SAP HCM Review

Good exception messages, reporting capability, and integration, but the interface needs to be modernized


What is our primary use case?

We have an on-premises deployment.

How has it helped my organization?

The level of exception reporting has improved the process by helping to avoid errors. You can see where there is a lack of knowledge of the system because people are not updating the data correctly.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature, in my view, is the level of exceptions or error messages that come back when something goes wrong. 

One of the valuable features is that it is integrated with a finance system, with journal and ledger integration. When you process, for example, payroll or costing then it can be posted directed into the finance system.

There are lots of good features, including the reporting, as long as you know what to look for.

What needs improvement?

The interface is data-based and outdated, without many features, so it could be modernized.

This solution is sufficiently complex that many end-users do not know how to operate it.

It takes a long time to apply an update patch to the system. It is a headache for any functional users because it requires a lot of IT involvement. This is unlike other solutions where either I can do it, or for cloud-based deployments, the vendor can do it online. With the time required for patching and testing, the internal IT teams sometimes try to avoid it and then perform patching only once or twice a year. In the meantime, the business is doing things manually. 

I recall that SAP was not that flexible when it came to creating the interface, or new tables,  because there were limitations when we were developing one of the new pension schemes. I remember that they were struggling to get things done. Also, when you do this, the internal business has to manually connect and configure whatever they've developed.

This is a very costly solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were a lot of defects that I had to deal with because patches were coming out on a regular basis and it required a lot of time.

I was heavily involved in UAT and there were lots of configuration issues. There were development requests and I had to deal with the developers directly, which was a bit of a headache.

How are customer service and technical support?

When I dealt with SAP directly, they were a little bit resistant to accepting the client's request for development. They said that it was due to lack of resources. The market share was small, so they didn't want to waste a lot of time.

Eventually, after pushing them in the right directions, technical support was good and created what I needed. In general, it's not the system that fails, it's the people who are using the system.

In the end, technical support does what needs to be done.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

I have used other solutions including Resourcelink and Agresso, and the differences between them depend on what the clients are looking for. For example, I have dealt with clients who are moving from SAP to Itron, and other clients moving from Itron to SAP.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

SAP costs a lot of money. In my view, this product is a waste of money for SMB because there are much better products available and licensing is an issue.

I don't know how they come up with this pricing, but it is ridiculous. For example, if you want to have self-service for employees and managers then you need to pay for additional licenses.

What other advice do I have?

The performance is based on the user's knowledge of the system. It has to do with making sure that all of the features are enabled and all of the patches are there. There were quite a few defects that were patched by the IT team, and it was a lengthy process.

This solution is for an enterprise-level business, and I would never recommend SAP for SMB. SAP ByDesign, which is a different product, is better for small business.

Suitability of this system depends on a lot of variables. You would have to ask about ten thousand questions to consider the entire system and what is required. It comes down to whether the system is capable of adapting to the latest changes with legislation to do various things.

Also, it depends on how many skilled employees you need to have. There are business analysists, for example, and others who spend hours, and years, learning the system and understanding all of the settings and permissions. There are profiles, wage types, and info types, that decide who can access work and workflows, batches, and stuff like this. It's like driving a ship, where there are lot of things to do and lots of details. On top of this, you will need a development person who can do some coding. It all depends, really, on what the business is trying to achieve. It is for these reasons that I say it is not for the small business. If they can afford it then fair enough, but it will cost them a lot, and it is not cost-effective.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this solution is that you can trust no one. You can't trust the business, and you can't trust the people who support the system. I had to read a lot to prove that the system is capable of delivering certain functionality. People were objecting to this because they didn't want to get involved themselves.

This is a huge product and you have to always be up to date. It requires a lot of time in learning the system and doing the testing of new developments.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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