All information centralized

parallel access included

Making personnel processes secure and efficient in SAP

Stadtwerke München (SWM) (Munich municipal utilities company) is the local utility provider for the state capital of Munich and the surrounding region. The city of Munich is the 100% owner of SWM. Beginning as an undertaking of the city of Munich (until 1998), SWM has developed into a legally independent, customeroriented service provider. Now the seventh-largest German energy company – and one of the largest municipal companies in Germany – SWM currently employs around 10,000 workers.


There’s one demand every company gives the highest level of priority: personnel data must be stored securely, and has to be able to be called up at any time. The Stadtwerke München GmbH (SWM) provides an example of how to handle this kind of personnel management project with an eye towards absolutely “watertight” data security and data protection. The company’s approach was so thorough that it even pushed back introducing digital personnel management by four months to ensure it had considered every possible aspect of security. Since April 2013, the personnel division at SWM has been working primarily with EASY nextPCM Personnel File, the SAP integrated personnel management solution from EASY SOFTWARE AG.

The initial situation: separate paper files and redundancy


The personnel and benefits department at the Stadtwerke München serves the roughly 10,000 employees involved in all SWM companies. Before the introduction of the EASY solution, information on these workers was housed in various areas: documents were kept in paper form, separated into personnel and accounting files, personnel master data, payroll, and time management data in SAP ERP HCM. This led to redundancies in the SWM’s data management, and to lengthy daily searches for information. “We had to rent six storage areas just to house the documents for all our active employees,” Jürgen Wolf, from SWM Service Center Personal recalled. “With around 300 written pages in the personnel and accounting file for each employee, we had over 2.4 million pieces of paper to manage.”

more project information

Because centralized personnel management requires quick, parallel file access, company management decided in 2012 to eliminate the dispersed paper archives and introduce digital personnel management and a unified accounting file. The Munich team selected EASY nextPCM Personnel File. “The personnel management system from EASY nextPCM is a highly developed product, from both professional and technical standpoints. In contrast to other solutions, it’s completely integrated into SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM), and also has a standard connection to our archive solution,” Jürgen Wolf continued. “The company’s strong customer-oriented focus, especially when dealing with critical questions, made EASY nextPCM project staffers good partners.”

In May of 2012, EASY nextPCM began integrating the digital personnel management solution into SAP ERP HCM for the utility company, creating file and document types. The EASY solution was supposed to be ready for operation starting in December. However, for reasons related to data security and data protection, the project took four months longer than expected. Data security issues play a major role in personnel projects, and perfecting the measures required to protect data takes time. Investing this time is worth it, however, to find a solution that meets the highest demands of data protection and data security. The way SWM approached this topic can be a great example for comparable initiatives. The project team used a variety of measures to achieve an optimal level of state-of-the- art data security and data protection for the company’s digital personnel management. All employees of the internal scan service provider, for instance, received specific data privacy policy instructions in addition to the instructions in data confidentiality required by Section 5 of the German Federal Data Protection Act.

The company transferred the design for file access permissions from the SAP-ERP-HCM authorization concept to the EASY solution. They needed to acquire appropriate software programs for data encryption, develop work and processing instructions for HR employees when working with personal data, and conclude a service contract with its internal scan service provider. “We also needed to come to a group-wide operating agreement – with the cooperation of the employee’s association, workers involved with data security and data protection, the legal division, and corporate auditing,” Jürgen Wolf explained. They needed an additional security concept to do so. An external consulting firm took the filerelated processes, compared these with the hazard catalogue from the Federal Office for Information Security Technology, and created a risk analysis. They then extrapolated measures from this analysis for encrypting and decrypting data while scanning files and storing information in archives, finally integrating these into the functional specifications, authorization concept, and technical concept. Only then did the company successfully conclude the operating agreement. The digital personnel management system was finally implemented in May, 2013.

0 Employees (December 2020)
more than 0 billion € revenue (2020)
0 Foundet

Everyone was motivated because EASY nextPCM Personnel File makes our everyday work significantly easier.“

Jürgen Wolf
Service Center Personnel Stadtwerke München (SWM)

Sure – at first glance, this seems like a substantial amount of work. But the people in charge at the Stadtwerke München knew: fulfilling the highest safety requirements has its price, and introducing a digital personnel management solution requires just as much care as it does precision. What’s the reward? A sophisticated safety concept can ensure that transfers of paper-based documents fulfil current data protection criteria, and that no unauthorized parties will have access to personnel data in the future either. In the meantime, SWM has also produced a new structure for previously separated documents, storing them safely in digital files. This increases transparency and speeds up the transfer of information.

WM created a structure in EASY nextPCM Personnel File that it could then use to organize personnel information in a clear and standardized manner, unlike its previous paper-based systems. The structure also fused personnel and accounting documents, previously separate, into one joint archive. The company set important points like background, qualifications, or invoices as main headings, then configured “existing file” as a sub-document type.

Now that they have started using the solution, the internal scan centre is busy digitalizing existing files for active employees and importing these into EASY nextPCM Personnel File. They use the EASY nextPCM Integration Engine to do so. It monitors tax information during the import, checking it for consistency, completeness, and correct sorting, identifies and removes errors, and regulates the storage of PDF documents. Jürgen Wolf said: “This means the existing files are assigned directly to the correct record through a stored barcode and personnel number. This saves a large amount of processing time.”

Workers have now digitalized all invoice files, and the scan centre is busy with the personnel files. For the time being, current personnel documents are already searchable through SAP ERP HCM. The number of such searchable files is growing over the weeks and months as existing files are added.

If new written documents are created, SSC employees create these in SAP ERP HCM using document templates linked to Microsoft Word. The written documents are currently still being printed out and then scanned in again for the electronic archive. The reason: Stadtwerke München doesn’t exclusively use digital signatures. There’s no way to avoid this discontinuity in media in cases where a hand-written signature is required.

The employee involved sees the new PDF displayed on his SAP desktop, and an indexing template opens automatically. He enters the personnel number and selects the document type, date, and other indexing criteria using a roll-down menu. Then the new document is added to the file. Other documents created in the SAP solution which do not require a signature, such as certificates, are automatically stored in the connected archive system and linked to the appropriate file from there.

“For us in the personnel division, EASY nextPCM’s personnel management is an extremely helpful addition to the SAP-ERP-HCM surface. Its efficiency helps facilitate our work in multiple ways,” Ulrike Zoller, personnel department assistant explained. She and her 30 colleagues now have all existing information on every employee, collected and available with parallel access. They can jump directly to the EASY solution from personnel master data in SAP ERP HCM. They also have comprehensive authorization to insert and print out documents.

The 24 personnel managers from the professional divisions and the legal department also often need to access an employee’s personnel data at the same time. Now they can, with graduated restrictions according to their respective areas of responsibility, regulated through the SAP ERP HCM authorization concept. If one person needs to view more information than they are allowed to according to their authorization, the personnel division can also temporarily release broader data using the document loan function in EASY nextPCM Personnel File.

“The introduction of digital personnel management with EASY nextPCM has been met with great approval in the whole company,” Jürgen Wolf reported. “Everyone was motivated because the solution makes our everyday work significantly easier.” Of course, the prerequisite for this success story was that the company treated labour law concerns regarding data protection and data security seriously from the beginning and took these into account during its implementation process. The Stadtwerke München realized the seriousness of data privacy needs, laying the groundwork for a long-term successful project.

Digitalisierung im Personalwesen kann so einfach sein, wenn man zusammen arbeitet

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