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Web-based visuals boosts flexibility for SAP ERP HCM charts, reports

Discover how adding Web-based visuals to SAP ERP Human Capital Management (HCM) reports and charts enable companies to ensure they are always viewing the most up-to-date information.

To remain competitive, companies are responding to increased challenges for managing talent, such as planning for retiring baby boomers, restructuring business models in a post-financial crisis era and striving toward the higher bar of performance and knowledge needed from employees.

As companies continually create, eliminate, modify or reassign positions, the best competitive companies are becoming fluid and dynamic -- their organizational structures included. For example, an organization can restructure based on setting up “virtual teams” or creating a temporary matrix management reporting structure during long-term projects.

Add to this fluidity the complexity of increased merger and acquisition activities and the managing of reporting structures, and employee responsibilities can become overwhelming.

The need to have dynamic visual information for many evolving organizations has reached a pivotal point of importance and frustration.

“We’ve seen that many companies do not offer access to organizational charts outside of a person’s respective department because companies don’t have the ability to ‘follow a moving target.’ This ability to see the organization charts changes when a dynamically updated and Web-based solution is adopted. Companies also want their org chart solution to be flexible, but prefer to avoid the cost and time of custom implementation,” said Thorsten Gorny, director of business development and sales for North America at Ingentis Inc.

For years, companies have been using organizational information contained within SAP ERP Human Capital Management (HCM) and other systems, such as name and contact information, title, cost center and mailstop. However, the visualization of organizations is limited inside native SAP ERP HCM. Specifically, organizational reports appear in tabular form without visual context.  

Because of these limitations, people tend to draw organizational charts using Excel or through other software programs -- but these charts get out of date very fast. Companies seek to add in the capability to access the rich data available within SAP HCM systems and create those visual reports that can navigate across a larger organization and also present the many facets of data on each person. But again, these organizational reports need to use up-to-date information in order to be trusted for its accuracy.

Publishing organizational structures on the Web can be cumbersome and at times is a manual or self-scheduled, batch-driven process. When not properly managed, the simple act of trying to create Web-based organizational reports for broader employee visibility is costly in terms of time and money, and any out-of-date, inaccurate information can just add confusion.

Deutsche Telekom realizes benefits to Web-based publishing 

Deutsche Telekom (DT) chose a Web-based option when it considered the number of employees who would benefit from an easy, intranet access to organizational information.   

“We were looking for a solution that would give us not only updated Web access to organizational reports, but also give HR management visibility into making effective decisions such as planning organizational changes or monitoring our HR KPIs for succession planning, performance measures or to help with talent management” said Thorsten Reen, human resources manager of program management and strategy at DT.

For example, an employee would like the contact information for another employee, but he does not remember the contact’s name. However, he remembers someone else in that department and searches on that person’s last name. Based on the last-name search, the third-party software presents the contact information. From there, the employee can navigate and see where this contact fits within the organization.

DT’s use of an add-on program to SAP ERP HCM, that made it possible to  “increase transparency in our global organization dramatically. The organization viewing site is one of the most used sites in our global Intranet,” Reen said.


Liz Garnand is a principal with Newport Consulting Group and a member of the strategy and operations practice with a focus on marketing and business diversification. She has more than 20 years of combined experience in marketing, product and sales management with an emphasis in managing B2B technology products from concept to market launch. Follow her on Twitter (@LizGarnand).

William Newman, CMC, ASQ, SA is managing principal of Newport Consulting Group, an SAP Influence Partner focused on EPM and GRC solutions. He serves as an outside member on the SAP Sustainability Executive Advisory Council and is the author of the SAP Press title Understanding BusinessObjects Enterprise Performance Management. Follow him on Twitter (@william_newman).

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