An employee of a major multinational company typically doesn’t expect the CEO to pick him or her up for work in the morning. But for SAP employee Frederic Heinemann this happened.
In August 2011, Heinemann posted a ride request to TwoGo, SAP’s pilot ride-sharing program near its headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. Just few days later, he says, “I got a matching ride. Confirming it I noticed that my driver [was] Jim Hagemann Snabe.”
Hagemann Snabe is co-CEO of SAP, and just like other SAP employees working in Walldorf, Germany and Palo Alto, Calif., he was volunteering to share his daily commute with fellow workers, getting to know them a bit better along the way.
In July of 2011 SAP began to roll out TwoGo, a ride-sharing program for employees. It aimed to reduce spending on fuel and to lower SAP’s carbon footprint. Now, just a year later, there are 6,700 registered users sharing about 350 rides every week. TwoGo has already prevented 47 tons of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere and is worth an estimated 2.5 million Euros in travel, networking time, and CO2 emissions.
But there is also a less obvious advantage. When employees carpool, they get to know each other better.
“For me, the best part of using TwoGo is the chance to spend some time with SAP colleagues whom I might not otherwise meet,” says Hagemann Snabe. He also appreciates the potential for spontaneous collaboration between employees from departments, hoping to facilitate new ideas and build community. During the first year of the program, SAP participants spent 1400 days in cars with each other, networking and getting to know each other better.
The program is a success not only in sustainability, but in software as well. Using SAP’s TwoGo platform is remarkably simple because of the company’s existing toolkit of smartphone integration, data processing, and international connectivity. Unlike existing ride-sharing services which require users to wade through lists of possible matches, TwoGo finds a ride for you. It even suggests rides to users without any prior activity once it knows where commutes start and end. The platform even syncs with Blackberries and Outlook calendars, so there’s nearly no setup required for users.
Implemented in the cloud, TwoGo can be immediately rolled out and put into use everywhere. So, when the program becomes generally available in the next few months, all companies need to do is start it up for instant ride-sharing, whether they have employees in one town or spread out over seven continents.
Using SAP software, TwoGo is capable of organizing rides within minutes, even with thousands of users. One SAP employee recalls sitting down to breakfast with his son, who wanted to borrow the family car. He tried TwoGo on his smartphone for the very first time and, within five minutes, received confirmation that someone would pick him up for work that very morning.
TwoGo will be available for customers soon.