How Randstad Deutchland Thinks Big and Builds for the Future

By Annie Kennedy, Associate Conference Producer, SAPinsider

Detlef Richter, Manager IT Back Office Applications at Randstad Deutchland, delivered a keynote address, “Seamless User Experience with SAP and Google Applications in a Multi-cloud Environment,” to open the second day of the SAPinsider 2020 EMEA virtual conference experience.

With over 20 years’ experience in SAP, Richter contains deep knowledge in both application and system setup. In prior positions, he has led parts of bigger-scale projects with KPMG/BearingPoint as manager, and at STADA he completed several implementations in Germany, Western Europe, Serbia, and Russia in this field. In his role at Randstad, a global leader in the HR industry and Germany’s leading staff services provider, Richter has built a multi-cloud-ready landscape and bridged the user experience gap between SAP’s and Google’s universes.

Providing agility to the workforces of their customers is a core business model for Randstad, Richter explained, and the company believes that end users deserve user-friendly solutions—something that has been even more critical during the global pandemic. However, with a complex solution stack and the need to remove legacy debt, Randstad faced significant challenges in meeting these requirements. Richter explained how the company was able to work with SAP and Google to deliver a seamless integrated user experience for its back office systems by building the next level of G-Suite integration, putting the structure in place for a thoroughly multi-cloud environment, and implementing a self-organized and agile team.

Richter first presented on Randstad’s strategy in a disrupted economy and how they transitioned from their prior SAP system to the next level. They had first asked, what changes are needed in people’s minds? Why do we do all of this, and where do we want to go?

Randstad had to be flexible to meet customer needs, so the organization needed scalable and flexible IT and processes. The ability to digitalize was crucial for the company, as doing so would serve as a significant differentiator when compared to its competitors.  However, in order to stay true to Randstad’s reputation of being a people company, the company needed to find a way to achieve an agile IT landscape while also remaining true to its people-centric business model. To do so, the company initiated its “Tech and Touch” strategy.  Randstad transitioned support from a mix of technology investments, including Amazon Web Services, Citrix, and Microsoft Office, to today’s support from SAP and itelligence, which ensures a stable, scalable, secure environment for Randstad with error-free payrolling and invoicing.

In September, Richter said, Randstad built bridges between the mobile world and the on-prem world to create a direct connection that the company experiences now. How did they accomplish this? Mainly through change management. Randstad’s IT team took time and care to explain things and train people, doing it all piece by piece with videos, how-tos, and other guides. The change wasn’t top-down, but rather was made through small groups that worked on parts of the whole. Building transparency and team performance is key, Richter told attendees. He also advised others to think big, building for the future rather than the present (thinking not ahead to not only just next year but to the next 10 years). Finally, he reiterated how Randstad’s Tech & Touch strategy was the differentiator in a disrupted economy. The company has saved about $20,000 Euros a month by removing the computer power from Citrix and focusing on integration.

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