Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft A/S & Co KG

Full Steam Ahead Toward a Service-Oriented Organization
Hamburg Sued Logo

Success thanks to a customer-centric business model

Creating a service-oriented organization cannot succeed with a strategy and technology alone. The IT department at Hamburg Süd learned that lesson back in 2008 when it tried to define services and offer them to suit needs. The initiative was not successful to begin with. An analysis revealed that not only was there no full description of the individual services, but also that not all stakeholders had been actively involved. From 2014 on, another attempt was made to entrench service in the organization’s DNA and establish new roles and processes that break down silos and cut across hierarchies.

The project team refined the existing service model and defined detailed service descriptions and dependencies. At the same time, it fleshed out the roles of service owner and service element owner.


USU IT Service Management has helped us successively shape IT at Hamburg Süd into a service organization. Thinking in terms of service structures and transparency based on a service catalog mean our IT services are clear and easy to grasp. Ordering processes are already partly automated and result in a high level of satisfaction among our internal customers.

José Silva, Manager Service Portfolio & Catalogue Management

At a glance


Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts Gesellschaft A/S & Co KG



Key figures

  • 55 business services, comprising 180 technical services
  • approx. 300 software packages


About Hamburg Süd

Founded in 1871, Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft A/S & Co KG (HSDG) stands for powerful brands in the international logistics sector. Since 2017 it has been part of Maersk, the world leader in liner shipping. Hamburg Süd has more than 6,000 employees, around a quarter of whom work at sea. The company has used USU’s technology and expertise to achieve its IT and enterprise service vision since 2015.


In view of changes in markets and digitalization in the shipping industry, Hamburg Süd’s IT department is to be transformed into a service oriented organization. That requires ensuring that the IT services are transparent and suit needs. That also involves establishing new roles (service owner/Service portfolio manager) and standardizing service management processes with a central ITSM solution.

Why USU?

The solution USU IT Service Management was chosen because it maps all ITIL® processes and boasts a high degree of flexibility and integratability. The company has proven its abilities by successfully accomplishing many customer projects of similar complexity. USU impresses not only with its technology, but also with its flexibility, high level of customer service and extensive consulting expertise.

Project milestones

  • Development of a service model for the Hamburg Süd Group
  • Tool evaluation and decision in favor of USU IT Service Management
  • Analysis of the status quo and description of the services for the service catalog
  • Implementation of USU IT Service Management
  • Rollout of cross-cutting roles for individual services (service owner/ service portfolio manager)
  • Commissioning of the online service catalog
  • Successive establishment of further disciplines, such as service portfolio management or SLA management


  • IT drives the “mind change” needed for evolution into a service oriented organization
  • Transparency on the wide range of existing software and its use saves operating resources and cuts license fees, such as by enabling redundant software to be eliminated
  • Minimized processing times thanks to partly automated, user-friendly ordering processes
  • Greater customer satisfaction with IT’s service
  • Efficient IT services act as a blueprint for enterprise services for HR and facility management

Greater competences for an ideal service

The biggest challenge proved to be acceptance among managers who had previously held responsibility in the traditional organizational structure. That was because the new cross-cutting roles had extensive powers to impose their services, which conflicted in some cases with the interests of the departments – and even extended as far as authority over budgets. The ITIL® definitions were initially used to describe the roles and, following interviews with the internal customers and future service owners, were tailored to Hamburg Süd’s specific situation. Cross-department competences and management of interdisciplinary teams were required to ensure ideal, customer-centric service delivery. Flanked by accompanying marketing activities and constant dialogue with all stakeholders, the required services were successively defined in concrete form and the role of the respective service owner was established.

Hamburg Sued Group

Service catalog as the basis for service

A key objective of everyone involved in the project was to create transparency. War was declared on the existing disarray in the shape of a wide range of different software products and versions. For example, the six different versions of Photoshop were replaced with a standard version and the existing 1,200 software products were slashed to around 380 standard ones. Active involvement of HR and the works council meant a works agreement was able to be concluded on the use of software integrated in the ordering process. By eliminating redundant software, Hamburg Süd has now cut license fees sharply. After all the previously identified 55 services had been described in a uniform structure from the end customer’s perspective, some of the services or service options were able to be provided using the IT service shop based on USU IT Service Management. Around 70% of all service requests are now covered by the service catalog. An automated approval process is integrated when products that have to be paid for are ordered. Software that requires a license is delivered within 72 hours at the latest. Installation of software that does not require a license commences within a few hours. The goal is to fully automate the process and reduce the time for it to a few minutes. The collaborative approach, the needs-based structure and user-friendliness of the IT shop, as well as faster ordering, resulted in a significant increase in customer satisfaction in the departments. That has created the foundation to implement more extensive services, such as establishment of service portfolio management or rollout of SLA management.

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