Carmaker Renault is rolling out a new HR IT system across its global business, in a bid to make its HR function "business enablers".

The manufacturer is deploying a SaaS solution from SuccessFactors, connected to its existing, on-premise SAP core data repository, which holds the company's HR master data. It signed the contract with SuccessFactors in November 2011, and plans to roll out the system at the end of next month.

Under a project called [email protected], the carmaker recognised it needed to transform its HR function, to make it more efficient and to enable it to help drive business value - rather than spending too much time focused on administration and operational duties.

"We need to be more focused on what really matters. We spend far too much time on tasks with too few added-value [benefits]," Suzanne Consigny, vice president of HR operations at Renault told delegates at the SuccessConnect conference in London today.

One of the hurdles Renault wanted to overcome was the fact that it had many different HR tools in its business. This made sharing information difficult, as it would involve the transfer of large Microsoft Excel spreadsheets of data, which meant that the HR function did not share as much information as it could have.

A reason for choosing the SuccessFactors solution was because it allowed a fast implementation, Renault said, as the company did not want to commit too many resources to the project. It therefore aimed for a six-month implementation timeframe.

Renault was also very keen on having a standard, global tool, which would enable a faster rollout.

Jean-Yves Gay, [email protected] project manager, said: "We wanted to avoid a specific tool for Renault.

"[We would] accept exceptions [to the standard software] only for legal reasons. We chose a tool to configure, not to develop."

To enable the efficient rollout of a standard tool, Renault set up a lean project management team at the corporate level, and identified and introduced new HR guidelines and common processes to be implemented by the whole business.

It ran workshops with SuccessFactors to configure the solutions, and made sure that the project managers were "focused on the result, not on perfection in the specification".

"Change management is at the heart of our rollout," said Consigny.

To manage the process and system changes, Renault will be running a range of workshops, featuring training, case studies and opportunities for trying out the new HR system, for different levels of users.

Between July and September, it will run workshops for 400 business partners around the world. This will be followed by workshops in September and October for 7,000 managers, run by the HR business partners, in their local countries.

Although SuccessFactors is now owned by SAP - the acquisition was announced in December 2011 - integration is still taking place between the two software providers. The lack of integration had some impact on Renault's connection of the SuccessFactors solution to its existing SAP data repository.

"The main problem we had was to adapt the data model of SAP to the one of SuccessFactors," said Gay.

Furthermore, Renault found that developing the interface between the two systems was time-consuming.

However, SuccessFactors told ComputerworldUK that it has since has solved such interfacing problems.

"[Renault] purchased SuccessFactors before the SAP acquisition. It will be easier now to interface between on-premise SAP," said Paul Roberts, country manager for UK and Ireland at SuccessFactors.

Glenfiddich whisky maker William Grant and Sons shared Renault's view of standardisation, believing that adapting the business to an IT system would be more cost-effective than developing a bespoke IT system to fit the business.