Jeremy Masters

Author, speaker, and HR technology expert

HR Renewal and SAP Fiori: What Should I Do?


Several years ago, SAP found themselves in a situation which happens to many large software companies. Two separate parts of the organization developed new HR functionality to solve for a common gap: usability.  On one side, HR Renewal came to fruition – a new landing page built off SAPUI5 with a new navigation and user experience. The other – SAP Fiori – was a cross-function solution (inspired with a Google design team) with a separate entry point (SAP Fiori Launchpad) and its own user interface using SAPUI5.

Many customers are now perplexed on how to move forward given both are viable solutions to solve SAP’s long-plagued usability problems, especially in the areas of Employee and Manager Self-Service.

It’s apparent that the bulk of innovation will go into SAP Fiori apps, since SAP Fiori is being leveraged across all platforms (On premise, SuccessFactors, Fieldglass, Ariba, etc.) It is SAP’s answer to a common UX, despite the disparate systems behind it.  Vishal Sikka (ex-CTO of SAP, now CEO and MD at Infosys) layed out his vision at the 2013 SAPPHIRE show.


His “Fiori UX Paradigm” – drawn by hand and reminiscent of the days when the best solutions in software began on the back of a napkin – showed his vision, which SAP is trying to execute on.

So, with all this talk on SAP Fiori, does this mean that HR Renewal is dead? No. The functionalities are still more plentiful in HR Renewal (by a long shot), and are highly relevant for HR Professionals. It is unlikely that SAP will endeavor to re-write these apps in SAP Fiori. Although SAP Fiori is the better choice from a mobile perspective (since it’s responsive and device-agnostic), HR Renewal is still a good choice for companies who want to roll out services to their HR teams (admins, reporting) who don’t want to deal with the SAP GUI. The hard-core services performed in HR Renewal (i.e., Personnel Administration and Organizational Management updates such as employee movement scenarios and organizational updates) would almost certainly be done on desktop and not on device (e.g. I can’t see an HR admin performing a complex promotion/inter-company transfer on their Smartphone).  This should relieve some of the frustration from customers when they realize a majority of the transactions that are new with HR Renewal are using the Web Dynpro ABAP technology which is not mobile-optimized (as opposed to SAPUI5).

I will tackle more sound-bytes in future blogs. In particular, the question may not be HR Renewal versus SAP Fiori, but perhaps how could they work together for your organization.

Until then, please leave some questions or comments below…

Author: Jeremy Masters

Jeremy Masters is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Worklogix, a management and technology services firm specializing in enterprise application development and implementation support for HCM solutions. For 18 years, he has worked with the latest Talent Management and Self Service functionality within the SAP HCM suite and SuccessFactors, including Performance Management, Enterprise Compensation Management, ESS/MSS, Succession Planning, and E-Recruiting. He regularly presents at SAP Insider events and is the co-author of the following SAP PRESS books: Implementing Employee and Manager Self Services in SAP ERP HCM, SAP ERP HCM Performance Management, Enterprise Compensation Management in SAP ERP HCM, E-Recruiting with SAP ERP HCM, SAP ERP HCM Infotypes and SAP ERP Self-Service: Employee, Manager, and HR Renewal.


  1. Isn’t the alternative to invest the time implementing SuccessFactors modules? Time spent on HR Renewal seems like a dead end now that SAP have said they won’t deliver any new content for the old ERP HCM system.

    Improvements in HR Professional area and Payroll admin delivered in HR renewal but these aren’t outward facing so benefit a smaller number of people.

    We delivered a small number of Fiori apps to get an upfront improvement to self services, but now see the move to HANA as delivering greater overall benefits. Follow this by considering SuccessFactors v.s. third party alternatives for Recruitment and other HR areas.

    • Hi George,
      Thanks for your comments. It all depends on your company’s roadmap. Some companies will not move to the cloud, and others are moving at their own pace, so any and all UX improvements in on premise functionality would be considered a win for them.
      Improvements to the HR and Payroll user experience and functionalities are important – just ask the CHRO and Controller of a company. I wouldn’t count out HR/payroll end users – they are as much a consumer of the software as an employee or manager.
      Regarding moving to HANA, this isn’t mutually exclusive to do when implementing SAP Fiori. In fact, some of the Fiori apps only run on HANA (e.g. Fact Sheets).
      Thanks again for your perspectives, always great to hear.

  2. My company is looking at SAP Fiori over the next couple of years. We currently have a very old version of ESS running on Enterprise Portal 6. Will we be required to upgrade our ESS and/or EP to newer versions in order to be able to take advantage of SAP Fiori in HCM?

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