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Secure HR Document Management — Hybrid, Cloud, or On Premise

by Angela Morrow and Hedi Yousef | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 3

July 1, 2014

An increase in content is an offshoot of how organizations are engaging with talent. Examples include targeted communications and robust workforce portals. Because content hasn’t become automated along with HR technology, an opportunity arises to devise a content management strategy to seek operational efficiency, compliance, and cost reduction. In this article, discover how to develop an effective content management strategy.


As employees bring consumer expectations into the workforce, the way organizations engage with talent is driving exponential growth of content. This content can span from the creation of targeted communication to employees, to content for workforce portals, to compelling employee branding assets for talent sourcing and acquisition strategies. HR technology has become automated, but content hasn’t. This opens up an opportunity for operational efficiency, compliance, and cost reduction. HR teams should embark on a content management initiative that encompasses:

  • Creation of employee communication and documents
  • Records management for worker-related documents
  • Policy management
  • Case management
  • Secure file sharing with business partners

These activities impact key business processes, such as managing employee information in both centralized and decentralized service models, employee engagement initiatives, and talent sourcing and acquisition strategies. When HR embarks on an enterprise content management journey, documents are generally phase one of the initiative. As technology landscape strategies shift, a wide variety of HR forms, documents, and systems emerge for managing workforce records, making it difficult to keep track of all this information. The process becomes even more complicated when HR documents must be sent from one location to another — a time-consuming, error-prone process that inhibits regulatory compliance. OpenText and SAP have worked together to help HR organizations address these challenges with solutions in a variety of landscapes: on premise, hybrid, and in the cloud. Let’s take a closer look at these options.

Scenario 1: On-Premise HR Document Management

Managing HR documents on premise is the traditional method, and one used by companies that have not yet committed resources to the cloud. With the SAP Employee File Management application by OpenText, organizations working strictly on premise can create a complete digital record of all HR documents and organize them for instant accessibility and searching. The application enables HR staff to access electronic documents related to employees, retirees, contractors, and job applicants — as well as master data from SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) — from digital files.

SAP Employee File Management centralizes and displays your HR master data and statements, as well as all original worker-related paper documents, in a clearly organized folder structure in SAP ERP HCM. Because the application helps identify specific documents or document types, HR departments can use this information to verify that certain records are available and up to date in every employee file, thus avoiding costly fines and discovery costs. This enables HR staff to process tasks more quickly and with fewer errors, so they can focus on activities that add more strategic value to the organization.

Scenario 2: HR Document Management for Hybrid Landscapes

Using cloud solutions can bring great benefits, such as reduced administrative and maintenance costs. This is why many organizations turn to a hybrid model: They can add new solutions at less expense, but don’t have to rip out their on-premise applications to do so. However, ensuring compliance becomes more difficult when dealing with multi-faceted landscapes that incorporate cloud and on-premise solutions.

Because compliance needs for documents created in the cloud are the same for those rendered on premise, it is critical to maintain a single version of the truth so distributed HR environments don’t end up with employee documents in disparate locations. To help users avoid this fate, OpenText provides a host of on-premise and cloud solutions that can work together in a hybrid model (see Figure 1). OpenText HR document management solutions provide flexible cloud connectors and integration to convert forms from various cloud-based processes so you can more easily store your cloud documents within the central content repository.

HR document management solutions by OpenText

Figure 1 — HR document management solutions by OpenText help HR departments quickly and easily access the information they need, when they need it, from one central location

To help further reduce the complexity of hybrid landscapes, customers will soon be able to integrate the SAP Extended Enterprise Content Management (SAP Extended ECM) application by OpenText with SuccessFactors Employee Central and Talent Management applications (see Figure 2).1 Blueprints will be available as an implementation accelerator, providing best practices for configuration, documentation, and transports.

Integrating SAP Extended ECM with SuccessFactors Employee Central

Figure 2 — Integrating SAP Extended ECM with SuccessFactors Employee Central will allow SAP customers to reduce the complexity of their landscapes


For core HR, learning, performance management, recruiting, or compensation processes, SAP Extended ECM can keep document management fluid, optimized, and efficient. One single, transparent view allows HR teams to fully leverage the benefits of the tamper-proof central repository to fulfill legal requirements regarding retention periods, records management, and data privacy.

Scenario 3: Records Management and Secure File Sharing in the Cloud

Many companies are looking to host all of their HR solutions in the cloud but are still questioning how this aligns with data sovereignty and data privacy regulations. Leveraging a rich heritage of records management expertise, OpenText helps clients navigate these regulations.

To learn more about how you can take control of your HR document management, whether on premise, in a hybrid landscape, or in the cloud, reach out to your OpenText account representative or visit


1 This capability is expected to be available in Q4 of 2014. [back]

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Angela Morrow
Angela Morrow

HR Center of Excellence
SAP Solutions Group

Hedi Yousef
Hedi Yousef

Product Manager

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