ATOSS Staff Efficiency Suite, the workforce management solution from ATOSS Software AG available on SAP Store, is quite aptly named. However, in my discussion with Alexander von Fritsch, managing director of International Sales for ATOSS, I learned that efficiency is just one aspect of this multifaceted software solution.
Let’s start with how it “makes working life better,” as von Fritsch put it, while helping companies improve their staffing flexibility and responsiveness to changing business demands. How does it accomplish those two goals – which might actually seem to conflict?
Improving Flexibility for Employees – and Employers
Employees, von Fritsch explained, want more work/life integration. They occasionally want to pick up overtime or sometimes work less. They want to plan their vacations without having to worry about having to reschedule. They want their needs to be understood and their requests to be handled fairly.
Their employers, meanwhile, face complicated, constantly changing workforce-planning scenarios. What is the optimal mix of people? Are qualified employees available as needed? Are compensation levels commensurate with the required tasks? What about overtime costs? If overtime is involved, does compliance risk present a concern? “There are hundreds of rules employers must follow,” von Fritsch said. “Legal mandates, union contracts, the company’s own policies, and individual agreements with employees themselves. Workforce decisions are driven by all these factors – and on a broader scale, by the overall business strategy and priorities.”
Before the advent of a workforce management solution, he said, the most prevalent planning tool was Excel or a huge flip chart – not exactly optimal. The ATOSS solution analyzes all those parameters in seconds, presenting it in visual form to help drive decision-making. Workforce forecasting, capacity planning, scheduling, and time tracking are all covered, helping companies optimize their personnel resources even in industries like retail, logistics, and manufacturing, where demand fluctuates constantly. It’s not hard to understand why some of the largest companies in the world have used the ATOSS Staff Efficiency Suite for decades.
Helping Companies Adapt to Extraordinary Pressures
And it’s pretty easy to understand the special appeal of the app over the past year, as employers have been thrown into an environment of unprecedented risk and uncertainty. Two shocks to the economy occurred all at once: consumption and supply chain disruption. “The common term is volatility, which is just a nice word for chaos,” von Fritsch remarked. “Amidst that, the workforce is suddenly working from home on a huge scale, which presents a practical problem. How can employers maximize productivity and track time? How can they give people the flexibility essential for childcare and home schooling? How can they balance workloads fairly and equitably?” This is where the ATOSS solution has been enormously beneficial in helping companies quickly pivot to deal with new business realities – and to democratize decision-making processes, with rules-based, automated planning that removes bias.
For von Fritsch and his colleagues at ATOSS, “The last 12 months have really shown the relevance of the solution for the companies that rely on it.” That said, ATOSS has a long history of proving the worth of its product and singular focus on workforce management. Established in Munich in 1987, ATOSS has grown steadily, now with about 600 employees and sales and service offices all over Europe.
Evolving with Technology – and with SAP
I asked von Fritsch about how the underlying technology has changed. In late 1980s, the solution ran on mainframe systems and the screens were black and white. Over the years, the solution migrated to .NET to Java to HTML 5, and now it is 100% cloud-based – and available in full color. “Same product, different technology,” he said. “At the outset, the idea was to standardize a software solution that would run on different hardware; the software would stay the same and adapt. Now all you need is a browser.”
And in those earlier years, he added, ATOSS and SAP were largely competitors since SAP sold its own time-and-attendance software. But the two companies shared many mutual customers. By 2013, those customers were asking for a workforce planning solution that would integrate with their on-premise, SAP solution-based landscape. In 2016, ATOSS integrated its solution with SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management Suite, and the rest is history. “It’s become a really great technology alliance,” he commented. “And where the partnership was once driven by individual one-on-one relationships, now SAP Store has given us a one-to-many platform, as well as immediate credibility through the association with SAP. It’s easier to tell our story and engage with SAP colleagues to collaborate on helping the customer.”
For the ultimate in flexibility, ATOSS Staff Efficiency Suite is available on SAP Store. Why not check it out now?
Anne Yi is general manager of SAP Store Partner Solutions.