Germany‘s Digital Pioneers 2022 – Industry Winner IT Services

Germany‘s Digital Pioneers 2022 – Industry Winner IT Services

Germany's Digital Pioneer 2022

Interview with Dr. Frank Schönthaler, CEO

Dear Frank, congratulations on the special award from the F.A.Z. Institute! PROMATIS took first place in the IT service provider category as part of the study “Germany’s Digital Pioneers 2022”. The respective industry winner receives 100 points and thus sets the benchmark for all other examined companies within the industry. In the course of this top ranking, we have prepared a few questions for you:

What are the challenges German companies are facing with regard to digitalization?

What the appeals of politicians and business leaders have failed to do over many years, the mutually reinforcing crises of our time have easily managed to do: a megatrend has grown out of the will to digitalize, giving digital technologies access to every conceivable area of society and the economy. This applies not only to Germany, but also to Europe and the entire world. The prerequisites for this, however, have to be met: The existence of a comprehensive, reliable, secure and high-performance digital infrastructure. Digitalization as a core competence in school, academic and company training is particularly important. But the availability of skilled workers for the design, development and operation of digital business solutions is also a fundamental building block. In this context, quality is at the forefront, and with regard to the interdisciplinary workforce, it has long been a question not only of technology, IT and business administration specialists, but also of social science and humanistic disciplines. In the course of globalization, a multilingual and multicultural workforce is also required. And last but not least, agility in the form of the ability to change, speed in strategic, tactical and operational terms is an essential factor for companies.

Which areas of the company do you think are the frontrunners, and which areas still need to catch up in terms of digitalization?

A look at our customer base shows that a lot is currently being invested particularly in the customer journey. Whereas in the past this meant only support processes, especially the customer experience (marketing, sales, and service) is now becoming more important. In addition, we are currently fine-tuning the employee journeys in our markets. Especially companies with core business processes that are based on recruiting and talent management rely on large-scale human capital management solutions. Another exciting area that has already seen a lot of digitalization is enterprise performance management (planning, forecasting, monitoring, analysis). However, I see the digitalization of the supply chain as THE top issue par excellence. After all, supply bottlenecks and trade barriers (sanctions) have shown us (in terms of maximally volatile supply chains) how vital it is to have predictable processes that serve to safeguard the existence of companies. Those who cannot react quickly in these times and plan various scenarios – also with regard to compliance guidelines – will find it difficult to survive in the market.

What does digitalization mean from an ethical point of view?

Nowadays, ethical aspects always come up in the context of digitalization. Due to my volunteer work as president of the board of trustees at the Integrata Foundation for the Humane Use of Information Technology, this topic is an important aspect for PROMATIS; not as an end in itself, but with the claim to provide our customers with future-proof solutions at all times. Consequently, innovation or digital innovation (artificial intelligence, dealing with blockchain and IoT) is one of our key priorities in this context. In addition, “more quality of life through IT” is also important to us, especially with regard to developments in artificial intelligence. This automatically puts the topic of “ethics and AI” on our agenda. An additional motive is that we want to provide the PROMATIS workforce and our digitalization experts with interesting, future-proof jobs at the forefront of innovation.

The study showed that a medium-sized company like PROMATIS is also ahead of the other major IT service providers. What does that imply?

I would like to invoke the term “hidden champion”. As a medium-sized company, it is certainly easier to lace together the strategy mix that is digitalization-innovation-employer attractiveness-profitability, and implement it quickly and sustainably. Particularly when it comes to innovation, but also when it comes to presenting our attractiveness as an employer, we benefit from a close cooperation with the universities near our sites, with KIT and the University of Muenster at the forefront – for example through joint research projects, practical training activities for students, talent recruiting, and working student programs.

Sometimes, however, what it takes is size. That’s why we successfully and happily work together with large partners such as Oracle, Deloitte, Accenture, EY or KPMG – on a national and international level. This gives us the flexibility to combine forces quickly and in a targeted manner, as well as agile performance processes that allow us to build cross-company value chains.

Interviewed: From Zero to Hundred

Interviewed: From Zero to Hundred

Getting started following Katharina's example

Dear Katharina, your career at PROMATIS has been nothing short of spectacular. Why don’t you start by telling us how it all began and what kinds of activities you participated in?

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems from Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, I started working for PROMATIS as a Business Consultant in October 2010 – in fact, I first discovered PROMATIS by a fluke via CareerContacts at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). When the topic of consulting came up, the first thing that came to my mind was “Consulting? I’m fresh out of university – who am I supposed to advise?”. But then I just went for it, and here I am!

In the course of my numerous customer projects, I have mainly been involved in the introduction, use and training of standard business application software, jetting around the world for PROMATIS in the first few years – Budapest, Milan, London, Vienna. That was quite exciting and eventful. For example, I worked for years at our customer Hutchison Drei Austria in Vienna and was able to focus on finance and accounting, cost accounting, controlling, consolidation, project accounting and controlling.

What do you particularly like about PROMATIS or what has shaped your professional life during this time?

I had the chance to get to know many different people, cultures and projects. That’s a level of diversity that you don’t find everywhere. At PROMATIS, we meet at eye level and communicate directly and in an uncomplicated manner. I feel particularly happy that I am accepted and respected as I am and that my work is highly valued. I also try to pass this on to our “newer” PROMATIS generation and in this way contribute to shaping the future of PROMATIS.

This appreciation was ultimately reflected in the way you climbed the career ladder?

Yes, that’s right. Not only was I appointed Head of the Horus Knowledge Community Finance and am in charge of further developing the area-specific knowledge bases, but I am now Head of Business Unit NetSuite and a Management Board member of the PROMATIS Group. I now have my own team that I am very proud of, and with whom I am able to handle many interesting and challenging projects. I am still involved in projects as well as in pre-sales up to support.

Wow! But how do you take time out and recharge your batteries, especially on stressful days?

Since August 2019, I’ve been getting up early several times a week, throwing on outdoor clothes and volunteering as a walker at the animal shelter – meanwhile I’ m doing it every day, which has definitely changed my life in a positive way. That’s a lot of miles that take my mind off the computer, but it’s also a lot of fun and a lot of dirt. But above all, it allows me to look at current problems and their solutions from a different perspective. I also like to do yoga and bouldering with colleagues. In general, a healthy work-life balance is very important in consulting. That’s often difficult at the beginning, because especially starting out in consulting can be really engrossing.


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Leading Employer Award 2022

Leading Employer Award 2022

PROMATIS awarded for outstanding employer qualities

Ettlingen, December 9, 2021 – Good ratings in online portals, positive media coverage, and employee recommendations can indicate an excellent employer. However, for an objective and holistic picture, other aspects are useful, including assessments by people in auditing and statistics as well as in expert panels. Accordingly, the “Leading Employers” meta-study is considered a comprehensive study in the field of international employer assessment. After all, it not only examines working conditions, image, employee satisfaction and understanding of values, but also key aspects such as responsibility and sustainability in relation to people, the company and the environment. Consequently, the top 1 percent of employers in Germany are awarded the title of “Leading Employer“, among which PROMATIS – specialist for intelligent business processes and Oracle digitalization solutions – may now count itself.

The employee satisfaction indicator is probably the most target-oriented of the social dimension and offers considerable potential for economic sustainability in the wake of demographic change and the war for talent. However, the expectations of employees regarding their employers have changed. Whereas job security and fair pay used to be decisive criteria when choosing a job, particularly today’s younger professionals are increasingly looking for meaningful work that promotes their personal development and combines private and professional goals. For many people, participating in the shaping of their own professional environment has also become essential. In the course of this, sustainable action is inevitably part of the future of modern companies, because employee satisfaction in particular serves as a core indicator of social sustainability.

As a meta-analysis, “Leading Employers” examines a wide range of sources, feedbacks and topics, the combination of which allows for a substantially higher significance compared to a single study. As a result, this unique methodology uses a holistic approach. After taking inventory of the sources, the quality, depth and the associated informative value of each source are evaluated based on a defined set of criteria.

PROMATIS, the globally active software and consulting company based in Ettlingen – the heart of TechnologyRegion Karlsruhe – has achieved outstanding results in all test areas and has demonstrated a holistic, fair and appreciative code of values. As a result, digitization and IT professionals at PROMATIS can expect an attractive work environment and a management team that views economic success and social responsibility not as opposites, but as cornerstones to accomplish the company mission. Not only do the business process and digitalization solutions ensure a sustainable improvement in the quality of life, but above all stands the most important goal: to shape the trusting and sustainable success story of PROMATIS together with its employees.

You can find current job vacancies at PROMATIS for the locations Ettlingen, Hamburg, Muenster, Vienna, Zurich and Denver (CO) here.

PROMATIS banks on family-conscious corporate culture as a success factor

PROMATIS banks on family-conscious corporate culture as a success factor

With the “Compatibility Progress Index”, family friendliness becomes a trademark!

The “Compatibility Progress Index” (Fortschrittsindex Vereinbarkeit) is part of the “Success Factor Family” (Erfolgsfaktor Familie) corporate program, by which the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, in cooperation with business associations and trade unions, promotes a family-friendly working environment. The aim is to establish family friendliness as a trademark of the German economy. The index was developed in cooperation with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag, DIHK) and the Federal Association of Human Resources Managers (Bundesverband der Personalmanager, BPM) for use in business practice. PROMATIS – specialist for intelligent business processes and Oracle digitization solutions – participates in the ongoing measurement of family-friendly corporate culture and decisively supports the compatibility of work and family.

Digitization, securing skilled workers, dynamic markets – only future-oriented companies can successfully meet these challenges on a daily basis. What is needed is a corporate culture that supports flexibility and personal responsibility, and in which all employees can unfold their motivation to perform. An important element of this type of corporate culture lies in the compatibility of professional and family responsibilities. This is particularly true in current times, as the reconciliation of work and family has taken on a whole new dimension, especially in the wake of the Corona crisis. Dividing lines between work and family are not just dissolving in the organization of childcare and professional tasks. New impressions are also developing in the individual perception of working time and free time, of exertion and relaxation. Likewise, the question of whether and how working parents and their children relax and recharge their batteries is a task of reconciliation.

The “Compatibility Progress Index” supports employers in measuring, developing and exposing their family-friendly measures. The index consists of two parts: With guidelines, the company commits to an innovative and family-oriented corporate culture. In the second step, companies can measure their culture on the basis of twelve key indicators and compare themselves with the competition.

Here, PROMATIS achieved very good results and met all requirements with flying colors. The globally active software and consulting company with headquarters in Ettlingen – in the heart of TechnologyRegion Karlsruhe – offers its employees not only trust-based working hours, attractive part-time models and home office workplaces, but also a modern working environment that meets both current and future employee needs. Because only a family-friendly corporate culture that is constantly optimized and anchored in a sustainable and binding manner stands for a real success factor.

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Experiencing the working world of tomorrow at PROMATIS – starting today

Experiencing the working world of tomorrow at PROMATIS – starting today

The working world has been changing increasingly in recent years, and it is not just ever since the extreme challenges of the pandemic that a new understanding of work has surfaced. ‘Work-life balance’, ’employee experience’, ‘new work’ are more than just buzzwords. They are expressions of an attitude that combines more and more demanding work with individual strengths. Putting the human being at the center of attention has long been a deep-rooted value at PROMATIS, which is put into action each and every day.

Togetherness/cooperation in the company

At PROMATIS, an appreciative, trusting and respectful interaction is the foundation for a harmonious atmosphere. Regardless of the hierarchy level, we communicate at eye level, live an open-door policy and communicate regularly within all teams. Feeling a sense of belonging is especially important to us. It is only when we function as a team that we achieve great results, experience personal success and have fun at our work. This means that everyone can and should contribute their own skills and can rely on others. This mutual trust creates a stable basis for a positive corporate culture. Because every employee is seen as an important part of the whole, which manifests in the long-term relationship between our employees and PROMATIS, as well as in the low turnover rate in comparison with the industry as a whole.


We are a company with flat hierarchies, a friendly, first-name based culture and short communication channels. We do not take detours and instead communicate in a direct, straightforward, open and honest way. To ensure a successful cooperation, we have regular feedback talks at PROMATIS, in which both criticism and feedback are addressed. Criticism is always given in a constructive and factual manner, because those who know their weaknesses can work on them and contribute to better success. Praise is communicated both directly and internally, for example by publishing positive customer feedback, remarkable employee achievements, or a simple ‘thank you to the team’ in our monthly online newsletter. In addition, we annually award colleagues with outstanding personal dedication and commitment. The award winners can always look forward to an exciting and harmonious employee event.

Onboarding and orientation

There is no second chance for a first impression. That is why we have made it a matter close to our hearts to optimally guide all new employees from day one. Dependability and competence in all personnel matters are a given to us – and the only way we can maintain our ground and offer our colleagues and future employees a secure working relationship.

As early as on the first day of work, our new colleagues receive an appropriate amount of information from the HR department and technical departments. If possible, newcomers are invited to team events on day one so they can find their way around the new atmosphere without any pressure. Our onboarding program takes place on the first working day itself. At this event, the new employees are greeted and welcomed by a member of the management board. Then, various departments give interesting insights into the world of PROMATIS. New employees additionally receive work safety instructions. The tour through the office rooms allows for direct introductions to all colleagues on site. This makes it easier to get in touch and lowers any inhibitions you might have with future questions or uncertainties. Because every new beginning is hard, every ‘newcomer’ receives an onboarding folder that contains the essential information in a compact summary, as well as the one or other goodie from the company.

In the following days, new employees participate in different training and learning units to optimally perform their new occupation. Every new employee is also assigned a mentor right from the start, who guides the new colleague safely and quickly through the new tasks and always provides the right answer to all questions.

But what is the point of the best onboarding if there is no feedback on the work done together after the first few days and weeks? That is why it is important for us to interview new colleagues after a certain period of time, as well as to repeat this process on a regular basis. Only then can we evaluate the new employee’s behavior and work, and receive feedback on their first impression of our company.

Sticking together in times of crisis – our way through the pandemic

By communicating transparently, proactively and constantly with our employees and customers throughout the corona pandemic, we were able to prevent existential fears and concerns from developing in the first place. But above all, involving the entire workforce in search of new ideas and perspectives created a high level of trust and unleashed an unexpected and invaluable dynamic. To reinforce team spirit, we held weekly all-hands online meetings, in which the management communicates important developments and motivates the employees during this difficult time. Spontaneous surveys showed an honest picture of the atmosphere among the workforce, which was then analyzed and used as a basis for developing direct solutions. Especially in times of crisis, employees need managers who take visible responsibility and radiate determination, confidence and trust. Our supervisors lived up to this premise and exhibited considerable presence and humanity in these difficult times.

Training/further education

The further training of our employees is a central topic at PROMATIS, because each individual employee as well as the company as a whole benefit from investing in knowledge and competence. As such, we regularly hold in-house training courses, our so-called ‘Lernfabrik’ (= ‘learning factory’), in which our specialists share their expertise. In addition to traditional courses, our in-house training also includes visits to external seminars, trade fairs and conferences. Professional further training and qualifications are a must for our recognized experts, and manifest in numerous certifications on a variety of topics.

Of course, training our own employees equally benefits our customers and business partners. The more efficiently our workforce functions, the more effectively we can assist our customers, which results in an improved service quality and more responsive customer support. In addition, the exchange of expertise and skills allows for a better knowledge transfer throughout the company.

Personal development

Personal development fulfills an employee’s need for continuous professional development. In order to be able to classify and develop the potential, talent, but also the performance of each individual, we have drawn up target agreements that primarily focus on personal skills. Along with the supervisor, clearly measurable and achievable goals are set, openly communicated and documented. Regular feedback meetings also allow to communicate activities and progress, which are then addressed and reinforced at the annual evaluation meeting.

In an agile environment of the VUCA world (VUCA = volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), we become increasingly interested in gathering and uniting employees for their personal development in temporary assignments and tasks. This requires finding the right match of employees for projects, knowledge exchange or even mentoring and coaching. So, an overview is needed of the skills, interests and motivations of each employee in the company. For this reason, we have collected this information and, among other things, created candidate profiles for our consultants. These candidate profiles can be accessed by customers and managers.

The PROMATIS company consists of people and lives for the people that work together day in and day out. Whether in the office, home office or in projects, we stand as a team that sticks together. This has only been proven by the last few months. And we are happy to continue growing with our tasks – as a modern company.

Author: Nadine Wagner

Image: © AzmanJaka /