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How SAP Fiori Impacts SAP HR Functionality: Q&A with Jeremy Masters on the Roadmap for HR Renewal and SAP SuccessFactors

December 13, 2016

SAP Fiori is an SAP UI5 platform to make the user experience more modern and consumer-grade. What is the user experience roadmap around new HR functionality for HR Renewal and SAP Fiori applications? How does it fit within SAP's overall cloud strategy with SAP SuccessFactors?

HR 2017 speaker Jeremy Masters, Managing Partner at Worklogix, answered questions on SAP Fiori's place in the SAP HR roadmap. The questions covered topics such as on implementing HR Renewal, new Fiori self-service applications, and more, including

  • Without SAP Screen Personas, how can we personalize the SuccessFactors screen as per user requirements? And how can we customize the SF UI?
  • Is SAP is going to release any apps for HR professionals like HR Renewal (HR Professional Role)?
  • Can (and should) customers implement SAP Fiori knowing SAP’s current push to the cloud?
  • Is it possible to display HR Renewal screens on Fiori Launchpad?

Read the edited transcript below. 

Meet the panelist: 

Jeremy MastersJeremy Masters, Worklogix
Jeremy Masters is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Worklogix, which provides cloud-based and enhanced ERP Human Resources solutions to customers worldwide. For 18 years, he has worked with the latest Talent Management and Self Service functionality within the SAP HCM suite and SuccessFactors, including Performance Management, Enterprise Compensation Management, ESS/MSS, Succession Planning, and E-Recruiting. He regularly presents at SAPinsider events and is the co-author of the following SAP PRESS books: Implementing Employee and Manager Self Services in SAP ERP HCM, SAP ERP HCM Performance Management, Enterprise Compensation Management in SAP ERP HCM, E-Recruiting with SAP ERP HCM, SAP ERP HCM Infotypes, and SAP ERP Self-Service: Employee, Manager, and HR Renewal.

Live Blog How SAP Fiori Impacts SAP HR Functionality


SAPinsiderMatt: Hello everyone! Welcome to today’s live Q&A! I am pleased to be joined by Jeremy Masters, Managing Partner at Worklogix. Jeremy will be speaking at HR 2017 in Orlando. For the next hour, Jeremy will be answering your questions on SAP Fiori.Enjoy the chat!

Jeremy Masters: Hi ya, all! It's great to be here. Thanks to SAPInsider for hosting me on this very interesting topic.

Comment From Ron: Currently there are Fiori apps for delivering SAP training in the SAP Learning Hub. Are there plans to develop Fiori apps to deliver customer produced training or to manage customer training catalogs & participation, for example by creating course sessions, booking participants, following participants, etc.?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Ron,

As far as I know, there are no immediate plans for SAP to develop Fiori apps for their on-premise Training and/or LSO screens like creating course sessions or booking participants.

Comment From Terry Tate – Fossil: What is SAP's plan for deploying more HCM apps, particularly for personal information updates such as address changes, bank changes, communication type updates, etc.?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Terry. In fact , YES, SAP does plan to deploy a full set of SAP Fiori apps for HCM including address, bank, etc. Many of the Web Dynpro for ABAP "BizCard" style applications are being converted to SAP Fiori as we speak. The exact availability is TBD. We will know at SAPPHIRENOW.

Comment From Maria: SuccessFactors continues to adopt the SAP design principles known as “Fiori”. I would like to know if in the future the customers will be obliged to move to the UI version. Thanks!

Jeremy Masters: Hi Maria, good question. I don't think SAP will obligate you to move anywhere. As long as you are paying for maintenance, SAP is glad to have you :) However, as far as screen/UI refreshes go, you won't see any updates to older technologies. Everything - from SAP HCM on premise as well as the SAP SuccessFactors side - is becoming refreshed to the SAP Fiori look-and-feel.

Comment From Vinoth Kumar M: Hi Jeremy. I have gone through your previous blog "HR Renewal and SAP Fiori: What Should I Do?" There, you talked about HR Renewal having more functionality, like Personnel Administration and Organizational Management, etc. Is there any possibility of getting all these functionalities in one version ofFiori in future?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Vinoth,

I doubt that SAP will spend the time/energy porting over the PA and OM capabilities in HR Renewal to Fiori. The immediate focus for SAP will be on Fiori-based ESS transactions (e.g. address, name, etc.) as mentioned before, well as improving the existing applications (e.g. leave request). SAP would not re-do any of their HR Renewal PA and OM technologies for Fiori. That's unofficial but a pretty good bet considering their focus on cloud for core.

Comment From Kamal: Hi, is it possible to display HR Renewal screens on Fiori Launchpad?

Jeremy Masters: Yes, you can create a tile that calls HR Renewal screen(s). This will involve configuration within the LPD_CUST as well as your Fiori Launchpad Designer.

Comment From Tinyiko: What are the disadvantages of customizing SAP Fiori standard apps to fit the business needs/functionalities that the standard apps don’t comes with?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Tinyiko. The disadvantages are like those of other developments with the SAP system – if you enhance a Fiori application, this becomes your own codeline. SAP can support you only to a certain point. (No different than other technologies from SAP)

Comment From Venkat: Do you see SAP offering Benefit Enrollment / Changes in Fiori?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Venkat. The focus of SAP is first revamping the existing apps (for delivery on a newer NW-Stack to get accessibility improvements), then the Personal Information ones (address, bank, etc.). Benefits and Recruiting are both being considered, but we will need to wait to hear from SAP Product Management when/if they will be built out. Remember, Benefits was the last to port over to the Web Dynpro ABAP in EhP 6 so maybe it will be awhile. Not sure.

Comment From Scott: Will HR Renewal replace Processes and Forms?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Scott,

HR Renewal has not replaced Processes and Forms, but rather is an enabler (i.e., platform) for HCM P&F. Within the HR Renewal functionality, a user can launch both HR forms (FPM) or Roadmap forms. These forms are still only available in the older Web Dynpro ABAP technology and NOT in HTML5/Fiori.

Comment From Pradyp: Is there any possibility of SAP Screen Personas getting put into Successfactors? If yes, then how soon can we get that? Jeremy Masters: Hi Pradyp,

I don't think SAP Screen personas will have a place in SuccessFactors.

Comment From Gregor Brandstätter: Hi! Is it correct that Fiori Launchpad will replace the HR Renewal Landing Page? Additional question: What do you think about using Fiori in the cloud instead of on-premise? Thanks.

Jeremy Masters: Hi Gregor. Yes, the long-term plan from SAP is that the HR Renewal Landing page will become a Fiori Overview Page. Not sure when this will be a reality, but I have confirmed this with SAP Product Management.

Regarding Fiori on the cloud versus on premise, it depends on the need... (that one we could have a nice coffee over).

Comment From Hayerk: Hi, can the HR Renewal functionality be launched from Fiori Launchpad?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Hayerk. Yes, as mentioned above, this can happen if both components are installed.

Comment From Cyndi Garza: Hi Jeremy! I understand you must use the Gateway in order to use Fiori. Is there a lot of maintenance needed for the Gateway (upgrades and such)? Is HANA Cloud an alternative to the Gateway?

Jeremy Masters: Cyndi! How are you??? Yes, you will need a NetWeaver Gateway to use Fiori (or HR Renewal for that matter).

As far as maintenance, yes, it is like any other system. You should evaluate the needs of a central hub versus embedded hub.

Comment From Cyndi Garza: If there are services that we use, i.e. benefits enrollment, can we use WDA for the desktop and the other apps in Fiori for mobile? How would that work?

Jeremy Masters: Yes, Fiori can be accessed via web browser since it's HTML5 (actually SAPUI5, technically). You would deploy your solutions via SAP Fiori Launchpad, with links to various services. Those links, services, etc. could be accessed either on a desktop or a device. The Web Dynpro screens will not be mobile friendly if you decide to launch via Fiori.

Comment From Can I just use the...: Can I just use the Fiori screens for ESS and MSS and not do anything else with Renewal?

Jeremy Masters: Yes, absolutely, you can use Fiori only for ESS and MSS. The problem is that there aren't a lot of services for ESS (and especially not for MSS). You can view the catalog of HR services here in the SAP Fiori Apps library.

Comment From Gregor Brandstätter: Coffee is always good. Maybe we can meet again at the next Insider - if the budget allows travel ;-)

Jeremy Masters: Sounds like a deal ;)

Comment From Gregor Brandstätter: Hi! How long will SAP support On-Premise - any update?

Jeremy Masters: Right now, standard maintenance is through 2025. This could change (as it did a few years back from 2020 to 2025) depending on how fast SuccessFactors is adopted.

Comment From Mark: We currently use the HRASR Processes and Forms to manage manager-initiated PCRs for HR. Will those be converted to Fiori as well?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Mark. My guess is no, but we shall see.

Comment From Scott: Does SAP hae standard Fiori mobile and web apps for time-off requests?

Jeremy Masters: By default, Fiori is available on a mobile device via a web browser. If you are looking at a Fiori app, yes, you can look at the SAP Fiori Client for iOS, for example: 

Comment From Pradyp: Without SAP Screen Personas, how can we personalize the SuccessFactors screen as per user requirements? And how can we customize the SF UI?

Jeremy Masters: Personalizing SuccessFactors screens depends on the module. With Employee Central, there's quite a bit of flexibility already with the business rule configuration and binding to the UI. If you are using SuccessFactors for Talent Management, screen UI customization will depend on the module being implemented. Some of it can be enhanced, some of it cannot.

Comment From Gregor Brandstätter: Hi! Do you know any 3rd party tool for MSS reporting in HR Renewal/Fiori that has a user experience like the old MDT? The standard MSS reporting lane is not user-friendly in my opinion because the selection process is totally different then in MDT. Thx

Jeremy Masters: Hi Gregor. I know a great company.... :) You can reach out to me separately on this. You are right, though, SAP has never had a great standard product for MSS reporting. It's always been a struggle.

Comment From kriti gupta: We have a SuccesssFactors implementation going on, and in SF quarterly updates, one of the updates is a Fiori UI for the SuccessFactors homepage. How is that better it is than the existing home page of SF?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Kriti, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"... ;)

Comment From Kumar: Is SAP is going to release any apps for HR professionals like HR Renewal (HR Professional Role)?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Kumar. Yes, look for the HR Renewal Synchro Package.

With this "synchro package," SAP has the following new developments for the HR Professional Role:

  • Enhancement of IT2001 configuration
  • New Time Management Infotypes as WDA configuration
  • IT0045: Calculation Buttons and display of repayment plan
  • Entry Help/F4: “Search also for fields with OVS”
  • Time Infotypes also as trigger for DPRs
  • Delete PERNR as WDA-Application

Details should be available shortly for us.

Next things planned for HR Renewal: Currently under discussion, hot candidates (for next synchro package) are Complete Infotypes, especially IT0416, and providing PAO the functions “Copy” and “Lock” as before in PA30.

This comes with the usual disclaimer that this information could be changed at any time by SAP :)

Comment From Gregor Brandstätter: Hi Jeremy. We are currently evaluating SAP on-premise travel management. What is your experience with Fiori vs. the old WD4A solution for travel management? Thx

Jeremy Masters: Hi Gregor. Travel management is not my expertise area. Itmight be a good topic for another SAPInsider Q&A though!

Comment From Venkat: Jeremy, clarifying your prior statement - standard maintenance for on-premise HR/Payroll is only going until 2025 at this point?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Venkat,

This question should be asked to your SAP Account rep. I am sure SAP will support all of their applications for a long, long time -especially payroll since many customers have implemented and decided to keep their payroll in house (even when moving Core HR to the cloud).

Comment From Pradyp: Does SuccessFactors integrate with Concur? If yes, then can you explain how & where?

Jeremy Masters: For that question, please contact my friend and SAP Mentor Sven Ringling. His team is an expert in that area:

Comment From Margaret: I’m not sure if I am off-base with this question, but thought I would ask anyway. We want to have one mobile app for employees to get at all their HR functionality on a mobile device. How do the SAP Fiori app and the SuccessFactors (SF) app interact with one another? Can the functionality from the SF app be integrated into the SAP Fiori app?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Margaret. Great question - not off-base at all. One native mobile app for SuccessFactors and on premise is not possible currently. SuccessFactors has its own mobile app that hooks into SuccessFactors. There is the opportunity to use a browser based Fiori app to access on-premise applications and then link to the SuccessFactors app, but right now I don't believe there is much you can do here.

Comment From Steve: Hi Jeremy. In your opinion, do you think SF Employee Central is an 'enterprise-ready' solution for large corporations in its current state?

Jeremy Masters: Steve! Boy that's a loaded question. :) I am going to plead the fifth.

Comment From Daniel: How does the future of HR Renewal functionality compare with SAP Fiori HR functionalities?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Daniel,

Investments are going into both products. With HR Renewal , more investments are going into functionality for HR. For Fiori, more investments are going into ESS and MSS applications.

Comment From Steve: What is the recommended approach for delivering benefits enrollment via a Fiori application?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Steve, I already mentioned this above. Not sure when/if SAP will come out with US Benefits on Fiori. We will have to wait and see.

Comment From kriti gupta: I agree, but Fiori-based UI on SF seems to be more complex than the existing home page! What is the value add?

Jeremy Masters: The value add is a consistent user experience across both on-premise and cloud applications. In theory, the user shouldn't care if something is on premise or in the cloud, as long as it's easy to use.

Comment From Mauricio: Several customers ask us: How much will a Fiori implementation conflict in certain ways with my SuccessFactors processes?

Jeremy Masters: Hi Mauricio, could you explain more when you say "conflict"? There shouldn't be any conflicts per se... Do you mean from a roadmap perspective?

Comment From Mauricio: Yes, a roadmap perspective.

Jeremy Masters: Some say it's conflicting, others claim it's a good choice for customers to be able to stay partially or fully on premise... Depends who is at the table and their agenda :)

Comment From Naheel: Hi, We implemented SAP Fiori in our organization last year and to date we are running standard applications, e.g Travel, Leave Approval, Pay Inquiry, etc. I just want to know what new apps SAP has provided this year and if we can implement them in our organization.

Jeremy Masters: Hi Naheel. From SAP Product management, I know they are going to re-vamp 8 of their existing ESS apps on a newer NW stack. They will then tackle the standard ESS apps that have been forgotten (address, bank, etc). There are also 2 Analytical apps for managers that are being built out.

Comment From Will there be a wa...: Will there be a way to configure different relationships for managers in the Fiori apps? Our organization doesn't use the manager relationship but uses the supervisor relationship. That limits what we can currently do with MSS. Being able to configure a different relationship for MSS would be helpful.

Jeremy Masters: No, I am afraid SAP really wants us to continue using Chief (A012) relationship. The S to S is supported in that you can enhance your solution to account for your organization's reporting relationship setup.

Comment From kriti gupta: We do not have Employee Central, but we have implemented all other SF modules and we have on-premise OM and PA modules. What are the possible implications going forward? Do we have to move to EC?

Jeremy Masters: No, you do not have to move to Employee Central. This is a choice for customers to make. More innovation will occur in Employee Central from an SAP development/investment perspective, but the choice is yours as a customer.

Comment From Nandor: Hi Jeremy. My question is: What do you think about the future of "classic" on-premise HR and SuccessFactors HR Fiori basically provides a solution for the main disadvantage of the classic R/3: The user interface. If we are talking about an integrated ERP system, a cloud solution is still not good option (imagine a business process which starts in HR, then goes to CO, then MM, then HR back again). But there was no new Fiori app released for HR in this year, and I don't see any plan to release an HR Fiori app in the future (correct me if I'm wrong).

Jeremy Masters: Hi Nandor. Yes, there are plans to release new Fiori apps (I mentioned them above). Your first question is a big one and one that deserves a sit down with a beverage.

Comment From Al Ling: Hi Jeremy - We are currently very interested in some of the Fiori-based HR apps offered through the HR Renewal packages, and we most definitely want to transition to this UX as soon as is feasibly possible for us. Can you provide a high-level roadmap of the steps needed to do this? Are there any "gotchas" that we need to be made aware of? FWIW, we are currently on NW 7.4 and ECC 6.0 EhP7

Jeremy Masters: Hi Al,

All very good questions. Some of my favorite SAP Fiori sites are:

Also, if you are going to HR 2017 (SAPinsider's annual conference), you can come to my jumpstart on Fiori:

Comment From David Stratton: We are a SuccessFactors customer currently using a custom theme. We're always worried about browser compatibility, as some of our non-SAP systems don't deliver very well in that area. What we're wondering specifically is, from a future support standpoint, are we better off adopting the Fiori theme, given that it seems that all of SAP's UI focus is on Fiori? In other words, will Fiori be a safer bet for future cross-browser compatibility than maintaining our own custom theme?

Jeremy Masters: Hi David. Yes, from what I can see, SAP is all in on SAP Fiori. Both their on-premise system and cloud (SuccessFactors) is becoming revamped with the Fiori theming. It's a good bet this is not a fleeting technology or a temporary stopping point like Web Dynpro for ABAP was.

Thanks for attending this Q&A, and I hope to see you all at HR2017 in March. Please visit my website for some interesting blogs.

Thanks to Matt and the rest of the folks at SAPinsider for a fabulous Q&A as always. See you all real soon, I hope!

SAPinsiderMatt: Thank you Jeremy for contributing all your insightful answers, and a big thanks to everyone who posted questions! Jeremy will be speaking at HR 2017. Check out all his sessions here.

You can review the Q&A chat replay at any time, and I will alert by email you when the transcript of today’s discussion is posted.

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