With the SAP Shared Service Framework software, the SAP's Global HR organization consolidated its shared services into a single infrastructure. As a result, Global HR has made processes leaner and now gives SAP employees greater transparency into their interactions with HR and HRdirect, an important internal channel for HR services. The organization can also use the installation to show customers and prospects the power of this software within a global company with tens of thousands of employees around the world.
Joerg Staff, HR's chief operating officer (COO), sponsored the project that led to the installation of SAP Shared Service Framework within Global HR. "With this rollout, we could address significant improvement needs from our customer and the internal HR team," he explains. "We expect the changes to become clearly visible and have tangible impact on all employees using HRdirect. And considering the frequent sales support activities of the HR teams, we are very excited to be able to demo the latest SAP technology. Our customers are very interested to see how SAP runs their HR processes and how our products support this. They naturally expect us to be on the latest releases having all innovations implemented."
Bringing faster help closer
With the previous solution that HR used, employees might have been stuck opening multiple tickets through the HRdirect process for a single issue: one for the initial query, then a new one for each follow-up question.
Thanks to the new software, employees can simply reopen a single HR ticket whenever they require further clarification, with the same HR employee helping each step of the way. Also, when employees confirm their tickets, they can immediately participate in an online survey to rate their satisfaction with HR's service. (Previously, the survey would come via e-mail a day later when the issue was no longer fresh in a person's mind.)
Another new feature: In aligning with all other service lines at SAP, the full name of the HR colleague who handled the ticket will be visible to the person who submitted it. In the past, employees would only see the first name and initial of the last name of the HR processor who worked on that particular ticket. By giving the processor's full name, Global HR hopes to make the experience more personal, removing any anonymity and maintaining transparency throughout the entire process.
At your (shared) service
SAP employees aren't the only people who benefit from the implementation of SAP Shared Service Framework. The software should also make life easier for the hundreds of people in HR's shared services centers: centralized locations staffed with HR professionals who respond to regional HR questions.
For one thing, the solution has shortened overall process times by cutting back the number of fields in which HR employees need to enter information. HR experts now enjoy faster workflows with fewer clicks and less typing, so they can turn around tickets more quickly — another plus for all SAP employees. And since reopened tickets will go back to the same HR professionals, the experts will already be familiar with the initial issue. They won't need to do research to get caught up on a problem that another HR colleague might have addressed earlier.
A leaner ticket tool isn't the only improvement. HRdirect employees now have a softphone solution too. Through a special headset, they can make and take calls with their laptops. This means they don't need to be in a services center to process tickets and chat with SAP employees. Independent from desk phones, they can flexibly work from a home office.
Keeping up with the competition
Although HR installed SAP Shared Service Framework, an SAP shared services center may handle much more than human resources — particularly a multifunctional shared services center that covers the responsibilities of several departments, such as finance and administration. It's not uncommon for employees to contact these centers with questions about travel and other topics that don't fall under HR. The leaner systems allow HR professionals to handle these requests more quickly as well, even if it's just a matter of putting the employee in touch with the right expert.
Over time, the scalability of the solution may make it easier to bring to other departments as well. And to other companies. Smaller acquisitions often bring new staff to SAP, and SAP Shared Service Framework allows HR to serve more with less. Put another way, the company can grow without increasing HR administration for each acquisition.
Acquisitions make SAP more competitive, but for the HR organization, competition comes in a different form: seeing how it measures up against other HR teams.
SAP's Global HR organization participates in external events and compares its own efficiency against industry benchmarks. When administering cases — handling everything from answering questions about vacation balance to responding to concerns about pay — HR can now show a decrease in end-to-end duration: the total period from when the ticket opens to when it closes. And that's not just a decrease compared to HR's previous performance for a similar case; it's a decrease compared to industry standards.
Showing how SAP runs SAP
SAP Shared Service Framework is just one part of the overall implementation — albeit the largest one. The solution runs on top of a Sybase database, and the SAP HANA platform speeds up the reports. Elsewhere, HR executives can use a mobile app on an iPad device to check up on operation results, running analytics on everything from number of active tickets to process times.
Collectively, SAP CRM, SAP Shared Service Framework, SAP HANA, and other SAP offerings deliver a perfect storm of SAP ingenuity. Members of the sales team can bring customers to the shared services center and demonstrate the latest SAP technology working efficiently on a global scale.
"We are now able to show our customers that running SAP software for shared services centers makes their business better," says Jutta Schneider, head of Field Services for DACH. "We are hosting several customer visits to our BSCE [Business Service Center Europe] location in Prague each month — including many global players doing business in the EMEA region and beyond. They will be excited to see how our newest technologies can drive shared services centers that administer over 55,000 employees."
SAP employees should be excited as well, Joerg adds. In his eyes, these latest installations score a definite win-win for the company.
"This project is transforming the way SAP delivers HR services to employees," Joerg says. "It increases customer-centricity and efficiency of HR services. It will help achieve greater transparency and faster time to value for both SAP HR and the employees."