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With the arrival of SAP HANA around 2010 has tried to lighten SAP systems to display more information in the shortest time possible. This has been possible thanks to technological advances in RAM and storage in solid state disk, where size is not a problem and access to stored data is much faster than traditional disk.
The HCM module is able to use this new technology and applied it in one of most important processes: the payroll process. Due to the large volume of data that typically have these processes and their subsequent analysis and reporting, lot of time is spent each month on these tasks. So SAP has developed a business function called HCM Declustering Tools.
What is Declustering Tools?
Before explaining what it is, we will make a brief summary to know what a cluster is. The large and heavy SAP processes, such as payroll, time management, accounting… are stored in cluster tables, these tables store information in binary strings making much faster access than to a transparent table. The cluster cannot be accessed directly with a SQL statement, in this case you need to pass data to tables where the information is not in binary format.
The Declustering tool will be to extract the data of cluster and place in transparent tables connected by primary keys to facilitate their reading in reports. Thus, access to these tables is done with SQL statements, merge payroll data with other modules: PA, OM…
Once configured the tool, the system will automatically copy the cluster to transparent table each time it is updated, so the data in transparent tables are always current, and therefore the reports are always ready to show the latest results.
HANA’s intervention here is crucial, because with a traditional system performance results show would be like today and we would have no benefit.
With a HANA system the results are amazing, the speed of access to data is so high that what used to take 30 minutes now is processed in 10 seconds; and total size of the cluster is reduced by around 60% in the tables of HANA.
These changes are a breakthrough for analysis and post-payroll reports, significantly reducing the time. But, we still depend on the cluster because the report of payroll is using them to store information there. Currently SAP is silent and leaves open the possibility of changing someday report RPCALCxx to don’t have to depend on the cluster, which would mean a further improvement in performance. Is that the end of the days of cluster?
SAP announced earlier this year its new user interface for HCM administrators: HR Renewal. At Provide we wanted to thoroughly test the functionality offered by this new interface, to find out whether or not it is a real alternative for classic interface Sap Logon. To do this, nothing better than implement it in our SAP systems.
Our first task was to investigate everything that we could about this new UI. We were surprised to find poor information on the web (Always the same screens!). Moreover, in daily contact with our customers, their feel is misinformation. Some of them do not even know of the existence of this new interface, and the brightest “heard something” but did not have any detail of its advantages or functionality .
That is why, once we have tested the HR Renewal in our systems, we believe that will be very interesting to share with you a summary of our first conclusions:
- Navigation is based on tabs , so it is advisable to use Netweaver Business Client to keep the reference of where we are. If we execute the Renewal directly on the browser, we can end immersed in a web of eyelashes.
- The initial display or “Landing Page” ( known as SAP ), organize in blocks some of the basic functionality for a HR administration user:
- Access to Personnel Administration and Organizational master data. At this point, note that SAP has made a big work to adapt their Infotypes to the new UI and has further concerned to provide the tools needed to adapt customer extensions.
- Access to Individual and Mass processes based on Process & Forms.
- Search: Finally a powerful and quick search on our PA and OM master data combined in a very intuitive way.
- Tasks inbox sorted by date of receipt or by priority.
- BW Queries and reports .
- Discussions: Integration with SAP Social Media to add comments as a forum does, on the master data of personnel or structure, so that the management team to communicate nimbly in the actual tool
Both the order of these tabs and the contents thereof are easily customizable by each manager. View update infotypes with an employee, and the new screen for Infotype 1 (Organizational assignment) in Webdynpro, seen in the following images .
We were surprised about mass execution functionality of personnel actions that allows, for example, to make a massive recruitment from an Excel file.
HTML5 organizational structure display or embedded Nakisa display, also greatly improves the appearance and usability when jointly update personnel details and Organizational data.
In conclusion, our view is that HR Renewal is a powerful replacement for the old HCM master data transactions, especially for personnel management ( PA30 , PA20 , PA40 … ) . Comparing organizational structure transactions, there is not a tool similar to PPOME encompassing so much functionality in a single access point, although depending on the tastes of the users, this can be an advantage.
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SAP is planning to release some exciting new HCM functionality which they have called “HR Renewal 1.0” that encompasses several solutions including Learning, Employee and Manager Self-Service, Personnel Administration (PA), Organization Management (OM) and HCM Processes and Forms (P&F)….