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Versuni builds platform for people-centric organisation with SAP SuccessFactors

How do you get the most out of your employees and put the employee experience at the heart of an organisation that became a standalone company not so long ago? Versuni, together with partner McCoy, found the answer in a major simplification of HR infrastructure and ways of working. SAP SuccessFactors serves as its new home base in this regard.

Versuni, formerly known as Philips Domestic Appliances, became a standalone company in 2021. The company is a house of brands and home to the brands: Philips, Saeco, Gaggia, Preethi, Philips Walita, L’OR Barista and Senseo. At the core of Versuni’s values is customer satisfaction, with quality products that are built responsibly and sustainably. Here, their purpose plays an important role: turning houses into homes.

Since the first moment Versuni stood on its own feet, the voice of its employees played a crucial role. “For instance, through a survey we asked the entire organisation what the company should stand for,” says Jana Belyušová, CHRO at Versuni. “The outcome formed the basis for our strategy, our purpose and ultimately our corporate culture. We want every employee to become the best ‘Versuni version’ of themselves. At the same time, we strive for an organisation based on teamwork, rather than individual heroes.”

Reaching hearts

This mindset does not arise automatically, according to Belyušová. “We have to constantly ask ourselves how we reach the hearts of our customers, but also those of our employees. That requires a decisive HR department that makes the right decisions while being able to stay involved with each individual.”

Before that, however, there was a lack of good insight. “We came out of a ‘best of breed’ situation where each business unit itself chose the solutions best suited to them. This created an application landscape with some 450 different solutions.” According to Belyušová, an unworkable situation. “That came at the expense of our speed and agility. Moreover, you could never compare apples to apples.”

The fragmented landscape gave rise to the company-wide greenfield transformation project ‘Exuviate’. In this, Versuni is moving towards a standardised and consolidated environment as much as possible. Including the HR department, as complexity was taking its toll there too. “All HR data was scattered across 187 dashboards and analyses”, Belyušová outlines. “It is then very difficult to find the right information.”

52 countries in 10 months

In the end, Versuni took a rigorous approach. The old HR platform was replaced by SAP SuccessFactors in all 52 countries. No fewer than 50 separate applications had to go. After a journey of just 10 months, SAP SuccessFactors went live simultaneously in all 52 countries on 1 April 2023.

“A project like this is never just an IT project. It is also a far-reaching change management project. You only get one chance to implement such a large-scale change properly”, says Amber Smeulders, Business Unit Lead HR Xperience expert at McCoy. “That’s why we opted for a big bang. It was all or nothing.”

Stick to standard

Sticking to best practices was a key strategy during the implementation process, according to Smeulders. “In the end, we deviated from the standard only for a specific analytics function. We not only wanted to understand the value of individual talents, but also to analyse that value from a position/role standpoint. What are our most value driving roles and how can we combine this with talent data? We worked closely with SAP to enable the desired functionality.”

According to Belyušová, McCoy played an indispensable role in the process. “Certainly Amber was immensely valuable in in difficult circumstances. Without her, this project would never have been so successful.”

Fewer information screens

The benefits of consolidation on SAP SuccessFactors are now being felt. “For example, our workforce planning is much more efficient”, says Belyušová. “We can see much faster and more clearly for each country how the teams are composed and where needs lie. In addition, the number of information screens has been significantly reduced. That helps with finding the right information.”

For employees, too, the platform brings simplicity and transparency. Belyušová: “During the implementation, I always put myself in the role of the user and asked the question: how does this help me? As a result, the platform is truly ‘employee-centric’. Partly because of this, arranging HR matters and consulting HR-related information has become much easier and more accessible for employees.”

Must-win battles

Crucial in the platform’s adoption strategy are the ‘must-win battles’. These are a kind of challenges and improvement processes that employees have to face through collaborations and which ultimately have to grow the company. “Each team has its own page within SuccessFactors for its must-win battle, where users can register, and share successes. A month after going live, 85 per cent of employees had subscribed to this, sometime later as much as 95 per cent”, Belyušová explains.

In addition, SAP SuccessFactors supports diversity goals. Belyušová: “We have a clear picture of the proportions in terms of gender and ethnicity, for example. We manage that where possible, of course within the framework of the law. Not only during the recruitment process, but also during processes such as evaluation and salary determination, we check for hidden biases. This way, we ensure a level playing field for all employees, regardless of gender or ethnicity.”

In the coming time, Versuni will deploy more and more functionalities on the platform in a meaningful way. “We have built a very nice house with SAP SuccessFactors. One with which we have a foundation for the future. A house with which we can change the language of HR and of the organisation as a whole. It is now important that we make that house a home.”