ComputerWeekly Reports

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One of Israel’s largest manufacturing companies has invested more than $10m in cloud HR, and explains how the technology is helping it turns its fortunes around

Teva decided to invest in cloud-based software to manage and analyse the data on its employees in more than 60 countries following a period of rapid growth through acquisitions, back in 2014.

The company’s workforce had grown from 7,000 to 56,000, but with more than 30 different HR computer systems in use across the organisation, managers had no easy way to identify the skills of the workforce, plan succession for important posts, or retain key staff.

“The business strategy was to grow through acquisition and it was a fast-phase growth,” said Markus, speaking ahead of an industry conference. “The focus was more on acquiring the relevant companies and less on end-to-end integration.”

That changed three years ago when the company decided to capitalise on the assets and employees in the companies it had bought by integrating them into a single organisation.

Fast-paced roll-out

One of the biggest challenges faced by Teva was the need to roll out the technology globally to a tight three-year timetable. “It was significant pressure for HR managers,” said Markus. “The amount of change people had to take in was big, and the burden was significant.”

Teva hired Accenture as an implementation partner for Employee Central, and AKT to implement the talent management module.

A team of 10 to 15 IT professionals and a similar number of HR professionals worked on the project at Teva’s headquarters. Their job was to visit local teams in each country and teach them how to transfer data from their own HR databases into Employee Central.

Teva’s aim was to deploy a system that was not perfect, but had 80% of the functions in place. It was a matter of trying things, finding out what worked, and learning from mistakes.

“The most important thing is speed,” said Markus. “I think you need to lay it down, even if there are gaps, and then start introducing changes.”

Now the company is revisiting the work to fill in the gaps in the HR system. It plans to review the roles and responsibilities of HR staff and managers, and take action to encourage the workforce to use the HR software.

Talent spotting

Supported by AKT, Teva plans to start a pilot programme over the coming weeks to help it manage the recruitment of staff across all countries.

Until now, the company has used a variety of talent acquisition software in each country, but hiring people for overseas positions requires a lot of manual work.

Teva believes that the project – due to be completed in 2018 – will allow it to identify and fill gaps in the workforce more quickly, with less manual intervention.

It also plans to introduce mobile access for employees and managers to the HR system, which will make it easier for staff to keep their personal records up to date.

“We are trying, through various ways, to show the importance of keeping data accurate,” said Markus. “It is our goal to use the system for benefit programmes and learning, and as people see their data is affecting every benefit they get, it is driving them to make sure their information is up to speed.”


This should enable it to answer a long list of key questions about its workforce, said Markus, including how to make sure the right people are compensated in the right way, and how to make sure people are getting the right training for the right role.

“We are able to show a lot of views on our talent, on their engagement, on their retention plans,” said Markus.

Working with a cloud supplier will mean new ways of working for Teva, said Markus. The company will need to be work in a more agile way, and work more closely with SuccessFactors, to keep pace with frequent updates to the software.

“We are looking to find ways to make sure the HR community knows about the changes, knows about the processes, understands how to leverage the technology, understands how to leverage the data,” she said.

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