This article also appeared on SAP.com
Contemporary living at its finest is exemplified by a rich blend of technology, innovation, and design that delivers an unparalleled experience. In the modern home, for example, a new generation of domestic appliances makes cooking and cleaning easier and more enjoyable, bringing the benefits of comfort and convenience to what were once demanding daily household chores. These innovations in the home afford us precious time to spend with the people we love and improve our quality of life.
Versuni, formerly known as Philips Domestic Appliances, excels in its purpose to help people turn their houses into homes, so they can lead happier, healthier lives. Versuni is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with innovation, manufacturing, and commercial centers across the globe and a footprint in over 100 countries. With a global workforce of approximately 6,400 employees, Versuni advances a workplace culture of collaboration, empowered decision-making, and employee engagement supported by leading-edge HR.
As its name suggests, Versuni – think “universe” – wants consumers to know that “our universe is the home” and specializes in domestic appliances that make routine tasks simple, enjoyable, and sustainable. Versuni has brands such as Philips, Saeco, Gaggia, Preethi, Philips Walita, L’OR Barista, and Senseo to cover cooking, coffee, garment care, floor care, and climate care.
Versuni took the unique opportunity of reinventing itself as an independent company to transform its entire technology landscape. To succeed in a dynamic, consumer marketplace, it had to evolve from best-of-breed solutions that served its healthcare parent company to best-of-suite applications that power advanced, digital-first consumer goods organizations.
“Since we are in consumer products, we needed to be a digital-first, insight-led company to enable us to go for lifetime engagement with our consumers across our connected products,”Lokesh Rastogi,
To establish a foundation for future growth, Versuni adopted an outside-in approach to harmonizing and simplifying all processes in a bid to achieve end-to-end transparency. The IT project was given a fitting name, “Exuviate,” to describe how the organization shed its old technology layer so it can transform into something new and distinctive as a consumer-focused enterprise.
Versuni worked with Tata Consulting Services (TCS) to carry out an organization-wide, greenfield implementation by leveraging SAP Intelligent Enterprise Framework for processes, SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) for collaboration and integration, and RISE with SAP for cost control. While firmly adhering to best practices, Versuni laid out a strategy guided by a crisp logic: “SAP unless…; cloud unless…; and best of suite.” Considered to be one of the largest RISE with SAP projects in any industry, the transformation was completed in a record 18 months, when Versuni transitioned to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition in all countries.
With the new SAP environment, Versuni reports 30% enhanced agility in its responsiveness, 85% improvement in standardization and harmonization, and 50% increased employee engagement. In recognition of its outstanding success, Versuni’s Exuviate project was chosen as an SAP Innovation Award winner in the Industry Leader in Consumer Products category. For more information, read the press release from SAP Sapphire Barcelona.
The Exuviate project had set in motion the total transformation of Versuni’s IT landscape and established new business processes. The challenges facing Versuni’s HR department, however, were especially formidable: after the transition, there would be no way to manage and compensate Versuni’s workforce unless a new HRIT system was up and running globally. Relying on its legacy software was not an option.
Versuni’s HR team chose SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) solutions to help maximize value and maintain a clean core, one of the priorities of the Exuviate project. The team doubled down on the opportunity to achieve a full-scale HR transformation that affected all underlying HR policies.
“Due to the new setup of Versuni, we wanted to have a new HR policy for all countries, meaning we had a new organization structure to manage, new job family structure, new competencies for jobs, and a new salary structure,” says Amber Smeulders, business unit lead, HR Xperience expert at McCoy and hired by Versuni as program manager to manage the full HR digital transformation. “This was the biggest challenge in our program: it should be a happy marriage between managing a new HR policy together with following the design principles of best practice.”
“The HR transition to SAP SuccessFactors solutions in itself was a massive task, so we ran the HR transformation as a separate pillar within the Exuviate transformation,” says Rastogi. This required Versuni to deploy SAP SuccessFactors solutions in less than one year.
“We did it in 10 months from design to deployment,” confirms Rastogi. On April 1, 2023, Versuni went live in 52 countries simultaneously with 15 modules of SAP SuccessFactors solutions, including SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone, SAP SuccessFactors Learning, and SAP SuccessFactors Talent Management.
“What Versuni accomplished in its HR transformation is nothing short of spectacular,” says Maryann Abbajay, chief revenue officer, SAP SuccessFactors. “Versuni translated a new set of business demands and way of working into SAP SuccessFactors solutions, really taking advantage of the connected cloud environment to gain visibility into its workforce and enable employee-centric HR. This is going to bring a new level of agility to Versuni that will set it on a path for long-term success.”
Versuni worked closely with SAP to ensure it had access to the right resources and expertise. “We hired subject matter experts with SAP SuccessFactors knowledge, but also worked with the HR business to make sure that the design of SAP SuccessFactors solutions and the design of the HR policies were going hand in hand,” says Smeulders. With the right team in place and a clear governance structure, Versuni was able to complete the project in record time and fast track its time to value.
Although Versuni was satisfied with the operational reporting available in SAP SuccessFactors solutions, it also needed cross-organizational reporting that leveraged data available in the connected SAP landscape. Therefore, Versuni and SAP created a solution for its management reporting. “We tried it out in HR as a proof of concept,” says Rastogi. “It was highly successful and now we intend to roll it out across the organization. It brings quite some benefits in terms of insights into our HR data.”
Smeulders agrees and looks forward to strategic insights from SAP SuccessFactors with the connected environment. “We would like to combine the HR data with data coming from the other SAP systems to really understand what is best for us when we talk about investment in positions, in HR policies, and in the right talents,” she says.
By connecting cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) to SAP SuccessFactors solutions, Versuni has achieved three key benefits. It now has a seamless user journey based on a single source of truth across the entire landscape. Another benefit is the increased visibility achieved from the integration with other systems, especially finance. Also, improved reporting is leading to better decision-making. Rastogi summarizes: “It’s one source of truth, one system, and one number.”
Enhanced employee experience is among the additional benefits of the HR transformation. Payroll consolidation resulted in a reduction of more than 20 providers into one global provider. Versuni lowered costs with a 70% reduction of local applications. Localization for time and attendance is now supported. Nearly all HR processes are now available on a mobile device.
“We’re still on the journey,” says Rastogi. “What is very clear across the organization is a mind shift change, a culture change. We’re starting to see that it is much more collaborative and faster. The decision-making is empowered and much quicker. It’s been a complete transformation – digital transformation as well as business transformation – in record time.”Lokesh Rastogi,