Sep 26, 2023

Keep Rollin‘ Out: Modern Workplace at Röhm

What will the digital workplace of the future look like? We talked to IT specialist Markus Schäfer, who has been leading the Modern Workplace project since August 2021.

Markus, what is the meaning of “Modern Workplace”?

We have created a digital workplace that is designed for tomorrow. That means we now enable work from anywhere - a physical presence in the office is no longer mandatory. And all employees can participate. All employees are given an account - even those who don’t work on the computer every day. For example, an employee who works in production can now use his or her private device at home to access pay slips, submit vacation requests, or even take part in online training courses. All while using their personal laptop, tablet or smartphone.

How else does “Modern Workplace” affect employees?

We have greatly expanded the range of tools - and use Microsoft Teams with all its opportunities: with chats, telephony and events - even for larger events. As a result, the entire way of working has changed. Collaboration is at the centre of the "Modern Workplace". We are in direct contact with each other, communicate more efficiently: a lot can be clarified directly, without e-mail, without file attachments. We use the cloud so that everyone can access their work equipment anywhere, anytime.


Even more: In the past, the enrolment of a computer had to take place within the companies' network. Today, we are able to put computers into operation all over the world - as long as there is Internet access.  If, for example, a sales representative in India needs a new device, it will be shipped to him or her directly- everything is already prepared by the manufacturer and the commissioning is carried out by the employee. In an emergency - if it must be delivered urgently and our usual vendor is unable to quickly fulfill the order - we can also use a device from a local electronics store.

What is the impact of what is going on behind the scenes in IT?

We have massively reduced our software: Our portfolio has shrunk to a third of the original products. The latest version of this software is always available. With immense positive consequences: The number of tickets has drastically decreased since our Carve-Out in August 2020. We used to have 3000 so-called incidents per month, now we have about 750. In the next step, we can go even further: We can proactively point out problems to a user. A German colleague, for example, uses Asia as a dial-in point. Maybe they are on a business trip? Maybe it was a mistake? We can automatically ask and correct it. This is important because choosing a more remote access point can make the computer sluggish.

What will happen in the future?

The project, the foundation, has been completed, but the solution is evolving. This is also how we will constantly increase IT security. Röhm - like every other company - is exposed to attacks every day. It's important to always stay updated. That was also an important motivator to tackle this three-year project. Because now we can implement something that is called evergreen in IT: the software is continuously kept up to date, security gaps are closed promptly, so the system is protected against attacks in the best possible way. That is why we decided back then to risk a fresh start, to build an infrastructure that reflects the needs of the company. And the topic of a wrong remote access point described above will soon be history - thanks to Zero Trust Network Access.

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