Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft A/S & Co KG

Digital Transformation at Hamburg Süd
Hamburg Sued Logo

IT Transformation to a Service Organization

Hamburg Süd‘s IT started its transformation process toward a service-oriented organization in 2014. Creating transparency was a central goal of all those involved in the project and they chose to build a new service catalog as a key pillar of their future customer-centric IT business model. As a result, IT services became the model for other departments such as HR and Facility Management as the interest in closer cooperation in digitalizing service processes grew. IT initiated an intensive dialog with all stakeholders which created trust and strengthened the importance of their IT department as a competent partner in service.


If any organization lives and breathes service, it’s USU. Their consultants are an integral part of our team. USU’s solution supports our IT and enterprise service management, to create a holistic view of our services. Thanks to the strong customer focus in service digitalization, IT and HR were able to work together to inspire Hamburg Süd’s employees and make their daily work much easier- especially during the pandemic.

José Silva, Manager for IT Enterprise Service Management, Hamburg Süd

At a glance


Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft A/S & Co KG


Logistics & Shipping

Key Figures

  • 90% of 800+ employees use HR service
  • 99.9% IT compliance rate for remote workers
  • 4 fully digitized HR services
  • 80% fewer HR inquiries


About the Project


  • The IT department should initiate, support and deploy digital service process in their own and other departments
  • Human Resources wants to digitize the request process for a mobile workplace within the regulatory requirements of data privacy, the workers council and others
  • In addition to operating an Enterprise Service Management (ESM) solution, IT should take charge of organizational change management and new roles, such as Service Owner


  • Hamburg Süd’s existing IT Service Management (ITSM) is easy to integrate and expand with USU’s ESM solution
  • USU has already successfully implemented similarly complex projects in the field of ESM
  • Company is already pleased with existing USU solutions and close cooperation, including both software and service

Project Milestones

  • Analysis and joint concept creation of the new HR service by IT and HR
  • Set-up of the service shop for the HR service “Mobile Workplace” with support from USU in configuring the service process
  • Establishment of the Service Owner role in HR with IT support
  • Marketing and roll-out of the HR service “Mobile Workplace”
  • Support for other services in HR and facility management


  • The HR service “Mobile Workplace” enabled a smooth transition to home office for employees during the pandemic.
  • Hamburg Süd could quickly and flexibly meet the high service demand, resulting in a high level of employee acceptance and satisfaction.
  • The number of queries fell by 50-60% and IT established itself as a coach and driver for internal cultural change towards a product and service-oriented organization.
  • The new HR service is used as a successful model for the digitalization of other internal processes.

Trust as the Basis for Cultural Change

The IT department began internalizing and adopting the customer‘s perspective and became the go-to partner for Human Resources. HR had already wanted to launch a home-office solution for its offices across Germany. Implementing the necessary requirements and related agreements was complicated by a wide variety of factors.

Together with HR, IT kicked off a series of meetings with stakeholders from HR, the workers council, privacy compliance, the legal department, and others to discuss existing requirements and explore possible solutions. IT found the idea of implementing a service catalog for HR services similar to what they had for IT the most promising, and paved the way for creating the same for HR.

Defining the range of service process, sub-services and scopes of services for hardware, software, telephony, mobile devices required the coordination of all parties. HR sketched out the use cases and terms and coordinated with the workers council and privacy officer. Using digital signatures for approvals also had to be taken into account. Since the service provider in this case was the HR department, an HR employee took the role of Service Owner.

Hamburg Süd - ESM

A Smooth Transition to Home Office

With in-depth project planning done in advance, new HR services were able to be rolled out quickly. The existing USU IT Service Management solution proved a major enabler that only needed to be expanded to a new department, instead of building a new system from scratch. It is now a central service management tool that includes Human Resources processes and requests.

Hamburg Süd began advertising its new HR service “Mobile Workplace” on its intranet before rollout, which was met with great interest. Within 24 hours of rollout, over 180 applications were received. The first challenge was the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic and sudden workforce relocation to home office. All employees needed to be fully productive at home. Thanks to newly digitized processes, the transition was smooth and without interruption.

60% Reduction of Inquiries

As soon as a user makes a requests via the new service via the service shop, they must read and agree to the terms of use and accept them with using their employee digital signature. The system queries the employee’s existing assets automatically and then guides them through what needs to be replaced or what new equipment is required for remote work, such as replacing a desktop computer with a laptop or a new bluetooth headset.

The user-friendly user interface and familiar shopping cart dynamic led to faster ordering, less errors and more transparency regarding what is available. The automated underlying ordering, approval, and fulfillment processes enable fast processing and fulfillment.

This not only ensured a high level of employee acceptance but also increased the also increased appreciation of the HR and IT departments.

Additional use cases and services were quickly defined and deployed such as requesting permission to engage in freelance work or certificates for parents with schoolchildren for childcare.

This meant faster turnaround times and up to 60 percent fewer inquiries about remote work issues. The HR team benefited from a significant workload reduction and is able to focus on tasks requiring human interaction, such as employee development, recruiting and so forth, instead of standard inquiries.

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