Convista Harmonizes Workplace Culture with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition


In a merger between two well-matched organizations, cultural integration can be the key to successfully transforming into a single high-performing entity ready to take on new opportunities. Notably, more than a few high-profile mergers have failed due to cultural incompatibility. Add a third organization into the merger and the cultural complexities increase exponentially. But some multi-organization mergers do successfully navigate these challenges and reap the transformational benefits.      

Convista, a consultancy and SAP partner based in Cologne, Germany, emerged stronger and better positioned to serve its clients following a recent merger that brought together three former consultancies: Axxiome Health, ConVista Consulting, and enowa. With 25 years of experience delivering transformation projects to its clients, Convista used that expertise in its own rebranding to present its capabilities to clients and employees: a vibrant people culture as well as a respected and trusted brand supported by SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition for ERP and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central for core HR.

“Trust and transparency are common values that we share at Convista,” declares Convista CEO Martin Hinz. “Combined with a dynamic team spirit and passion, it’s what we bring to our clients every day.”

With a workforce of around 1,200 employees, Convista has made a name for itself through its dedication and expertise providing end-to-end solutions to clients throughout the world with a presence in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Brazil, Israel, and further locations across the globe. It supports client projects primarily in four sectors: insurance, industry, healthcare, and energy/utilities. In recent years, Convista has twice been awarded SAP Partner of the Year in the Financial Services sector.

“At Convista you meet everyone on the same level, independent of your skill level or where you are in your career,” says Stefanie Weber, project lead of People and Culture – HR Systems, Convista. “Also, when we’re working with customers, we try to approach them at eye level, which makes quite a good working environment. The implementation of SAP SuccessFactors came as a natural extension to our brand and our culture.”

The Challenges of Data Siloed in Three Systems

Weber says one of the reasons she joined Convista in 2012 while studying business at university was the high priority its leaders place on trust and transparency, values that permeate the entire organization and empower employees in their work and career development. “Trust is one of our main values,” she underscores. “Also, the trust that people are willing to do their best to get motivated and move the company ahead.”

Convista grew quickly both organically and as a result of mergers with other consultancies. In 2019, IT service provider Axxiome Health joined the ConVista Group to deepen the organization’s expertise in the health insurance sector. In 2021, enowa joined the group, infusing its knowledge of industries and insurance. With the mergers complete, the incipient organization became the new Convista on January 1, 2023.

Though team members were highly motivated to collaborate from the start, Convista’s vision for itself as a modern organization was held back in both its daily work for projects and internal services. Using disparate tools based on older technology and a patchwork of third-party solutions that lacked integration proved to be inefficient and unsuitable as a basis for decision-making.

“Whenever we wanted to have a report, even something as simple as a headcount, we always had to go into three different systems, collect the data, and report on that,” Weber recalls. “It’s just one of the many examples of why we really urgently needed one IT platform.”

Project ONE Achieves Milestone Integration

To build a strong foundation for future growth, Convista embarked on “Project ONE” with the goal to have one digital platform flexible and powerful enough for the entire organization. For this, it chose SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition and SAP SuccessFactors solutions with self-service capabilities for employees to log time-off.

Overall, implementing SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition can result in streamlined HR processes; end-to-end integration with seamless connectivity between HR and finance functions for accurate and up-to-date employee data across the organization; greater transparency of data for analytics and reporting on workforce trends, costs, and profitability to enable better strategic planning and resource allocation; and compliance with regulatory requirements and data security.

SAP SuccessFactors solutions can fuel the success of every individual and drive org agility at scale

Among the key advantages is the ability for employees to access their own HR-related information, such as personal details and time-off balances. This self-service capability helps empower employees, improve transparency, and enhance the overall employee experience.

Convista’s project team decided for a phased approach to the implementation by first introducing the SAP solutions in Poland and later in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition planned to launch in the German-speaking countries during the course of 2024. To optimize success, the project team used the combined best practices of Convista and SAP and hosted regular meetings that provided clear communication to steer the project. “We were always aligned on the requirements of the other teams,” says Weber, who managed the HR workstream. “We all knew the main goal of the implementation. This was helpful for everyone on the project.”

In-house experts from Convista certified on SAP SuccessFactors solutions contributed valuable knowledge for the implementation. Consultants from SAP Services and Support successfully integrated the cost center replication from SAP S/4HANA Cloud to SAP SuccessFactors and the workforce replication from SAP SuccessFactors to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and delivered a detailed administration guide on the integration setup for Convista. Additionally, they provided an overview, the architecture guidance, and the navigation through major hurdles in performing the configuration to set up identity access governence (IAG), identity provisioning service (IPS), and identity authentication services (IAS). The SAP Early Adopter Care program supported Convista for the master data integration (MDI) during the implementation and helped to solve all roadblocks efficiently.

On January 1, 2023, Convista’s 80-person team in Poland was the first to go live with the new SAP solutions. “It was really a great experience for them and quite an advancement,” says Weber, citing the benefits of the new solutions that provide optimizations and intuitive workflows. The project took a pivotal turn on January 1, 2024, with the launch of SAP SuccessFactors solutions for Convista’s 800 employees in the German-speaking countries.

“The biggest milestone was to have [SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central] speaking with each other,” says Weber, who emphasizes how valuable it is for the team “to have an end-to-end process within one platform.” With an integrated IT platform in place, she says that it is no longer necessary to do workflows, authorizations, or any other processes in other systems.

The seamless synchronization of data by using a common data model for SAP business applications helps reduce the need for manual data entry and redundant processes. This means, for example, employee data that is maintained in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is available in real-time in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition; while master data, like cost center data, flows seamlessly from SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. Eliminating data silos enables the HR and finance teams to work with consistent, accurate data for all-important employment decisions and legal reporting obligations.

Now Convista’s team is unified in its brand, values, spirit – and employee data. 

More Transparency and Intuitive Workflows Are Just the Beginning

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Weber, with employees speaking favorably about the improved transparency and workflows. “The first thing I heard from everyone was, well, this is simple and intuitive. They were so happy about it,” she says. “They are big fans of the mobile application. They find it very transparent and easy to use.”

For some colleagues, the new solution lets them view their own data for the first time. “When we went live, everyone was viewing their profile,” says Weber. “This was also quite new that you are able to see what data is maintained for your person, your address, but also job information – to view it and have this transparency. People like this very much and also the ability to have the self-services in SAP SuccessFactors.”

To strengthen communication between HR and employees, Convista will bring more people processes onto the new digital platform. In fact, the team very recently implemented the SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals solution for annual employee appraisals, goal setting, and project feedback. “It’s just the beginning,” Weber says. “There’s still a lot of work ahead of us.”

Hinz says, “We have been careful to preserve our workplace culture during the transformation. Now that we are rebranded as one organization, we are seeing the benefits of that early effort. With SAP, we now have the digital platform to build people-centered processes that advance our vision as a unified, high-performing organization serving our clients.”       

Find out more about SAP SuccessFactors solutions.

Jacqueline Prause is a journalist at SAP.

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