What Does the Future Hold for SAP ERP HCM?

What Does the Future Hold for SAP ERP HCM?

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This blog is based on Ralf Wagner’s HR 2016 session “SAP ERP HCM: Delivered and Planned Innovations”

SAP SuccessFactors seems to hold all the headlines in the HR space these days, but there is still a place for SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM). Many organizations have built reliable, successful processes around SAP ERP HCM and, for a variety of reasons, are not yet ready to adopt SAP SuccessFactors. While SAP has placed a lot of attention on its SAP SuccessFactors innovations in recent years, it won’t leave users of SAP ERP HCM in the dust. SAP is dedicated to making sure that those using an on-premise HCM system can still enjoy optimal service and new innovations.

So if your company is planning to remain on SAP ERP HCM for a little bit longer, what can you expect from SAP over the next few years?

The first thing to note is that SAP intends to support SAP ERP HCM until 2025. During that time, SAP will roll out a series of improvements designed to make the system easier to use over the next few years. Based on customer feedback, SAP has pinpointed some key areas of enhancement for the platform, including:

  • Optimized payroll management via the Payroll Control Center
  • Simplified employee self-service (ESS) and manager self-service (MSS) applications on a Fiori-based user interface (UI)
  • Across-the-board improvements in UI and usability
  • Innovations designed to help expert users in the areas of organizational management, personnel management, and time management
  • Integration with on-premise deployments of SAP S/4HANA

Let’s dig deeper into some of these innovations.

Payroll Control Center

The Payroll Control Center was created in response to customer demand for improved payroll verification. With this tool, HR professionals can leverage real-time payroll analytics to prevent inconsistencies and errors. It also allows for a single source of truth regarding your organization’s payroll activities, automatic identification of potential issues, and more efficient reconciliation of payroll activities.


Many customers requested better ESS and MSS capabilities, and SAP’s developers delivered with an ESS and MSS portal based on SAP Fiori. This portal offers twelve scenarios, nine for all employees and three specifically for managers. It is highly accessible through the Fiori Launchpad and very intuitive, enabling employees to be more self-sufficient when performing basic administrative tasks, such as viewing their benefits or requesting leave.

UI Improvements

SAP has launched an “HR Renewal” project focused on developing web-based UIs for landing pages and applications powered by SAP ERP HCM. This is a separate initiative from the Fiori-based applications for ESS and MSS. The applications that benefit most from the HR Renewal are ABAP-based applications used by HR professionals, payroll experts, and others who perform more technical or administrative tasks in SAP ERP HCM. This renewal effort will make intuitive, web-based UIs available to these professionals.

Innovations for HR Experts

Expert users can also continue to enjoy improved functionality in addition to improved usability. A slew of recent innovations have been recently released in the areas of organizational management, personnel administration, and time management. Here’s a sampling of some of these enhancements:

  • The search help function included in organizational management now offers additional selection criteria, such as start dates in the future, for searching organizational structures
  • The ability to display infotype numbers on the detail screen, previously included in personnel administration, is now also available in organizational management
  • Enhancements in personnel administration, such as the ability to add identifying text about infotypes and subtypes in query results, enable you to create user-friendly displays
  • In personnel administration, you now have the ability to hide birth date information in query results to comply with policies and regulations
  • Time and attendance management now includes a function that checks new entries for overlaps
  • You no longer have to reenter selection criteria when you toggle between the display and maintenance views in time and attendance management — your context is preserved when you switch between views


Many customers using SAP ERP HCM are considering what an adoption of SAP S/4HANA would mean for their HR systems. The simple truth is that SAP SuccessFactors is the best choice for use in conjunction with SAP S/4HANA. But if you cannot yet make that transition, your current HR system doesn’t need to hold you back from innovation. If you deploy SAP S/4HANA on premise, either in a separate instance or the same one as SAP ERP HCM, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of HR Renewal in conjunction with you SAP S/4HANA investment.

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