Can I keep my SAP Payroll?

July 05, 2019
Written by Danielle Larocca

Senior Vice-President of HCM Solutions Danielle Larocca has worked in the SAP HCM space for over 20 years. An SAP Mentor and featured speaker at numerous conferences, Danielle has authored four best-selling books on SAP, is the Technical Editor for the SAP Professional Journal, and often the Voice of the Expert on SAPInsider’s Ask the Expert series for HR.


The most popular question I am asked by SAP customers is “Can I keep my SAP Payroll?”

There has been quite a lot going on in the SAP HCM space, as detailed in this blog SAP HCM journey from on-premise to the cloud: A high-level outline. Although SAP has evolved many of its offerings, it seems that most customers are still keen to hold on to their SAP Payroll. So, can you keep your SAP Payroll?

My impression is that the large majority of SAP Payroll Customers do not wish to move off their On-premise Payroll for a myriad of reasons, including:
● They have made a large investment in their Payroll and do not want to lose it
● They have complex time and benefits not supported by Employee central Payroll
● They feel like at least another 10 years is a good plan for now (2030)
● They hope that that SAP is going to extend the date again
● They hope that on-prem payroll is never really going away
● They hope that Employee Central Payroll is not the only end state but rather simply another offering for customers

The easy answer to this question is: Yes, you can keep your SAP On-Premise Payroll. With the current offerings from SAP SuccessFactors, their approximately 9,000 licensed On-premise Payroll customers can have guaranteed on-premise support for their HCM system, including Payroll, through AT LEAST calendar year 2030, as detailed in my blog The Future of SAP HCM On-Premise Solutions.

SAP continues to make investments in both areas of Human Capital Management, On-premise SAP HCM and SAP SuccessFactors in the cloud, as shown below. SAP SuccessFactors does have a cloud-first strategy, but not a cloud-only strategy.

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Source: SAP © 2019

What is the Side-Car option?

The way to get this guaranteed on-premise support through at least calendar year-end 2030 is via the Side-car option. The Side-car option, launched in 2018, is designed as a bridge for those customers needing more time to start their journey to SuccessFactors. ASUG launched an educational campaign to explain the concept of the Side-car to customers; see SAP releases a new option for customers who want to keep HR on-premise.
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Source: SAP © 2019

There are four critical things to note for the Side-car option:
1. It is designed for continuity of a customer’s investment in SAP
2. This solution will only run on an SAP HANA database
3. HCM has to run on its own instance
4. This solution will not become available until 2023

What can I do today to get ready for the Side-car?

The second most popular question I get from SAP HCM customers is “If I want to guarantee my support until year-end 2030 and the Side-car option is not available today - what can I do today to prepare for it?”

The two key requirements to get ready for the Side-car option include:
1. Making sure your SAP HCM is on its own instance (its own box, and not an instance that has other modules on it like Finance for example)
2. Ensuring that your HCM system is running on a HANA database. 

There is an easy way to accomplish both of these things in a non-disruptive and cost-effective way, ensuring continuity with your payroll while aligning you for the future. This is via an offering called PRISM for On-Premise Payroll Extension.

Get ready for HANA Side-car: PRISM for On-Premise Payroll Extension 

You already know the folks at EPI-USE as the Payroll Experts and the team at EPI-USE Labs as the SAP HCM and Payroll product leaders. The SAP-certified Data Sync Manager and Query Manager solutions are deployed at thousands of customers around the world helping organizations maintain their HCM systems and data. It is a combination of both the experts and these products that allow a customer to successfully carve out their system and move to HANA, leveraging the PRISM for On-premise Payroll Extension offering.
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If you are curious about how much effort it will take for your organization, you can participate in a free assessment. This is an automated service where you execute an analysis program which introspects your current on-premise HCM system. It analyzes your configuration of payroll, custom programs, pay run information and history. During this process, no confidential data is exposed and no actual payroll results are extracted; only a functional and technical assessment is performed. The information collected is transformed into a graphical dashboard (see sample above) that provides valuable insight into your SAP HCM system. This information offers customers the first opportunity to identify any areas that may require attention and or clean up any unused custom objects. This is also useful in determining the amount of effort it will take to get ready for the HANA Sidecar option. Optionally this could include Unicode conversions to OS/DB migrations and/or cloud infrastructure and migration support services.

The PRISM for On-Premise Payroll Extension offering provides customers with a non-disruptive migration that allows them to keep their SAP On-premise Payroll and aligns them with the movement to the Side-car option in 2023, ultimately guaranteeing their on-premise payroll support through calendar year-end 2030.
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This provides you with flexibility to upgrade your ECC into an S/4 solution and take advantage of a longer support window. If you are curious and want to learn more, please feel free to reach out to me directly at

There are several offerings within our PRISM family of Transformation without re-implementation solutions. We can help you to identify the one that works best for your organization.




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