The SAPinsider HR 2014 conference got underway today with the pre-conference workshops that provided a great overview for attendees and pointed them to more sessions throughout the week.
The morning workshop was entitled “The 2014 Guide to SAP ERP HCM: Functionality, updates, and future roadmap” and lived up to the billing. Presenters Parvathy Sankar and Ralf Wagner of SAP highlighted some of the latest features and enhancements available in Enhancement Pack 7 of HR Renewal, the new user experience for core SAP ERP HCM on-premise. Much of their presentation focused on user interface enhancements, with Sankar providing a demo of the latest features of the HR Renewal interface before the session moved onto a look at how SAP Fiori can be leveraged for HR users.
“Fiori’s goal is to become a consumer-grade UI for both desktop and mobile,” she said, reviewing some of the of drivers that could bring HR organizations to use Fiori. Currently, there are eight different Fiori apps for SAP ERP HCM, with more on the way. A short demo of Fiori also brought a flurry of questions from the roomful of attendees.
Wagner then touched on the current status of SAP HANA’s use in HR, saying most of the work has been around building the technical foundation, which is now complete. He also teased a session later in the week called “What can SAP HANA do for my HR organization?” that will demo SAP Payroll on HANA.
While the session also highlighted some of the on-premise/cloud integration in HR Renewal, Wagner emphasized that SAP ERP HCM will be supported through 2020, a question that always comes up in the cloud vs. on-premise discussion. He also reminded attendees that using EHP 7 isn’t an “all or nothing” proposition. Customers are not forced to use all the feature packs included in the enhancement pack – they can pick and choose the functionality they want.
If you’re here in Orlando, there are a few new areas of the conference you’ll want to check out. For starters, tomorrow we’ll have a “hybrid” keynote with both Shawn Price, President of SAP Global Cloud and Line of Business, and David Ludlow, Group Vice President of SAP HCM Solutions taking the stage together.
On your way to the exhibit hall you’ll see some new things as well. First, there is the SAPinsider Insight Hub which will feature group discussions and “meetups” on specific topics of interest to the HR audience.
And across the way, you’ll see the new SAPinsider Studio, where we’ll be recording interviews and panel discussions which we’ll post here on SAPinsider Online later this month. There’s also the new SAPinsider Store, where you can pick up all those useful SAP books you’re accustomed to seeing at an SAPinsider conference.
And for those folks looking to make face-to-face contacts, there’s the Ask the Experts sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a Speed Networking session on Wednesday morning as well.