Making Organizational Structure Transparent to Every Employee
For me, working at SAP — a company with more than 88,000 employees — it’s not always easy to get a clear picture of where all my peers belong in this vast organization. Roles change, people move around, departments are reshuffled all the time to keep the company, and its employees, refreshed and dynamic. Understanding where everyone fits in the greater scheme of things makes me feel more in tune with the company. That’s why I love Ingentis org.manager. Its purpose is to bring company org charts closer to employees by adding them to their everyday working environment. It’s one of the key solutions to be included in the SAP App Center, the SAP digital marketplace where customers can buy solutions directly from SAP partners.
To get more insight into the solution and how it works, I spoke with Jennifer Utley, marketing manager for Ingentis. The idea, she explained, is to give every employee easy access to the organizational information contained in the company’s HR system. “Instead of having to gather data from different platforms and sources, you can find everything in one place,” she said. “You can visualize any kind of structure maintained in the database, and define what you want to see – using your own ‘perspective.’” While the Ingentis product is, agnostic and can work with any HR system, this version runs on SAP Cloud Platform and is integrated with SAP SuccessFactors solutions.
The org chart can be used as a visual corporate directory that’s searchable and always up-to-date. (That assumes that the HR database is well-maintained, Jennifer pointed out.) Interactive buttons allow users to contact a colleague directly out of the org chart or access their employee profile.
For workforce planning, real-time simulation of organizational restructuring
For managers and workforce planners, the Ingentis solution facilitates modeling and charting based on the HR database. They can drag and drop to move objects around – e.g., departments and individual employees — and view a real-time simulation of a restructuring, directly in the org chart. I can imagine how useful this feature would be during a merger or when a company is being acquired. Jennifer added that, from the standpoint of a finance or HR manager, the solution can be used to run reports and track metrics like budget overruns or current vacancies. It’s easily customizable to match the individual company’s corporate design.
“An important element of the Ingentis philosophy is that, when workflow is simplified like this, people have more time to concentrate on their own projects and be more responsive to colleagues and customers,” commented Jennifer.
A “little brother” solution for smaller companies
I also learned from Jennifer that Ingentis solutions are not just for huge corporations. What she calls the “little brother” offering to org.manager is orginio, a simpler solution designed for small and midsize companies that’s available with a flexible licensing model to make it affordable. Currently, orginio is offered in English and German versions, while Ingentis org.manager is available in all of the most commonly spoken languages worldwide, including Chinese and Japanese.
A laser focus on customers’ wish lists
I asked Jennifer what gets her excited about Ingentis, and she didn’t hesitate. “We are always focusing on our customers’ needs. Software updates and new features are always based on their feedback and wish lists. Listening to our customers has made it clear that there is big potential for future innovations.” She added that this way of thinking extends to listening to employees. “One of our founders recently said, ‘As long as our team is enthusiastic and having fun, we will continue to make innovative software.’”
Having fun was exactly what the original six founders were doing some 20 years ago, when they were all working together as apprentices at Datev eG, a German software company based in Nuremburg. When their apprenticeship was complete, they realized that they would be separated and spread across the company — so they formed their own department. That group, responding to a request from a customer for a workforce planning application, created the original prototype. The next step was to move out on their own, and that’s how Ingentis was born. What started out as one solution is now Ingentis org.manager suite, org charting solutions for different interfaces and display options, which integrate with any kind of data source.
A long-standing partnership with SAP that’s blossomed in the cloud
Jennifer added that the decision to offer an integration with SAP SuccessFactors solutions was also intended to make it easier for customers. “Currently, we have 1,300 customers that use our org charting solution, and 800 of them are using an interface to SAP ERP HCM. As everybody is moving closer to the cloud, we decided to offer the same kind of convenience of the on-premises version to cloud customers.”
Now, Ingentis has big plans; Jennifer noted that the firm has just finished filming a three-minute video about the company, which will be part of an internal campaign to expand to North America.
Go ahead and create your organizational charts – automated and uncomplicated. Nothing like sharing organizational structure transparency to every employee. Leave me your feedback in the comment area below.
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Bill Rojas is senior director of Digital Transformation and Partner Enablemnt on the SAP Digital team. Contact him on Twitter | LinkedIn. He kicked off this new series of blogs on partner apps on the SAP App Center in December 2017. To read more, click here.