VMware, a software giant founded in 1998, has significantly influenced the information technology market, offering businesses both large and small a vast array of virtualization, networking, storage, security, and digital workplace products and services. One of the driving forces behind VMware’s mission to help customers accelerate innovation is its sales team.
With several acquisitions in recent years, the number of sellers at VMware dramatically increased. Yet the company did not have a reliable means of paying everyone accurately and on time. The company knew it needed to improve the experience for its sellers to maximize business performance.
The Burden of Legacy Tools
For years VMware had been burdened by legacy tools that not only impacted seller productivity but also caused significant inefficiencies when it came to business operations. Reporting capabilities were limited and the company couldn’t support payouts for multiple metrics, which was problematic as the company transitioned to a model of both license and subscription sales.
In addition, introducing new plans or emphasizing specific products or geographies was highly manual, requiring significant time and effort. This impacted VMware’s ability to adapt to business needs quickly enough to remain competitive.
The Company’s Transformation Journey
VMware embarked on an initiative to modernize its incentive compensation management tools and processes, implementing SAP Commissions.
The decision to implement SAP Commissions at VMware was based on many factors, namely the need to improve payment accuracy, gain more sophisticated reporting capabilities, and strengthen auditing capabilities.
Leaders at VMware across HR, sales ops, finance, and IT agreed that what the company required was a system that was both flexible and scalable – one that was purpose-built to handle change and provided the kind of transparency that the company’s 9,000 sellers would love.
According to Anushree Kalra, director, IT Engineering at VMware, “We used to have more than 700 compensation plans that were very difficult to manage at scale. Our goal with the modernization project was to reduce the number of comp plans to less than 50 and make it easy to change plans or add new ones. That’s exactly what we did.”
The company successfully implemented SAP Commissions in nine months, ahead of the proposed one-and-a-half-year plan, which included the switch from Oracle to SAP HANA.
Realizing the Benefits of a Modern Tool
According to Kalra, VMware now has a streamlined incentive compensation management process complimented by a system that’s capable of accommodating various compensation plans and multiple metrics for commissions. The company now changes plans every six months and can adapt to market conditions much more quickly.
“Best of all, with SAP Commissions we have a tool that allows us to pay our sellers accurately and on time,” said Kalra. “In fact, the time required for commission calculations and the time for processing commissions for VMware has been reduced from several days to a few hours.”
This is due in large part to workflows and approvals that were made much easier with SAP Commissions. Now VMware can confidently process commissions at scale even as the dynamics of its sales organization change.
The benefits of more robust reporting capabilities have also been significant. The solution helps provide personalized dashboards, allowing sellers to access the information they need – how, when, and where they want. This means VMware can load plans for sellers and instantly provide them visibility into their commissions. The company says this has helped to build trust among sellers, which has had a direct impact on satisfaction and retention.
With better operational reporting, the company is also more efficient, according to Kalra. Now, finance has what it needs for forecasting and setting quotas, for example.
Looking forward, Kalra says the team at VMware is excited about having a tool that helps to provide strategic direction for the enterprise. It’s another way VMware is leveraging technology advancements to accelerate business growth and success.
Lara Albert is global vice president for Solution Marketing at SAP SuccessFactors.