On the roadmap for SAP ERP HCM: EHP 5, embedded analytics, SAP HANA, apps (image: Fotolia)
On the roadmap for SAP ERP HCM: EHP 5, embedded analytics, SAP HANA, apps (image: Fotolia)

SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) is one of the four solutions included in the SAP ERP application. SAP ERP HCM is suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries across all regions. It enables users to carry out tasks in service delivery, talent management, core HR processes and payroll, and workforce analytics.

The roadmap for SAP ERP HCM includes innovations to be delivered over the course of 18 months in three stages, starting in the high-value and high-usage areas. The first set of innovations was delivered around SAPPHIRE NOW in mid-2011, the second will be delivered at the end of 2011, and the third will be delivered in mid-2012.

In this article, we’ll give you a recap of the new functions which are already available and the enhancements that are still to come.

EHP 5 overhauls Employee Self-service in SAP ERP HCM (screenshot: SAP)
EHP 5 overhauls Employee Self-service in SAP ERP HCM (screenshot: SAP)

New functions

This first set of innovations delivered in mid-2011 brought the benefits of EHP 5 to the SAP ERP HCM solution, introduced a new set of embedded analytics for managers, and made the SAP BusinessObjects Strategic Workforce Planning application available.


In our article, “EHP 5 for SAP ERP 6.0,” we gave you a general overview of EHP 5. Now, let’s take a look at the specific enhancements for SAP ERP HCM. The user interface for Employee Self-service received a complete overhaul. Taking a cue from social networking sites, SAP moved away from transaction-focused employee databases and instead created “profiles” for employees that can be personalized and updated in the manner of Facebook.

On a technical level, SAP switched from Web Dynpro Java to Web Dynpro ABAP, which means that Employee Self-service is no longer dependent on SAP Portal.

The one exception to the Employee Self-service overhaul is in benefits enrollment for the US, which proved more complex and was not delivered with the first set of innovations. Currently, this area has already been developed and tested, and the improvements to benefits enrollment will be delivered with the second set of innovations at the end of 2011.

The Strategic Workforce Planning application creates long-term workforce forecasts for different business strategies (screenshot: SAP)
The Strategic Workforce Planning application creates long-term workforce forecasts for different business strategies (screenshot: SAP)

More analytics for managers

Some improvements to Manager Self-service were delivered at the end of June as an add-on to the first set of innovations. An enhanced user interface and embedded analytics were part of this add-on. Further user interface enhancements will come with the next set of innovations at the end of 2011.

As opposed to the largely functional improvements made to Manager Self-service in the past, recent improvements focus on providing managers with better insights via analytics for compensation planning and talent management.

EHP 5 delivers 10 different clusters of analytics for talent management. These are pre-defined and include Business Warehouse extractors, cubes, and queries. It’s possible, if you pay extra, to combine the queries with SAP BusinessObjects technology to illustrate the data in dashboards.


The SAP BusinessObjects Strategic Workforce Planning application is the first application built for and released on the SAP In-Memory Appliance (SAP HANA). This application enables companies to conduct long-term workforce planning.

With this application, for example, a company can set a goal of 10% growth year over year, and then see how many employees will need to be hired, if expansion to new locations will be necessary, and what sort of new skills will be required.

Upcoming innovations

SAP has organized the upcoming innovations for SAP ERP HCM within its three areas of focus: OnPremise, OnDevice, and OnDemand.

In terms of OnPremise, SAP will continue to improve the user interfaces over the next 12 months by implementing EHP 5 in SAP ERP HCM. These enhancements have already been integrated into Employee Self-service, and were added to Manager Self-service at the end of June. HR Business Partner will get the EHP 5 improvements by mid-2012.

Further, SAP stresses that SAP ERP HCM is the essential source of data for on-device and on-demand innovations.

Innovations for OnDevice

In this area, SAP’s strategy is to mobilize the suite of existing HR-related processes, but, as in the general strategy for enterprise mobility, partners will deliver the majority of apps that are more specific to industry and role. The apps that SAP plans to release will run on multiple platforms, not just iOS.

One example of a possible SAP app for SAP ERP HCM is Meet Your Manager, an app for HR Business Partner. In this case, HR personnel will be able to go out onto the production line and talk to line management about their teams with reports and analytics available directly on a mobile device.

Another possible app for SAP ERP HCM is called Me and My Company and is more focused on employee functions. Workflow tasks like leave request, travel request, and time entry can be carried out with this app. Functionality for pay stubs is also planned. The app has approval functionality for managers as well.

An app called Interview Assistant is also being considered. It sits on top of SAP Recruiting and allows managers to take notes during an interview on their mobile device. The app integrates back into SAP E-Recruiting.

Innovations for OnDemand

SAP plans to bring the kinds of innovations already realized in SAP Sales OnDemand and SAP Travel OnDemand to SAP ERP HCM. The initial focus will be in next-generation employee performance management and career development.

The SAP on-demand solution for HR will run on the same platform as Sales OnDemand and integrate the same sort of social networking features and collaboration functions. Currently, when employees and their managers set performance goals, they end up emailing presentations and documents back and forth, creating complex workflows.

The on-demand solution for HR will introduce collaboration spaces. Employees will be able to create a collaboration space to present their performance goals, invite people to join, discuss and come to an agreement. You can even track progress in the same space.

By integrating the collaboration space with the rest of career management and analytics, you have an end to end goal management process.

The on-demand solution for HR is currently in development; delivery is planned for early 2012.