PillerConnect, the digital workplace for all employees of Piller Blowers & Compressors GmbH

SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone and SAP Build as a digital platform for a modern intranet and digital entry point at PILLER

 

 

 

With the Piller Work Zone and PillerConnect, we were recognized as the winner of the SAP Innovation Award 2024 in the Experience Wizard category.

Furthermore, SAP has published an interesting Customer Story about our project on its website. We are delighted!

Company / Industry 

Piller Blowers & Compressors GmbH / Mechanical engineering 

 

Range of services 

PILLER is a manufacturer of customized blowers and compressors and is one of the technology leaders in the process industry. PILLER employs around 500 people at nine locations worldwide and generates a turnover of 97.3 million euros (as of 2022). 

 

Website
www.piller.de

 

Career page 

https://www.piller.de/de/jobs-karriere-ausbildung/

 

 

The digital transformation is changing the world of work at an unprecedented pace. Hybrid working - whether from home, on a business trip or from abroad - has become the norm in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Employees in international companies need quick access to relevant applications for their day-to-day work: around the clock, from any device. At the same time, the shift from on-premise to cloud solutions is leading to hybrid system landscapes, which are associated with increased complexity and thus higher operating costs. The successful manufacturer of customer-specific blowers and compressors PILLER took on the challenge of modernizing the digital workplace of its employees and ensuring an optimized and uniform working environment. 

As a global company with nine locations worldwide, PILLER is constantly looking for innovative solutions to meet the challenges of the digital age. The COVID pandemic had accelerated the need for flexible working models, while the increasing digitalization of business processes required the seamless integration and support of heterogeneous system landscapes. In addition, there is still a significant shortage of qualified employees in almost all industries and professional groups. An improved employee experience is a key factor in retaining employees in such a volatile working environment. With an impressive portfolio of customized blowers and compressors, PILLER has established itself as one of the technology leaders in the process industry. The company has grown very rapidly in recent years, including with new subsidiaries abroad. At the same time, employees' need for information has grown - both about PILLER itself and about the market situation of the company and its customers. 

PILLER was faced with the task of efficiently connecting its global workforce and offering a modern employee experience. To meet these challenges, PILLER developed the vision of a centralized digital working environment: PILLERconnect. The aim is to create a platform that connects all employees worldwide and enables seamless access to all necessary applications, processes and information. 

In addition, SAP Build is intended to enable business users to develop applications independently in a "controlled" environment using low-code/no-code, thus further accelerating the digitalization of processes. With SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone, a modern and efficient solution was implemented to replace the outdated intranet solution and bring the various elements together. 

The "PILLERconnect" project marks a turning point for the production employees (blue collar workers) at PILLER, who traditionally do not have their own workstation. By making PILLERconnect available on all (mobile) end devices - including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) - an inclusive working environment has been created. Efficiency and commitment are increased through improved access to all important applications, processes and information. 

Enabling further development through SAP Build
SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone as a central platform 
- Agile project approach and iterative implementation
„SAP Build, in conjunction with other SAP cloud solutions, enables us to build a modern, efficient digital workplace tailored to the needs of our employees and ensures faster value creation for our future growth.”
Thomas Henzler, Chief Information Officer at PILLER Blowers & Compressors

To meet these challenges, PILLER is developing the vision of a centralized digital working environment: PillerConnect. The aim is to create a platform that connects all employees worldwide and enables seamless access to all necessary applications, processes and information. In addition, SAP Build is intended to enable business users to develop applications independently in a "controlled" environment using low-code/no-code technology in order to further accelerate the digitalization of processes.

With SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone, a modern and efficient solution was implemented to replace the outdated intranet solution and bring the various elements together.

The "PillerConnect" project marks a turning point for the production employees (blue collar workers) at PILLER, who traditionally do not have their own workstation. By making PillerConnect available on all (mobile) end devices - including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) - an inclusive working environment has been created. Efficiency and commitment are increased through improved access to all important applications, processes and information.

From grown systems to an integrated SAP solution 

PILLER has been using SAP products since 2017. Over time, the company has introduced many different SAP solutions - primarily cloud-based. Employees accessed a variety of different SAP solutions, including SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Sales Cloud, SAP Ariba, SAP HCM ESS/MSS and S/4HANA, mostly on a daily basis.  

PILLER faced the challenge of connecting its employees worldwide and simplifying cross-system workflows. The previous intranet was purely focused on communicating information and was to be replaced for this reason, among others. Processes were running across different systems and technologies. Employees sometimes had to be active in more than five systems and had 7 different inboxes. In some cases, they were working with various SAP systems and user interfaces, which increased the need for training and required a longer familiarization period. The data required for the work was available in different formats and structures. Analysis and reporting required advanced tools and skills. All development of smaller applications had to be handled by IT, which took up developer capacity for other important projects. 

PILLER's decision in favour of the project grew out of the aforementioned obstacles and the resulting need to modernize and integrate the employee workplace. The aim was to ensure that all employees, regardless of function and location, could benefit from an optimized and uniform digital environment.  

To implement the project, PILLER was looking for a suitable software solution and a competent implementation partner. As PILLER was already using several SAP solutions, the company chose SAP Build and therefore SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone as the platform. A significant argument in favor of the SAP solution and against the alternative solution Microsoft Viva was the seamless integration into the existing SAP system landscape. 

The implementation of SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone was supported by IT service and consulting company projekt0708 GmbH as an SAP Gold Partner, which contributed its in-depth HR process know-how and technical expertise in the areas of SAP Build, SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), SAP SuccessFactors and SAP HCM. 

Systematic implementation by projekt0708

projekt0708 took an agile and structured approach to PILLERConnect to ensure an effective and efficient implementation of the digital workplace solution. The focus was on understanding and meeting the needs of PILLER's global workforce. A modern and inclusive platform was created that simplifies access to critical applications and information. 

The first step of the project was to carry out an upstream project phase in which a detailed scoping and persona analysis took place. The aim was to identify the different user groups within the company and develop a deep understanding of their specific needs and requirements. This analysis enabled the project team to define relevant personas and determine the functionalities that should be included in the concept of the digital workplace solution. 

After the initial analysis phase, the project team focused on the implementation of the first expansion stage, which concentrated on the basic functions and the integration of the German locations and companies. In this phase, a minimum viable product (MVP) approach was pursued in order to quickly and efficiently replace the existing intranet with the new platform based on SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone. This approach allowed the team to gather feedback from end users at an early stage and iteratively improve the platform. 

The successful go-live of the first expansion stage in Germany marked an important milestone in the project. This step enabled employees at the German locations to use the new functions and improved access to company resources. The go-live also served as a test run for the subsequent implementation phases and provided valuable insights for optimizing the platform. 

The successful go-live of the first expansion stage in Germany marked an important milestone in the project. This step enabled employees at the German locations to use the new functions and improved access to company resources. The go-live also served as a test run for the subsequent implementation phases and provided valuable insights for optimizing the platform. 

Following the successful go-live in Germany, the project team turned its attention to the second expansion phase, focusing on the requirements and needs of the international locations and companies. This phase included the implementation of additional functions and the integration of additional SAP and non-SAP applications to ensure a consistent and comprehensive user experience for all global employees. PILLER-specific requirements were also implemented using the low-code/no-code tools in SAP Build as well as pro-code based on SAP Business Application Studio. These included, for example, a separate "Piller Clock" UI integration card, which displays the exact time at the respective Piller location across all time zones. 

The international go-live of the second expansion stage was a decisive moment for the project, as it ensures the global availability of PILLERconnect. This gives employees at international locations access to the extended functions and resources, which promotes global collaboration and communication within the company. 

Even after the successful go-lives, the optimization of PILLERconnec remains a continuous process. The implementation of functional improvements, such as the introduction of the Task Center as a central inbox across all SAP solutions, helps to constantly improve the user experience and adapt the platform to the changing needs of employees and the company.  

Thanks to our extensive knowledge and experience in SAP Build as well as SAP BTP, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP HCM, we were able to develop a digital workplace with centralized access to SAP and non-SAP applications, processes and data that increases end-user productivity and engagement.
Michael Scheffler, Managing Director at projekt0708 GmbH

Challenge accepted - Lessons Learned

The agile project approach for the implementation of the PILLER Work Zone enabled flexible and demand-oriented development and introduction of the digital workplace solution. Thanks to the step-by-step implementation, starting with an MVP for the German locations through to the global rollout, PILLER was able to create a modern intranet together with projekt0708. This increases productivity, promotes employee engagement and provides a solid basis for continuous improvement and future growth. 

The implementation of PILLERconnect is an extensive undertaking for PILLER and projekt0708, which not only transforms the company's technological infrastructure, but also provides profound insights into the design and management of IT projects in the context of digital workplace development. There are several valuable lessons learned from this project that will guide future projects: 

Agility and flexibility are key: projekt0708's use of an agile project approach proved to be extremely beneficial in responding to change and implementing requirements efficiently. The ability to iterate quickly and make adjustments contributed significantly to the success of the project. 

Importance of user-centricity: Involving end users from the outset through scoping and persona analysis ensures that the solutions developed actually meet the needs and expectations of employees. This underlines the importance of placing the users at the center of all development and implementation phases. 

Communication as a key factor: Open, transparent and continuous communication within the project team and with the stakeholders at PILLER promoted understanding, acceptance and support for the project. 

Testing and feedback are essential: Early and regular testing, coupled with gathering feedback, was crucial for identifying areas for improvement and ensuring user acceptance. This process helped to optimize the solution before the global rollout. 

Continuous improvement ensures long-term value: The project makes it clear that the introduction of PILLERconnect is not the end, but the beginning of a continuous improvement process. The willingness to iterate on the basis of user feedback and integrate new functions is crucial for the continued success and relevance of the platform. 

Mission accomplished – to be continued

The implementation of PillerConnect has brought transformative benefits to the company. One of the most outstanding successes is the significant increase in efficiency and productivity through the centralization of workflows and information. Providing a unified digital workplace not only improves internal communication channels, but also fosters a stronger company culture and sense of belonging. The digital transformation within the company enables PILLER to strengthen its position as an attractive employer. The flexible and scalable platform also supports the company's sustainable growth, as it can be quickly adapted to changing business requirements. 

PILLER's IT department benefited significantly from the introduction of PillerConnect. The consolidation of the IT landscape reduced complexity and simplified the maintenance and management of the systems. This leads to a reduction in operating and support costs. In addition, the use of SAP Build and low-code/no-code approaches enable faster and more efficient development of new applications and functionalities, allowing the IT department to focus more on strategic initiatives. The improved integration of processes also contributes to higher data quality and security. 

 

Employees are the main beneficiaries of PILLERconnect. They experience significantly improved accessibility and user-friendliness in their daily working environment. Centralized access to all relevant applications and information enables a more efficient way of working and reduces the effort required for routine tasks thanks to flexible and mobile access. In addition, improved communication and collaboration promote a stronger sense of connection and commitment to the company. Employees benefit from personal development and training opportunities through simplified access to learning resources within the "Learning Zone", a workspace established specifically for this purpose, which in turn contributes to overall job satisfaction and productivity. 

The introduction of PILLERconnect has brought profound and far-reaching benefits for the company, its IT department and its employees. The successful implementation of this project underlines the importance of a well-thought-out digital strategy and the power of agile project management methods PILLER has created a solid foundation for continuous growth and innovation, enabling the company to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing business world while providing an outstanding employee experience. 

In a third phase in 2024, PILLERconnect will be expanded to include a supplier/partner view based on SAP Build Work Zone. The existing Workzone will be expanded to include a portal that suppliers, for example, can access to retrieve specific documents or information.   

The PILLER Work Zone has significantly improved my working life. For me as an employee, having easy access to important processes and company news on my mobile device is a real benefit. I no longer have to struggle with outdated system access or miss out on important information.

It's not just a tool, but a work foundation that has really changed the way I work by seamlessly connecting me to the most important processes in our company.
Production employee at PILLER Blowers & Compressors
The collaboration with projekt0708 was a decisive factor in the success of our project. Their professional and technical expertise in the HR and SAP environment helped us to create a truly integrated and future-proof digital working environment.
Thomas Henzler, Chief Information Officer at Piller Blowers & Compressors
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