HR2016 @ Vienna - Key takeaways

07 July 2016

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A wrap up of the most valuable insights of HR2016

A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend the HR2016 conference in Vienna. Even though I’ve already attended this event a couple of times, this time was rather special since it was the first time I had the opportunity to present a topic!

Growing focus on SFSF

When looking at the distribution of the sessions per topic, we see that SuccessFactors accounts for almost half of the sessions.

It was surprising to see that there were still quite a lot of sessions (+/- 30%) on good old SAP on prem: how to configure PPOME, authorizations, time and payroll schema’s, Fiori and HR Renewal.

On the SuccessFactors side, the most important topics were (not surprisingly): Employee Central, Integration and Reporting.

This reflects what we also see at our customers. A lot of companies are thinking about moving their core HR into the cloud. This generates a lot of challenges and questions that HR2016 aimed at responding:

o Does Employee Central has enough flexibility to manage my Core HR processes?

o How do I integrate this with my other systems?

o What do I do with my Time and Payroll?

o How do I perform reporting across systems?

Key insights

We got some useful information on real life EC implementations (e.g. Bentley Systems), giving insights on the do’s and don’ts:

  1. Importance of change management: implementing a cloud solution is not an IT project, it is a business project. It’s essential to identify all stakeholders and manage them properly along the way.
  2. Start with the integration aspects as early as possible in the project as it might influence your process and configuration decisions.
  3. Be clear on the scope of the implementation: which data, which processes.

Related to the time management issue, there was a very interesting session by Sven Ringling which also provided some valuable insights:

  1. The time management solution is included in Employee Central and aims at covering 80% of the common scenarios.
  2. The pace of innovation is very high, a lot of new functionalities are added with every release.


  1. It does not replace good old RPTIME, CATS, shift planning – yet (!) - so don’t get your hopes up too high.
  2. If you have a complex time management, EC time management is not an option yet and you should think of other solutions like Workforce Software and Kronos. Another alternative (like we are doing right now at one of our customers) is to integrate EC with an on-premise SAP system that will perform all the time and payroll “heavy lifting”.

A few questions remain unanswered for now…

For Payroll: Even though SAP offers a ‘cloud payroll’ solution for some countries. For Belgium there is no solution available (yet) and it remains unclear when it will be. So for Belgian customers wanting to move their entire core HR to the cloud, this is a blocker. You either have to integrate with a local payroll provider, or still have an SAP environment to perform the payroll calculations. Not an easy decision to take…

Cross-system reporting: the ‘cloud payroll’ model means that the data is stored in multiple systems. Imagine having Employee Central, cloud payroll and either Kronos or Workforce Software for time management. This means that your data is scattered across 3 different systems. Not easy to create consolidated reports that cover all 3 areas. Even though a lot of sessions were given on the reporting capabilities of each individual solution (SAP: ABAP reports, Ad Hoc Query,…; SF: Ad Hoc, BIRT, ORD, …). And although there are plans to revamp the SF reporting solution by mid next year (creation of ‘The Reporting Center’: one tool to rule them all), today we don’t see a clear and out of the box solution for customers to having both an SAP on prem (or SAP cloud payroll) and SF. A hint was given on a slide in the session by Kim Fischer: ‘Load it into Hana or use a Business Warehouse’.

Some final thoughts…

HR2016 was a great event to get up-to-date with the latest changes and catch-up with customers and colleagues! Being able to host a session was a real added value to me and I will definitely do it again next year!

If you have questions or require clarifications on one of the topics mentioned above, do not hesitate to contact us!

Author: Tom Rottiers, HR Technology director

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