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Research
Publication Date: 19 August 2009 ID Number: G00169637

Case Study: How Galapagos Evolved Nimble Global HR Processes
Thomas Otter

Smaller multinational organizations can deploy HR systems to support global requirements cost-effectively. HR and IT leaders can learn from Galapagos' success in deploying a solution that helped the business and HR. Key Findings
• ERP systems are notthe only option for global HR systems, as a new breed of technically advanced, specialist human capital management (HCM) vendors offer multicountry support and provide a viable alternative to ERP systems, especially for smaller multinational organizations. Global HR projects are challenging, whether in big or small organizations. They demand strong project management, interdepartmental collaborationand active executive support. Galapagos deployed Vizual HR to manage HR processes for its 495 employees across seven countries.





Recommendations
• • • Extend the scope for evaluation of HCM beyond ERP vendors to include specialist vendors, especially for smaller organizations. Make the use of systems compulsory, limit local deviations to what the law requires and focus on value forthe line manager. These are key to successful self-service adoption. Align the project to help the business, not just HR. In this case, the system helped speed up bid tender responses to clients.

© 2009 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information containedherein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner's research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liabilityfor errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Galapagos is a drug discovery and pharmaceutical service company operating in France, Belgium, the U.S., the U.K., Holland, Switzerland and Japan. It employs 495 people. After cancelling a large ERPsystem rollout because of cost and flexibility concerns, the company turned to a specialist U.K.-based HR vendor, Vizual Business Tools, for a global HR system. The system was rolled out across the business in less than nine months. The project delivered on its key objectives of standardizing processes, reducing administration, managing compliance, speeding up recruitment, cutting absence costs,improving bid turnaround, and providing accurate data to line managers, HR and employees.

CASE STUDY

Introduction
Smaller multinational companies (see Note 1), especially in knowledge-intensive industries, are often challenged by the complexity of global HR processes and systems. They need to act globally, as they are competing for global talent. Often, they need to work seamlessly withlarge customers that expect consistent global service (in this case, large pharmaceutical companies). Smaller multinational companies face significant HR and regulatory compliance-reporting demands. However, they often don't have the numbers of employees and the technical support infrastructure to implement and use a large ERP-based HR solution effectively. This case study shows how a smallmultinational company was able to put in place an HR system that meets its challenging and changing global HR needs without necessarily having to resort to an ERP system designed for much larger organizations.

The Challenge
Galapagos is a drug discovery and development company with small-molecule programs in bone and joint diseases, bone metastasis, cachexia, anti-infectives, and metabolic diseases....
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