Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Mike Timm, Managing Partner here at ICG. He has some great insights on the world of SAP HCM, on ICG, and on normal life in the workplace here in our office.
You can read the full interview below:
First off, tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your background in consulting, what’s your interest in SAP HCM, and how did you end up in your position here at ICG?
I’ve been working as a consultant since 1996. Most of the emphasis has been in the HCM space. Prior to consulting, I worked for companies where I had the opportunity to work personally and focus on HR, Benefits, and Payroll departments. I enjoyed collaborating with those departments and experienced the challenges faced to balance the relationship of employees and employer, as well as linkages to compliance systems.
Labor costs for many companies are the highest expense so HCM has a big influence on the bottom line. I like to work with companies and focus my approach on employee engagement, streamlined processes, and user-friendly and useful tools providing significant ROI. SAP HCM is valuable tool as a solution to meet the clients’ needs.
I founded ICG in April 2000 because I wanted to provide highly qualified consultants to companies wanting to use SAP HCM as a useful tool in their overall strategic outlook. Our engagements are truly partnerships. We get to know the partner business thoroughly and work closely with the partner’s staff to ensure they fully understand what the SAP HCM solution will do for them.
What does a normal day of work look like for you? Is your schedule dynamic, or do you have a set routine that you tend to follow every day?
I’m not sure normal days really exist! Each day brings its own set of challenges and rewards, and those can vary based on the partner company and type of engagement. The companies I work with have diverse needs so early mornings and late evenings do occur. I am accessible 24/7.
In our post on Tuesday, we offered a little bit of insight into our unique approach to SAP HCM here at ICG. Our focus isn’t just on implementation–it’s on support and management after the fact. Can you give our readers a little more information on this approach, and how it helps bring success to our clients?
Our approach is not to just put SAP HCM in place and walk away. We want our partner company to fully understand what the software can do as we go through the application process and change management integration necessary when implementing new software or enhancing existing systems.
Change management can go a long way with helping a company transition, but business requirements do change as a company evolves. Our support and management service cover these ongoing needs. This ranges from discussing potential thoughts and ideas, to a fully outsourced approach model.
We keep it very flexible to meet the partner company needs as their requirements change. Developing an overall strategy, communications with end-users, and implementing a manageable change process, is of the utmost importance. As with our Implementation services, we want the partner company to fully understand what they have and where they are going.
What’s the biggest challenge you regularly face as an SAP Consultant? Obviously, today’s business world is constantly changing. Do you find that that constant change makes developing solutions difficult, or is it just part of the process?
We must be constantly updating our knowledge base and identify our best resources. Available functionality continues to evolve and with recent acquisitions of companies such as SuccessFactors, the expansion has been fast and broad in scope. Continuing to develop expertise requires attending webinars and conferences, scheduling formal education, self-education, and networking with peers.
This continued focus on being well-versed in existing and new functionality allows me to provide partner companies with the information in a concise and up-to-date manner. I don’t see this as an option, but something that must be ingrained in how we, as consultants, provide our services.
What does the normal process look like when a client is onboarded with ICG, if there is one? Do all clients go from implementation directly to support solutions, or is that decided solely on a case-by-case basis? Moreover, what kind of support and/or solutions can a client expect if they choose ICG for their consulting needs?
We make onboarding as simple as possible for the partner company. To become an effective colleague, we gather considerable amounts of data. We work closely with the partner company to determine how much time their individuals have, how much information we request directly from the partner company, and how much we seek out directly by reviewing their existing documents and SAP system. The approach is to learn quickly so we perform at a high-level, without overwhelming the partner company staff.
The types of solutions we provide are based on initial discussions with the partner company about their needs and wants. Implementation to support solutions is not a foregone conclusion, but those initial needs and wants along with the strategy we develop produces a roadmap that is easily understandable.
Regardless of the type of solution we are engaged with, we believe the following to be our hallmarks:
- Respect, integrity, trust, professionalism, and communication
- Dedication to client satisfaction and success
- Unique knowledge and specialization of our consultants
- Singular focus in the SAP Human Capital Management suite of products
Finally, what’s your favorite part about SAP Consulting? Throughout your career, there’s no doubt that you’ve done a lot of diverse work across a variety of industries and business needs–so what keeps you coming back?
Meeting new people and working with new companies is very intriguing and fun to me. I enjoy seeing how companies and people perform their processes and it has taught me that the underlying needs and base processes are very similar across companies. Leveraging and sharing that knowledge with new or existing clients to help define their requirements or streamline their processes is very fulfilling.
A very common question I get is “How do others do this?”. Providing options and opinions to that question and seeing the impact is always very rewarding.
If you’d like to learn more about Mike Timm or ICG and how we can help you work towards a successful future, let us know on Twitter @Integrated_CG, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (866) 415-0071.