Sson : Shared Services & Outsourcing Network


SSON recognised the revolution in business support services as it was happening, and realized that a forum was needed through which practitioners could connect with each other on a regional and global basis, while examining simplification, standardization & centralization to create value.


  • Robert Welborn  Celonis Podcast Mini Series

    Robert Welborn & Celonis Podcast Mini Series

    11/05/2020 Duração: 08min

    Robert Welborn returns to take us through his interesting recent past.  Also, join our Celonis Podcast Mini Series guest JP Thomsen by visiting, available on-demand.    

  • Max Just  Celonis Podcast Mini Series

    Max Just & Celonis Podcast Mini Series

    04/05/2020 Duração: 21min

    Max Just returns to deep dive into the fact that The Future of Work is Now. Also, join our Celonis Podcast Mini Series guest JP Thomsen by visiting . Also available on-demand following the live stream dates.    

  • BCP Insight

    BCP Insight

    20/04/2020 Duração: 19min

    Babs Hodge provides insight into BCP based on information first reported on March 25th. And JP Thomsen joins us to discuss Process Mining and how Celonis is helping. You can join JP by registering for Celosphere Live.

  • Ep.157: Craig Libby  Part III of the Celonis Podcast Mini Series

    Ep.157: Craig Libby & Part III of the Celonis Podcast Mini Series

    13/04/2020 Duração: 23min

    Craig Libby reflects on decades in Shared Services and how that history informs his current thinking. And JP Thomsen joins us to discuss hurdles customers are facing and how Celonis is helping. And you can join JP by registering for Celosphere Live.

  • Ep. 156: Steven Remsen, Intel

    Ep. 156: Steven Remsen, Intel

    06/04/2020 Duração: 23min

    Intel’s Steven Remsen made the cross-country trip from Portland, OR to Orlando for OPEX Week. We caught up with him to discuss process mining. As a practitioner, he understands the three basic steps of process mining from the academic space: discovery, conformance, and enhancement. He demonstrates this point with one more fantastic story about how data won’t work together if people can’t. Thanks to Celonis for sponsoring this podcast miniseries. This week, Part 2: Data Disintegration. In this episode, JP explains that "going digital" does not – on its own – guarantee an improved quality of decision making. Join JP live by registering for Celosphere Live through this link.  

  • Ep. 155: Uzair Rashid, CVSHealthcare

    Ep. 155: Uzair Rashid, CVSHealthcare

    30/03/2020 Duração: 24min

    Uzair Rashid, with CVS Healthcare, explains the importance of structuring innovation. By leveraging technology in conjunction with traditional medical resources, the healthcare system can clean up the funnel of patients who are better served with these new innovations. Thanks to Celonis for sponsoring their podcast miniseries. This week, Part 1: Disruptive Trends. In this episode, JP discusses current disruptive trends and how we’ve dealt with them in the past. Join JP live by registering for Celosphere Live through this link.

  • Ep. 154: The Genworth Financial Team

    Ep. 154: The Genworth Financial Team

    23/03/2020 Duração: 25min

    The entertaining Genworth Financial team joins us from OPEX Week 2020 to tell us their enterprise’s transformation story—or journey, more accurately. Kathleen starts off by explaining her view of the company 15 years ago: “It was a very siloed organization. It was very much command and control; very hierarchical. We were focused very much on our processes, like manufacturing, because we came from GE.” Sometimes, as Martijn is quick to interject, they were focusing on the wrong processes. Their new goal was to focus on the customer and increase associate empathy. The leadership team achieved this with some creative physical props that mimic certain hardships their clients experience. However, leading by fear negatively impacts the service a customer receives as well, so Genworth devised a new workforce strategy. “If you really truly believe that the customer is the most important person--because he or she pays your salary--then the front line employees are the most important people, and therefore, your team le

  • Ep. 153 Joe Jordan, Edward Jones

    Ep. 153; Joe Jordan, Edward Jones

    16/03/2020 Duração: 32min

    Joe Jordan joins us from OPEX Week in Orlando. As the director of operational excellence for Edward Jones, Joe sought inspiration from the hit TV show Shark Tank to give a platform to the innovative minds of Edward Jones. If anyone across the firm’s workflow has an idea about how to transform their part of the business, they are given the opportunity to present it to the C-suite. If the idea ultimately increases Edward Jones’s ROI, the C-suite signs of on funding the technology that bring the idea to fruition. It’s an exciting opportunity for voices across the company to be heard and is a win/win for morale and profit. Over the last year, they’ve held about 15 of these Shark Tank sessions and have signed off on 100% of them. Joe explains exactly how the process works and provides a few simple yet powerful examples, from automatic signature verification to RPA processes. Finally, Joe explains what they look for in an employee with the acronym BLT: that is, business acumen, leadership, and technology. Ultimatel

  • Ep. 152: Gerald Lackey, GAF

    Ep. 152: Gerald Lackey, GAF

    09/03/2020 Duração: 17min

    Gerald Lackey, VP of Business Optimization and Agility at GAF, discusses their 18-month journey into their current transformation. Gerald is no stranger to enterprise transformations, having participated in a few himself, but he outlines a few unique strategies GAF is taking. For example, GAF is especially focused on business outcomes for their customers. That means that instead of creating a solution and selling it to customers, they are learning about the needs of their customers and creating solutions that fit those needs. Gerald describes this new strategy as a combination between the traditional top-down method and a social movement that involves everybody. Tapping into the entire workflow through internal social media is one strategy GAF employs to create a culture of customer centricity, inclusivity, and change. Gerald dives deep on other unique transformation strategies that meet people—internally and externally—where they are, instead of attempting to force change. Corporate stumbling blocks are more

  • Ep. 151: Tomorrow Today Ep. 4

    Ep. 151: Tomorrow Today Ep. 4

    02/03/2020 Duração: 10min

    On this episode of “Tomorrow Today,” Barbara Hodge discusses the power of continuous education. With the turn of the decade, Barbara decided to make some changes to her own learning path. She is fully open to, and expects, new insights from her new experience to spill over into the way she works. On an enterprise level, global corporations also expect talent to continuously peruse new avenues of education. Today’s ever-evolving landscape requires it. Next, Barbara discusses avalanches—both literal and metaphorical—and what they teach us about decision making and risk taking. Ultimately, Barbara’s point is this: if we’re open to new ideas from anywhere and everywhere and tie those ideas back to what we’re doing in our day-to-day, we benefit. Driving the conversation back to AI and technology, the lesson of the day is this: Diversity of thought prevents common pitfalls such as bias and instability.

  • Ep. 150: Reka Mishra, SVB

    Ep. 150: Reka Mishra, SVB

    24/02/2020 Duração: 23min

    Reka Mishra is the managing director of the transformation office for the SVB Financial Group. She lays out the basics of mergers and acquisitions before diving in on operational excellence. For M&A, it is imperative to have a target operating model in place. That model must consist of four key elements: people, process, technology, and data. Change management, communication, and HR must also be involved from the onset in order to best address the concerns of the employees. When M&A happens for the sake of digital transformation, it is especially critical that the enterprise is sensitive to the human element. Reka explains how to strike the right balance in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. Mergers and acquisitions aren’t a one-and-done, and they must lead from the top. As Reka says, “It's absolutely critical to get all the executives aligned and in agreement because then you can have a very clear path forward, and then you know you're meeting everybody's expectation. And also it's h

  • Ep. 149: Adrian Terry, GM Financial

    Ep. 149: Adrian Terry, GM Financial

    17/02/2020 Duração: 28min

    Adrian Terry, VP of GM Financial’s OpEx function, discusses their unique approach to IT and RPA. Initially, IT had some processes they wanted to automate. From there, a pilot was developed. It soon became clear that the broader organization could benefit from similar processes, so GM onboarded their own RPA business automation talent. Now, IT and RPA have been conjoined. While each department still has their direct leadership, the “two headed monster” reports to a governance function. Next, Adrian details the execution and benefits of the pod model they’ve developed. After Adrian explains the structure, deployment, and communication aspects of the design, he talks scale. Finally, after briefly touching on some growing pains of the transformation, Adrian sums up the meticulous, thought-out execution of the pods and the future of the business. Adrian doesn’t do anything unless he does it well.

  • Ep. 148: Tomorrow Today

    Ep. 148: Tomorrow Today

    10/02/2020 Duração: 13min

    Barbara Hodge reflects on 2019, identifying the trends that shaped the decade. Data, self-service, and automation has affected us all. A new awareness of personal data and its power—for good and for evil—came to light, for example, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. At the same time, all of that data that has been given and taken has made surprisingly little headway within industry, as enterprises grapple with how to funnel it into tangible action. While it’s easy to sensationalize the negative, Barbara reminds us that GBS and automation has made our lives easier. Barbara explores the automation ideal: a world in which we’re free to pursue our passions because the difficult work is done for us. It’s easy to take progress for granted and worry about the side effects of that progress, but Barbara is hopeful that this Fourth Industrial Revolution will lead humanity into a new era of innovation and inspiration.

  • Ep. 147: Pamela Wolfe, NASA

    Ep. 147: Pamela Wolfe, NASA

    03/02/2020 Duração: 33min

    NASA’s Pam Wolfe joins us to discuss their RPA journey, which started over two years ago in their Shared Services Center. Establishing RPA governance across NASA has taken time, strategy, and strong support across the agency. In many ways, NASA’s move to RPA is very similar to the typical enterprise, but let’s not forget—NASA sends people to space. In fact, a recent decision was made to send astronauts to the moon and Mars by 2024. In order to reach their goals, NASA went through a cultural and digital transformation shift that received a high level of support from the top—which Pam defines as a necessity. Naturally, governance and security is of the utmost importance during this transformation. Pam shares some astonishing numbers in regard to their progress while laying out a path for the lay-enterprise, if you will, to accomplish similar workflow evolutions.

  • Ep. 146: Hendrik Boehmer, Unilever

    Ep. 146: Hendrik Boehmer, Unilever

    27/01/2020 Duração: 25min

    Hendrik Boehmer is the People Experience & Operations Lead for Unilever. While such a title is a few syllables longer than its counterpart, Hendrik explains that Unilever’s HR transformation involved a complete reimagination of the role. First, hand-picked roles that were once outsourced were brought back in house in order to achieve HR’s new goal: more simple, more impact, and more human. What this entails is increasing automation and the role of human talent simultaneously. While it sounds contradictive, Hendrik details the logistics and execution in full. As with any digital transformation, reskilling and security must be addressed. Unilever has a system in place for both, which Hendrik describes next. Finally, Hendrik mulls over this universal truth and what it’s meant for his career and enterprise at large: the only constant is change.

  • Ep. 145: Martin Felder, Linde

    Ep. 145: Martin Felder, Linde

    20/01/2020 Duração: 29min

    Martin Felder is the head process automation center at Linde Global Services. He discusses his role with Linde as well as their journey into RPA. Instead of taking the typical low-hanging-fruit approach, Martin tackled Linde’s impending future when deciding where to implement RPA first. He explains the whys and hows of this, including how he got the C-suite to sign off—and fund—such a huge initiative. As Linde is a global enterprise, Michael next discusses the pain points, mistakes, and happy accidents that occurred during the pilot and roll-out of RPA solutions. Perhaps most important, Martin wraps up with his thoughts on human talent, relationships, and how to move into the future of automation by appreciating the people side of things.

  • Ep. 144: Lee Coulter, IEEE

    Ep. 144: Lee Coulter, IEEE

    13/01/2020 Duração: 50min

    In this episode, IEEE’s Lee Coulter discusses the notion that the future of every successful company will depend on the transformation into a technology services business—even pizza. This far-reaching conversation covers the entirety of the current “data chasm.” Lee kicks the discussion off by justifying his aversion to the term RPA. He notes that organizations start with task automation before moving onto intelligent automation, a process that gets lost in the blanket term RPA. Lee says, “Where we are today and what's now happening is that the tool makers and the advanced practitioners are beginning to interact with unstructured data and expanding the use case to now include unstructured data. There's several different specific scenarios in which that occurs. Service initiation almost always begins with unstructured requests, like to a call center or chatbot.”

  • Ep. 143: Dmitry Popov, Mann + Hummel

    Ep. 143: Dmitry Popov, Mann + Hummel

    06/01/2020 Duração: 30min

    Dmitri Popov, global service management lead for Mann + Hummel Group, joins us today to discuss scaling RPA. Dmitri himself admits that such a process is painful, in part because of the few successful enterprise examples for which to model after. Dmitri points to IBM as a company who has done it well. Next, Dmitri discusses how to leverage shared services in the most efficient way, exemplifying R&D and certain purchasing aspects. One of the most difficult components of implementing RPA across the workflow is acceptance and adherence. Dmitri doesn’t mince words when it comes to what it takes in a person—not just an enterprise—to accept change, no matter how positive that change may ultimately be.

  • Ep. 142: Roland Haefs, Henkel

    Ep. 142: Roland Haefs, Henkel

    30/12/2019 Duração: 23min
  • Ep. 141: Kai-Eberhard Lueg, Siemens

    Ep. 141: Kai-Eberhard Lueg, Siemens

    23/12/2019 Duração: 25min

    In this episode, Kai-Eberhard Lueg, Global Business Solutions expert with Siemens, discusses the future of automation. Specifically, commerce is experiencing a new type of customer expectation that involves an increase in personalization and speed. While these two concepts seem counterintuitive, digitalization and shared services make it possible. Digitization is only as effective as the foundation it was built on, however, so Mr. Lueg details the best way to move forward on firm ground. Finally, Mr. Lueg emphasizes the importance of human talent. By building a culture of curiosity and innovation, both employees and enterprise benefit from the expectation and execution of upskilling and reskilling with an emphasis on technical skills.

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