Successfactors May 2016 Release – Simplified

This release, strengthens the mobility and user experiences, with other tweaks to ensure SuccessFactors continues to provide the best support to HR and payroll professionals based on past experience and expectations. As a SuccessFactors consultant at KALTech, I personally experienced print issues and other consulting challenges. I’m pleased to announce that this release has addressed many of those shortcomings and improved functionality. After a system upgrade, every customer can leverage the innovations and keep themselves engaged with Successfactors. It’s about loving work again.
 
The Q2 Release focuses on platform and applications integration, mobility, workforce analytics, intelligent services, pay and rewards. Here is my insight based on release notes, customer reactions and consulting experience.
 

Mobility

 
‘One device one profile’ has changed now. Multiple profiles can be accessed on android devices and users can now share devices and switch profiles in the test and production environment. Customers can save on device costs and drive better user adoption.
 
SuccessFactors May Release
 
People Profile V3 is now supported on iPad and new performance improvements in personal profile loads information faster than before.
 
With Team View, managers can now view team summaries, competency gaps and locations while actioning requests by sending a message or place a phone call to their team from their profile.
 
Mobile activation can now be done via a QR code on Android and iOS devices. The device camera can be used to scan the QR code making long activation codes are a thing of the past – and I bet I’ll hear loud applause to that.
 

Goals and Performance Management

 
Mobility
The new responsive design is based on Fiori. It gives users a personalised experience on multiple devices. These enhancements are available for both android and iOS. the Goal Management UI is unified with other UI’s such as Employee Central and EC data is now visible in Goals. In my opinion, this will certainly improve the overall mobile experience and allow for greater appreciation of the data in the system.
 
PDF Printing issues
In the past PDF printing issues were experienced in PM forms. Previously the page orientation was defaulting to landscape, page set up settings weren’t working to name a few of the old issues. As a SFSF consultant I’ve run into these problems on several occasions so I’m glad this issue has been addressed and resolved.
 
Intelligent Services new additions
Intelligent Services simplifies complex HR processes – reducing time, cost and effort to manually update multiple systems. It aims at transforming self-services into “Intelligent Services”. It consolidates transactions and processes based on employee events and further guides users through screens to make recommendations though processes. This will certainly help in ensuring users proxy others when going on leave amongst other things.
 
Example
Intelligent Services consolidates HR transactions when a Global Relocation event is initiated and related actions are triggered like a mail notification sent to employee, the new location is updated in the master data and change is made in payroll. This leads to greater efficiency in travel booking and expense reimbursement. With an aim to improve user experience, this feature will go a long way in fulfilling complex views from my experience to date.
 
SuccessFactors May Release
 

Employee Central

 
Country specific localisation capability extends to 77 countries with Cambodia and Sri Lanka amongst the new inclusions. EC Payroll has increased to 36 countries with Qatar, Thailand and South Africa being the new inclusions.
 
New hire data has to be manually entered by admins. The new hire wizard can be saved as draft and retrieved later. Also, admins can now mask confidential data like date of birth, TFN etc.
 

Recruitment and Onboarding

 
SAP Signature Management application by DocuSign can now be used for all electronic signatures. This will be extensively used in Recruitment and Onboarding and manual signatures will soon be a thing of the past.
 
In recruitment, dynamic multimedia components can be embedded in job pages e.g. videos. This makes candidate communication more effective.
 
At KALTech we are guiding our customers onto these cutting edge new functionalities. It is indeed about loving work again!!!!!
 
Shwetha
SAP SuccessFactors Consultant

This entry was posted on June 29th, 2016.

Working with SAP Launch

There doesn’t seem to be much out there regarding managing and executing SAP SuccessFactors projects. Although the overarching project management principles largely remain the same across various software implementations, I felt that this might be a good opportunity to share some information based on some of my initial SuccessFactors project experience through KALTech.
 
Most of my project experience has been related to the SAP on premises HR module. The most commonly used methodology has been the traditional ASAP methodology or a variant of it.
 
sap-launch-01
 
While ASAP has been evolving over time, working on SuccessFactors has now introduced me to the SAP Launch methodology. SAP Launch is the implementation methodology that is applied universally across all of SAP’s SaaS implementations. It lists out the implementation activities that need to be performed and the resulting deliverables. It is quite clear that this methodology and its toolkits have been designed specifically keeping in mind the individualities and requirements of SAP’s cloud based products. That said, SAP Launch is also aligned with ASAP for hybrid projects.
 
sap-launch-02
 
SAP Launch has four phases. At the end of each of these phases, checkpoints called Quality Gates (or Q-Gates) exist. These Q-Gates are official sign-off stages that are used to track the high-level progress of the implementation.
 
With KALTech Group being a SuccessFactors partner, I’ve been able to access various SAP Launch toolkits and templates on the HCM cloud partner services website. I feel that SAP has done rather well in this area. Never before have I had a repository of all the tools and templates needed for an end to end project all located in one place. The documents are well designed and fit for purpose.
 
sap-launch-03
 
The templates that I’ve been most impressed with are the kickoff and project plan templates. The project plan notably has been exceptionally helpful on a recent LMS implementation. The phases and Q-Gates are aligned to SAP Launch and provide a good starting point for planning the project. Of course, I’ve had to download and modify the plan to align it with the overall project expectations and apply the 3 iteration A.K.A. KALTech’s 70-20-10 rule that I’ve written about earlier in a separate blog. Overall this methodology seems capable of providing an ideal launchpad for dealing with the rigors and speed of a SuccessFactors implementation.
 
At KALTech Group we found this process to be extremely valuable and we have adopted this methodology on all of our SuccessFactors implementations. Our clients see tangible benefits and we too have excellent control at any stage of the project.
 
While finalising this blog, it has come to my attention that the SAP Launch Methodology which replaced the BizX Methodology is now going to be replaced by the SAP Activate Methodology. The wheels of change are moving rather quickly in this area. I could swear that this is the third change to SAP’s cloud methodology of choice in the period of a single year. My understanding is that the newly crowned SAP Activate, is largely based on SAP Launch. I look forward to reviewing and working with SAP Activate soon. For the time being though I’m going to stick with SAP Launch for managing my ongoing LMS project.
 
Talk to us at KALTech Group about your next SuccessFactors implementation and experience The KALTech Difference!
 
Sanchit
SAP HCM and SuccessFactors Consultant

This entry was posted on June 23rd, 2016.

Australia’s new tax solution

Background

 
In July 2015 SAP released its new Tax solution to all its Australian customers after piloting it for around 10 months with a select few early adopters. So what prompted SAP to redesign the Tax part of the solution? The old solution, as per SAP, built on old development standards and non-optimised code was difficult to maintain resulting in numerous customer support tickets being raised with SAP. The pilot program yielded good results with a rigorous testing of more than 2000 test cases across the 20 odd customers. The success of the solution meant that SAP would stop supporting the old solution beyond June 2017.
 

What’s changing?

 
The new solution built on latest development standards uses new configuration based tables and new functions to simplify the tax calculation. Although the tax amount remains unchanged across the two solutions, the process of arriving at the final value however has undergone changes. From a debugging perspective, the simplified payroll log is crisp and well-structured.
 
The primary schema Q000 (QPS0 for Public Sector) has been replaced by a new schema Q001 (QPS1 for Public Sector). Few standard schemas – QAL0, QNET, QRR0, QLVP and QEND – have had lines removed and new lines added to accommodate the new payroll functions. The major schema change has been the tax calculation schema QTAX. This, over 360 lines of schema has now a slimmer version QNTX, which has just 17 lines.
 
Along with new PCRs and modified standard PCRs, the new design has also made changes to technical wage types. While there are few new wage types, some of the older technical wage types have undergone changes to their processing class specifications.
Below are some of the major changes in the new design:
 
New Tax Design
 

How to implement

 
When customers decide to change, they need to get an activation note from SAP. Installing this note is followed by activation of an irreversible business function. Next up is copying the existing schema customisations (if any) into the new schemas – Q001, QAL1 etc. The new tables (V_T5QT1, V_T5QT3, V_T5QT5, V_T5QT6 and V_T5QR0) do not need to be configured as SAP pre configures them with the standard technical wage types unless changes have been made to the standard wage types by the customer.
 
Some of the standard personnel calculation rules (PCRs) have undergone changes which means any customisations made by the customer needs to be redone in the copies of the changed PCRs. There are changes to few model wage types implying that the customer needs to check the wage types which were copied from these and make appropriate changes manually. Before the changes move to the productive environment, care needs to be taken to change all variants and scheduled jobs to reflect the new schema.
 
SAP suggests two ways of implementation – apply the appropriate support pack OR apply the changes via a mini project. Whichever method the customer decides it needs to be supported by sufficient testing.
 

How to test the changes

 
Technically the tax value remains unchanged across the solutions which means the focus of testing should be around the various customisations. Therefore the testing effort is influenced by the extent of customisation. The test environment should be as close to the production in terms of the master data for best results.
 
The tax calculation should be part of the success criteria. Testing of the tax values should be done for regular as well as retro scenarios (retro from a period where old solution was active is a good test case). Bonus, super, leave loading are other areas where the new solution must be tested. Testing of the payslips, end of year reports and accounting completes the testing cycle.
 
Payroll parallel testing is a common strategy to compare results across the solutions. The wage type reporter is a useful tool in identifying differences.
 

SAP Support

 
SAP has provided extensive reference material to help migrate to the new solution. These can be found at http://service.sap.com/hrau. The Implementation guides, webinars, FAQs and more can be found at this link making the migration easier.
 
KALTech is a leader in SAP HR and Payroll. We understand Payroll from a business, operational and technical perspective with extensive experience and skilled consultants too. For more information about SAP’s tax re-design or for implementation assistance, contact us at KALTech.
 
Pramod
SAP SuccessFactors Consultant

This entry was posted on June 10th, 2016.