Thanks to digitization HR company Liantis can do more
Published on 08/10/2020 in Customer Stories
To offer customers the best possible service, Liantis has undergone a double transformation in recent years. Liantis bundled the offer of a group of companies into one integrated portfolio and chose to go with one digital platform.
Until a few years ago, Liantis was a group of companies, each with its own brand names, organization and management. In 2015 the decision was made to bundle all these activities, with one clear goal: to offer the customer significant added value. “In the space of three years we’ve made that transformation,” says managing director Philip Van Eeckhoute. “By fully interlinking all the companies and services, Liantis now acts as a real ‘travelling companion’ for entrepreneurs.”
Liantis molds and markets itself as an all-around HR service provider, for the entire journey of an entrepreneur. From humble beginnings as a self-employed person. then taking on staff, the development of a HR- and wellbeing policy, tackling risk protection and on to retirement. The offer is available both digitally and via an extensive office network. Liantis manages sixty locations in Belgium.
Coordination of business and IT
Along with the transformation of Liantis as a group, a sweeping digital transformation also took place. “While the digital services of the various affiliates – before the transformation into Liantis – existed neatly side by side, that subdivision was not by any means always in line with the needs of the entrepreneurs,” says CIO Nicolas Van Kerschaver. “Our task was to create digital solutions according to the customer experience and not according to our internal organization.”
Nicolas: “The existing digital tools had to be interlinked according to a new subdivision.” The move to a multidisciplinary collaboration was necessary and probably the most sweeping change for Liantis. “We’ve traveled a long way, from a portfolio of services to an integrated suite of solutions,” Philip explained. “An employer doesn’t come to us because he is looking for an application for, let’s say, payroll calculation, but because he wants a solution he can use to support his salary policy.”
It is a digital ecosystem in which the entrepreneur, his accountant and Liantis come together on a single platform.
Philip Van Eeckhoute, managing director at Liantis
One digital platform
To also support that strategic transformation with a digital transformation, Liantis developed the digital platform ‘My Liantis’. “There, everything for the entrepreneur comes together in one environment,” said Philip. My Liantis is the result of a digital transformation journey that began five years ago. “At the time we were still wholly separate companies, each with its own history, its own view of IT and its own procedure in the area of IT development,” Nicolas recalled.
Digitization with regard to infrastructure and culture
The integration of the IT visions of those different companies was preceded by thorough preparation. “That involved not just a major investment with regard to architecture,” Nicolas continued. “We also had to focus strongly on processes, applications and culture.” The latter was a very important aspect. In the new Liantis, the former affiliates had to rally behind one common culture.
More involvement in interaction
With this new approach Liantis is responding directly to the changing needs of customers. “It’s no longer the way it was,” said Philip, “when contact was exclusively through the manager of a business. Personnel managers and employees themselves are also involved in the digital interaction between Liantis and their organization now.” Moreover, expectations in that regard continue to increase. Liantis meets that need by, among other things, granting employees of a company easy access to their personal employment file, via apps.
More data, more information
In addition, Liantis provides extra support for the manager. “We offer more information than we did previously,” said Philip, “for the simple reason that today’s technology allows it. We have more sector-specific data, while we offer entrepreneurs easier access to figures for their company.” That allows entrepreneurs to easily assess the information themselves. Using benchmarks, they check how their organization scores relative to the average competitor in the sector.
The customer chooses the channel
Note too, in the digital story, that technology enables a completely new type of interaction between Liantis and partner companies. “That interaction takes place quite differently today than it did three years ago,” said Philip. “Digitization ensures that we communicate with the customer very quickly, efficiently and securely.” At the same time, Liantis understands that not every customer is as quick to be part of the digital story.
The company therefore consciously chooses an approach via different channels. “Customers still come by our offices too,” Philip explained. “And anyone who prefers to use the telephone gets an answer to his questions that way too, of course.”
Digitization and automation save time for our employees, who can then focus even more on actual service provision to the customer.
Nicolas Van Kerschaver, CIO at Liantis
More time for a personalized service
The double transformation – of the service provision within Liantis and the accompanying digitization – has meanwhile yielded a number of advantages. “There is a digital ecosystem in which the entrepreneur, his accountant and Liantis come together on a single platform,” Philip explained. “Through My Liantis the accountant has direct access to certain documents about a business.”
So it’s no longer the way it used to be. Back then, when an accountant needed information, he asked the entrepreneur the question who, in turn, called on Liantis and then forwarded the requested document. In that context, direct digital access to information produces a clear gain in efficiency.
Digitization broadens the outlook of all the employees
Digitization and automation also save time for Liantis’ employees. “The main added value therefore lies in the fact that employees can focus even better on personal service to the customer,” says Nicolas. “In doing that we ultimately make the difference.” It’s then that Liantis achieves the real goal of the whole transformation.
“To arrive at that result we did, indeed, first have to interconnect all the underlying IT. And yes, that required a major effort and we did have quite a bit of trouble. But, at the same time, the whole exercise has also broadened the outlook of our employees, even in IT.”
Liantis’ employees now look at their work in a different way. They also understand that their service provision often extends beyond the formal boundaries of Liantis. “We aren’t a bank, but we make it easy for our customers to also open their bank account through a Liantis partner bank via our digital platforms, when they start up, for example,” said Nicolas.
A partner who’s involved
Els Samyn experienced the transformation of Liantis at first hand. As Key Account Manager she managed the relation with Liantis at Proximus for ten years. “The companies that would later form Liantis together did all their own IT management insofar as possible ten years ago,” she says. “They created their own software, handled monitoring themselves, and so forth.” The transformation to Liantis brought with it a completely new mindset. The merged company focuses fully on its core activities. Liantis prefers to leave anything that isn’t part of that to specialists. Thus, Proximus is in charge of the entire communications aspect.
“That’s a broad scope of activity,” said Els. “It involves not only fixed and mobile telephony, but also the Explore network and tools for collaboration such as Microsoft Teams.” In Proximus, Liantis found a single point of contact that offers access to a very wide range of IT expertise. “The big difference from before is that now we can truly act as a project partner in this and not just as an external supplier of individual products. We think along with Liantis and help work on designing a solution.”
Philip Van Eeckhoute is an attorney and was active in various management positions in the accountancy sector. In 2010 he made the switch to the former ADMB group and became managing director there at the beginning of 2012.
Nicolas Van Kerschaver is a commercial engineer. In 2001 he joined Liantis and has held various business positions since, including financial and commercial director. Since 2016 he has been CIO.