Picture shows a white piggy bank with the coat of arms of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia; black-white-gradient

Time is money

With the migration of the human resources management module SAP HCM® from mainframe to SAP HANA® has reduced the core payroll time for monthly salaries by 50 percent.

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It may be a new record: Once a month, the State Office for Salaries and Benefits of North Rhine­ Westphalia processes around 676,000 transactions for its officials, public employees, and pensioners. This makes the “payroll” office in Düsseldorf the largest public payer in Germany – and the second­largest in the world. The process has proven to be time­critical, since each of the approximately 279,000 officials and nearly 400,000 salaried employees and pension beneficiaries want their money in the bank promptly at the beginning of the month. 

Until now, IT.NRW has relied on SAP’s HCM (Human Capital Management) module in its role as the state’s IT services center. The module has been running on a mainframe architecture largely without issue for years. However, the mainframe was slow and laborious to operate and maintain, which ate up time and money. Too much time and too much money, IT.NRW determined, using an expiring maintenance agreement as an opportunity to switch to a system based on an x86 architecture that was both faster and lower­maintenance. At the same time, the IT experts at IT.NRW switched SAP HCM to in­memory computing with SAP HANA. The result is impressive: The core payroll time each month was reduced by 50 percent.

No Data Loss And Minimal Downtime

Picture shows a white piggy bank with the coat of arms of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia

For its almost 700,000 monthly payments of salaries and pensions, the state of North Rhine­Westphalia upgraded to cost­saving in­memory computing.

“With SAP HANA, we have the possibility to optimize the application and use analytical methods that were not available before,” said Dr. Jan Mütter, head of IT Solutions at IT.NRW. Yet migrating to new systems is not the popular choice because the transfer of data from the old to the new system in particular pose risks. Data migration takes time to avoid data loss and other problems. There is also an inevitable downtime period that needs to be as short as possible. 

“What we have accomplished is not commonplace in IT,” conceded Dr. Mütter. “Together with T-Systems and a standard SAP tool from SNP, we were able to meet the 16 month changeover time and not exceed the planned costs – so, on time and on budget.” Even the actual migration went smoothly over a single long weekend. For North Rhine-Westphalia’s State Office for Salaries and Benefits, the switch has also paid off in terms of costs. As Dr. Mütter explained: “The amortization period was just one year, since the considerably reduced maintenance costs in particular quickly offset the investment in the new hardware and software architecture.” Clients of the State Office have noticed no change from the switch to SAP HANA: Officials and pensioners received their payments as usual, and families, with a total of over 206,000 children, received their child benefits right on time.

Contact: Erich.Paprotny@t-systems.com

Author: Roger Homrich
Photos: iStockphoto

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