The solution is continuously being developed and improved, particularly utilising feedback from customers and partners. I would like to present you with what I feel are the most important new features and updates to the core Employee Central solution.
A Better User Experience
The 2H 2021 release brings several key end-user improvements that will undoubtedly lead to a better user experience.
SAP has been working on a new home page for some time to improve the user experience. With the 2H 2021 release, SAP has included several innovations for the home page.
One section on the new home page titled Quick Actions has been expanded with the 2H 2021 release. Of particular note for EC are My Team, Delegate Workflows, My Profile, Organisational Chart, View Administrative Alerts and View Team Absences. These are very important to be able to reflect the functions of the old home page on the new home page. Otherwise, usability would suffer if you cannot jump directly from your home page to your profile or see your team at a glance.
Another significant development in this area is that approval workflows for EC and Metadata Framework (MDF) objects now appear on the home page. This innovation is also very important so that users can see and edit their workflow requests directly on the home page, view more details, and not have to navigate through the system first.
Finally, the to-do tasks were also expanded. The approval to-dos were already covered in the previous point; however, to-dos that the user has but does not have to approve now also appear on the new home page, in the For You Today Section. This is an important innovation, as users are used to finding their to-dos on the Home Page.
In summary, SAP has really put a lot of effort into closing the gaps in the new home page and thus further improving the user-friendliness and experience.
If employment data is changed and these changes trigger an alert, you can include a link in the alert message that takes the user directly to the relevant profile section of the employee. In this way, the user can directly access and review the changes. This addition makes the system a little quicker easier to use, as the user does not have to search for the employee profile and then the relevant section.
The sync between Position Matrix and Job Relationships has now been enhanced. There are new functionalities in the user interface and the import.
When an employee is placed in a new position, it is now possible to directly trigger the sync from Position Matrix to Job Relationship.
Figure 2 – Relationship Sync
When new job information is imported and the position changes as a result, it is possible to specify that after the import of the new positions, that the Job Relationships should be adjusted based on the Position Matrix Relationships.
This enhancement is significant because now the position matrix can automatically remain consistent with the job relationships on the employee profile in all parts of the system.
Configuration Support and Simplification
The 2H 2021 release provides some exciting new features that facilitate configuration. I can see that they will provide excellent support for administrators, further strengthening their role in supporting EC driven processes.
The HRIS Sync Mapping is further improved with the 2H 2021 release. With the last release, SAP provided an overview of all HRIS Sync Mappings within the Manage Business Configuration user interface. This update has now been extended so that the mapping can be done directly on the same page and no longer has to be done in the individual fields. This change simplifies and accelerates the creation of the mapping.
Figure 3 – HRIS Sync Mappings
The 2H 2021 release facilitates and improves the import of employee data. The functionalities of the Centralised Services have been expanded. They are now also available for employee data imports in the areas of Job Information, Job Relationships, Compensation Information, Pay Components and Global Assignments.
- Enhanced and more detailed error messages.
- Identical record suppression.
- Support for business rules.
- Forward propagation.
- Various validations, such as duplicate record validation.
The improved error messages expedite their correction, and the validations prevent incorrect entries from being set on the employee profile. In other words, these new functionalities via the Service Centre aid the import and increase the user-friendliness.
The creation of import templates has also been simplified. Previously, if you wanted to create a template for an entity that had country-specific fields, all fields for all countries were included in the template. With this new functionality, you can now select whether you need the country-specific fields in the template and, if so, which country-specific fields should be displayed in the import template. This change then offers the possibility to make the template for a global import clearer, as you can hide all local fields.
Mass Data Management
Mass Data Management, introduced in the last release, is being expanded in this 2H 2021 release. With the new release, it is now also possible to filter for inactive objects. This enhancement facilitates the processing of positions after a restructuring. The tool can be used to search directly for positions assigned to an inactive organisational unit and assign the new organisational unit.
Another new feature in this tool is that matrix relationships, such as HR Manager, can now be easily changed for multiple positions. You can select the positions to be changed and assign the new matrix relationship to all of them.
These enhancements to this relatively new tool make mass changes to positions easier than ever. The intuitive and easy-to-use functions allow mass changes to multiple positions with just one simple action.
Figure 4 – Mass Data Change
Corporate Data Model
In future, the 2H 2021 release will make it possible to access up to 100 versions of the Corporate Data Model or the Country/Region-Specific Corporate Data Model in the system and thus always have access to a backup. This new option is a fantastic advantage to all of us who configure Employee Central. If the taking of a backup was omitted and an error occurred with the new upload, you can now feel safe in the knowledge that you will have access to earlier versions. You can of course import an older version to reset the system to a state before the failed import.
Figure 5 – Corporate Data Model
Automation of Default Values
The 2H 2021 release allows you to create conditional groups based on organisational and employment grouping criteria to support the assignment of default values. The assignment of certain standard attributes can then be automated for these groups. This feature can then help you to autofill and automate your process. As a result, the volume of manual entries is reduced. This approach reduces the chance of miskeying and can lead to a higher quality of data.
In addition, this automation of values can also make the creation of complex business rules obsolete and can simplify the system’s administration and configuration. A simple rule reads the associated values for the corresponding employee and automatically fills the fields.
Another new enhancement of the 2H 2021 release makes it easier to work with national or international transfers. When companies using EC transfer an employee into a new employment, they must first terminate that employee. However, if the employee has applied for the new position via Recruiting, they will appear in Manage Pending Hires as an internal candidate. Until now, it was not possible to select whether this was a “normal” internal hire process or whether the employee was starting a new employment due to a transfer. With the new release, those “transferred” employees can be selected in Manage Pending Hire to rehire them with new employment or proceed to hire them as internal hires as was previously possible. Selecting Rehire will take you to the Add New Employee Wizard, where you can then select the appropriate event for the transfer and complete the hiring process.
Figure 6 – Rehire or internal hire
As in previous releases, SAP continues to work on implementing local requirements in each country and achieving better localisation of EC.
Improvements and enhancements have been made to the existing local content for many countries, including Russia, Taiwan, India, China, Slovakia and Brazil. In addition, a new local version will be made available for Tunisia. This makes work easier for customers with companies in Tunisia, as the local information no longer has to be built from scratch, but an already prepared version can be used.
Other small enhancements are made in relation to improving the validation of Postal Code (UK) and National ID (Netherlands).
The 2H 2021 release for EC Core brings some strong, beneficial changes and shows that SAP is working hard on EC, listening to customer feedback, and implementing enhancement requests. The new functionality offers a better user experience and simplifies the configuration. In this article, I have shared with you the highlights of the release that I think will add value to you and your employees.
If you would like any support in making the most out of these new EC features or simply getting the best results for your investment in EC, do reach out to us. We would be happy to share our expertise guide you through the opportunities.