As HR organizations shift their focus from purely administrative
tasks toward a more strategic role as a business partner — and
even as a profit center — within the enterprise, the delivery of
HR services must, by necessity, change as well. To help demonstrate their
added value to the bottom line, HR teams are finding they must achieve
greater efficiency and effectiveness with a broader, more wide-reaching
approach to service delivery.
Consider the traditional approach
to HR tasks, characterized by minimal use of self-services and little
process automation, bogging down HR departments in paper-based processes,
data entry, and reporting. Now, resources previously allotted to HR
are being reallocated to support more strategic initiatives, and HR
organizations are looking to more effectively transfer tasks directly
to the responsible data owners — employees,
managers, and professionals both within and outside of HR — and to automate
processes to ensure that HR expertise can be applied most strategically.
Are Your Services Changing to Match Your HR Strategy?
To move from simply achieving data and process consistency to a more
strategic focus on user productivity
and process optimization depends on offering the right services to various stakeholders.
Costs and headcount for administrative tasks must shift toward strategic initiatives,
employees must be more accountable for their own data, and processes must be
further automated to reduce HR intervention
wherever possible. Only the right
HCM Service Delivery strategy fuels these HR objectives.
For instance, self-services for managers and employees must be offered
across a range of delivery channels, depending on their workforce and
industry. A casual user needs completely different guidance through a
transaction than a professional user.
Process optimization also requires the right service delivery channel:
kiosks for self-service access for factory workers, mobile devices for
easy approval or data entry steps for traveling users, or interaction
center technology as the preferred channel
for HR professionals in a call center environment (or "shared services
center") devoted to HR inquiries.
The size of your company and the industry sector also play a part;
seeing dramatic increases in the use
of self-service applications for both managers and employees, and SAP customers
in the Service sector tend to count on HR call centers (or shared services
centers) while Retail, Manufacturing, and Consumer Products industries
go with kiosks rather than portal-based self-services.
Customers of SAP's ERP and HCM offerings have already gone a
long way toward more effectively collecting and managing HR data and
streamlining processes. HCM Service Delivery currently delivers adaptable,
seamless, end-to-end processes, services, and content to different stakeholders
through various delivery channels as part of mySAP ERP HCM. But to show
continued efficiencies, HR organizations must constantly strive for increasing
process automation and expanding delivery of services. Achieving this
kind of transformation means looking for further innovations in delivery
channels (including workflows, online forms, and shared services centers,
as shown in Figure 1) and
continuing to rely less on HR professionals for administrative tasks.
|The Changing Vision of Service Delivery for HR Organizations
No matter where your organization falls in the progression shown in
Figure 1, the overarching goal is to automate processes wherever possible,
bring process steps to the end user, and free HR professionals to lend
their expertise to exceptional situations and strategic, value-added
tasks such as talent management, enterprise learning, and enterprise
compensation management. This article provides an overview of SAP HCM
Service Delivery and discusses the vision of HCM Service Delivery for
the future, to achieve this transformation in your own organization.
How SAP HCM Service Delivery Supports This Transformation
HCM Service Delivery supports three major objectives of the HR department:
cost control, focus on strategic initiatives, and measuring the impact
of HR on the bottom line. Along with services such as leave requests
and address changes, it provides business process content and information
to a wide user base, everyone from employees within the organization
to applicants, new hires, retirees, and contracted workforce. HCM Service
Delivery encompasses: Manager and Employee Self-Services, Interaction
Center, mobile and voice services, expert user functionality (exception
handling, analytics, and decision support), and self-service-like applications
(see sidebar below).
So what can SAP customers expect to see in the future of services that
enhance the shift to a forward-looking HCM focus?
4 Future Trends and SAP's Vision for HCM Service
To address this new set of business expectations for HR, look for HCM
Service Delivery offerings that further streamline business processes
as supported by online workflows, expanded and more flexible self-services,
and enhanced support for
HR call centers.
Expanding self-services deployment and process automation based on
the new service delivery technology will mean less HR involvement in
purely administrative tasks. Instead of HR being the main owner of employee
data, processes will move outside of HR and also become increasingly
automated. As a result, HR teams will be free to focus primarily on exceptions,
and all straightforward cases will need less and less direct HR involvement.
SAP is constantly working on adding to and enhancing its self-services
offerings and roles. Companies can adapt to other service delivery trends
whenever they are ready, without
losing previously realized benefits. These trends include:
Increased Use of Online Forms and Workflows
Look for manual data entry in cross-company
processes and paper forms to vanish, with
process steps that can be completely automated
through workflow and online forms.
For example, a traditional request
for pay grade changes is done by paper form or mail and then manually
entered into the system by HR. With an easy-to-understand online form
for use by managers across your company, manual data entry by an HR professional
is no longer needed, and SAP customers can look forward to greater usability
with these forms in the future.
Expanded Roles for Self-Services
The use of self-services will largely increase, not only for typical
manager and employee functions, but also for HR and non-HR professionals
in tasks they do not perform regularly.
For these less familiar processes, users need a different kind of self-service-like
application to easily navigate through each step. For example, in some
industries, garnishing of wages is fairly infrequent, so in the future,
SAP customers will look to a self-explanatory user interface to guide
their HR professionals through the transaction. Unlike a typical self-service,
the number of steps and the time needed to perform an unfamiliar process
is less important than offering clear instruction.
even further, garnishment information could come directly from a manager
or other authority into the HR system through Web services, without any
further human interaction at all. In the future, SAP will use SAP NetWeaver
technology to exchange data in this way.
Exception-Based Handling of
Consider a bonus request. Currently, managers can handle a good portion
of this process through SAP Manager Self-Services. But suppose a company
allows a manager to pay a special bonus for his or her employees of a
maximum of $3,000 per year; any bonus above that threshold needs HR approval.
In most cases managers stay below this limit, so HR only gets involved
in exceptional cases.
In this example, all rules (i.e., the $3,000 threshold) are defined
by the company. However, there may be cases
in a process or workflow that require individual rules for a particular
step. For example, some managers may not want to approve any leave requests
of three days or fewer, allowing such requests to instead go directly
to the system. If the request is for more than three days, then the manager
wants to approve it before it is booked in the system. You will want
HCM processes, workflows, and services to support this kind of customization.
So in addition to having a process framework for company-wide rules,
we also foresee the need to personalize rules within these company-wide
standards; SAP is developing this for various HCM processes now.
More Extensive Reliance on Shared Services
Expanding processes further outside
of HR brings up concerns for some
when it comes to data monitoring
and data integrity. Process automation and exception handling could make
it difficult to track who entered
which data and for what reason— information that, to conform
to compliance requirements, must be
transparent for HR and auditors.
However, this is where shared services centers can help. Process automation
and exception handling largely increase the benefits of shared services
centers, especially where employees, such as managers, are not able or
willing to use any of the offered delivery channels.
SAP currently offers call center options for SAP's HCM customers,
and in future releases, this will be included as part of the standard
mySAP ERP HCM component. Such a flexible process framework eases the
definition of metrics, so it becomes very easy for HR to document the
contribution to the bottom line. A wide offering of delivery channels
for employees and managers, automated process steps, and HR intervention
only in exceptional cases reduces the need for manual work of HR administrators.
As a result, shared services centers can work very effectively on difficult
and exceptional cases only.
A Sampling of Service Offerings from HCM Service Delivery
Services for Employees
SAP has designed more than 80 self-services for employees, including:
- Leave Request
- Travel Expense Report
- Benefits Enrollment
- Payslip (see Figure 2)
- Skills Profile
|SAP Employee Self-Services
Services for Managers
SAP offers more than 30 self-services for managers, including:
- Performance Reviews
- Personnel Change Request (see Figure 3)
- Team Calendar
|SAP Manager Self-Services
Employee Interaction Center
For "one-stop" HR information for employees, SAP supports HR call centers (or shared services centers). This is scheduled to be included as part of future mySAP ERP offerings. Employee Interaction Center offerings currently include:
- Contact Management
- Case Management (see Figure 4)
- Alerts and Scripting
|SAP Employee Interaction Center
Services for users on the road include:
- Mobile Time Management
- Mobile Travel Expenses
By making the most of service
delivery options now and in the
future, HR can really focus on value-added, strategic tasks like talent
management, enterprise learning, and enterprise compensation management
to drive employee efficiency and user productivity. Administrative
tasks can be automated, costs per transaction reduced, and errors eliminated.
For more on current service delivery offerings from mySAP ERP HCM,
Bareis is a Director of Solution Management
for mySAP ERP Human Capital Management
at SAP AG. Since joining the company in
1991, he has been dedicated to the subject
of Human Capital Management and has held
various international positions in development
and product management. Frank holds a master's
degree in Computer Science from the University
of Passau, Germany. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.