Chris Drake

Why automated SAP change management is essential for SAP SuccessFactors ECP

Chris Drake | November 3, 2020

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What is the most vital asset of your organization? The answer is the people who make up your workforce.  For that reason, it’s crucial that you pay your employees accurately and on time.

Yet, payroll is complicated and wrapped in layers of statutory requirements, bargaining agreements and processes. Also, payroll data contains highly sensitive personal data about each of your employees.

Protecting employee data is paramount. A breach is hugely damaging to both individuals and the company. The loss in revenue, reputation and the cost to manage the aftermath is significant. According to a 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study, the average cost in the US can be $7.91m.

To reduce risk and simplify payroll management, more and more SAP-using organizations are migrating to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll (ECP).

ECP is an SAP NetWeaver payroll engine hosted by SAP. Essentially, SAP hosts an organization’s ECP systems in the SAP SuccessFactors Cloud. SAP is responsible for hosting the infrastructure and the application and assists in performing updates applied to the ECP environment. As the hosting provider, SAP is responsible for any back-ups, redundancies and preventing data breaches.

However, SAP still allows an organization to customize their ECP environment and supports ABAP modifications and deployments of change across an ECP landscape using STMS. And any SAP change, even the smallest, if not managed effectively, can threaten system stability.

This is particularly concerning in a payroll environment, where there have been instances of organizations accidentally paying the wrong person or an employee twice specifically because of rogue changes that should not have or were not yet ready to progress to production.

Better manage SAP change, avoid payroll errors

Moving to the Cloud without automated SAP change management presents concerns relating to transport management, ensuring changes arrive safely in the target system and audit compliance. These problems are not new. In our more than 20 years’ experience, organizations running SAP landscapes have faced these issues before adopting Rev-Trac by automating SAP change management processes.

SAP’s ECP solution doesn’t offer an automated transport management solution or the functionality to provide audit-level documentation of every SAP change to meet legal regulations.

Out-of-the-box ECP ships with manual SAP change control and that can lead to your systems getting out of sync and changes migrated out of order or missed altogether. At the same time, teams lack visibility into changes moving to and already in production.

No automated SAP change management means you have no control at all. For businesses with automated end-to-end SAP change management and full compliance around corporate processes, it’s a problem. Adopting a solution without automated SAP change management increases the risk of non-compliance, a system shutdown, and payroll errors.

Ultimately, it can have a more significant impact on your business. A delayed or incorrect payment affects the morale of employees, making them feel undervalued or not respected. A survey from the Workforce Institute at Kronos found that 49 per cent of American workers begin looking for a new job after just two payroll errors.

Safe SAP ECP change management with automation

Implementing automated SAP change management allows you to deliver change to your ECP environment safely. Automating critical SAP change activities can also simplify and accelerate the transition of on-premise HR systems to the Cloud.

Migrating your HR systems from on-premise to the ECP in the Cloud is a significant project. And like other major SAP projects involves different teams in isolation configuring and developing day-to-operations in the ECP space. In this scenario, you need certainty that approvals are tracked and ensure that corporate processes are observed. Above all, businesses need to protect change objects from being transported out of sequence.

Inevitably, changes will be moved from a DEV to several different ECP test environments with multiple test clients, and then migrated to PRD. This process can be a nightmare without automated SAP change control, with error-prone manual effort putting the production system at risk.

In our experience, many ECP projects get underway without an automated SAP change management tool in place. As a result; teams rely heavily on STMS to deliver change in the ECP environment.

This dependence unavoidably leads to transports imported in the wrong sequence or forgotten and non-compliance with corporate change management tasks. The result; teams are often unable to meet the strict audit regulations.

This is where an automated SAP change management tool like Rev-Trac can have a massive impact. Automating SAP change processes resolve these issues quickly and clean up many transport inconsistencies.

Automation accelerates the time it takes to migrate changes across your ECP landscape, reducing the pressure on your SAP Basis Support team. Additionally, automated SAP change management identifies and prevents teams from moving changes out of order and threatening the production system.

For more information about automating SAP change management in an ECP environment visit [website address] or request a call with one of our Rev-Trac experts.

Chris Drake

Chris first joined the company in 2007 on the front line in customer support. In the role, he gained a comprehensive knowledge of the concerns and priorities customers have from both a user and strategic decision-maker standpoints. Working in the field as an implementation consultant, Chris has a deep understanding of SAP and change management and the impact manual processes have on SAP systems stability.
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