SAP HCM Review

Some capabilities are self-service for the employees which cuts down on administrative time

What is our primary use case?

I'm an SAP consultant and I have companies in Egypt and France that do SAP consultancy. We are specialists in SAP activities, SAP implementation, network building for HCM finance controlling, warehouse management, SAP retail plus migration of projects, BI, and strategic management. We have all these capabilities in our company and use them to help clients make the most of their SAP HCM implementations.  

Human Capital Management is a powerful tool for organization management. It helps to define the organizational structure and support the company. It helps with the administration of things like maintaining employee information, tracking education and learning, administering insurance and healthcare, and all other facets of human resources. It helps monitor a lot of things that would otherwise take a lot of time and effort to make them not just easier, but automated.  

One of the most powerful tools in SAP is its integration with finance and other modules. Some of the capabilities are self-service for the employees which cut down on administrative time. For example, scheduling vacation leaves is done by the employee directly and the notification process and approval are all automated.  

The most interesting change to SAP is that it is now all available on the cloud. Before it was only on-premises. Cloud offers a lot more opportunity as well as potential cost reduction.  

My partners in the company were already leading HR consultants in the market in the Middle East when we formed our company. They were working with HCM locally in the Gulf and the Middle East. Our company has around six to seven permanently employed HR consultants. We sometimes use freelancers depending on the volume of our work and commitments.  

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features have to do with finance and payroll. Some organizations — like banking, insurance, and the government — are regulated and can not or do not want to host their critical financial data and employee data on the cloud. What we are doing right now for clients of this sort is we split the implementation to their advantage. We put financial and personal information management on-premises and the other information which is not critical — like learning, performance and setting goals — goes on cloud and we integrate those solutions. We use the cloud when data is not critical for security purposes and when it is not confidential. This can save the client money.  

What needs improvement?

This product has a lot of features that are much improved and more advanced than other solutions. In our area of the Gulf region and the Middle East, a lot of organizations depend on it because it meets with regulation compliance and security concerns. So government and banking depend on the SAP HCM solution for administration on-premises.  

SAP had developed new screens for the latest release of SAP HANA for HR on the cloud. They are doing the most innovation for HR on the cloud. So, there are some screens right now for both on-premises and cloud but the company is focused mostly on cloud development. A lot of the clients who deal with regulations must currently stay with on-premises solutions for critical data. SAP needs to continue trying from time-to-time to develop and release some new screens and new tools for HR on-premise that facilitate the working and interaction with the interface. They should do this in parallel with the cloud. Instead, they are leaving the on-premises customers behind.  

For the next release of HCM, I would like to see more interactive screens and parallel development for on-prem and cloud. SAP now does the most innovation for the cloud solution and less innovation for the on-premises client. In our experience and with our clients almost all customers depend on the on-premises solution for sensitive data — either by choice or regulation. It would be nice to see a mobile interface as well.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution collectively since before we opened our HR company in 2015. One of my partners started working in HR in 2003 and the other one started in 2006. We are all experienced in SAP HCM.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never had any issues with the stability. We have no complaints as users and I have never heard any complaints from my customers.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems to me that it should be obvious that this product is very scalable just because it is made by SAP.  

How are customer service and technical support?

It is easy to contact technical support and get help. Within the license model, you are paying 22% of your license fees per year to SAP for their support. There is a marketplace for SAP that you will have access to. You will go to that marketplace with any issue to open your tickets. You can set the severity and urgency of the issue by selecting it on the form. Then you submit the ticket to SAP and according to the severity, SAP will contact you and try to solve the issue with you.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not just the installation. It is also the business process configuration. This is what will take more time. An expert is required to set up many things properly. Someone who expert in HR and knows the business of HR and the business processes, but also has to know the region. If the person doing the configuration knows the laws and how to perfect configuration for the user group, it will be easy for him and better for the company after implementation. But if the person doing the configuration is not an expert, does not know the laws and how the HR process works, it will be difficult for him, it will take longer, and the customer will not be happy with the results.  

To deploy HCM, getting the setup right depends on the organization and attention to detail. If it is an organization with 500 employees and the solution will be used for payroll, personal administration and organization management, it could take something like four months to install this and configure it properly. This is if the guys doing the installation are experts in HR and the configuration of SAP.  

What about the implementation team?

We are the people who do the implementation and consultation and that is because we have worked a long time in the field and have become experts. Almost every customer who is coming to this product without knowing it well and what the capabilities are needs to seek the help of an integrator or consultant.  

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

The cost may differ from region to region, but here in the Middle East, you pay per license. There not any costs in addition to the standard licensing fees. 

SAP HCM is on-prem. SAP has another solution which is called SuccessFactors. It is on the cloud and by subscription only. So SAP has two solutions, the one on cloud is SuccessFactors and HCM on-prem. SAP is pushing for clients to go to SuccessFactors right now. The cloud solution may save some people money.  

What other advice do I have?

At this time in the competitive business world, HCM is a very important module that each organization should want to use. It will help any organization to calculate and control the cost of their human resources. Human capital management allows control of when you want employees to work when you don't want them to work and keeps you aware of when they will be on leave so that their responsibilities will be covered by someone else. Businesses have to plan for things like this. A lot of things affect human capital and that can affect the course of an organization.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate HCM around nine out of ten. It is not a ten because of the issues with the interface development.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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