Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award Finalist Profile: Home of All Your (Team) Work

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An intrapreneur startup has been nominated for the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award.

The team is living the dream of startups everywhere: Its product is a hit, with more than 16,000 users currently in more than 1,700 different organizations, and that number is growing daily. An already successful 2018 is drawing to a close on a double high. In addition to making it onto the SAP price list, the team’s product has also been nominated as a finalist for the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award. To whom are we referring? The Ruum team from the Office of the CEO Board area.

The Ruum by SAP solution is an easy-to-use task management tool for teams. Its super-lightweight project management workspace integrates with a company’s business processes and a built-in digital assistant takes care of informing and following up with team members. On ruumapp.com, teams can register for the tool in seconds and start working with it right away — a basic version is available free of charge.

Teamwork Through and Through

Simplifying teamwork in the enterprise was the mission from day one. That goal brought together Florian Frey and Stefan Ritter in 2016 in the SAP.iO Venture Studio, where they built a solution that links business processes and back-office systems to communication and teamwork tools.

Frey and Ritter completed their first prototype in just four months and began to vigorously recruit users. With an initial target of garnering 10 new active users per week, they actually attracted a total of more than 16,000 internal and external users in just two years.

Frey gives an example of how Ruum is being used at SAP right now: “We have set up integration with SAP Sales Cloud so that sales teams can create a project workspace for each of their deals with a single click. Even aligning with external customers and partners is simple. Our bot handles project management and syncs everything back into CRM automatically. What we regularly hear from users – in sales particularly – is that they are able to reduce their email volume and alignment meetings by half.”

With user numbers growing rapidly, the Ruum team expanded gradually, operating as an independent startup within SAP with the motto “diversity drives innovation.” Although the eight women and seven men on the team work in Berlin, they hail from across the world. But when there are difficult decisions to make, they operate as united team.

Personal Contact with Users

When asked to name their strong points, the team cites their entrepreneurial mindset and obsession with the customer.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for our users to interact with us so that we always know precisely what they need,” explains Frey. Right from the start, close contact with users was paramount and immense importance was attached to phone conversations and open feedback meetings. The stream of feedback shows no signs of running dry: Team members report enthusiastically on the ‘user love,’ as they call it, that reaches them several times a day.

For the Ruum team, there is no substitute for being in constant contact with users. Any feedback entered in a chat window in Ruum is pushed to each team member’s cell phone to trigger a live chat. “We’re ready to do whatever it takes to make our customers successful,” says Ritter.

Exciting Future Ahead for Ruum

Ruum manages the balancing act between complex business processes and lightweight project collaboration, explains Ritter, summing up the application’s business potential. The market for such tools is competitive, he concedes, but Ruum is superior in many respects. “No-one else offers a solution that is so integrated and yet so easy to use,” he says. The application is also ideally positioned within SAP, adds Frey.

True to the pitch that Ruum is the “home of all your work,” its originators are clear about their aspirations for this cloud solution. “We want to be the collaboration cloud for all SAP products,” says Ritter.

Fun fact! If you’re wondering about the tool’s unusual name, the team found it on indifferentlanguages.com: “Ruum” is Estonian for “space.”

The Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award is the highest employee recognition at SAP, awarded annually by the CEO to an individual or a team.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission Title: Ruum by SAP
  • Board Area: Office of the CEO
  • Team: Florian Frey, Josefine Harzmann, Stefan Ritter, Matthias Stegmüller, Felipe Bortolon Taiarol.
  • The extended project team includes Vidyashree Basavaraju, Rafael Frank, Valentin Gerlach, Alban Nocaj, Michael Rebitzki-Vennhoff, Diana Rösner, Paulina Rosin, Johannes Rupieper, Dorothee Schulze, Andrii Serputko, Iulia Shkatova, Stephanie Taiwo.
  • Achievement: Building and growing a ‘freemium’ SaaS product from scratch to more than 16,000 users from 1,700 companies; delivering 11 integrations with SAP solutions.
  • Impact: Connecting teamwork with business processes and bringing SAP to the front office.

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