How does an HR Portal become AWARD-worthy?

Dr. Winfried Felser, managing director of NetSkill (Competence Site), interviews Björn Adam from VANTAiO about the special features, key facts and outstanding features of the VANTAiO HR Portal.

- Dr. Winfried Felser, managing director of NetSkill Solutions GmbH (Competence Site), interviewed Björn Adam from VANTAiO about the HR Portal. -


WF: The VANTAiO HR Portal recently received the German Design Award 2017. How did you do that? Can you briefly outline your product?

BA: The VANTAiO HR Portal is a preconfigured specialist portal complete solution based on SAP for HR departments. It is based on a modular module system and ready-made content that enables a very efficient implementation.

Design or shape is not only an aesthetic issue for us, but above all the basis for great benefits. Companies using SAP benefit in many ways from the VANTAiO HR Portal: On the one hand, it significantly saves project time and costs in terms of implementation compared to conventional portal projects. On the other hand, it allows a simplification and re-structuring of the work of the HR department. Above all, it allows a big step towards user-friendliness and optimal user experience. Depending on individual customer needs, the VANTAiO HR Portal is flexibly adaptable and expandable. The design and shape are consistently geared to the user: working with the HR Portal should be intuitive, simple - and, above all, fun.

With its comprehensive HR functionalities package, the VANTAiO HR Portal provides central access to all relevant specialist information, services and processes. Around the clock, anywhere – and through the fully responsive implementation on a wide variety of device types, from smartphone to tablet and PC to Watch. This allows the discharge of HR employees from time-consuming routine tasks. This frees up capacities that can be profitably used for the further development of the HR department and the consultation of employees and executives.

WF: Such awards as the German Design Award are meant to highlight something special. Can you spell out which individual aspects make your product so novel and innovative in your opinion?

BA: The outstanding special feature of our solution is probably the innovative framework, which frames the HR topics services and applications seamlessly. We call this framework workFrame, because it actively supports the work of employees, executives, and HR professionals. You can think of it a bit like a picture frame, whose job it is to bring out the image or content in the best way and to enhance the effect of the picture.

With the VANTAiO workFrame, we have developed a digital, personal and context-sensitive framework that always provides users of the portal solution on the left-hand side with an intuitive, navigation-dependent navigation structure for all HR topics, contact persons and processes at the press of a button. In the upper area, the header, the access to the most important information objects is possible, as well as the entry into the central search cockpit and in the right column context-dependent functions are always provided, such as: print, help with content or applications or further links.

Another special feature of our portal solution is the adaptability through the modular system. The software is on the one hand standardized and preconfigured, yet flexibly adaptable to the individual needs of the enterprise, e.g. the own color world, the corporate design, the information architecture or the provided HR services and processes. A collection of modules serves as a basis for each company-specific portal, which we also call YOUR Portal. These modules are delivered with a responsiveness, with an automatic adjustment to the screen size. Each module has four dimensions that can be configured individually: the data source, the size of the module, the appearance and corresponding parameters of the chosen appearance. For example, an employee job board can be used in the "list view" or in the "tile view" appearance as parameters, e.g. the fields of the position to be advertised or simply the number of entries per page.

With this innovative modular approach, our customers can implement their own, individual HR portal in the shortest possible time, adapt it continuously to new needs and, if necessary, expand it with further modules.

WF: How is the VANTAiO HR Portal compared to the competition? Are there functionally similar solutions? Why should one rely on your solution?

BA: In the SAP environment, there are currently no alternative or comparable products to the VANTAiO HR Portal. 

Current HR portal solutions are usually based on time-consuming and cost-intensive individual projects. Compared to such in-house developments, the VANTAiO HR Portal guarantees a significantly more efficient and faster implementation and a simple and intuitive handling due to its modular system – thus ensuring a quick return on investment.

In the development of the VANTAiO HR portal the user was clearly placed in the center, positive user experience was and is the standard for all VANTAiO software products. You can see it and feel it. Specific prior knowledge or separate IT support is not required in the application. 

VANTAiO Portal Software is also conceived beyond the limits of the human resources department: Further specialist portal solutions (such as intranet, application or financial portal) can be easily and quickly implemented and integrated based on the modular system. This is how VANTAiO Portal solutions pave the way to a modern digital workplace.

WF: What characterizes the creativity and quality of the technological approach of the VANTAiO HR Portal? Which technological characteristics would you emphasize?

BA: The development of the VANTAiO HR Portal focused on the needs of the user. The aim was to relieve the HR department with suitable features on the one hand and to optimize communication and work processes on the other hand:

Fully responsive: Responsive presentation of the portal incl. navigation, content, search, etc. Responsiveness of the integrated applications (depending on app technology / function / interpretation).
Interactive Dashboards: Portal Pages incl. iViews enable flexible dashboards with any functionality.
Structure Management / Navigation: Structuring of all contents with arbitrary hierarchizing. Multi-dimensional, data-related views and seasonal navigation are possible.
Application Content Management: Comprehensive CMS functions, such as Sites, Pages and Modules. Simple editorial interface, ideal for decentralized care in the company.
Mashups and mixed pages: In the portal, applications with content and documents can be flexibly combined on one page, regardless of the data source.
Use applications "in place" in the system: Applications of all kinds (SAP and non-SAP) can be easily integrated.
Manage documents (application-specific): Intuitive use of the SAP Portal own documents Management System KM (Knowledge Management). Flexible configuration, integrated search, metadata, etc. are fully supported.
Usage behavior / Analytics: Evaluation of the user behavior by analysis tools such as e.g. PIWIK or Click Stream
Central Workflow Inbox: Central collection of tasks and (release) requests in an inbox. Connection and integration of further third-party systems via API are easily possible.

WF: Who is the VANTAiO HR Portal intended for?

BA: The VANTAiO HR Portal is based on the experience of more than 500 SAP Portal projects. It has thus been proven and developed over many years, in which particularly customer feedback and requirements have been incorporated.

For companies that use SAP as a platform and have a high technological standard combined with cost awareness, the VANTAiO HR Portal is ideally suited. It is not limited to specific industries, but flexibly adaptable to the respective circumstances.

WF: How long does it take to implement, using the VANTAiO HR Portal?

BA: The VANTAiO HR Portal is a template-based standard solution that can be implemented very efficiently in companies using a highly optimized and standardized implementation model.

The project approach model is nevertheless so flexible that it easily allows company-specific features. For example, you can easily adapt the system to your corporate design.

The technological implementation times usually amount to 10 to 25 person days.

This short introductory period enables a quick return on investment, making it particularly attractive for businesses, economically speaking.

WF: What is the cost-benefit ratio?

BA: There is currently no comparable product on the market – and thus no real economically viable alternative to the VANTAiO HR Portal.

The development of a corresponding SAP-based HR portal solution as part of an individual project, including conception and realization, would probably be in the range of several man-years.

WF: What use does the VANTAiO HR Portal have for the HR department?

BA: In times of digitization and big data, HR plays a key role as a cross-divisional department – optimally assuming not only an executive role, but also an actively developing and driving role in the transformation process within the company.

At the same time, digital HR is becoming more and more essential to remain competitive and attractive to potential employees.

Using the VANTAiO HR Portal, processes can be digitized, automated, standardized and sustainably improved. Automation processes minimize errors or prevent them from the beginning. Employees can independently access relevant data (self-service), reduce communication paths and make information processes efficient and proactive. The provision of information in the HR Portal leads to a reduction of induction and training times, and documentation and videos can be conveniently retrieved from the workplace. The collaboration between the specialist department, employees and executives is noticeably optimized.

The HR department (but also the overall organization of the company) is so relieved and can concentrate on their core competencies. Freed-up capacities can be invested in increasing HR service performance and strategic development.

At the same time, more transparency is created in the company for tasks and offers in the HR area: the ideal starting point not only for more added value, but also for more appreciation of the HR department.

Incidentally, leading thinkers from the HR sector and current studies also support the theses behind the VANTAiO HR Portal:

"The more information becomes freely available, the more senior managers are empowered to fulfill their leadership role, without the hassle of having to request specific data in the human resources department, the more the HR function can focus on other value-adding topics." (Dr. Jens Lang)

"Designing analog and digital work environments: Digitization and, with it, Generation Y, demand new working environments from companies. The more digital our life becomes, the more important are the digital work environments made available. HRM is not only called upon to (re-)design working environments, but also to market them in the spirit of employer branding. "(Dr. Joel Cachelin)

"Variability and contingency of structures, processes, people, relationships are increasing. If knowledge and skills in working life 4.0 are always reassembled situationally, then stable social relationships must be built up. Organizational development is experiencing a renaissance. "(Dr. Manfred Becker)

"This is not about" island measures "for internal HR optimization without business relevance. Rather, there must be business-relevant reasons for realigning the HR department with its strategy and organization, as well as its processes and services, along this business orientation. "(Dr. Markus Braun)

WF: Thank you for the insightful answers.