Reducing HR Interface Creation Time From 2 Weeks to 2 Hours – Part 1

By Posted February 27th, 2014

Back when I implemented full lifecycle SAP ERP implementations for a living, the deliverables (in addition to configuring the system) included the ever popular FRICEW or RICEFW list.  This stands for Forms, Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, Enhancements and Workflow.  This blog post is concerned with the “I” in those very “consulting-y” acronyms.

interfaceInterfaces are usually a large part of any SAP implementation and the data they contain can cross all modules.  On the HR/Payroll side of the fence, you typically have interfaces that send demographic or payroll data to an external vendor. In my project experience, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to create some of these.  You usually have to go through the following process:

  1. Get the specs from the vendor.
  2. Translate those specs into something a developer will understand.
  3. Developer programs it in a development/test environment
  4. Test it
  5. Transport code
  6. Test it again
  7. Schedule it

What’s really cool is that I frequently see our customers doing this differently. What they do, using Easy Reporter, is greatly simplify this process.  It turns into something like this.

  1. Get the specs from the vendor
  2. Build it in Easy Reporter in Production
  3. Test it
  4. Schedule it

This sounds simplistic, but our customers have literally taken vendor interfaces that in the past would have taken weeks to be deployed and had them set up and running within hours. As a matter of fact, in the last customer training class I did, a student built an interface during lunch break that she had been waiting six months for her IT development team to create. She had only had 4 hours (half a day) of training at that point.

This is possible because, with Easy Reporter, you have the ability to take any report you’ve created, apply some file-based output formatting and get it in a file format that is specific to your vendor specification using drag and drop. It can be so easy for non-technical resources to complete an interface that one customer even joked that “no programmers were harmed during the creation of this interface”.

In part two of this post, I will take an actual file spec, build it out and cover the process of turning it into a production ready interface.