some functionality such as Time Evaluation and other Non-Payroll type functionality are not supposed to be used within the Employee Central Payroll Environment.

Several SAP Partners also offer a multi tenanted option here (This means that multiple customers can use the same hardware in the same SAP system), which has the benefits of the SAP ECP environment. However, it is also tied to some partner solutions that allow for faster implementation with accelerators.  This does still require an implementation (Like the Employee Central Payroll Option), but it does allow for some savings if you can leverage off some of the pre-defined options such as country configuration.

Migrate to Employee Central and move Payroll to Hosted Solution

If you are not looking to rebuild a lot of your payroll processes, but would like to retire your hardware and infrastructure, another option may be to use a Hosted Payroll Service Solution. This is an option if your goal is to move all infrastructure out of your current environment, and to essentially keep your Payroll System as it currently is today.

I have not heard from any customers who may have taken this up, but this option is discussed in more detail in various blogs.  One which questions this option for mid to large sized businesses is as follows. Jarret Pazahanick explains why in his blog.

Migrate to EC and move Payroll to 3rd Party such as ADP, NGA

If your goal is to completely transform your business processes, a further option may be to move to a Managed Service Payroll (Still using SAP Payroll as the engine to deliver payroll). Whilst this option is also a reimplementation of your payroll, you can do it with a partner and adopt a lot of their own pre-defined configuration for the individual countries you run payroll for.

Whilst on one hand, this option could be seen as being similar to moving to the ECP Solution, this actually has many more options including just provision of a hosted payroll solution right through to the complete outsourcing of the Payroll to the provider.

Do nothing and continue to use the current SAP HCM System

STAY ON-PREMISE

The last option is to actually do nothing and just follow the migration path SAP will offer to its customers.  SAP have now given a migration path (Planned from 2023) to move to a S4/HANA sidecar solution. This will allow a quick migration to a similar SAP environment, keep your HR and Payroll Solution (Except for Recruitment and Learning).

Of course, in 12 years, the innovation in the cloud will be far more than the existing on-premise system. You might find this dated and this may eventually force the move to Employee Central.

To Sum It Up…

There does seem to be a momentum gathering with more customers putting in plans to migrate their core HCM into Employee Central and the other SuccessFactors Modules.  SAP’s focus has been on developing into the cloud. Luckily, this has also had flow on effect back to the On-Premise solutions with applications such as the Payroll Control Center being available to use within the Cloud or On-Premise.

The decision now comes back to more of a business need. Consider these:

  • Do you want to re-implement your SAP Payroll?
  • How much Business Transformation would you want to do in one go?
  • Do you want to continue managing your own payroll?

The choice is yours and you are spoilt for choices.  It is worth really considering the options available rather than just waiting for the inevitable.

In our next part, we will talk more about the implementation and some of the considerations with focus more on the Payroll.


Opinion Piece: On SAP On-Premise’s Extension And What It Means To Our Customers
Opinion Piece: On SAP On-Premise’s Extension And What It Means To Our Customers 1024 683 SpinifexIT

SAP HCM beyond 2025

SAP recently announced that the on-premise SAP HCM Module will have its maintenance period extended from 2025 to 2030, hence giving existing SAP HCM customers a new option for continuing the use of their SAP HCM Module past the current 2025 deadline.  The announcement also gives customers a new option to migrate to the S/4HANA solution that supports the HCM environment.  This new environment will be based on the existing SAP landscape for easier migration, and the new solution will be based on the HANA database.  SAP have indicated that they will provide additional tools to help with the migration to this new environment, which is planned to be made available in 2023.  This new environment will be supported until 2030.  Details of the SAP announcement can be found here.

Initial reactions to the announcement

At the time of writing this brief article, there have been some documented comments to this news.  Generally the announcement has been seen as positive, although there are questions about the need for new licensing and the migration to the S/4HANA environment.  It will be interesting to see whether this announcement might make customers reconsider delaying  their move to some of the SuccessFactors Modules such as Employee Central, as this potentially gives customers the option to do nothing until they can see further details around SAP’s direction.

For more information on the comments, please see some of the following blogs.

A longer roadmap option for Payroll

In my opinion, the key item that I believe SAP HCM customers have been grappling with is the most suitable long term option for their SAP Payroll System and Payroll Processes considering the benefit in moving to SuccessFactors Employee Central.

As this point,  customers have the option to move to SuccessFactors Employee Central for their HR Master Data Management and core HR Processes, and keep their SAP Payroll on-premise system or have the option to migrate to SAP’s cloud based Employee Central Payroll Solution.  The other options available is to “lift and shift” to an SAP Managed Payroll Service which is offered by a limited set of SAP HCM Partners.   What we are currently seeing, the uptake to Employee Central Payroll is still in early stages and the same can be said for the “lift and shift” SAP Managed Payroll option.

Therefore, most SAP HCM customers have left their SAP Payroll system in current state (Generally in an on-premise ECC environment).  Some customers have migrated to SuccessFactors Employee Central and integrated it with their ECC Payroll, but from what we have seen, the majority of customer have done little at this stage.

How do you plan to manage your payroll processes?

The migration to SuccessFactors Employee Central is certainly in the minds of many customers today as it certainly represents positive business benefits and with the latest announcement of their program Upgrade2Success makes it a compelling strategy to consider. With many customers in the early stages of planning for this move, it will be interesting to see whether this latest announcement from SAP makes such customers put their move on hold for the time being.

At least this gives a longer term roadmap for SAP Payroll, and customers can then independently decide whether they take up SuccessFactors Employee Central for the management of the Employee Master Data and core HR Processes or continue to use the SAP HR On-Premise solution.

It will also be interesting to see if further announcements will be made over the coming months in relationship to a next generation payroll, as speculated by Steve Bogner in the following article.

Whilst SAP have only mentioned this new upgrade option in the article, it would be surprising if another longer term future based option for Payroll is not being considered by SAP.

What do we believe this upgrade / conversion will mean?

Here at SpinifexIT, from what we can understand from the announcement, the new proposed S/4HANA solution will be based on the existing SAP HCM solution, so this is good news and should minimise the work that customers would need to do to convert to this new solution. Customers who have a large amount of custom functionality such as reports or interfaces, there should be minimum changes to their existing solution.

The good news is that customers can look to invest into some of the newer technologies that SAP have recently released such as the Payroll Control Centre and have the peace of mind that this should be upgradeable to the new solution.

What does this mean to SpinifexIT Customers?

Our many SpinifexIT customers across the globe leverage a number of our solutions to address various SAP HCM use cases, including such use cases as it relates to Payroll operational reporting and reconciliation, Payroll Control Centre reportingEmployee and Management digital document, generation and distributionEmployee cloning across SAP systems, hence we see this as a promising announcement from SAP!

This topic has been a constant discussion with customers over the last 12 months with many of them seeking advice on what to do with their SAP Payroll system.  Whilst we have the majority of our customers still using just the SAP ECC versions, we also have numerous customers who have:

  • implemented the Employee Central Payroll Solution,
  • implemented S/4HANA
  • upgraded their database to HANA,
  • adopted Payroll providers such as ADP or NGA (Still running SAP Payroll as the solution).

All of these customers have had a questions about the fate of SAP Payroll past 2025, so at least there is a direction for these customers.

In terms of the SpinifexIT solutions, we will ensure that our solutions continue to work on the new S/4HANA proposed solution.  As the announcement from SAP indicates the new solution will be based on the existing SAP solution. Hence we would not anticipate any upgrade issues, just as we have not seen any concerns with our customers who just recently implemented S/4HANA.

In addition, regardless of what our customers decide to do today with their core SAP HCM System (Stay on Premise, or Migrate to SuccessFactors Employee Central), we have options to cater for use cases that they might encounter.  In all scenarios, SpinifexIT has the SAP user base covered with proven, tangible and productive HCM and Payroll solutions that augment the SAP Roadmap, now out to 2030.

More information about SpinifexIT

For more information about SpinifexIT solutions, visit our website at www.SpinifexIT.com. If you have any questions or if you wish to request a demo, we can be reached at [email protected].

Please join our webinar on the 18th of January. We’re featuring our cloud-based Document Generation Solution for SuccessFactors and SAP HCM (best for cloud or hybrid systems). Click here to read more about the topic & register.

SAP HCM expert Darren Souter

Darren Souter
SpinifexIT Global Solutions Architect

Darren has been developing business-optimising solutions for SAP HCM and SAP SuccessFactors for more than 20 years.  Darren’s leads the SpinifexIT solution team to develop innovative SAP HCM solutions that maximise the value of the SAP HCM Customer investment and help enrich the SAP HCM Customer experience.