Experts from the human resources sector were invited to pursue the question of what digitalization does to work, how it questions values, orientations and solutions and turns them upside down. Until late in the evening the participants of the conference discussed New Pay, AI in the handling of personnel data, modern personnel requirements planning and agile methods. In three parallel series of topics CULTURE CHANGE, HR MANAGEMENT and HR CONTROLLING, experts presented their approaches and projects and faced interested professionals for discussion.
The ECB's zero interest rate policy has had a dramatic and direct impact on the business model of almost all traditional banks. Above all, the clear signals from the new ECB President Christine Lagarde that the low interest rate policy will not change for many years to come underline the urgency of seriously addressing this issue.
NetCologne GmbH has repeatedly participated in the GREAT PLACE to WORK® competition and had its own staff rate their employer in comprehensive interviews in the context of a survey. Based on the numerous responses received, the human resources staff of the Cologne-based company have gained projects for the further development of both business culture and employer attractiveness.
Microsoft Power BI has been on everyone's lips for several years now under the keyword "Self-Service BI" and contributes significantly to the perception of the Microsoft Data Platform as a leading analytics and business intelligence platform. In order to maintain and expand its leading position, Microsoft is making significant investments in the further development of the platform and is constantly increasing the range of functions via short, sometimes monthly release cycles.
IT teams are currently under pressure from two sides: the business demands new and complex solutions that drive the digital transformation process, while at the same time the existing infrastructure must be kept up-to-date and operated smoothly. The lack of IT specialists is blocking staff growth, and outsourcing alone is not always the way out. In addition, the pressure in IT departments is increasing and employees are as dissatisfied as the longer queues of customers at the door.
A lot of companies have to rely on data of the most diverse origin and quality for their HR concerns when said data is needed for controlling and planning purposes. A lack of data quality and laborious processes are the result. The internationally successful eCommerce company shopware, a large manufacturer of online shopping systems in Germany, has implemented the noventum HR-Analytics software solution for its human resources activities.
According to the World Economic Forum up to 10 percent of the global gross domestic product will be generated via blockchains by 2027. Reason enough to take a good look at this technology already today. The upcoming opportunities of blockchain technology have, in fact, found their way into discussions on the executive level. Especially in terms of the alignment of the long-term IT strategy, the topic of blockchain should be taken into consideration in order to be able to identify early on opportunities for your own company. However, decision-makers should have a clear understanding of the potential impacts of the technologies on processes and industries.
The requirements for reports and analyses in the HR segment are growing with the technical possibilities. Until now, People Analytics has been the innovation topic du jour, whereas Predictive Analytics is the current promise. Today, the objective of a lot of Human Resources departments is to proactively and strategically support and advise the different areas of their company. The inquiries range from quick collection of relevant HR indicators to requests for intuitive analyses of possible correlations and conspicuous trends. Such requirements cannot be fulfilled with HR data that are stored in various, non-interconnected sources and which can only be combined with a lot of manual effort. The dm-drogerie markt retail group has addressed this situation with the “noventum HR-Analytics” standard solution which is based on an HR data warehouse and a BI solution based on Microsoft SQL Server and MicroStrategy. With its HR-Analytics application, noventum consulting has been able to consolidate the technical situation as well as the data basis of dm, and to significantly improve the situation of reporting within HR.
noventum consulting is once again joining the game at the very top among the Top 100 prize-winners of the GREAT PLACE to WORK® competition
noventum consulting is among Germany’s 100 best employers! At the festive gala in the Titanic Chaussee Hotel in Berlin, noventum’s managing director, Uwe Rotermund, his deputy and head of human resources, Frank Petersen, and several employees accepted the award. With this outstanding rating in the group of companies with 101 to 205 employees, noventum once again obtained a place in the first row of attractive employers. In an anonymous questionnaire, the employees assessed their employer in detail and provided their employer with an excellent report. Ever since 2006, noventum consulting has participated in the nationwide competition repeatedly with great success. In 2012, noventum’s employees catapulted their employer into first place in its category for the third time in a row. The IT management consulting firm has now been able to continue these successes.
Growth, mergers, and other large changes quite often present challenging tasks to HR departments. Frequently, the requirements posed to modern personnel management processes as well as to analysis and planning functionalities can no longer be accomplished by simple means. The nobilia company was faced with such as challenge as well. Traditionally, working with Excel, various databases, and e-mail, HR management established a technologically state-of-the-art foundation for its work with the PERSIS personnel management software. With their extensive PERSIS know-how, the HR management consultants of noventum consulting were able to decisively contribute to the project’s design.
It sounds simple, yet, it is of central importance: Software that functions without any error is good, as software errors cost time and money. That applies to standard software, but of course also to custom applications such as those used at many companies in day to day business. Through automated tests, it is possible to continuously measure and assure software quality. Undesired side effects of software changes can be directly identified and avoided through automated tests.
The EU has developed a new privacy / data protection law, the “EU General Data Protection Regulation”. It has been in full force since May 2018 and there is still uncertainty among a lot of companies and their data protection officers as to what is actually required by the new regulations and what kind of impact they will specifically have on their data processing processes. Especially in the big data and business intelligence environment, fundamental conflicts of interest arise and widely spread paradigms regarding data retention and analysis will potentially have to be put into question.
The following article provides an overview regarding the fundamental requirements of the GDPR and the obligations arising for companies and for the data protection officers, and outlines a possible approach to comply with these requirements. In addition, the impacts of the regulation are discussed in the business intelligence context and it is shown, based on the example of the Microsoft SQL Server platform, how the requirements of the new EU Directive can be covered by features of modern database management systems.
The outsourcing market already reached ever new record levels in the past, both domestically and internationally. The number and complexity of provider agreements keeps increasing, so do the challenges for the IT procurement department. Not only does the latter have to master shorter sourcing cycles, but ever more frequently said department is also taking on the role of provider management. In the future, the IT procurement department – as central bearer of know-how – will decisively co-determine what’s going on in sourcing in the company. Whether or not the department assumes the leading role will, to a certain extent, depend on who within the company is one step ahead in terms of specialist knowledge.
Quite often, SharePoint projects are conceptualised and set up to mirror their technical capabilities. In many companies, the initiative for such projects originates from the technical department which considers SharePoint no different from any other software product and rolls it out. In this, questions regarding the “why” and “what for” are often asked too late. As such, failure over the short or long term is pre-programmed, given that the SharePoint technology is considerably meshing with the internal communication and collaboration processes. That, however, requires the support of all parties involved, from the responsible manager all the way to the user side.
Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) is a query and modelling language for SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Tabular, Power-BI, and Excel Power Pivot. Calculated columns, tables, and user-defined Measures can be created at a very sophisticated level.
How useful DAX is in business practice is impressively illustrated by a development in the area of the Development in Pay Act. This relatively new law provides employees with the right to demand valid proof from their employer for the commensurability of their own remuneration in comparison to employees with similar activities. With the help of the HR-Analytics solution of noventum, which also relies on the DAX formula language, companies can comply with this obligation.
Due to the oftentimes extensive available data space, the areas of application of HR-Analytics are varied and range from reports and analyses to human resources master data, staffing structure and movement, as well as human resources measures all the way to analyses of time management and salaries. As reporting and analysis tool, HR-A traditionally conduces to human resources management. However, report recipients are also increasingly located at all levels of management and in other areas of the company: from production, via logistics and commerce, all the way to internal marketing and PR departments. As such, the increasing technical possibilities are turning noventum HR-Analytics (HR-A) into a future-oriented analysis and planning instrument.
The family-owned company BRITA, based in Taunusstein, Germany, is a leader in the field of drinking water optimization and is represented on all five continents. It operates a complex data warehouse to meet its diverse commercial requirements. By upgrading its SQL Server software to the latest version of 2016 SP1, the company is now able to use the various new functions of the Standard Edition and to remain technically up to date with justifiable effort.
An intelligent analysis of customer and online user data enables targeted and customer-oriented marketing. The prerequisite for this is that the implemented data structures and selected analysis methods and BI tools are coordinated with each other and fit together well. A medium-sized publishing company used the DWH and BI architecture introduced in 2013 to expand its data-based marketing activities. As in the previous BI projects, noventum's consultants were also responsible for developing a data model for marketing, which will also serve as a central basis for future analytics requirements.
For most companies the use of cloud services is initially often a step-by-step experiment. Based on individual accounts with one of the major cloud providers, various employees explore the possibilities and get an idea of what might be of interest to their company or department. Even these first explorations are usually subject to a fee. In order to keep an eye on where the journey is going financially, this initial option testing has to be tackled systematically. Such a plan is mandatory for a later widespread use of the cloud. Large providers such as AWS or Azure have usually planned the first steps for new customers diligently. With a Trusted Advisor, such as that found at AWS, the first steps are quickly and safely taken.
Over the past few years, more and more IT service providers have relocated services to countries with lower wage levels, especially India. The aim of this offshoring is to meet the increased competitive and cost pressure of the markets. However, many companies had to realize after outsourcing that the expected savings potentials can only be partially realized. As great as the business incentives are, as high are the demands on the provider management of these offshore projects. Due to intercultural differences, serious inefficiencies can occur in such projects. In addition to purely organisational challenges, it is especially the large cultural differences that have a decisive influence on the success of an offshore project.
Today, most companies have already had experience with the cloud: applications, IT capacities or individual processes are sourced from a wide range of cloud providers. Agility, innovation, cost reduction, flexibility and scalability are the most common reasons for moving to the cloud. The practical questions are: which provider has the right services? Which parts of the corporate IT are suitable for outsourcing? How does a migration into the cloud actually work? How does it pay off and are the costs the only trigger for moving to the cloud? The question is usually no longer, "are we going into the cloud?" Rather, it is about questions such as "when and how?" or "which services are possible?". Not only beginners in the cloud topic ask themselves the question of the correct procedure.
Using the concrete example of the relocation of an HR analytics application to a cloud environment, some special features of cloud computing in the BI environment are presented here.
Digital transformation is everywhere! As if the IT-technological development of the last decades had only been an insignificant foreplay, digitization is on everyone's lips. No socially relevant field remains unaffected by this and it seems to be all about the question of speed. The demand for agility and flexibility sets the pace, and this has already clarified what the dynamics of digitization are aimed at. The different players are quite differently positioned and IT departments in companies are often unable to keep up with the pace on their own. Sourcing to IT service providers can relieve the burden on them, whether they are external service providers or internal service providers in larger groups. However, the ever-increasing expectations from business about the speed and scope of digital transformation are also changing the relationship between IT departments and their service providers. In the future, they will have to move much closer to the specialist departments in the companies in order to be able to deliver precisely and quickly.
Cloud computing is currently the technological answer to the many calls for agile IT environments in times of digitalization. However, the market is constantly changing and not a few cloud projects fail due to lack of preparation. The call for a sophisticated cloud strategy and secure procedural models is growing. Together with Microsoft and CAST, the market leader for software analysis and measurement, noventum consulting GmbH has developed a solution for these requirements. The professional partnership between the three companies culminates in a workshop offering for companies that want to test their way into the cloud.
„Make or buy "in the IT sourcing strategy for international retail companies - flexible and yet from a single source
Even in centrally managed international corporations, national or local developments have repeatedly occurred over the years, which run counter to a uniform approach. Such developments are often pragmatic and good, often they are simply expensive. Especially in areas driven by technical developments, such a "wildness" is not uncommon. In this sense, IT sourcing in corporate groups is sometimes confusing.
A business culture that is characterised by trust and performance provides a broad foundation for successful business activities to the benefit of customers, the company's employees, and all other parties participating in the business eco system. In addition to its IT subject matter topics, the IT management consulting firm noventum consulting wants to support its customers with organisational consulting in order to establish a business culture on the pillars of credibility, respect, fairness, deep connection, and team spirit. In an interview, the managing director of noventum, Uwe Rotermund, is explaining the interconnections.
From the construction of the first prototype in their own garage to becoming one of the world market leaders for combined heat and power plants (CHPs) – that's the interim balance of the 2G Group from the Münsterland region. The rapid growth and increasing internationalisation bring along new challenges for control and operation, as well as, in particular, for the Controlling specialist department. In order to also satisfy all future requirements in this dynamic environment efficiently, the company started the enterprise data warehouse project "2G-Facts" in late 2014 with the support of the IT management consulting firm noventum consulting GmbH. Today, 2G is already using the new business intelligence platform in select application cases in various commercial and technical specialist areas and is therewith excellently positioned also for future requirements and for increasing demand for information.
The "brand eins" magazine and the "Statista" statistics company once more have presented a detailed analysis of the performance of business consulting companies. noventum consulting is among the best of this analysis. brand eins is presenting the analysis in a comprehensive special edition "Consulting".
MicroStrategy® Incorporated, leading provider of enterprise software platforms worldwide, invited to Cologne (Germany) on April 6th 2017 for a one-day symposium. In addition to the new functions of MicroStrategy 10.7, which has been available since March, as well as industry-specific and discipline-specific solutions, best practices application of customers and partner companies were also presented at the symposium. noventum consulting, partner and sponsor of the event, introduced its analysis and presentation platform "HR-Analytics" for management, designed for executive management and HR department.
Business culture, employer attractiveness and "digitalised" work structures in the strategic planning dialogue of Volksbank Ruhr Mitte eG
The annually updated strategic planning process is a well exercised practice of the management team of Volksbank Ruhr Mitte eG. In recent years, the company also had to take into consideration massive challenges in this, just like any other bank – from the lasting low-interest rate situation via the always further increasing regulatory requirements all the way to significantly changing customer requirements and completely new agile competitors. These challenges can be mastered only with significant efficiency increases, cost reductions, and reorganisations, whereupon solutions were found in the strategic planning dialogue of Volksbank Ruhr-Mitte that will be consistently implemented in the months and years ahead. In this, the term planning dialogue emphasises that these are not "lone" decisions but rather a strategy developed in dialogue.
Companies, public institutions, and state institutions are feverishly dealing with strategies for the digital age and are exploring how this technological megatrend is carrying changes over into all areas of life. The insight is taking a hold that any and all structures and processes will have to endure the digitalisation check-up. In this, sourcing strategies are also prominently encountering the pressure to change. However, a lot of companies do not yet have such strategies to date, and run the risk of losing control in the maelstrom of changes.
noventum consulting has been a partner of the Swabian software producer Persis since 01.01.2017. The modular HR software from Persis supports the personnel management of more than 500 medium-sized companies and groups from the DACH region.
The HRM team of noventum, as a reliable and competent HR management consultant, supports clients in the implementation, adaptation and expansion of their Persis solution. Noventum Persis is a sales partner for Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland.
Since Indian companies have, for a long time already, been successfully acting internationally as software producers, outsourcing deals have, in recent years, increasingly be awarded to India. In the day-to-day work of provider control, cultural differences become apparent that can make a successful cooperation considerably more difficult. German managers and administrators must be aware of these differences in order to do a good job with the Asian partners. Outsourcing expert Tamara Wagner of the IT management consulting firm noventum consulting has made remarkable observations in the cooperation with large Indian providers.
The change from one IT provider to another is always a demanding project. The more complex an IT landscape is, the higher the requirements posed to project management and communication between the companies involved are. In mid-2015, a new contract was signed with a new service provider the hosting of the IT of ista International. The change was to be completed by the end of May 2016. noventum consulting assumed responsibility for the superordinate management of the transition project. In the end, the committed and professional cooperation of all parties involved allowed for a successful transition already 4 weeks ahead of the planned schedule. Very satisfied with the perfect timing and with the financial impacts associated therewith, the new provider and ista now have tackled the first steps for the pending transformation.
In the selection of their IT provider, customers must pay particular attention to quality and costs. Especially the question of cost is quite often the triggering factor to start tackling a sourcing project. Especially in the assigning of commodity services, a lot of companies then do not see significant differences between the numerous providers and consider additional decision criteria other than price and quality to be insignificant. What is forgotten in this quite often is that a well functioning cooperation also includes a good communication. In day-to-day business subsequent to the signing of the contract, a lot of different employees of the customer and of the provider also have to clarify controversial questions with each other. If this does not work, the strong focusing especially on the cost factor can quickly turn out to be a "bottomless pit". What initially appeared to be economically lucrative becomes very expensive mid-term. What is to be concluded? In the process for selecting a provider, one additional factor is gaining increasing importance as a decision criterion, the so-called "Cultural Fit".
Matthias Horx, renowned futurologist and intellectual contemporary, is an avowed optimist. On Friday, September 30, 2016, the managers and company owners at the Business Unusual Forum 2016 at the Factory Hotel in Münster were able to experience how Horx and other speakers with a critical and at the same time optimistic outlook put the current state of the capitalistic economy and the roles of its actors under scrutiny Uwe Rotermund, managing director of Münster-based business consultancy noventum consulting, had extended an invitation and visitors from all over Germany came to discuss new management approaches and management methods. ...
An important step in the merger: Fiducia & GAD IT AG is working with a uniform SAP system for its commercial processes
The "FinSAP16" project team was able to proclaim the successful merger of two different SAP systems in early 2016, on-time, and flawlessly. Fiducia & GAD IT AG, the service provider for information technology within the cooperative finance group FinanzGruppe, is going to be working with an ERP system that – as "Best of Breed" – had already before the merger successfully replaced the SAP systems of Fiducia and GAD.
noventum is one of the best consulting companies in Germany for "IT Strategy" and "IT Implementation"
The "brand eins" magazine and the "Statista" statistics company once more have presented a detailed analysis of the performance of business consulting companies. noventum consulting is among the best of this analysis. brand eins is presenting the analysis in a comprehensive special edition titled "Consulting 4.0".
NWB Verlag publishing house gradually repositions its business intelligence architecture and planning environment
At the end of 2013, the Herne-based publishing house NWB Verlag, too, reached the point of completely rethinking its current BI solution approaches. Jointly with the BI team of noventum consulting GmbH, a fundamental renewal of the BI architecture was achieved in the process. Subsequent to the implementation of an enterprise DWH as basis for reporting and analysis, the quality improvement of the planning processes was scheduled for 2015. Due to the successfully completed project, the comptrollers of NWB Verlag are now able to present more detailed and more flexible planning results that are of higher quality, and can do so at considerably reduced effort.
Steady growth and mergers present human resource departments with enormous challenges. On the path from "administrating" to proactive consulting in terms of human resource management, the requirements posed to modern human resource management processes as well as analysis and planning functionalities are growing. As such, AGRAVIS - with the help of noventum consulting - initially started to look for an HRM standard solution with the objective of being able to take care of a large share of current and expected future requirements. Once the fitting solution was found with PERSIS, additional requirements were implemented, for instance with the "digital personnel file", the "employee life-cycle" process, and the integration of processes that are usually foreign to HR. Today, the AGRAVIS human resource department works with a modern solution for the quite often automated mapping of the human resource management processes.
With its collaboration software SharePoint, Microsoft has been working since 2001 on combining under one roof a lot of functions that - to date - are operated separate from one another at companies: Intranet, extranet, content management, document management, personal cloud, business social networking, business intelligence, workflow management, web content management, and a lot more. The collaboration software - which has to potential to shape business communications as a whole - has arrived in day-to-day business at a lot of companies. Yet, the implementation of SharePoint technology is still a big challenge and a lot of implementation projects fail.
Since the introduction of SAP ERP 6.0 in 2006, the ERP application has – as part of its current release strategy – only been functionally enhanced through so-called Enhancement Packages (EHP). In addition to the usual maintenance via Support Packages, SAP has - with the SAP Enhancement Packages – created an enhancement concept that, on the one hand, ensures stability for existing functions and, on the other hand, allows for simplified and selective access to new functions. In this, it is ensured through the use of the switch framework technology that no functional changes are occurring during installation.
„Never change a running system.“ This motto is known to every IT employee. But, what to do when the system does not function perfectly anymore? Customers complain about the lack of quality. The management complains about ever-rising IT costs. An IT landscape that often has developed over years in small steps is no longer meeting the requirements and is up for discussion. Now, the management of IT has to think about changes. But what should be changed? Are small corrective actions sufficient or does it have to be more
To those who deal with IT quality management, the questions „what is IT quality, actually, where and how is it measured, and where is it created?" very quickly arise.
According to the IEC 2371 standard, quality is the correspondence between the observed properties and the previously defined requirements of an observation unit. In the case of IT quality, the observation unit typically either is an IT component (server, switch, router, etc.) or an IT service.
Even still today, IT is merely a means to an end at a lot of companies. The history of in-house IT is long and twisted, the basic technical facts are confusing, and only comprehensible to „old hands“ at the company. IT serves merely as a tool for the core business and does therefore not receive the attention of a strategic factor in the planning that is decisive for success. At the same time, IT costs a lot of money and has to prove that it has an up-to-date cost/benefit ratio. This is the moment for a paradigm shift: the end of reaction and the beginning of strategy and planning. Hartmut Ossowitzki, management consultant at noventum consulting, has been working as an IT specialist for more than 20 years and advises heads of IT regarding the setup of a strategic EAM (Enterprise Architecture Management).
Nowadays, virtualisation is considered one of the key technologies in business IT. Server virtualisation and storage virtualisation allow for a better utilisation of the hardware, allowing for cost savings and a more flexible delivery of IT resources. Similarly statements apply to the virtualisation of networks, desktops, and applications. The topic of virtualisation has been a concern for the IT world for more than 45 years. In AIX and/or UNIX systems it was possible already as early as in 1972 to partition the hardware resources of a system for the parallel operation of multiple operation system (LPAR mode).
Communication in large hospitals takes place through innumerable channels. In addition to the already highly complex issue of data communications, this does also and still affect the classic area of telephony. The use of mobile end devices is a matter of course in day-to-day hospital business, but here is where problems and challenges occur that are owed to the special hospital situation and that require special solutions. Extraordinarily heterogeneous systems as well as radiation-sensitive areas on the hospital grounds are just two of the numerous topics that an integrated solution must take into consideration.
When all IT systems must be relocated to another data centre, this often is a particular challenge for the affected IT departments due to today‘s complex IT structures. The effort in relocating a complete data centre while maintaining the agreed upon service levels is enormous. Most often, no or only little experience with such a relocation exists. The amount of work often exceeds the available personnel resources. Typically, to conquer this task, external know-how is purchased or the whole data centre relocation may even be handed over to a competent service provider.
Cloud-based services provide some advantage over standard IT services such as scalability, cost reduction, and lower investment costs (operating costs instead of investment costs). The large cloud providers do by now offer a very diverse portfolio from Infrastructure-as-a-Service, via Platform-as-a-Service, all the way to Software-as-a-Service. With the AWS Marketplace, Amazon does, for example, offer the opportunity to provision more than 1,500 software products in 25 categories at the push of a button. In recent years, the cloud market has grown significantly and is playing a more and more important role.
The IT infrastructures of companies of different industries - in particular of those in the financial sector - must adhere to an increasing number of internal and external requirements. Among them are requirements from statutory rules and regulations (Sarbanes-Oxley Act), standards (PCI DSS, COBIT), norms (ISO/IEC 27001), and internal requirements. These must be taken into consideration on the strategic level as part of IT governance and have to be implemented via corresponding processes, resources, and guidelines on the operational level.
Uwe Rotermund, managing director of Münster-based business consultancy noventum consulting, had extended an invitation to the 2015 Business Unusual Forum, and 90 company owners and managers from all over Germany came to discuss new management approaches and management methods. On Friday, September 25th, at the Factory Hotel in Münster, they experienced a day filled with provocative presentations, thoughtful conversations, satirical exaggerations, and a lot of self-activation. The moderation of the day was handled by Oliver Pauli, improv theatre maker from Münster.
Even in organisations of medium size, the IT infrastructure is often based on different, historically grown structures. With the help of noventum, a German private bank with subsidiaries in Luxembourg has consolidated its IT landscape and centralised it in a single location. The consolidation of the Active Directories and of the Exchange infrastructures was the core element of this measure.
To simplify the reading of this article mainly the term transition is used for both transition and transformation. Transition projects where IT Outsourcing (ITO) providers are switched are highly complex, resource intensive, challenging and risky. Typically, the ITO customer has outsourced the required knowledge to the incumbent provider. The new provider has not yet the required knowledge to provide IT services as needed at the beginning of the transition. Therefore, both parties, the ITO customer and the new provider rely on the support from the incumbent provider.
The BRITA family company, headquartered in Taunusstein (Germany), is represented on all five continents as globally active provider in the area of drinking water optimisation, with subsidiaries, shareholdings, and partner companies. Corresponding to the structure of its group of companies, the company needed a central reporting, analysis and - in the future also - planning solution for the quick, automated mapping of the monthly financial statements of the whole group of companies.
Employees who ride a bicycle to work all year long take – on average – 36 % fewer sick days than colleagues who take this ride with the car. That is the result of a new study by EcoLibro GmbH in which approx. 2,200 employees from all over Germany were interviewed. At the same time, these employees were 10 % more satisfied, as determined by a WHO catalogue of questions.
„Preliminary and right from the start temporally restricted regulation (in delineation from organisation). These are ad-hoc regulations that are created intuitively (controlled by feelings) or heuristically (driven by experience). They do often only have a preliminary character since the thorough analysis of their underlying decision situation is omitted. Improvisation is a sign of insufficient organisation (sub-organisation). In organisational science, improvisation is juxtaposed to organisation. While organisation is striving for a permanently and comprehensively structuring of division of labour systems, improvisation deals with the structuring of a limited number of cases...“
The creation of data warehouses allows for relying on standardised elements at different spots. Depending on the project, there is a high degree of standardisation in some layers while others contain customer-specific business logic throughout. To implement the standardised layers as quickly as possible and in high quality means – for each project – a stable basis and motivation for the often difficult individual aspects that have to be worked on subsequently.
In terms of outsourcing, the opinions were split for a long time: the big ones among the companies obtained room to manoeuvre for their core business by outsourcing functions. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however, shied away from this step. Insufficient outsourcing experience, worrying about their business-critical data, fear of intransparency and dependency were hindering a good many in terms of handing tasks over to third parties. Now also available in German, the first international standard for this subject area – DIN ISO 37500 „Guidance on outsourcing“ – standardises the process of outsourcing.
WGZ BANK, Geno Bank Consult and GAD did, with the support of noventum, jointly develop a new solution for credit risk reporting. In this, it was possible to show that an automated data management system and a standardised report template do not necessarily have to represent a contradiction to bank-specific requirements.
Is competition „driving progress“? Ever since Adam Smith, we have come to believe that the answer to this question is „yes“. According to Smith, the „selfish rational striving of the individual competitor for maximum profit does at the same time also lead to increasing common good“. The ideas of Smith were picked up and fine-tuned by numerous economic theorists. Worth mentioning at this point is the „dynamic competition“ model of John M. Clark, which was developed further by Wolfgang Kerber into the „evolutionary competition theory“.
From sourcing projects all the way to day-to-day operations – promising perspectives for noventum consulting in Luxembourg
Since 2012, noventum has had a presence in Luxembourg. Harald Hau is the owner and managing director of the consulting company noventum S.á.r.l., Luxemburg; in a novum interview, he is reporting on the latest developments and consulting topics of his company.
The integration phase subsequent to mergers is a huge challenge. Often, its success decides about the failure or success of a merger. For many years already, noventum consulting has been supporting the manifold planning and operational aspects of this critical project phase in the IT, financial, insurance, energy, and other sectors. Carsten Fröning, Director, consultant at noventum since 1997, and responsible for the topic „Post merger integration“, provides information about this important milestone in the PMI lifecycle of a company.
With which recipes can companies be controlled in a forward-looking and employee-oriented manner, so that the task of management and leadership is not just working but actually fun, making the person in charge of the company happy in the same way as the employees and customers, and ensuring commensurate successes? Uwe Rotermund, managing partner of noventum consulting GmbH, which in the past three years in a row was awarded as „Germany‘s Best Employer" by the Great Place to Work® Institute, is drawing up an interim balance after 20 years of business activity.
„Standardisation in the actual meaning of the word means a unification of metric, types, methods or other things. The objective is the creation of joint standards respectively parameters (for instance in case of tools, production components or software components)." That‘s what Wikipedia has to say. What significance does standardisation have in a highly customer-specific consulting environment such as the setup of business intelligence solutions?
Be it floods, technical accidents, or complete power outages: nobody is immune to catastrophes and ever so often companies are affected as well, whose production stagnates as a result or even comes to a grinding halt. In this, the survivability of a lot of business operations is dependent on continuously available IT services and their underlying IT infrastructure.
Just like the call for order, safety, and planning, the call for quality in IT is always topical. This applies when large changes are ahead as well as when realignments and problems occur in normal operations. Each and every major change is followed by a consolidation, be it after a merger, a spin-off, an insourcing or outsourcing, or after periods of severe cost reduction. The next step is the call for an increase or reestablishment of quality.
As part of a larger IT outsourcing project in Singapore, Tamara Wagner, IT Outsourcing Consultant at noventum, visited the Asian computer centre of its German client. From an IT point of view, this client represents the German company in Asia on the Germany-Singapore-USA axis.
In companies, the HR indicators gain more and more importance as a strategic instrument. As such, meaningful strategic indicators are presented to executive management in an appealing fashion. In this, indicator reports are not to be considered compliance documents but rather an organisational communication tool. Only when the recipient received an informative and coherent document can strategic measures be derived therefrom and/or objectives pursued.
The integration phase subsequent to mergers or outsourcing deals is a huge challenge. Its success often decides about the failure or success of a merger. For many years already, noventum consulting has been supporting the manifold planning and operational aspects of this critical project phase from the IT perspective.
In the financial industry, digital customer communications were the domain of the direct banks for a long time. With the Electronic Mailbox, the IT service provider of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe savings and loan bank finance group is contributing to making the digital customer relations dialogue an essential customer care component of the regionally active savings and loan banks (Sparkassen).
Originally interconnected via the proximity to the MicroStrategy BI tool, the tool provider Thinking Networks and noventum consulting are growing closer and closer together as a homogeneous solution provider. After first joint project successes and a joint presence at MicroStrategy World in Barcelona (Spain) in July of this year, noventum has considerably driven forward the integration of the two best-of-breed tool providers for business intelligence and planning. The result of this activity: the „CPM Excellence Suite“.
A growing number of companies have been integrated into domestic as well as international company group structures. These days, the increased complexity of the business landscape can only be managed properly with automated IT architectures, because the quarterly and/or annual reports of the parent company and those of the subsidiaries as well as the consolidated financial statement of the company group are closely intertwined with one another and must comply with complicated domestic and international regulations.
The German game of chance market is changing at a fast pace. More and more providers, legal and especially numerous illegal companies are meanwhile crowding the lottery and sports betting market. For the German consumers it is becoming more and more difficult to filter out trustworthy offerings from the multitude of game offerings. WestLotto, as a state provider of lotteries such as LOTTO 6aus49, the GlücksSpirale or Eurojackpot wants to tackle these changed framework conditions.
The CHAOS Report of the Standish Group has been telling us for 20 years already that IT projects in a clear majority of cases do not achieve their objectives. Be it 16 % achievement of objectives in 1994 or 39 % in 2012, IT projects are not a safe bet and whether the increase by 23 percentage points of the last 20 years is actually the result of a stronger focus on objectives can definitely be doubted.
Aside of the day-to-day and line business, projects are what is intended to effect any major change in the business processes. Heterogeneous working groups gather around the new task, at times staffed only internally, and at times also jointly with suppliers or consultants. The managers bearing these responsibilities must ask themselves who should be working on the project, which expertise and experience should the prospective team members bring to the table. Project management as skill, as best practice, as framework – which approach is the right one? Wolfgang Plemper who, as Director at noventum consulting is responsible for the project management training portfolio, is on the road with this topic at universities and companies knows different means: Prince2®, IPMA and other approaches.
In certain specialised areas, classic corporate performance management tools successfully perform their duties. For this reason, the current solutions in the marketplace include numerous specialised CPM tools that have been designed to fulfil the requirements of a certain area of specialisation or a specific BI Task.
A new logo for noventum consulting
After more than 10 years, noventum consulting has changed its company logo. This way, we want to express something that belongs to the topic at hand. Today, noventum consulting GmbH is a recognised IT management consulting firm. Our services reach the top management of our customers, our consultants are interim managers and bring large works into motion. Our subsidiaries and partners abroad are similarly prominently positioned in their markets. As such, it was a concern of ours for quite some time to reflect this development in our company logo.
The competitiveness of companies will, in the future, depend even much more on the ability to attract, keep and promote high-performing employees. Employer attractiveness therefore gains decisive importance. The HR manager who wants to coordinate all measures for controlling employer attractiveness therefore becomes one of the most important “strategists” in the 21st century company. Additionally, what is expected from HR managers in the near future is that they, with the help of integrated HR processes and IT systems, will be technologically and organisationally able to provide optimal support to demanding executives.
In newer innovation research, a fundamental paradigm shift can be observed, from pure basic research to a resource recombination. In the future, so the thesis of the newer innovation research, the innovation process will no longer be controlled by radical break-throughs but rather mostly by the synthetisation, linking and intersection of already existing insights and experiences.
SAP Turkey honours Anadolu Sigorta for her BI-investments with „Business Intelligence Project of the Year 2014“ award
Anadolu Sigorta, Turkish Insurance Sector Pioneer, is also demonstrating its difference with its investments into Information Technology and into employee’s development and wellbeing. While conducting quite a few projects last year, Anadolu Sigorta has eased the knowledge sharing, increased the trust in data and succeed in increasing the effectiveness of timely information usage.
Due to fluctuations in the economy or changes in the financial results of the companies, the expenditures for IT are subject to cyclical changes. Measures kept in abeyance in the short term and the cost savings resulting therefrom are offset in the next quarters. Increased investments are done again, only to ring in the next round of cost-cutting.
An estimated 4.4 billion people will be smartphone owners by 2017, and a large share of these people will be using apps regularly to quickly and easily access information and functionalities that otherwise could only be reached cumbersomely via the web browser. That this trend cannot move past the business environment is apparent, but there are numerous hurdles in the way, such as the existence of different operating systems, ensuring appropriate data security, or connectivity to the current system landscape.
SAP Solution Manager for international application support at an energy provider and at a tourism company
The European division of a worldwide operating energy group of companies has been using the SAP Solution Manager successfully for more than four years for the processing of incidents. In addition, the tool is used in change re-quest management in order to be able to manage and control IT projects. noventum consulting provides adjustments in
The partners have already completed the first successful joint projects, and another prominent IT outsourcing project, in which both companies are involved with their consulting expertise, is currently heading towards completion. Now, Diapharm and noventum consulting have sealed their cooperation with a cooperation agreement.
„Today, the successful hunter from the stone age would not pass his A levels exam and most probably would have to take Ritalin“
Interview with Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck
At the end of May, two intense days of joint business development and planning of future activities brought together Thorsten Schmidt and Thorsten Nimbs of noventum consulting with their partners of MicroStrategy and Thinking Networks in Warsaw. The place of the meeting was the Global Delivery Center of MicroStrategy Poland (GDC). Motivated by numerous successful projects, both parties intend to expand and intensify the partnership of many years already.
This way, the CIO always has access to the decisive information for the controlling of the IT services
How often do you hear the familiar saying "Only that which can be measured can also be managed"? Managing includes three central tasks: setting objectives, determining paths, and achieving objectives.
The dibera consulting company, a subsidiary of the LVM insurance company, and noventum consulting have made plans for a consulting partnership for the insurance industry. dibera, which is established in the insurance sector, as well as noventum consulting with its technical and strategic BI consulting approach, want to jointly put their expertise to use in future projects. Uwe Rotermund, managing director of noventum, and Thomas Koschlig, managing director of dibera, emphasised at a meeting the good fit of both companies. Thorsten Schmidt, who has technical responsibility for BI consulting at noventum, is happy about how well the companies complement each other. „At noventum, to date, we have successfully completed very sophisticated and large BI projects. With the intimate insurance know-how of dibera, we are jointly the ideal consultants for the insurance industry.-
The asset management unit of a power utility bears responsibility for guaranteeing the security of the supply as well as for the long-term development and maintenance of the grid. In this, the focus is, on the one hand, on the development of maintenance and investment strategies that require an assessment of the grid components and a determination of their condition. On the other hand, budgeting and the planning of measures in coordination with the overall business planning comprise the second focal point.
On Tuesday, March 11, 2014, Uwe Rotermund, managing partner of noventum consulting, participated in the panel discussion „Dream job IT consultant?“ at the CeBIT Career Centre of Computerwoche (the German edition of Computerworld). The requirements posed to future IT consultants were just as much a matter of discussion as the later perspectives and opportunities of this interesting job. In addition to Uwe Rotermund, managers from DV-Ratio, Accenture, Computacenter as well as Harvey Nash participated in the discussion.
The work environment is changing permanently and will, in the years ahead, become completely different from what we have known in the past. These are not trends that come and go but rather a true change of the rules of the game. Even though today traditional work is still common at a lot of companies, this model is approaching its expiration date. The young generation of „digital natives“ and an unstoppable change of values in society are reaching the work environment more and more.
In 2015, the internationally standardised ISO standard ISO 37500 will regulate all essential details in outsourcing. Experts from 42 nations are participating in the development of this standard that is recognised worldwide, among them Frank Wübken, IT outsourcing expert and management consultant at noventum consulting. Frank Wübken is participating in the development of the standard as "Head of Delegation" of the German participants. In this function, he participated in an international conference in Delhi, India, at the end of February.
Licences are a topic for any company that utilises non-in-house software for the support of its business. At medium-sized and large companies, the overview over the software used and the licences bought is lost quickly. The task of a licence management is to maintain an overview, be able to state the licence situation at any time, and to support an audit or the purchase of new licences.
Motivation and added value of outsourcing activities nowadays differ from those in the early years of this important business segment of the world of IT. Originally, the purpose often was to unburden the IT budget. Through standardisation of platform or implementation of ITIL processes throughout, providers were able to achieve considerable cost-savings, which initially even made one or the other bumpy start into the outsourcing business forgivable.
The change in role from technical expert to executive is a common phenomenon, yet all too often it is encountered by participants who are ill-prepared. Nobody would get the idea to have a Windows 8 implementation performed by a specialist without any Windows 8 expertise and experience.
noventum S.A.R.L. in Luxembourg is looking back at its first complete fiscal year. For the novum editorial team, this was an impetus to talk with its managing partner, Harald Hau.
Independent of the management system used, the requirements posed to a tool for business management are the same. The purpose always is to support a corporate performance management cycle (PDCA cycle = Plan -- Do -- Check -- Act). The challenge is to ensure an overall picture for executive management.
On Monday, November 4th, 2013 , managers and business owners from Belarus visited noventum consulting GmbH in Münster as part of a 4-week study trip to Germany. Managing director Uwe Rotermund welcomed the guests and gave presentations on the topics of "Employee-oriented Business Management" and establishing a "GREAT PLACE to WORK".
Everybody is talking about outsourcing, scenarios for sourcing models are state-of-the-art.
If the internal IT service provider decides to outsource parts or whole areas of its provision of services to one or more external providers, i.e., to initiate an outsourcing project, then a lot of framework conditions are changing for it.
IT is the backbone of the modern enterprise, not just another function within it. For businesses to continue to succeed in an increasingly technology-dependent world, CIOs must assume a strategic leadership role and drive change throughout the enterprise. Driving business strategy is not an entirely new role, but it is an added responsibility to the traditional CIO job function. While many CIOs possess the skills and ambition to impact business strategy, existing IT operational models and an aging infrastructure are holding them back. CIOs who have been successful in bridging the divide between IT and the business did it by first accelerating IT transformation.
An interview with Carsten Fröning, Thorsten Schmidt and Otto-Jörg Schröder
novum: Mr. Schröder, you have been a part of the management of noventum consulting in the area of SAP consulting since November 2012. What is your specific focus and how does this change the noventum consulting Portfolio?
Despite the international financial crisis, the economy was not brought to its knees. The lack of qualified personnel that had already been looming on the horizon in 2009 has continued and is becoming tangible once more with the improving economy. Has the time arrived now to bring foreign professionals to Germany with attractive conditions in order to not lose out on the business opportunities presenting themselves?
Since 2008, the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) organises the ERCIS Launch Pad in cooperation with the technology sponsorship company Technologieförderung Münster GmbH. This is an annual competition for founders, potential founders and those interested in becoming a founder with interesting ideas for IT products or Services.
The IT of the clinics of the future is faced with substantial challenges. Not only are huge amounts of data generated by new imaging processes, but these also need to be processed, presented, stored and archived. Now, at first glance this might not appear to be anything unusual. Of course, this is true for the data of a patient staying at the University Clinic. However, when the data of this patient is to be stored for the duration of said patient‘s life and if in addition also all the data that was not generated at the clinic is - in our example - to be stored in the patient‘s file, then the whole is becoming a challenge that can only be mastered with great difficulty.
In November 2012, SAP released the first version of Design Studio as the successor to the Web Application Designer (WAD) for customers. With the Design Studio, report applications for web browsers and mobile end devices can be created using an Eclipse-based graphical user interface. After the merger of SAP and BusinessObjects in 2008, the utmost efforts were made to integrate the worlds of SAP BW / Business Explorer (BEx) and BusinessObjects. With the introduction of the BI Platform 4.0 (BIP) and the BI Consumer Services (BICS) interface, a significant breakthrough was achieved. Still, when it comes to tools such as Web Intelligence using the BICS interface the integration with SAP BW leaves a lot to be desired in some areas.
The customer care card of the Münster municipal works is becoming electronic and features new opportunities for the future. The change is powered by a conceptionally and technically sophisticated IT system.
It has been on the market since 1998 and counts roughly 60,000 customers at this point – the PlusCard, the Münster municipal works’ customer care card. Since spring 2013, the company has been equpping its PlusCard with a chip, rendering the card electronic. The new, intelligent PlusCard supplies its customers with new offers and services with genuine additional benefits. As a first electronic service, the Münster municipal works have introduced the electronic bus ticket (eTicket). It constitutes the basis for several transportation products which allow for a flexible use. The first eTicket product made available by the Münster municipal works is the 90 minute ticket, which has been on offer since March 2013. Its use is especially flexible, since it automatically determines the best price depending on the number of rides already used spontaneously and there is no basic fee attached. A further flexible ticket is in the works for release come autumn 2013. This ticket is aimed at subscribers and automatically calculates the fees according to time of use.
novum: noventum consulting and BOARD Deutschland are living a business partnership. What specifically is the basis of your cooperation?
In the implementation and consolidation of data warehouse (DWH) solutions, the decisions regarding a specific architecture, the software to be utilised, and BI governance are of strategic significance. Nevertheless, this issue is often considered very subjectively and the decision is influenced only by a few people – e.g., is software manufacturer ABC market leader in this industry.
In addition to our activities in the Münsterland region regarding a trust-based company culture, we are also taking advantage of opportunities to discuss 21st century management style concepts in an international arena. As such, Uwe Rotermund recently spoke in Stockholm (Sweden) at the international meeting of HR organisations, to which the German Association for Personnel Management (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Personalmanagement e.V.) had extended an invitation, about the effect of the global mega trends on the work environment. Subsequently, experienced HR staff
Technical strategies for large computing centres in banking environments –between the pressure to merge and to innovate
Not all IT providers are alike. The customer structure and hence the portfolio make up part of the distinction, as well as the actual position in the technical upgrading cycle which all IT providers are more or less subject to. The consultants at noventum consulting have been working in the IT banking environment since the mid-1990s. In an editorial interview, noventum Management Consultant Markus Ristau and Stefan Wolters put together key data for a situation analysis dedicated to this special kind of IT Provider.
In-Memory Technology currently is one of the most interesting technical topics in information technology that will surely bring about several changes in the near future. At present, its main area of application is analytical systems that achieve an enormous performance gain from using In-Memory Technology. Additional areas of application are presently being tested and piloted at large manufacturers. Here, SAP is taking a very systematic, innovative path with its In-Memory solution HANA.
In 2007, SAP acquired the then market-leading (based on market shares) BI provider „BusinessObjects“, aiming with this at providing its own, high-performance BI solution. But the devil is in the details and the adaptation to the SAP world turned out to be more difficult than expected. It was only in September 2011 that the Walldorf company brought „SAP BI 4.0“ to the marketplace which is considered an important step for the integration of the SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions into the SAP BW world.
For several years now, COBIT has been received and accepted as the framework for IT governance, both in an international context and in Germany. And like every framework, COBIT, too, is regularly being revised and adjusted to changing needs. In April 2012, now, COBIT 5 was published and is replacing version 4.1. Here, this article introduces you to the innovations in COBIT 5.
What does a performance measurement system have to do with quality? Anyone who intensely deals with this topic will soon find out: a great deal. Performance measurement system that is the new term for an indicator system. For a long time already, indicators and/or statistical measured values have been the undisputable proof for the quality of a product or process that is specified in advance.
The Controlling Profitability Analysis provides indicators that traditionally have been utilised for business management. Since companies are in this area also exposed to huge dynamics and an onslaught of information that has to be faced flexibly, traditional methods are increasingly reaching their limits. The question is, what could alternatives look like.
noventum consulting is conducting Business Intelligence Maturity Assessments based on a methodology that is utilising the Information Evolution Model to identify and measure an organisation’s current level of BI maturity. With this information, you can increase the value driven by Business Intelligence Investments and also achieve a competitive advantage.
Imagine being the technical manager of a huge skyscraper. Every day you have to fulfil the demands that require technical modifications of the building that you are managing. Changes such as adding a new girder section to the building or sometimes even collapsing some of them, moving the pipes of the plumbing system, modifying the capacity of the heating and air conditioning systems, etc.. While handling these modifications, you have to make sure that your building is still stable and the people living in your building are as comfortable and safe as possible.
Companies have to establish a clear vision of the future if they want to know how to assure long-term success. With the help of an IT roadmap, business strategy, IT strategy and current IT trends are systematically put in relation with the IT services offered. In an interview, Wieland Schäfer, head of the LWL.IT department, explains his motives for creating an IT roadmap for the Landschaftsverband regional council.
Companies have to establish a clear vision of the future if they want to know how to assure long-term success. With the help of an IT roadmap, business strategy, IT strategy and current IT trends are systematically put in relation to the IT services offered. Furthermore, very specific parameters such as hardware and software cycles, as well as pending expansions, are introduced to the IT roadmap.
There is no question: the cloud is here to stay. What it is, what use it has and whether it should be welcomed or feared is being discussed everywhere. Cloud computing will be a fundamental component of the future of IT. Sceptical voices are becoming quieter and we are discovering that processes, technologies and organisations can work together with the changes brought about by cloud computing and the discussion is generally taking place at a procedural or technological level.
Increasing internationalisation, constantly growing IT requirements and increased cost pressure force companies to review their IT strategy with respect to integrating cloud computing. In addition, cloud computing promises high agility, flexibility, reliability, security, availability and efficiency.
In the pertinent media, be they digital or print, the topic of EAM (Enterprise Architecture Management) is en vogue. The CIO online portal addresses „Painful EAM project experiences“ and urges those responsible to not approach the topic too technically. CIO, there, promises to those who stick it out a „plateau of productivity“ through EAM, past the „valley of disappointments“ and the „path to enlightenment“. The German edition of „Computerworld“, Computerwoche, does not see an easy way with respect to the EAM topic and provides a comprehensive list of „Day-to-day EAM pitfalls“, where it perceives the biggest challenges in the staffing of EAM projects. To date, there is no generally accepted definition of the term „Enterprise Architecture“ / EAM. The pertinent software suppliers with their respective focal point also are not of any help in this regard. At the beginning of each and every EAM process, a detailed and individual definition of one‘s position therefore is a necessity.
Business decisions are based on data. It is quite a challenge to manage data cross-departmentally, to protect it, to use it profitably, and while doing so, to adhere to statutory requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Basel II or HIPAA. According to a 2008 Gartner study, only 10 % of all businesses succeed in their first attempt to implement efficient processes that master this challenge.
novum: Mr. Schmidt, let‘s start with one of the biggest challenges, data management in a Business Intelligence context. How are you positioned for this?